At the London Fencing Club, we provide an opportunity for community members of all ages, genders and background to learn, practice and perfect the art of fencing whether at a recreational or competitive level.
The London Fencing Club was started by Lorand de Kafka, a Hungarian immigrant who was the Women’s Modern Pentathlon national coach and marshall at the Montreal Olympics. Instruction was mostly done in epee with some foil due to Lorand’s background as a pentathlete. He was instrumental in starting women’s epee in Ontario, during a time when women only fenced foil. In the early days, practices were held at the Holiday Inn, and most of the fencers were recruited from Regina Mundi private school. While the location of the club changed over the years from hallways, to art studios to the Optimist club, the small group of dedicated, dynamic fencers remained the same. The club was known as the competitive fencing club in the city, with several top fencers training there.
In the mid 1990’s after Lorand’s passing, the club underwent a transitional phase. In 2000, Adrienn and Tihamér Csiba took over the direction of the club, with Jason Clements as treasurer. They organized beginner classes to increase the club’s membership, purchased new equipment to replace the old, hosted the Heroes Memorial Fencing Tournament, and returned the club to its former profitability and greatness.
Today, the club is a robust mix of kids, teens and adults, some with lots of athletic background, some with none at all. Some of the fencers are competing in local,provincial,national levels, others come to practice to get a good workout, or because they enjoy playing with swords. No matter what their motivation is, everyone loves what they do, and keep coming back for more!
Head Coach: Paul Mutter
Paul started fencing in 1976, the year of the Montreal Olympics. As an artist, he first used fencing as a form of art after dreaming about it one night. After acquiring a foil and a mask, he began to train using books from the library and his dreams as a guidance. Later, he met Lorand de Kafka, and under his tutelage became one of the top fencers in Canada, winning Provincials just four years into his competitive career. He became provincial champion two more times, as well as the only A ranked fencer in London. In later years, as Lorand aged, Paul took an increasingly larger role in coaching, becoming head coach in the early 1990’s. Over the years he coached many athletes to national and international levels. Paul’s passion for fencing and his never ceasing energy makes him an inspiring coach.
Class instructor: Brannon Kelly
After being inactive while away at Humber College, Brannon is glad to be able to continue his fencing and share his love of this great sport with others. A fencer for eight years, he has competed in tournaments across Ontario. He has participated in a number of coaching and fencing workshops and has been teaching for the past two years.
Class Instructor: Andrea Csiba
Andrea stared fencing at the age of 9, and has been in love with the sport ever since! She has competed nationally and internationally, and won silver for Ontario at the Canada Winter Games. She has over 50 medals from a long range of competitions, and has held the 7th spot on the Canadian National Ranking in 2012. Andrea has been teaching for the past several years, passing on her knowledge and passion for fencing to others.