Our club originally began as a historical combat group. Western Swordsmanship Technique and Research (or WSTR, LLC) was founded in 2004 by Drew Page and Ken Johnson to research and teach German longsword and other historical combat techniques. During the first year, Coach Steve Martin, a former fencing coach at UConn, joined the club and began talking about the modern sport of fencing. He eventually agreed to teach modern fencing to some of the longsword students. Drew and Steve decided to focus instruction on epee for several reason, but mainly because it was so similar to other techniques that club members had studied.
Our first fencing class took place in a church in Coventry in January, 2006. When we out grew that space, we moved to our current location in Willimantic. The fencing program continued to grow and expended to offer saber instruction. The historical fencing program was split off in 2011 and became its own non-profit organization. Our historical colleagues still train at our facility on Wednesday evenings.
Today, SITS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We have over 40 active members and have taught fencing to over 200 individuals. We have coached a two-time state high school champion, 6 Junior Olympians, and 2 USFA Summer National bronze medalist, including coach and Executive Director Drew Page.