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American Fencers Supply is celebrating their 40th year of providing high quality fencing gear to the American fencing public.

06/24/05 -- AFS was started in 1965 by Fencing Master John McDougal and housed in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, California. After a few years, Maestro McDougal asked his cousin Fred Thorsen to take over running the business so that he could concentrate on fencing. Fred moved down from his native Portland, Oregon to take over the business in 1968.

In 1978, Fred moved the business from the gentrifying Fillmore Street address to the present location on Folsom Street in the gritty South of Market (SOMA) District. It was around this time that AFS became the largest producer of historical/theatrical swords and daggers. Working with members of the Society of American Fight Directors (www.safd.org) to ensure safety and durability, AFS has been supplying theaters, festivals and actors ever since.

Fred continued Maestro McDougal's practice of hiring fencers to work at AFS whenever possible and since San Francisco has been a hotbed of high-level fencing for decades, there has been no lack of sword-knowledgeable people on hand. Former Olympians and National Champions have built weapons and filled orders at AFS.

Fred retired in 1995 and the business was purchased by the then Production Manager of 15 years, Matthew Porter. Matthew is one of the top fencing armourers in the world, traveling as a member of the US national teams to 10 World Championships as well as the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Matthew learned to fence at UC Santa Cruz under the famous West Coast Fencing Master Charles Selberg.

Matthew is aided by his Production Manager, Cole Harkness. Cole started working for AFS in 1988. An A-rated foilist for 9 years, he left in 1990 to become Head Coach at Halberstadt Fencers Club in San Francisco and later moved to Germany to train further as a coach. Cole returned to AFS in 1994 and later passed his exams to achieve his Fencing Master diploma from the AAI and the USFCA (www.USFCA.org).

American Fencers Supply continues its tradition of quality products and knowledgeable staff today. We feature both our own line of products, much of which is made here in the USA, and many top of the line products from Europe, most notably Negrini Fencing Line from Italy. We also feature PrieurSport from France, Leon Paul from Great Britain, and Uhlmann from Germany.

We here at American Fencers Supply look forward to supplying the current and future generations of fencers with high quality, dependable gear just as have for the last four decades.

Happy hitting!

Dr. I. Yeti,

AFS Laboratories


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 American Fencers Supply Co.