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swiss t
-29th November 2003, 00:35
quick question, I've noticed that the fencing masters in my region (no idea elsewhere) have the title Prof, i assume this is backed up by qualifications? As such are these 'men' few and far between in this country?:iamstupid

jonny
-29th November 2003, 11:43
I think to get the title "professor" you have to have a certain coaching level in all three weapons? I think they're quite few, the only one I've met is Prof. Norman Golding.

Mantis
-29th November 2003, 13:28
The British Academy of Fencing have a number of qualifications, the highest of which is Professor. Their web page is at http://www.baf-fencing.org/

fencingmaster
-29th November 2003, 16:56
The BAF has several levels of membership dependent on the level of qualification. They are....

Masters of the Academy
Maitres d’Escrime
Provosts of the Academy
Associates of the Academy

A 'Master' is a coach who has passed the Diploma in all three weapons.
A 'Maitre d'Escrime is a coach who has passed the Diploma in one or two weapons.
A 'Provost' is a coach who has passed the advanced examination in all 3 weapons.

Only 'Masters' may assume the title "Professor"
The level of 'Maitre d'Escrime' recognises that a coach has achieved the highest level of qualification in a weapon - for example those coaches who wish to specialise in foil, or epee or sabre rather than all three.

For 'passed the Diploma/exam' also read as 'or equivalent' i.e. an acceptable foreign qualification.

'Master' or 'Professor' is equivalent to 'Maitre d'Armes' of the Academie d'Armes Internationale(http://www.escrime.org/criteria.htm)

I believe that there are two historical reasons for the use of Prof.
1) that the title Master Williams, Master Peters etc has a different meaning than the direct translation of Maitre Faubert, Maitre Dubois etc.
2) that when Henry VIII established a monopoly of fencing coaches he declared that it was for 'true professors of the art'

As to the number of 'profs', I think that they probably number a little over 30, but a number of these are retired, inactive or working abroad. So the number of working 'profs' is about 20 and of those, I would guess, about 12 are full-time fencing coaches. Of this latter 12 about 2/3 qualified in the UK and 1/3 have foreign AAI equivalence. A degree of speculation here, so please don't complain if my numbers aren't 100% accurate.

So swiss t - they are quite few, but not exclusive to the north east - maybe a subject for David Attenborough!!

Mantis
-29th November 2003, 21:29
I bow to the superiour wisdom of fencingmaster.


Originally posted by fencingmaster
So swiss t - they are quite few, but not exclusive to the north east - maybe a subject for David Attenborough!!

Indeed, there are a number in the North West.

haggis
-30th November 2003, 21:01
Originally posted by fencingmaster

As to the number of 'profs', I think that they probably number a little over 30

I would think there are probably quite a lot more than that. I could probably name that many without really trying and I'm sure there's plenty more that I've never encountered. There seems to be at least two or three coaches a year that gain their Diploma so I would guess the number's probably twice as high. Maybe someone could ask the BAF directly and ask for a list of names.

haggis
-30th November 2003, 21:30
Originally posted by haggis
I could probably name that many without really trying and I'm sure there's plenty more that I've never encountered.

27 names that I could come up with (all bar a couple are still active)...
(Note to self: get a life!!)

haggis
-1st December 2003, 18:03
I emailed the President of the BAF who kindly supplied the following information:

37 Professors (9 life members and 28 members)
19 Maitres d'Escrime.

So fencingmaster was pretty close with his estimate :) and I prove myself a bit of a sad fencing geek by knowing so many of them :(