San Jose State University Fencing Masters Program

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San Jose State University Fencing Masters Program, is one of only two fencing master training programs offered by higher learning institutions in the United States.


The San Jose State University Fencing Masters Program was founded by Maestro William Gaugler in 1979. The program pedagogy is based on the classical Italian method used by the Scuola Magistrale Militare di Roma (Military Masters School of Rome). The Military Masters School of Rome was founded in 1883 in an effort to provide superior training to future coaches through the combination of various Italian Masters input. The first director of the Military Masters School of Rome was Mansaniello Parise who held the position for 26 years.


Students of the Fencing Masters Program register for class on a semester basis. Classes meet every Saturday 12:00pm – 5:00pm on campus during the academic year. During this time both group and individual instruction are given focusing on the three traditional weapons: foil, epee, and sabre.

In order to graduate with certification from the Fencing Masters Program students are required to complete:

  • Instructor at Arms: 6 semester units (1 year of study)
  • Prevost at Arms: 12 semester units (2 years of study)
  • Master at Arms: 18 semester units (3 years of study)

In the Spring term of every year students must take an exam to prove they have acquired the desired level of knowledge respective to the certification they wish to receive. The exam methods are based on the model given at the National Academy of Fencing in Naples and test the students on the finer points of classical Italian pedagogy. For students testing for the Master at Arms certification they must not only meet the above criteria, but write an academic thesis on an approved fencing topic, and hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited university.

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