Jeff grew up on medieval fantasy novels, swashbuckler movies and bad kung fu flicks. He began studying Eastern martial arts in 1982 in Eugene, Oregon. He spent two summers studying Shotokan and then spent three years with the study of TaeKwonDo under Sensei Joe Gates until moving to Ashland in late 1986 at the age of 17. In Ashland Jeff studied modern fencing under former U.S.A. Olympians Gay Jacobsen-D’Asaro and Michael D’Asaro until moving to Phoenix, Arizona to attend trade school in 1988. He returned to Ashland in the summer of 1990 and continued to train periodically with Gay until 1993. In early 1992 he became an assistant instructor for The American Karate Academy and helped run and promote the local school until 1998. In 1995 he earned the rank of Black Belt in American Open Style Karate under Hanshei Jerry Piddington. Instruction at the American Karate Academy also came from Sifu Tom Spellman, Sensie Robert Owens and Sensie Gerri Rose. Jeff served dual duty as the local tournament promoter and worked as the publicist for American Karate Academies National Association. During this time Jeff also cross trained with Sifu Tom Spellman in Daimon Ryu JuiJitsu working as his assistant.
Since the late 1980’s Jeff has spent time doing rapier and epee stage choreography for local theatres and working with independent film projects and can be seen in the indie films Westender and Spin of Fabrications. Jeff came to historic fencing in the early 90’s while helping to found the club in Ashland, Oregon which eventually became Academia Duellatoria. He has researched and taught historic fencing and provided public demonstrations ever since. He served as apprentice armorer to Ironcastle Armories learning the art of historic armoring. With a primary focus on the rapier, a study of the works of Thibault led him to meet Maestro Martinez and John Michael Greer and hold the first West Coast seminar on the subject in Ashland, Oregon in the Spring of 2001. A continued involvment with Western Martial Arts has led Jeff to join the Association for Historic Fencing where he currently serves as a member of its board of directors.
Jeff’s primary studies in historic western martial arts include the early 16th century Italian tretise of Morozzo and the later 16th century rapier treatises of Giocomo DiGrassi and Vincent Saviolo. In addition he has pursued a study of the primarly Spanish tradition of rapier fencing known as Destreza with an emphasis on the work of Gerard Thibault. Most recently it has been Jeff’s pleasure to to background research and peer review for Jherek Swangers forthcoming translation of Camillo Agrippa’s groundbreaking 16th century Italian rapier tretise.
PacMAC Instructor – 2011