The Traditional School of Classical Italian Fencing – Serving Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico
Ryan Mank, Master at Arms
School Founder, Head Instructor
Ryan Mank has been fencing since 2000, and teaching fencing since 2006; he has training in classical French and Italian styles. He served as an instructor at Classical Fencing Society St. Louis/Trovare di Spada (under Instructor David Achilleus) in St. Louis, Missouri, until July 2012. He then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and founded Red Sun Classical Fencing in October 2012.
From boards of Masters at Arms variously consisting of Prof. John Sullins, Eric Myers, Puck Curtis, Frank Lurz, Dr. Greg Hicks, Kevin Murakoshi, David Coblentz, and Dr. Dori Coblentz, he received his certification as Instructor at Arms (July 2011), then as Provost at Arms (July 2013), and finally as Master at Arms (July 2022) through the Sonoma State University Fencing Masters Certificate Program. As such, he is qualified to teach Classical Italian Fencing through that tradition. As a student, he has taken (and takes whenever possible) instruction from the Masters on his board, as well as Maestri Sean Hayes, Ramon Martinez, and Jeannette Acosta-Martinez.
In addition to teaching, he has competed in classical fencing tournaments, and has won various competitions across the United States, including the Palm Beach Classical Fencing Open (Foil, Dueling Sword, and Dueling Sabre divisions) in West Palm Beach FL, the Grand Assault of Arms (Dueling Sword division) in New York NY, Fencing on the Frozen Tundra (Foil and Dueling Sword divisions) in Milwaukee WI, and the Redwood Coast Assault of Arms (Foil and Dueling Sword divisions, placed in Dueling Sabre and Historical divisions) in Arcata CA. He is a strong believer in the application of the technique that the Science of Fencing provides; successful application of the Science is yet another facet of one’s fencing training.
Dr. John Bova
Dr. John Bova began taking fencing instruction from Maestro Mank at Red Sun Classical Fencing in February 2015. Due to his diligence and hard work in learning the technique and theory of Classical Italian Fencing taught at the school, Dr. Bova holds the distinction of being the student to have taken his examination to become a Fencer in the school the soonest after beginning training. In March of 2018, Dr. Bova was appointed as an Assistant Instructor at Red Sun Classical Fencing, owing to his thorough knowledge of the material comprising the school curriculum. In July of 2019, he attended his first session the Sonoma State University Fencing Master’s Certificate Program, thus starting upon the path of certification as an Instructor at Arms.
Josh Gilbrech, Instructor at Arms
Josh Gilbrech has been fencing since 2002, beginning at the sport clubs of the University of New Mexico and Duke City Fencing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began taking instruction in Classical Italian Fencing from Maestro Mank in October 2012, and was Red Sun Classical Fencing’s first student.
In addition to being the school’s most senior student, Mr. Gilbrech began assisting in the running of the school in October 2014, soon gaining the position of Drill Master, and later Assistant Instructor. In November 2015 he was certified to teach Italian rapier by the HEMA Alliance Instructor Certification program, and in July 2018, he received his Instructor at Arms certification from the Sonoma State University Fencing Master’s Certificate Program. As the Founder and Instructor at Albuquerque Sword Labs, he has been working to bring more historical fencing to the Albuquerque area; currently he is pursuing learning and teaching Fiore’s and Vadi’s longsword, Capo Ferro’s Italian rapier, and Manciolino’s sidesword and buckler.
Mr. Gilbrech has also won or placed in a number of national events, such as Fencing on the Frozen Tundra (Dueling Sword division) in Milwaukee WI, the Redwood Coast Assault of Arms (Foil, Dueling Sword, Dueling Sabre, and Historical divisions) in Arcata CA, as well as HEMA Alliance Rapier and Longsword events at CombatCon in Las Vegas NV, and SoCal SwordFight in Los Angeles CA.