Distinctly Downtown: Kiraly Fencing Academy

Kiraly Fencing Academy

304 N. Howard St



The Kiraly Fencing Academy, located near Downtown Akron area is the setting for history, athletics and art appreciation. A frequent affiliate and contributor to the Downtown Akron Artwalk, Ernest L. Kiraly has turned his expertise in European Swordsmanship into a business and an admirable lifestyle. His collection of art and antiques has contributed to a further cultured Akron. Since 1977 he has been teaching fencing at his own academies, for private schools, The University of Akron, Kent State University, and Youngstown State University. Kiraly is one of just a few certified instructors in Northeast Ohio, and he currently instructs lessons four days a week in addition to individual lessons.

Kiraly offers classes for adults, teens and children. At the academy, he covers all aspects of fencing: foot drill, weapon drill, tactics, rules, scoring and judging. European Swordsmanship provides multiple rewards to its followers in development including physical fitness, mental concentration, coordination, speed and agility. The sport exercises all of the body’s major muscle systems and is both aerobic and anaerobic. Providing tradition and elegance, fencing can help you acquire the reflexes of a boxer, the legs of a high-jumper, and the concentration of a chess player. Japanese Swordsmanship offers value in traditions of very ancient training. Kendo in particular (Japanese fencing) develops physical fitness, mental concentration, coordination, speed, agility and timing.

Ernest Kiraly has always been fascinated by martial arts and was practicing Karate at twenty years old. At the age of twenty-seven, he read about internationally known Hungarian Fencing master, Maestro Menyard Kadar. Ultimately, Kiraly decided to study with the icon and traveled to leading fencing academies in Austria, France, Argentina, Germany and Italy to observe and perfect his own skills. After fencing competitively for years, winning numerous medals and becoming a life member of the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association and Academy D’Armes International, his loyalty to his sport has been exemplified through his endeavors.

The history of the current home of the Kiraly Fencing Academy is rooted in wine. Kiraly has owned the building at 304 N. Howard St. for 23 years in which he dually lives and teaches fencing classes. The property was formerly used as a wine distribution warehouse, the industry in which Kiraly previously worked. In recent years he transformed it into a depiction of a medieval castle to house the Academy. When approaching the property, you’ll admire the grotto’s beauty and the authentic design that travels into and throughout the building. Kiraly’s travels are epitomized through the décor within his home. His large bookshelf located in the entrance houses histories of his interests including design, architecture and fencing. From 15th -20th century antique armor, swords, daggers, prints and manuscripts from around the world, to art and memorabilia, the historical value is evident. Even his name is closely associated with his passion, deriving from Hungary, meaning “King.” “Everyone wants their own castle,” he said with a laugh.

At Kiraly Fencing Academy you’ll learn a safe, life-long sport originated by European aristocrats and officers, still being practiced today in Northeast Ohio.  Kiraly’s assistants, Tom and Todd, will help you cover the basic movements and drills. You can even compete in Club Championship that is hosted annually at the Fencing Academy. Kiraly Fencing Academy is accessible to explore during the Artwalk every month. Stop in to observe a demonstration, or call in to reserve a special lesson for you and friends at 330.762.4866. You are guaranteed to learn new skills while having fun!

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