Tom Leoni

Tom was born in Locarno, Switzerland and grew up in the Brianza region of Northern Italy. His extensive education in the humanities included the study of Latin, ancient Greek, history, philosophy, Early Music and philology. Tom continued his academic studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Switzerland) and then at Texas Christian University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree cum laude in classical music composition and a Master’s in business administration.
Italian Rapier Instructor Tom Leoni.

Tom’s interest in swordsmanship began in the early Nineties, at which time he started a serious and thorough investigation of most extant primary sources from 16th and 17th century Italy. This analysis lead him to a lifelong commitment to the rapier system of Salvator Fabris (1544-1618). Thanks in great part to Tom’s research, Fabris has emerged from the mists of history as one of the most celebrated rapierists of his time and the founder of a long and illustrious fencing lineage traceable well into the 18th century.

Tom’s methodology as a researcher and a teacher is strongly philological, and relies on the direct and precise analysis of the period texts within their cultural context. Thanks to this approach, he and his students have been recognized as being singularly true to their source and "looking like the book." As the leading researcher of the rapier system of Fabris, Tom has published the first complete critical English translation of the Scienza d'Arme. More recently, he has completed and published translations of Fiore de' Liberi's Fior di Battaglia, Antonio Manciolino's Opera Nova, Nicoletto Giganti's La Scuola, overo il Teatro and Ridolfo Capoferro's Gran Simulacro.

In 2009, Tom was a co-founder of Freelance Academy Press, a publishing company specializing in historical martial arts titles. He is currently completing a MA/PhD in medieval studies at Catholic University of America.

Tom may be contacted through the forums

Chris Treichel

Smallsword Instructor Chris Treichel.

Chris grew up in Southern and Central Germany where he was heavily influenced by his surroundings. His first exposure to fencing came quite early as his parents worked at the Corps Palatia Guestphalia House in Freiburg in the early 1980s and he watched the students practice in the back yard. Even though he was only knee high at the time it made a great impression on him, one which he has pursued ever since.

His research background stems from a love of history in which he hold a BA from Miami University, organized methodology through being a certified project manager, German fluency/literacy and an understanding of tactics through studies and experience as a former Marine infantry officer.

Currently his main interests in western marital arts are focused on studying rapier and small sword treaties. This includes working on understanding the French smallsword (Olivier) and the German Kreussler systems and working to create a curriculum for Anton Kahn’s Anfangsgründe der Fechtkunst in the near future.

Last Updated: 28-Dec-15