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Thread: Meastro Madness!

  1. #1

    Meastro Madness!

    Hi All,

    A number of recent off-line conversations have found me wondering how many 'recognized' fencing meastro's are currently operating under this title today?

    Is there a database or officially recognized listing somewhere?

    Thanks in advance,

    S

  2. #2
    Well, my first question would be, "Maestro of what?"

    My second question would be, "Recognized by whom?"

    There are only a few legitimate routes and only for a very limited selection of weapons. I suspect this thread might eventually get hot and/or closed.

    Steve
    Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance

  3. #3
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    I agree with Steve, a little more detail about what you are looking for would be helpful.

    That said, Walter Green has tried to put together a database documenting current and historical fencing masters. It is not complete, and there are some errors, but it may give you a sense of what you are looking for.

    Also, to expand on Steve's other point, Walter is credentialed by the International Academy of Arms, and is probably restricting his entries for current fencing masters to those similarly credentialed, as opposed to including ranks given as valid only within a single school or small group.

  4. #4
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    As Steven says, this is probably one of the most contentious questions you could ask in WMA today.

    In the briefest sense, the title Maestro is used and recognised in some circles, to others the very concept of mastering historical fencing is anathema.

    I suggest you Google the word and find out for yourself, or do a search through the SFI archives.

    Anything else that provokes debate on this subject simply ends up flogging the same old dead horse.

    Honourably,

    Bob
    Bob Brooks
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  5. #5
    [Sarcasm]
    I wonder why the English speaking world likes to use the Italian word for Master...is it to give the name holder some credit for historical fencing
    [/Sarcasm]

    Alexander

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander PIERRE View Post
    I wonder why the English speaking world likes to use the Italian word for Master...is it to give the name holder some credit for historical fencing
    So to whom exactly are you referring? There aren't even that many people who use the title.

    Steve
    Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander PIERRE View Post
    [Sarcasm]
    I wonder why the English speaking world likes to use the Italian word for Master...is it to give the name holder some credit for historical fencing
    [/Sarcasm]

    Alexander
    It technically means "teacher", and it also means it in more than one language. Also, the English speaking world isn't the only area that uses the term despite it not being in our language. Our academy had a visit from Maestro Bagenet, a French instructor of modern fencing. Note that we're not talking about historical fencing here.

    Regardless, I would expect a person who has earned the title from an Italian lineage to use the Italian term.
    Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
    --German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


    "A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of all skill."

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Grandy View Post
    Regardless, I would expect a person who has earned the title from an Italian lineage to use the Italian term.
    Exactly, lineage or organisation/federation/society/...

    Please note the Sarcasm mode, I didn't mean to offend anyone nor to initiate another thread about what is a master and if one should/shouldn't hold this title in a HEMA context...simply to share an "amusing" thought I had...you are free to discuss the quality of my sense of humour

    Alexander

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander PIERRE View Post
    Exactly, lineage or organisation/federation/society/...

    Please note the Sarcasm mode, I didn't mean to offend anyone nor to initiate another thread about what is a master and if one should/shouldn't hold this title in a HEMA context...simply to share an "amusing" thought I had...you are free to discuss the quality of my sense of humour

    Alexander
    I got the sarcasm thing, but my understanding of it is that there is actually a pretty good historical reason for it. Here in the US, for a long time, most of the fencing masters were European, and they used the titles they were accustomed to. I have met older fencers who refer to Maitre So-and-so, but even a lot of the French fencing masters used the term maestro as well. Maybe they just didn't want to hear us Yanks mangle their precious language

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Myers View Post
    I got the sarcasm thing, but my understanding of it is that there is actually a pretty good historical reason for it. Here in the US, for a long time, most of the fencing masters were European, and they used the titles they were accustomed to. I have met older fencers who refer to Maitre So-and-so, but even a lot of the French fencing masters used the term maestro as well. Maybe they just didn't want to hear us Yanks mangle their precious language
    That and that while some people may associate "Maestro" with the guy who runs the orchestra, those same people are likely to ask which hotel you work for if your title is "Maitre".

    I noticed while flipping through the Mangiarotti spada book, that they translated "Maitre" into the Italian "Maestro" when referring to specific French fencing masters (i.e. the ones that Giuseppe Mangiarotti and some other Italian Maestri learned epee from).

    I think worrying about the language used is a bit less of an issue than what the accrediting body is, what systems the person was tested in, how experienced s/he is, and what the person's professional ethics are.


    Additional edit:
    I thought I should point out in endeavouring to answer the original question that in addition to Walter Green's list, the USFCA keeps (or did keep) a list of its current members and their level of credential, but that only includes people who have joined the organization for the membership year, not those who are licensed but who aren't current members. The SJSU program has a graduates list buried somewhere in its webpage, and Accademia Nazionale or AIMS does as well, though I'm not sure how current it is.
    Last edited by Chris Holzman; 10-30-2007 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Forgot an apostrophe.
    Christopher A. Holzman, Esq.
    Moniteur d' Armes
    "[T]he calm spirit is the only force that can defeat instinct, and render us masters of all our strengths" -Settimo Del Frate, 1876.

    Author of The Art of the Dueling Sabre
    ViaHup.com - Wiki di Scherma Italiana

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    Scott,

    It's going to sound like people are giving you oblique answers, but they aren't. If you search the forum, the idea of an HES "master at arms" is fairly contested, often, I think, to an absurd degree. Regardless, if you mean classical and modern fencing masters at arms, it gets a little easier (although I think there would be debate within this community as to whether or not the title is being used the same way).

    There are some classical fencing maestri who claim to have historical weapons as part of their lineage, but not necessarily part of their license (such as Chris Holtzman's fencing master, who learned some rapier and dagger from Georgio Santelli), others who claim that their license extends to certain historical weapons that were passed on as part of a living lineage (such as Ramon Martinez), and others who have adopted the title for themselves after decades of work in the subject (such as Terry Brown).

    To further muddy the waters, there are one or two folks who claim a title of master at arms, applying solely and directly to historical weapons, based on a living lineage.

    Finally, there are modern bodies that claim to offer a master at arms degree in historical weapons/systems, based on their own internal qualifications - such as IMAF.

    (Note that the word "claim" is not meant to be pejorative, but rather means precisely what it says: these people/groups have said the following, and thus have "laid claim" to it.)

    The problem with your question - and the source of contention others are worrying about - is particularly with the last two cases. There is little agreement in the community about whether or not we even know enough in most cases to determine what would be required for a master's degree, let alone whether or not there are any candidates ready to achieve it. (I personally think that really depends on the system in question.) Further, to date there has been little to no verification brought forward by the "historical living lineage" folks that has held up to independent scrutiny. In some cases, these are systems, usually of rapier and rapier and dagger combat that were preserved in classical lines, and seem to have been filtered through that lens. Are they 19th or early 20th century reinventions -such as those of the French Academy, Hutton, Castle, the Nazi Youth program, etc, or truly surviving lineages? Does that even matter? Most of the folks possessing these lines have been quite honest about where it comes from - they learned it from their master, who learned it from his own. More than that becomes speculation or subject of investigation.

    Frankly, we know that c.1900 there was "stuff" being taught in fencing circles, some as hold-overs, some as reconstructions, so the idea that some of that survived to the present is hardly a radical one. Unfortunately, many folks feel a need to believe in a mythology of tradition, and an equal number of people feel a desperate need to prove debunker, to the end result of blinding themselves and obscuring the data. *Personally*, as long as folks realize that this "living tradition" of rapier fencing may only be a few generations old, and regardless is demonstrably not the same as what was taught in the 17th century, I see no problems. What I find a problem with are the few odd characters that have appeared claiming authentic, centuries old lines of swordsmanship, but cannot supply any sort of documentable license, name and origin of master, let alone traceable lineage of maestri. That just reeks of "fraud".

    So, if you want *verifiable* Western Martial Arts masters, I think what you need to look at are those arts that survived into the modern day: the lines of modern (classical or sport) three-weapon fencing, savateurs and indigenous traditions of stick and knife fighting, such as are found in Portugal, Italy, France, etc. A master of any of these disciplines should be able to easily document his qualifications and lineage, in three weapon fencing he should be able to tell you not only his master, but who the masters were that sat on his examining board. Case in point, if you want to know what Maestro Sean Haye's credentials are, they are in foil, epee (Italian dueling sword) and saber, and here's the proof: http://www.northwestacademyofarms.com/aboutteacher.htm. The really nosey could then run down the origins of the people on Sean's boards, Dr. Gaugler's own license, etc.

    I'm not sure how the licenses for savate, jogo do pau, etc work, but if a *fencing* master can't do that, and is claiming a living tradition whose lineage looks like it belongs in a Dan Brown novel, he probably belong on the "bad budo" list.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Myers View Post
    I got the sarcasm thing, but my understanding of it is that there is actually a pretty good historical reason for it. Here in the US, for a long time, most of the fencing masters were European, and they used the titles they were accustomed to. I have met older fencers who refer to Maitre So-and-so, but even a lot of the French fencing masters used the term maestro as well. Maybe they just didn't want to hear us Yanks mangle their precious language
    :lol: I didn't think of that...funny thing though when you think of the rivalry between the French and the Italian schools.

    As for modern foil, sabre and épée I suppose that the national federations/associations list their own Masters/Maîtres/Maestri etc..

    Alexander

  13. #13
    Ok, gang. Let's get things back on track here before things get silly. It appears that I may have managed to fail to communicate myself well enough, my apologies. I'm not so sure what is particularly intimidating about my queries, but let's not read too far into a simple question for information. I'm not interested in another redundant diatribe over whose maestro can beat up whose master-at-arms, etc. I was merely asking after any publicly accessible databases, collections of names, and similar resources.

    Since most of the responses so far have been grossly off topic, I'll respond only to those that are relevant to my current pursuits. No insult is intended by omission.


    Hi Eric,

    Thank you kindly for the link you provided. This was very nearly exactly what I was after.


    Hi Steven,

    You posted:

    Well, my first question would be, "Maestro of what?"
    I originally stated that I was focused on 'fencing' maestri so I am taking it that you are asking after which weapon systems? If that's the case then I don't really care, just now. This doesn't necessarily factor in at the present.


    My second question would be, "Recognized by whom?"

    There are only a few legitimate routes and only for a very limited selection of weapons.
    OK, I don't really care to get to embroiled into a discussion of who is or is not recognized by this or that group, to be honest. However, I do recognize the irony that you have gone on to use the term "...only a few legitimate routes...". Whose definition of legitimate are you referring to? (Please don't answer that ) Frankly, I don't know how to proceed without turning this into the debate I've just mentioned.

    In a later post to another poster you stated:

    So to whom exactly are you referring? There aren't even that many people who use the title.
    Now this does correlate to some of the off-line conversations I've alluded to. ( I hope everyone will recognize that I referred to 'several' conversations. I should also like to say that these have taken place over quite an extended period. Also Steven, no insult is meant by using your words here, I'm actually trying to clarify one of the potential topics of the thread and coincidentally enough, they apply.).

    It seems to me that there is a perception by many in the HEMA/WMA community that there are very few such Meastri in practice today. The reality of the matter is that there is, in fact, still a wide usage of the term Maestro. I am hoping that the evidence Eric has put forth would seem to clarify this observation quite heartily.

    Ignoring, for the purpose of this conversation only, the numerous varieties of titles adjacent or comparable to the title Maestro (such as Master-at-Arms, Fechtmeister, Maitre, GrandMaster, etc, etc, etc,.....) I would like everyone to view the link that Eric has provided. In the "A's" alone there are easily ten men sporting the title and this is if we significantly narrow the focus to only the last ten years! Want to have some real fun? Check out the more common initials "M" or "S"! I should also like to reinforce what Eric has mentioned, that this link is representative of only a single organization/federation/group!

    I would argue that allowing this misperception to continue is to fall into many of the undesirable emotions/conversations that result when discussing false masters and even more common topics such as Asian Martial Arts and many of the myths and legends therein that have sprouted as result of little or poor educating by the parties responsible there. Then too, there is the opposing issue of intentionally falsified information by men in those circles, something I'm sure could never happen to our so closely guarded community

    In short, being able to casually recognize that there are, in fact, a lot of men and/or women using this title might help dispel some of the negative connotations that coincide with it. Irregardless of who 'recognizes' whom's 'legitimacy, accuracy, authenticity, etc.", the simple fact remains that the term is being used and often at that. I surmise that openly witnessing that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of people applying this term, in a fencing context, it may begin to smooth out the rough edges of negativity associated with the term. Of course, let's bear in mind that change does not happen over-night typically.


    To all,

    I can recognize that this conversation might easily run into debating which groups are or are not 'legitimate' and/or drift towards focusing on titular forms such as "historical" or "classical" but I would like to ask that these posts be moved to another thread and reserve this thread for the specific topic of dispelling potential myths through educational manouevers, methods, etc.

    Regards,

    S

  14. #14
    It seems that a couple of posts have gone out while I was typing. I will try to get to those shortly. I apologize, time is short just now.

    Cheers,

    S

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    Hi Scott,
    >
    As others have intimated this is one of those topics that always leads to a lively debate
    >
    I would however like to explain to the WMA comunity at large why I chose to use the title anciant maister. I did it precisely for the reasons referred to by Greg, because at some time in the future, long after my clogs have been popped, students will be able to trace their 'lineage' back through their maister, to his maister, etc., and then to me.
    >
    In other words I have set out to provide a verifiable history of the origins of the Company of Maisters and the art which forms its syllabus.
    >
    For the same reason I felt honoured to be invited to join the IMAF as an invited maestro because I felt that its founders were following the same logic and methods. Unfortunately I later felt obliged to resign that honour, not because of any ill on the part of IMAF, but because of the quite considerable strife, contention, and possibly even jealousies this aroused in some people. I decided that a quiet life was preferable
    >
    I would like to point out though, as you know from experience, I never use the AM title, period. My students address me as Terry not maister, nor have I ever asked anyone else to call me maister nor ever will. To me the honour is not for me but for future generations of Company students.
    >
    I do however sign 'Letters' that is to say instructor certificates as anciant maister, again this is done for the benefit of future generations.
    >
    Best wishes,
    Terry

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    Scott,

    Quote Originally Posted by S. Brown View Post
    Ok, gang. Let's get things back on track here before things get silly. It appears that I may have managed to fail to communicate myself well enough, my apologies. I'm not so sure what is particularly intimidating about my queries, but let's not read too far into a simple question for information. I'm not interested in another redundant diatribe over whose maestro can beat up whose master-at-arms, etc. I was merely asking after any publicly accessible databases, collections of names, and similar resources.

    Since most of the responses so far have been grossly off topic, I'll respond only to those that are relevant to my current pursuits. No insult is intended by omission.

    They weren't - you asked if there was such a list of "recognized" masters, quotations your own, thereby suggesting that the term need qualification. That qualification was precisely what the rest of the thread dealt with, up to and including the term fencing. Does modern fencing meet your requirement? IF so, as you drolly noted, there are plenty of people with that title. Does stick fencing, because that is still fencing? Etc.

    So I understand that these weren't the answers that you were looking for, but they were normal and logical discourse for the topic.

    Best,

    Greg
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 10-30-2007 at 02:31 PM.
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    Scott,




    They weren't - you asked if there was such a list of "recognized" masters, quotations your own, thereby suggesting that the term need qualification. That qualification was precisely what the rest of the thread dealt with, up to and including the term fencing. Does modern fencing meet your requirement? IF so, as you drolly noted, there are plenty of people with that title. Does stick fencing, because that is still fencing? Etc.

    So I understand that these weren't the answers that you were looking for, but they were normal and logical discourse for the topic.

    Best,

    Greg
    Bingo - and there are or were universities in the former Soviet bloc countries that had phys ed./kineseology degrees that had emphasis in fencing/sport training, etc. Do those degree holders count? Sure its modern fencing, but does the degree say "Fencing Master" or does it say "B.A. in Phys ed., emphasis in Fencing" or something else entirely? So if one of those guys calls himself, or is called by his students, Maestro/Master etc., but the degree says "B.A. in Phys ed." does he count, is he "recognized", and thus countable in the list or not?

    Beats me - depends on how technical a person wants to get, and I could make logical, valid arguments both ways.
    Last edited by Gregory Mele; 10-30-2007 at 02:32 PM.
    Christopher A. Holzman, Esq.
    Moniteur d' Armes
    "[T]he calm spirit is the only force that can defeat instinct, and render us masters of all our strengths" -Settimo Del Frate, 1876.

    Author of The Art of the Dueling Sabre
    ViaHup.com - Wiki di Scherma Italiana

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    if you want to know what Maestro Sean Haye's credentials are, they are in foil, epee (Italian dueling sword) and saber, and here's the proof: http://www.northwestacademyofarms.com/aboutteacher.htm. The really nosey could then run down the origins of the people on Sean's boards, Dr. Gaugler's own license, etc.
    Go to: http://www.accademianazionalescherma.it/documenti.html and click on "Modo Testo." The list of Scuola Magistrale graduates begins with Carlo Pessina. Scroll down to 1976 to find:

    1976 06/06/1976 Gaugler William Mathias Maestro Stati Uniti d'America


    Let me be the first to point out that my program, like that of my teacher, never taught the use of longswords, rapiers, smallswords or other historical weapons, nor have any of us ever made the claim that professional training and certification in foil, epee and sabre is de facto the equivalent of training in historical weapons. Anyone who says differently of three-weapon training is selling something.

    As I have said before, the physical and intellectual tools acquired in the earning of the diploma are valuable when researching historical weapons, but that can be said of other disciplines as well. All that is required to do good reasearch is an honest effort, a willingness to have one's conclusions subjected to review, and an ability to minimize or at least recognize one's built-in biases.

    Additionally, I think claims of living tradition in "historical" weapons require that the burden of proof be on the claimant. When someone claims to have been taught a complete survival of an historical weapon, that's an extraordinary claim, and it requires extraordinary proof.

    Sean
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  19. Quote Originally Posted by S. Brown View Post
    I would like everyone to view the link that Eric has provided. In the "A's" alone there are easily ten men sporting the title and this is if we significantly narrow the focus to only the last ten years! Want to have some real fun? Check out the more common initials "M" or "S"! I should also like to reinforce what Eric has mentioned, that this link is representative of only a single organization/federation/group!
    I've been aware of this database for some time, so I have no need to go look at it. I really have no idea what you're getting at with this, Scott. Why are we supposed to limit it to 10 years? What other federations are you looking for? Why are we supposed to look at "M" and "S"?

    And you are aware that this list is primarily, though not entirely, a list of people with no connection to WMA / HEMA whatsover, right?

    Can you clarify? What are you looking for? I am puzzled.

    It seems to me that there is a perception by many in the HEMA/WMA community that there are very few such Meastri in practice today. The reality of the matter is that there is, in fact, still a wide usage of the term Maestro.
    Really? I can count all the WMA-related people who claim that title, including myself, on the fingers of both hands. Do you have a different list? Please share it with us!

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean Hayes; 10-30-2007 at 02:53 PM.
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  20. #20
    Re: lists of Masters...

    Let's not forget Bill Oddie, Grandmaster of the Lancashire martial art of Ecky-Thump!

    Just to lighten the mood a little...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hayes View Post
    And you are aware that this list is primarily, though not entirely, a list of people with no connection to WMA / HEMA whatsover, right?
    And the list of those that are is a woefully incomplete list of dead historical masters...dei Liberi and Liechtenauer don't make the cut, but "Ric Lord" does, a man who played his master's prize in 1540 and is known only through the entry of his prize in the LMoD records.

    But Scott, the several off-line discussions, and "look at the entries 'S' & 'M'" - by which I gather we are supposed to notice a *lack* of something - is a little cloak and dagger. If you want to ask a question as to why someone isn't listed or if we think someone's using a title they shouldn't, then by all means just do so. Worst that happens is no one responds, right?
    Greg Mele
    Chicago Swordplay Guild

    Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association

    "If the tongue could cut
    as the sword can do,
    the dead would be infinite."

    Filippo Vadi, "Arte Dimicandi Gladiatoria" (c.1482 - 87)

  22. Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Mele View Post
    But Scott, the several off-line discussions, and "look at the entries 'S' & 'M'" - by which I gather we are supposed to notice a *lack* of something - is a little cloak and dagger. If you want to ask a question as to why someone isn't listed or if we think someone's using a title they shouldn't, then by all means just do so. Worst that happens is no one responds, right?
    Greg is being more direct than I was, but yeah: I have to admit that I think you're fishing. Let me be more direct than Greg: anyone whose credentials can't stand scrutiny deserves lots of scrutiny. Anyone whose credentials can stand scrutiny won't mind - and might even welcome it. And if this isn't your intent, tell us outright.

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean Hayes; 10-30-2007 at 10:01 PM.
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  23. #23
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    Wow, I got a totally different understanding of S. Brown's question.

    We've all seen the debate over the term "master" that focuses on whether it is something that is achievable with a fair amount of hard work, or whether it should only be reserved for those who have truly mastered every single bit of the art, killed countless in battle (preferably ninja zombies), and must be at 93 years old to boot.

    Those who agree with the latter might be persuaded differently if they see that there is a huge number of people using the term today, that it is a current term, and that they all meet relatively common standards for what training they received.

    Never mind whether they are historical fencers or not, the point is that the term has been pretty well defined for centuries.

  24. #24
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    Hi All,
    I think the problem is language and the interpretation of word master/maister/maestro.
    A fencing master - is someone who teaches fencing. So the term should apply to anyone who teaches fencing good or bad.
    A master of fencing - This is a different concept, this is an individual claiming an extremely high level of skill in the art of fencing. This term I feel is unusable in the modern world since a master of fencing would need to prove their ability by actual combat.

    The problem comes when people blend these concepts and assume that someone who teaches fencing is automatically the best swordsman.

    I'm new to this forum so please be gentle if I talk utter nonsense.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    405
    Quote Originally Posted by David Britten View Post
    Hi All,
    I think the problem is language and the interpretation of word master/maister/maestro.
    A fencing master - is someone who teaches fencing. So the term should apply to anyone who teaches fencing good or bad.
    A master of fencing - This is a different concept, this is an individual claiming an extremely high level of skill in the art of fencing. This term I feel is unusable in the modern world since a master of fencing would need to prove their ability by actual combat.

    The problem comes when people blend these concepts and assume that someone who teaches fencing is automatically the best swordsman.

    I'm new to this forum so please be gentle if I talk utter nonsense.
    Hi David,

    No! A fencing master is not just anyone who teaches fencing! It is someone who has undergone extensive formal training in the practice and teaching of fencing. A simple review of the historical and modern records shows this to be the case.

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