In Haiti, the traditional art of machete fencing goes by many names, among them Tire Machèt (“Pulling Machetes”). Tire Machèt has roots in the Haitian Revolution, when the
revolutionaries were often forced to fight with fewer guns than soldiers. Its combination of African stick-fighting techniques and European fencing proved highly effective both in battle
and as a means of individual self-defense. Since that time, a multitude of styles and training methods have proliferated. Though many of these practices remain shrouded in secrecy,
Haitian master fencer Alfred Avril extended an invitation to foreigners serious about learning this martial art to come to Haiti to train with him. Over the course of our ten-year
collaboration, we have had the opportunity to learn and to introduce many others to his practice.