About Sword Class NYC
Sword Class NYC was founded in 2009. It is the only school in the United States that offers both eastern and western sword styles side-by-side, encouraging exploration and discourse between the divergent forms. Our mission at SCNYC is:
- To create and maintain a space dedicated to the training of swordsmanship and armed historical combat, and
- To maintain a safe, inclusive training environment that encourages character development and strengthens the mind, body, and spirit through rigorous and correct training.
The official name of Sword Class NYC is Sung Do Kwan (in Korean – Seitokan in Japanese), which means ‘Academy of the Sacred Sword.’ Please contact us if you have any questions about the school, the forms we offer, or just want to talk about swords!
Raab Rashi – Owner, Head Instructor – Iaido: Siljun Dobup
Master Raab Rashi has been a student of the sword for 15 years. In addition to teaching Siljun Dobup, Raab also holds a 4th Dan rank in Kendo, and 1st Dan in Chosun Sebup. Raab began his training under Grandmanster Jin K. Seong (Kyosa 7th Dan), founder of Siljun Dobup. Raab came to the sword through his love of fantasy, historical fiction and non-fiction, and cinema. In addition to teaching classes at Sword Class NYC, he is an instructor at the Sung Moo Kwan Kendo Academy in Dumont, NJ. Raab is also an accomplished musical and theatrical producer and director with a degree in Arts Management from Rutgers University.
Tristan Zukowski – Head Instructor, German Longsword
Tristan has had a lifelong interest in swordsmanship. His formal training in German Longsword began in 2009, under the tutelage of New York Historical Fencing Association (NYHFA) director Michael Edelson. By late 2010, he had become an assistant instructor at NYHFA’s Brooklyn branch, and soon thereafter established the NYHFA Poughkeepsie Study Group. Tristan was brought on board with Sword Class NYC in 2013 to supplement its sword arts offerings; he teaches and continues to develop his German longsword curriculum via Sword Class NYC’s Akademie des Heiligen Schwertes.
A firm believer in the martial aspect of sword arts, Tristan’s curriculum focuses on body mechanics and precise manipulation of the weapon. Drills, sparring, and cutting (‘tameshigiri’) are used to refine and validate technique. Despite the strong focus on Ernstfechten (‘fighting earnestly,’ that is, with lethal intent), Tristan also sees the tournament scene as important: it is an opportunity for practitioners to test their abilities in a safe and dynamic environment, and a wonderful mode for community-building.
Since 2012, Tristan has competed in several regional and international tournaments hosted in the Northeastern US. In July 2013, Tristan defended his title as Cutting Champion at Longpoint (having also taken 1st Place the previous year), and took 3rd Place in the Longsword Triathlon. He also was the recipient of several awards at the 2013 Fechtschule New York, including a Gold Medal for Technical Excellence.
Sara Tunick – General Manager, Instructor
Sara Tunick has been studying Siljun Dopub since the fall of 2009 and achieved her first dan rank in March 2012. She has been working for Sword Class NYC since July of 2010. Previously, she studied Tang Soo Do and worked with the bo staff. In addition to studying the sword, she works with LGBTQ homeless youth in New York City. She holds a B.A. in the Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University.
Christophe Salet – Head Instructor, Kendo
Master Salet started studying Martial at 8 years old, with Judo first and then Karate. He was introduced to kendo at age 19 and quickly realizeded that Kendo was the perfect martial art for him because of its rich history and traditions, beautiful esthetic, and full impact practices.
He began his study of Kendo in Paris, under the tutelage of Thao Sensei and Durant Sensei.
This dojo was affiliated with the Shodokan Dojo in Tokyo, which allowed him to learn from Okada Morimasa Sensei, 8th Dan, head instructor at the Shodokan and at Nittai Dai Gakku (Tokyo sports university).