Starting his formal martial arts training under Grand Master Kyu Il Cho in the early 1980’s, Cecil Longino was exposed to a strict and formal training environment that began to build his appreciation for tradition and the importance of its maintenance. In later years, while living in Germany, Cecil became intrigued with historical European weapons. His experiences in Europe led him to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Literature (focusing on Elizabethan stagecraft) with a minor in history from the University of North Florida.
Founding the Academia della Spada in 1998, to explore earlier systems of Italian swordplay, compelled him to seek out professional instruction in fencing when confronted with the complexity of this very subject. By 2003, Cecil had become a formal student of Maestro Ramon Martinez and Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martinez, training in both classical and historical weapons. It was this formal training in classical fencing that rekindled his love of traditional methods. He has earned the rank of instructor in French foil, French small-sword, Spanish rapier, Italian rapier and Traditional rapier with the Martinez Academy of Arms in New York and continues to instruct in these methods at the Salle Saint-George in Seattle, WA.
Through his teaching of fencing or his past work with Americorps and the Boy Scout’s Learning for Life program, Cecil has strived to connect individuals to history and the wealth of tradition that has functioned as the backbone of Western civilization.
Striving to educate the public about classical and historical fencing, he serves as president of the Association for Historical Fencing, an organization dedicated to preserving these fencing arts and in conjunction with Academia della Spada and Salle Saint-George has successfully organized fencing tournaments, demonstrations, along with hosting the highly acclaimed 4W (Western Washington Western Martial Arts Workshop),the first major classical and historical fencing symposium hosted in the Pacific Northwest.