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BENJAMIN J. SMITH began training in historical European martial arts in 2000 at the age of 17.  He earned his Masters Degree in Public History in 2008 from Washington State University, and achieved a certification to teach a dao style of Gao Baguazhang in 2012, under the tutelage of Robert J. Arnold.  He began interpreting and teaching Sigmund Ringeck’s longsword style in 2009.  In 2014 he moved to Boise, Idaho, and founded his current group, The Hilt and Cross, and has been teaching there ever since.