Paul Geraci and I have had many discussions about le salle. In French this word simply means “room” or “salon.” For fencers this word mean much more than that. Salle become the equivalent to the Aikidoka’s dojo. Thus, le salle is the room where the fencing work is done–the lesson, the bouts, the learning.
If you really want to fence nothing will stand in your way of learning. There is never an excuse to forego fencing because of insufficient space or proper environment. The conversation with blades has been happened in castles, manor homes, alleys, gentlemen’s clubs and public gymnasiums. Dr. Geraci brags that he has given lessons in racquetball courts. He also tells that his cousin, a maestro himself, taught in the basement of his home. When I began the Rose Street Fencing Academy and Cocktail Society no salle existed in our town. Academy members fenced on the sidewalk in front of my home.
The link above made me think of this. The idea of owning a salle above a bar is a thrilling and romantic one. The artist, musicians and dreamers are drinking below while an antique art is being practiced above them providing a liquor for the fencer. Liquor, of course, purveyed in the form of the lesson’s challenge and discipline.
River City Fencing