Classical Fencing Defeats “Wild and Irregular” Fencing: The Tronchet-Senac Contest of 1887

Given Columbia Classical Fencing’s renewed emphasis on classical form and restraint, this article is timely and very appropriate.

Martial Arts New York

Tronchet vs. Senac, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Tronchet vs. Senac, in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper

“There is no doubt but that it was the finest match seen in America…”

During the late nineteenth century, Maitre d’ArmesRegis Senac was one of America’s most widely-known fencing masters. A native of France, Senac had arrived in New York City in 1872, and had set up a fencing school on University Place in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The Frenchman had reportedly fought three actual duels in France and had emerged victorious from all.

Regis Senac Regis Senac

In New York City, Senac engaged in a number of high-profile, controversial fencing contests which were reported on by many major American newspapers. Although he had always emerged as the technical victor, many of these victories occurred by default when distinguished adversaries such as Colonel Thomas Monstery and Maestro Eugenio Pinistormed off the stage with disgust at Senac’s tactics and at the manner in which…

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