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Fencing’s Rio Silver Lining

Fencing’s Rio Silver Lining

It’s fair to say that most of the British fencing community left the Rio Olympic Games behind with a sense of mixed emotions. Richard Kruse coming fourth was an immense achievement but getting so close to a medal meant a slight sense of deflation. As time has passed, I’m sure we’ll all just remember how well he did. All I’ll say about the team event is that it didn’t appear to be our day! Now all we have to do is ponder the “will he, won’t he?” question – will Richard carry on to Tokyo? I do hope so. Last season he showed us that he’s still a major force on the World circuit and he demonstrated that in the toughest environment – Olympic qualification. Continue reading →

HEMA Outliers and Halfway Options

HEMA Outliers and Halfway Options

HEMA stands, of course, for Historical European Martial Arts This name provides a nice definition of what is, and is not, HEMA - an art (systematic and complex) that’s martial...

Richard Kruse! The only fencer I let stain my walls.

Richard Kruse! The only fencer I let stain my walls.

There are few people in the fencing world who do not know who Richard Kruse is, representing Great Britain in the men’s foil Olympics. One of the most notable qualities of this man is his dedication to training. I have met few people who work as hard and as consistently as Richard, and the work seems to pay off. When I get into work at 8AM (not 10), we often see the more dedicated fencers already beginning their warmups and practice drills. Among them is always Richard. “Surprised to see you here so early.” – I would always say. We always joke about his training effects his luck, and his response is always “The more I train the luckier I seem to get”. Kruse Continue reading →

Judging HEMA

Judging HEMA

Competitive HEMA is a young sport, and we’re going to need to build skills and experience in officiating as well as competing and coaching. Here’s my totally unofficial and borderline uninformed guide to being a better judge. All too often, my reaction when asked about about any particular tournament match I’ve just fought is something like “decent fencing but judges suck”. It is, I freely admit, sometimes a defense mechanism for my ego when I’ve fenced badly and lost. Yet even when I win, I usually find myself conceding points by pointing out mistakes in judges’ calls - or, in the case of those tournaments where you cannot concede points, perhaps pulling an Ingulf Kohlweiss and leaving my sword in the corner so the opponent can get a catch-up hit to make things fair. I’ve judged at events from local tournaments with a dozen fencers in a field up to SwordFish. I know I’m not the best judge, and I’ve had to self-train more than anything, but I’d like to think I’m far from the worst out there. So, here are my tips. Continue reading →

Leagues of HEMA

Leagues of HEMA

HEMA tournaments are now forming into leagues. What benefits and what risks might we expect to come with this development? One of my students just grabbed silver in the Nordic Historical Fencing League Women’s Longsword. As well as bragging, I mention this because it’s the result of four tournaments’ worth of fighting which culminated this last weekend. Like a team in a football league, there was some certainty of how places will look after the league’s final event but there was still everything to fight for if she wanted to lift the cup. Still, silver is quite an achievement in the murderer's row of Nordic Women's HEMA. Continue reading →

The second worst business decision in Leon Paul history....

Leon Paul have started up manufacturing fencing blades 4 times during the last century. This is the story of our blade forging history. [caption id="attachment_363" align="aligncenter" width="840"]The history of Leon Paul blades The history of Leon Paul blades[/caption] The first time we started making blades was before the Second World War when my grandfather Leon Paul went into business with Wilkinson Sword. When the partnership broke up for reasons that are lost in the mists of time Wilkinson made the crazy decision to move into stainless steel razors while my grandfather kept it real in the fencing industry! Continue reading →

Bayonet or 2 Pin - Which Body Cord Connecting System is Better?

Bayonet or 2 Pin - Which Body Cord Connecting System is Better?

My name is Bill Murphy. I have worked as an armorer at countless national and international fencing events. I was the Sports Equipment Coordinator of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Fencing Event, a Weapon Control Coordinator at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Fencing Event and Team Armorer for the 2004 and 2008 US Paralympic Fencing Team.  I fenced for about 7 years back in the 1980’s and I used a Leon Paul bayonet body cord and socket the entire time. Continue reading →

The future of piste technology…

The future of piste technology…

London 2012 helped create a new vision for a fencing arena. The FIE wanted to create something completely new for the London 2012 games and Leon Paul were the team trusted to create that vision. London 2012 olympic fencing venue London 2012 olympic fencing venue Continue reading →

Lightweight weapons part 1

I am a self confessed technology and equipment addict, there is nothing I like more in my job here at Leon Paul than designing, testing, refining and manufacturing new products. mag-tec-foil I am also a big believer in the difference that a number of small improvements in your equipment can make to your overall performance. This approach was spearheaded by Sir David Brailsford who coined the phrase "marginal gains" at British Cycling. Continue reading →

What I learned from Darth Vader and why he hates Profiteroles!

What I learned from Darth Vader and why he hates Profiteroles!

By Ben Paul. 14 years ago I got a call from Darth Vader asking me to work on a James Bond film… Well actually it was the fencer and sword master Bob Anderson who learned to fence from my great grandfather Leon Paul. Bob was the fencer in the Darth Vader suits in the Star Wars film and taught the actors to fence. Continue reading →

Fencing’s Rio Silver Lining

Fencing’s Rio Silver Lining

It’s fair to say that most of the British fencing community left the Rio Olympic Games behind with a sense of mixed emotions. Richard Kruse coming fourth was an immense achievement but getting so close to a medal meant a slight sense of deflation. As time has passed, I’m sure we’ll all just remember how well he did. All I’ll say about the team event is that it didn’t appear to be our day! Now all we have to do is ponder the “will he, won’t he?” question – will Richard carry on to Tokyo? I do hope so. Last season he showed us that he’s still a major force on the World circuit and he demonstrated that in the toughest environment – Olympic qualification. Continue reading →

The second worst business decision in Leon Paul history....

Leon Paul have started up manufacturing fencing blades 4 times during the last century. This is the story of our blade forging history. [caption id="attachment_363" align="aligncenter" width="840"]The history of Leon Paul blades The history of Leon Paul blades[/caption] The first time we started making blades was before the Second World War when my grandfather Leon Paul went into business with Wilkinson Sword. When the partnership broke up for reasons that are lost in the mists of time Wilkinson made the crazy decision to move into stainless steel razors while my grandfather kept it real in the fencing industry! Continue reading →

HEMA Outliers and Halfway Options

HEMA Outliers and Halfway Options

HEMA stands, of course, for Historical European Martial Arts This name provides a nice definition of what is, and is not, HEMA - an art (systematic and complex) that’s martial...

Bayonet or 2 Pin - Which Body Cord Connecting System is Better?

Bayonet or 2 Pin - Which Body Cord Connecting System is Better?

My name is Bill Murphy. I have worked as an armorer at countless national and international fencing events. I was the Sports Equipment Coordinator of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Fencing Event, a Weapon Control Coordinator at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Fencing Event and Team Armorer for the 2004 and 2008 US Paralympic Fencing Team.  I fenced for about 7 years back in the 1980’s and I used a Leon Paul bayonet body cord and socket the entire time. Continue reading →

Richard Kruse! The only fencer I let stain my walls.

Richard Kruse! The only fencer I let stain my walls.

There are few people in the fencing world who do not know who Richard Kruse is, representing Great Britain in the men’s foil Olympics. One of the most notable qualities of this man is his dedication to training. I have met few people who work as hard and as consistently as Richard, and the work seems to pay off. When I get into work at 8AM (not 10), we often see the more dedicated fencers already beginning their warmups and practice drills. Among them is always Richard. “Surprised to see you here so early.” – I would always say. We always joke about his training effects his luck, and his response is always “The more I train the luckier I seem to get”. Kruse Continue reading →

The future of piste technology…

The future of piste technology…

London 2012 helped create a new vision for a fencing arena. The FIE wanted to create something completely new for the London 2012 games and Leon Paul were the team trusted to create that vision. London 2012 olympic fencing venue London 2012 olympic fencing venue Continue reading →

Judging HEMA

Judging HEMA

Competitive HEMA is a young sport, and we’re going to need to build skills and experience in officiating as well as competing and coaching. Here’s my totally unofficial and borderline uninformed guide to being a better judge. All too often, my reaction when asked about about any particular tournament match I’ve just fought is something like “decent fencing but judges suck”. It is, I freely admit, sometimes a defense mechanism for my ego when I’ve fenced badly and lost. Yet even when I win, I usually find myself conceding points by pointing out mistakes in judges’ calls - or, in the case of those tournaments where you cannot concede points, perhaps pulling an Ingulf Kohlweiss and leaving my sword in the corner so the opponent can get a catch-up hit to make things fair. I’ve judged at events from local tournaments with a dozen fencers in a field up to SwordFish. I know I’m not the best judge, and I’ve had to self-train more than anything, but I’d like to think I’m far from the worst out there. So, here are my tips. Continue reading →

Lightweight weapons part 1

I am a self confessed technology and equipment addict, there is nothing I like more in my job here at Leon Paul than designing, testing, refining and manufacturing new products. mag-tec-foil I am also a big believer in the difference that a number of small improvements in your equipment can make to your overall performance. This approach was spearheaded by Sir David Brailsford who coined the phrase "marginal gains" at British Cycling. Continue reading →

Leagues of HEMA

Leagues of HEMA

HEMA tournaments are now forming into leagues. What benefits and what risks might we expect to come with this development? One of my students just grabbed silver in the Nordic Historical Fencing League Women’s Longsword. As well as bragging, I mention this because it’s the result of four tournaments’ worth of fighting which culminated this last weekend. Like a team in a football league, there was some certainty of how places will look after the league’s final event but there was still everything to fight for if she wanted to lift the cup. Still, silver is quite an achievement in the murderer's row of Nordic Women's HEMA. Continue reading →

What I learned from Darth Vader and why he hates Profiteroles!

What I learned from Darth Vader and why he hates Profiteroles!

By Ben Paul. 14 years ago I got a call from Darth Vader asking me to work on a James Bond film… Well actually it was the fencer and sword master Bob Anderson who learned to fence from my great grandfather Leon Paul. Bob was the fencer in the Darth Vader suits in the Star Wars film and taught the actors to fence. Continue reading →

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