About Us

Our Mission and Philosophy

Put simply, the mission of Second Intent Fencing is to promote and aid in the study of both classical fencing and Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), both independently and in cooperation with one another.

We strongly believe that each art has immense value by itself but that the study of both together is not only possible, but very beneficial. The study of one naturally melds into a greater understanding of the other, yielding stronger, smarter, more controlled fighters.

We are also strong proponents of women in both classical and historical martial arts and believe that our philosophy helps to increase the comfort level for women who would like to try one of these arts but have reservations for any number of reasons.

Our Journey

Rebecca Boyd studied classical and historical western martial arts with a wonderful club, in St. Peters Missouri, for 5 years. What she learned there, her introduction to the WMA/HEMA community, and her development as a martial artist, instructor, and event organizer had a profound impact on her life. In 2013 she took her development a step further and started Second Intent Fencing.

Our name comes from the concept of second intention whereby a fighter executes an action with the intent that it is their second action, the one done in response to their opponent’s response to the first action, that actually succeeds. This is an extremely difficult concept to execute for a number of reasons:

  • The fencer must have the experience and control to hit on the first action, if possible. In fencing, every action should hit as long as the fencer can stay safe while doing so. Executing any action for no reason is a waste of energy and an invitation to be “killed.”
  • The fencer must be able to predict or control their opponent well enough to know what their opponent’s response will be in order for the second intention to work.
  • The fencer cannot be so committed to their second action that they can’t adapt if their opponent surprises them.

We chose this concept in our name, not only because it is extremely difficult and requires serious study and practice to achieve, but because it represents the mental engagement required in truly excellent fencing. While classical and historical western martial arts do require physical engagement, many would argue that mental engagement is even more important. Physical prowess is limited, while a fighter with mental prowess can use their opponent’s weaknesses and strengths against him.

"Although some of these actions may seem difficult to perform, none the less you should take care to practice them well, as all aid a man who heeds the points, lines, times, and measure that ultimately govern this activity."
Camillo Agrippa