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Interest in fencing soars thanks to Blades Club fight sequence

11-Dec-2002 • Die Another Day

The BBC are reporting that interest in fencing in the UK has soared thanks to the fight scene in Blades Club between Bond and Graves in "Die Another Day".

Clubs around the UK have seen a sudden increase in new members and fencing equipment manufacturers say business has picked up.

The film was released only three weeks ago, but the publicity beforehand made it clear that a sword fight would be part of the action.

"We have had an increase of 25% in turnover over the last three months," says Barry Paul, owner and managing director of Leon Paul, the UK`s only fencing equipment manufacturer.

"And we can even see this month it`ll be more than last month," he says. Certainly for us there`s a sense that the Bond film has resulted in more people being interested in fencing, ringing up and looking at our website."

His company supplied all the equipment for Die Another Day and he hoped it would pay a dividend by boosting fencing`s popularity. But there is surprise at just how much the fencing scene has caught people`s imagination.

"There is obviously a percentage that will come in and do five or six weeks, will have `done fencing` and will move on to something else. We have got to maintain an interest - it`s up to us, as fencing coaches, to make it last."

Steven Paul, a cousin of Barry Paul, runs his own club along with Battling, a company that imports fencing equipment. He says he has not yet noticed an increase in sales, but he has been overwhelmed by young beginners queuing up to learn to fight like James Bond.

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