Dr. Milo Thurston is a practitioner and amateur instructor of historical fencing and pugilism, specialising in an interpretation of Sir William Hope’s New, Short and Easy Method of Fencing, c. 1707. He started fencing seriously in 1989, beginning with the modern sport and then moving via classical singlestick, as taught by Professor Bert Bracewell, to historical fencing whilst working at Edinburgh University during the late 1990s. His pugilism experience is based on his own study of English texts c.1800-1900 since 2001, with some tuition from Terry Brown.
In 1999 Dr. Thurston founded the Linacre School of Defence in Oxford, now based at the university’s staff club, in order to continue his study and promotion of these arts. Since that time he has presented seminars on Hope’s small-sword system (and, on occasion, pugilism) in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia as well as being awarded instructor certification by the British Federation for Historical Swordplay. His examination included presenting two lessons in pugilism.
Towards a burgeoning interest in Bartitsu, he has recently re-commenced his studies of Japanese unarmed combat and has also located and scanned several rare early 20th century self defence manuals for the Bartitsu Society.
To support his martial arts hobby, Dr. Thurston works in a computing research department at Oxford University.