The Academy Diploma

One of the greatest privileges of any President of the Academy is that of presenting this Diploma to a newly qualified Fencing Master. Only those who have trod the long road towards that moment can appreciate just how much work, both mental and physical goes into reaching this award and those who receive it are justly proud of what it represents.

Every time a Diploma is awarded, the Academy acknowledges its debt to the past, represented by the distinguished fencing masters whose name appear on the certificate. In this 60th year of the refounding of the Academy, the Diploma has been redesigned to include the names of more recent and current distinguished members and presidents. In doing so, the Academy reaffirms its commitment to the constant evolution of fencing and to the most modern aspects of the sport.

Names inscribed upon the BAF Diploma


  • Peter Beste One of the first masters mentioned in the Slone Ms (Papers of the Masters of Defence of London, Temp Henry VIII to 1590). He appears as one of the masters involved in the playing of the Master’s Prize of William Hunt in 1555 and can therefore in a sense be said to be one of our first recorded diploma examiners.
  • Vincentio Saviolo (d. 1598/9) Italian fencing master. He wrote the first books on fencing in the English language – Intreating the Use of the Rapier and Dagger; and Of Duels and Honourable Quarrels. Introduced rapier to Britain. He was a successor of William Joyner as master of the fencing school in Blackfriars, London.
  • William Joyner (c.1570) Master of the fencing school in Blackfriars, London. Appears to have been extraordinarily active in training and examining scholars, provosts and masters.
  • William Hope (c1692) Scottish fencing master. Author of The Complete Fencing Master.
  • George Silver (ca. 1560s-1620s) Author of Paradoxes of Defence and Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defence. A gentleman (i.e. not a professional) fencer and therefore not a member of the Company of the Masters of Defence.
  • Dominico Angelo Malevolti Tremamondo (1716-1802), known as Angelo. Author of L’Ecole des Armes. Founder of a fashionable fencing school in Soho.
  • J. Olivier (c.1771) Author of Fencing Familiarised.
  • Joseph Roland fencing master of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, Greenwich. Author of Amateur Fencing (1809).
  • William McTurk (d.1888) Assistant and successor to Henry Angelo at Angelo’s Fencing School in London.
  • Ernest Maurice Tassart (1869-1930), owner of Tassart’s Salle D’Armes at Margaret Street, London.
  • Leon Bertrand (d.1980) First President of the British Academy of Fencing (1949). Author of Cut and Thrust, The Fencers Companion and Teaching Notes on Sabre (1927).
    Felix Gravé First President of the British Academy of Fencing Masters (founded 1931) Author of Teaching Notes on Epee (1934).
  • Jean-Baptiste Mimiague (d.1928) Olympic Fencer (French Team) in 1904.
  • Joseph Morel (1745 – 1799), also known as Le Chevalier de Saint-George.
  • E.G. Volland (c 1906) Organised first Ladies Amateur Foil Championships.


  • David Austin, President of the Academy (1994 -2002), Life Member.
  • Leon Hill, President of the Academy (1975 – 1994). BAF Vice President (1974-1975). Gauthier Trophy. Former National Coach (1967, GB), former Foil Squad Coach.
  • Philip Bruce, President (2002 -), Former National U20 Epee Coach. Former England Team Captain. Former Secretary and Treasurer of the Academy. Former Board of Directors Member of British Fencing Association.
  • Reggie Behmber, BAF President (1969-70), also Vice President (1964-1967) and Secretary (1963 – 1971).
  • Bob Anderson, BAF President (1961-69) and (1972-75), Gauthier Trophy (1977). Former National Coach (GB, 1952). Assistant to Roger Crosnier. Olympics 1952 (Sabre). Director of National Training scheme to qualify amateur coaches.
  • Ken Pearson, Life Member. National Coach (1968). 17 times Navy Champion at all three weapons. Coach to Irish Olympic Team at Mexico Olympics.
  • Pat Pearson, Life Member. First Regional Coach, Northeast (1974).
  • Keith Wren (d. 2009), Life Member.
  • Mike Joseph, Life Member. Vice President of the Academy. Former Secretary and Treasurer of the Academy. Vice President of the A.A.I. Gauthier Trophy.
  • Suzanne Ridley, (1920-2007), Life Member. The Academy’s first female Fencing Master, BAF committee from 1951 – 1980, holding posts of Assistant Secretary, Secretary (1972-1974) and Treasurer (1975). Long Service Medal 2004.
    Leon Paul, One of the original founders of the British Academy of Fencing.
  • George Ganchev, Life Member. Two Time Fencing Masters World Champion (Sabre), British Sabre Team Coach.
  • Vic Cassapi, Life Member. Former England senior team coach.
  • Akos Moldovanyi (b.1918) Life Member, Gauthier Trophy. BAF Vice-President (1972-1974), Former Vice President of the A.A.I. (1968).
  • John Sanders, Life Member (1984), BAF Vice President (1976). Passed his BAF Diploma in 1953 at the age of 23, thereby becoming possibly the youngest master ever of the BAF.
  • Brian Pitman (b.1932), Gauthier Trophy. Former National Coach. BAF Vice President (1976).
  • Peter Stewart, Gauthier Trophy. National Coach for Wales.
  • Roger Crosnier (d.1981), Technical Director to French (1948) and English (1952) Olympic teams. First National Coach (GB) and devised the National Training Scheme to qualify amateur coaches.
  • Roy Goodall, Gauthier Trophy. Former Secretary of the Academy. Former editor of both Fencing Master and Academy News.
  • Bert Bracewell, Gauthier Trophy. Former National Coach for Scotland.
  • Ziemowit Wojciechowski (b.1948), Gauthier Trophy. Author of Theory, Methods and Exercises in Fencing. National Foil Squad Coach (GB) Senior and U20 squads. Fencing Masters World Champion (1986), Foil Olympic Games 1976.


  • Leon Bertrand (1949-1961)
  • Bob Anderson (1961-69) and (1972-75)
  • Reggie Behmber (1969-70)
  • Leon Hill (1975 – 1994)
  • David Austin (1994 – 2002)
  • Philip Bruce (2002 – 2018)

Gauthier Trophy Winners:

This is the most prestigious trophy the Academy can award and is presented every four years in recognition of the achievements of a fencing master who in the opinion of the committee has made a significant contribution to fencing. The trophy was given to the Academy by John Emrys Lloyd (b 1908) in recognition of the lessons and dedication to training he received from Professor André Gauthier. J. Emrys Lloyd fenced both foil and sabre in the Olympic Games from 1932 to 1952 and was 7 times British Foil Champion.

  • Bob Anderson (1977)
  • Bert Bracewell (1981)
  • Akos Moldovanyi (1985)
  • Roy Goodall (1989)
  • Brian Pitman (1993)
  • Ziemowit Wojciechowski (1997)
  • Mike Joseph (2001)
  • Peter Stewart (2005)
  • Leon Hill (2009)