Instructors

Maestro Craig Smith (Battle Creek)

Attended, and graduated from Portage Central High School in 1978 with High Honors.  Attended Western Michigan University where he started fencing with Mrs. Lamanski as the instructor.  Fencing then continued outside of college with competitions until opening a jewelry store in Battle Creek in 1989 when he retired from competition temporarily while joining Avante Garde Fencing Academy in Battle Creek.  Avante Garde lasted less than one year after which Tri-Blade Fencing was founded.

  • Founder Tri-Blade Fencing Academy
  • Knight of the Southern Cross
  • Knight of Malta
  • Knights Templar
  • Founder The New Order of Chivalric Knights
  • International Coaches Association
  • Received Designation “Maestro” from FIE, International Fencing Association
  • Received Master Instructor from Lakeview Public Schools
  • United States Fencing Association Designated Coach, Director, and Club Director

In January 2012 I along with 6 others, members incorporated the parent organization New Order of Chivalric Knights (NOCK), and brought TriBlade Fencing Academy under the direction of a board.


Zeke Talmage (Battle Creek)

I joined Tri-Blade Fencing Academy when I was around 12 year of age, as a PE credit for my schooling. I quickly developed my fencing skills and began to assist Maestro Craig with teaching new fencing with the basic skills. I was give the opportunity to instruct the entire class when I was in my mid-teens.

Accomplishments:

  • Over 1500 hours of personal fencing
  • Over 700 hours of instructing
  • Competed in Foil and Epee
  • Instructed / Coached one member to Junior Olympics
  • Board Vice President – “New Order of Chivalric Knight” the parent organization of Tri-Blade Fencing Academy
  • Co-Developed inter-club Classic French Fencing Tournament, “Bring It On” & “Bring It On – Team Up”
  • Public School Program – development committee
  • Co-Instructor – Gull Lake Home School Partnership fencing class
  • Co-Instructor – Gull Lake High School fencing class (PE credit)

Kyle “Tank” Wilder (Battle Creek)

Fencing was something I always wanted to do, in the spring of 2007 my wife found Tri-Blade Fencing Academy, and a class offered during our lunch hour so we would meet there and fence together. We both learned Foil, Epee and Saber over the following year. My wife stopped due to medical issue, while I continued with fencing, I began to attend the Monday evening class.

By this time, I was assisting Maestro with new people, instructing them with all the basics. As my skills grow also did my responsibilities with in the club. The entire club was entrusted to me, along with another while maestro was out of the state for a month.

Accomplishments:

  • Over 900 hours of personal fencing
  • Over 300 hours of instructing
  • Board Treasurer – “New Order of Chivalric Knight” the parent organization of Tri-Blade Fencing Academy
  • Co-Developed inter-club Classic French Fencing Tournament, “Bring It On” & “Bring It On – Team Up”
  • Public School Program – Lead development committee
  • Co-Instructor – Gull Lake Home School Partnership fencing class
  • Co-Instructor – Gull Lake High School fencing class (PE credit)

Brad Paupore (Kalamazoo)

Coming Soon!


 

If you are not sure about fencing at all about, the best way to get started is to come on down to a group practice and see what fencing is all about. Typically there will be members of various levels of experience practicing. Craig is also available for demonstrations. If your club or group (i.e. school, scouts, youth groups, parent groups) is interested in a fencing demonstration, contact Craig at the club.

The Tri-Blade Fencing Academy holds Beginner’s classes for anyone who is age 8 or over, you are never too old to start, many of Tri-Blade members started or came back to fencing in their 30’s, 40’s and older. Fencing is truly a lifelong sport!

Topics covered in beginner classes include.

  1. Types of Weapons
  2. Safety & Etiquette
  3. Footwork
  4. Bladework
  5. Offensive and Defensive Techniques
  6. Basic Strategy

The necessary protective equipment and weapons are provided to members of beginner classes. As you progress and identify your own preferences, assistance will be provided with selection equipment.