With over 36 years of fencing experience under his belt, fencing
master Nick Evangelista is one of the sport's most unique teachers.
He has studied fencing in both the United States and Europe. He's
also collected a number of awards and medals during his years of
competition. Over the past three decades, he has developed many
fencers who have successfully competed in the U.S.fencing
Maestro Evangelista’s formative years as a fencer were spent
under the guidance of one of the acknowledged great masters
of the twentieth century, Ralph Faulkner.
Ralph Faulkner was a former Olympian (1928, 1932) and was
known as "The Fencing Master to the Stars." During
Hollywood's Golden Age, he coached such swashbuckling
luminaries as Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Ronald
Colman. He taught until 1987, when he died at the age of 95.
Maestro Evangelista teaches the traditional French school
of Fencing, sometimes referred to as “classical.” His fencing
philosophy is very straightforward. He is very much a proponent of intelligent fencing, with the goal of
teaching his students to always be “on purpose” with their fencing, approaching each action with the mindset
of “what if these weapons were sharp?” He refers to this approach as “the logic of the sharp point.” “This,”
he observes, “gives meaning to the ideas behind the conventions of traditional fencing. Attacking with an
extended arm with point in-line, is one of my steadfast principles.
"This establishes a true right-of-way. Everything in the traditional conventions of fencing echoes this idea.
For those who do not understand the traditional conventions of foil fencing, put the image of a sharp point
into the equation. Then, it all becomes very simple. Attack when you have established a physical advantage
over your opponent with your point; defend when he has established a physical advantage over you. Anything
else is virtual suicide on the fencing strip.”
“I teach fencing in a very traditional fashion. Everyone begins with foil. No
exceptions. Foil instills the fundamentals of fighting with a sword in a fencing
student. The conventions of the foil are, in fact, a valuable template for
changing our behavior from everyday people reactions to controlled fencer
responses. This basic training is essential for everything that follows. Those
who begin their fencing careers with either epee or sabre are missing an
opportunity to bring added depth to their weapon of choice."
Currently, Maestro Evangelista teaches fencing in Springfield, Missouri, where
he divides his time between his large private practice and the Missouri State
Fencing Society. You will not find pistol grips or electrical scoring boxes or the
disorganized poking and twisting and jumping of modern sport fencing in the
confines of his school.
On the other hand, he doesn't teach the antiquated posing and posturing
sometimes associated with “classical” fencing.
either. “I do not believe in teaching empty ritual
and actions that were old and worn out in the
"The approach I take is to teach fencing so that it
is both efficient and effective. I teach form so
that it establishes economy of motion, point
control, timing, judgment -- the foundational
elements of fencing from its earliest days. I also
teach my students the “language of fencing,” so
that they learn to think fencing. I would be
stealing from those who come to me if I taught
them anything else.”
|The Nick Evangelista Homepage
|Nick Evangelista has many published articles to his credit. He currently has five fencing-related books: The
Encyclopedia of the Sword ( Greenwood Press,1995); The Art and Science of Fencing (McGraw-Hill, 1996);
Fighting with Sticks (Loompanics Press, 1998); The Inner Game of Fencing (McGraw-Hill, 2000); and The Woman
Fencer (Wish Publishing, 2001). His work has also been quoted in numerous publications, including Smithsonian
Magazine. He has acted as a consultant to the film Industry, adding his talent to TV shows including: Magnum
P. I. and The Highlander. As the fencing history editor for Encyclopedia Britannica Online, he updated their
fencing information for the twenty-first century. Maestro Evangelista is also the editor/publisher of Fencers
Quarterly Magazine, the only independent hard-copy fencing magazine in the world.
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All rights reserved, Fall 2006.
Bob McEowen, Manuel Molina, Justin Evanagelista,
Grechen Knotts, all copyrighted 2006, The Nick Evangelista Homepage.