The Development of Épée Fencing, by Martin Mieloszyk

Épée, the art of fencing with a sword that has a blunted point and a bowl-shaped hand guard—not unlike that used in Hamlet’s duel with Laertes—has a fascinating history.

Begun in the early Renaissance period as a regulated means of fighting for one’s honor, traditional sword duels often ended in death. As pistols prevailed and bloodlust waned, however, swordsmanship eventually became more of a sporting pastime for the nobility than a suitable form of justice. Rules were established and detailed how-to manuals published, with the effect that some felt the sport had become too regulated and unrealistic. In response to this, épée fencing was developed by a group of academy students in late 19th-century France. By 1900, the sport debuted in the Olympics, though it remained a male sport, as women’s épée was not allowed until 1996.

Today, épée fencing still mimics 19th-century dueling practices, with the exception of the incorporation of modern technology, such as épées being electrically wired for scoring purposes.

About the Author:
Martin P. Mieloszyk participated in épée at Paris-Sorbonne University and as a member of the Polish national team in both épée and sabre. Also known as Marcin Mieloszyk, he currently serves as the President of L’Marc International, Inc.

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About martinmieloszyk

Fluent in English, Polish, Russian, and French, Martin Mieloszyk has traveled the world in pursuit of education and cultural enlightenment. Currently residing in New York, Martin Mieloszyk started his career as a Regional Manager at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., in 1998, followed by a four-year tenure with First Allied/Wells Fargo Bank managing public relations and subsequently its investment banking departments. In 2004, Martin Mieloszyk accepted a position as Chief Corporate Officer with SSMC Bank and later joined the Royal Alliance division of AIG, where he contributed to the development of the company’s marketing and sales strategies. As a result of his efforts, the average investment amount increased to exceed the established company quotas. Most recently, Martin Mieloszyk served as President for L’Marc International, Inc., as the head of the Mergers & Acquisitions Division. In this capacity, he performed multiple business analyses; consulted with business owners or management teams who intended to sell, acquire, or merge their companies; and developed targeted marketing strategies for those businesses. An alumnus of Paris-Sorbonne University, the largest school of literature, languages, culture, and art in France, Martin Mieloszyk earned a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communication and Slavic Studies. While living in Great Britain, he attended University of Oxford and obtained a Master of Computer Science in Programming and Software Engineering. Finally, Martin Mieloszyk graduated with honors from the University of Warsaw in Poland, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economic Sciences. A Board Member of the Polish Slavic Center, Martin Mieloszyk is also affiliated with Polish American Congress and The Kosciuszko Foundation (formerly the Polish-American Scholarship Committee), which was founded by Dr. Stephen Mizwa in 1923 to connect Polish students with American universities. In his spare time, Martin Mieloszyk serves as a member of the Polish National Fencing Team in epée and sabre. He also practices Kendo, meaning “Way of the Sword,” and takes part in Kendo tournaments, displaying a contemporary Japanese martial art of sword fighting derived from the traditional samurai swordsmanship.
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