In honor of Women’s History Month, we pay homage to Ella Hattan and her fencing prowess.
“In the encounter with Monstery, at the end of a four hours’ bout neither of the parties had gained a point, and the combat was declared a draw.”
During the late nineteenth century, the field of women’s self-defense would be greatly advanced by two very special individuals—a fencing master and duelist, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery, and his precocious student, Ella Hattan (popularly known as “Jaguarina”), who would go on to become regarded by many as one of the greatest swordswomen of the nineteenth century, and possibly of all time.
Above: Colonel Thomas H. Monstery. Image from the author’s collection.
COLONEL THOMAS MONSTERY
“It is a great mistake to suppose that women cannot learn fencing as quickly as men…”
In 1870, one of America’s most distinguished martial arts masters opened a “School of Arms” in New York City. He was a fencing master, boxer, marksman, sailor, adventurer, street fighter, soldier of…
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