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Handmade Fencing Blade from Esprit Blades


Tradition, Technology and Experience to Achieve the Highest Quality

The manufacturer of sports blades, Olympic fencing Esprit Blades offers foils, sabers and swords, high quality, the fruit of the sporting experience of Alberto Franchini and technical expertise gained in its steel-mechanical company: Franchini Acciai Spa.

Multi-champion Italian and European, former national fencer, Alberto Franchini achieved on the platform skills that have allowed him, in over twenty years of business, to understand the most important needs of top athletes of the Olympic fencing : from the obvious need to subtle nuances, to deliver to the market a complete sports blade, flexible and customizable.

The province of Brescia, as an ancient home of the sports blades for quality fencing, the land where culture and tradition of Italian fencing renew themselves proudly in the forges Esprit Blades : laboratories capable, with their excellent quality, to revive the blades a once famous in the world.


The use maraging steel, forging a hammer, other strict manufacturing and quality control processes give a perfect balancing of the blade, a characteristic that the future of fencing champions find themselves in our sport knives, fully customisable, according to the needs of athlete.

Be guided by the experience of Italian and European champion like Alberto Franchini, who Esprit Blades encompasses all the skills gained on the platform and all the skills of your company Franchini Acciai Spa, which since 1968 has mastered the art of steel processing. 

Fioretti, swords and sabers Esprit Blades are forged in mallet, a high quality and manual processing, which allows, with the use of maraging steel, to realize more resistant sports blades and more elastic, for a tenacity and an accuracy to which future champions of the Olympic fencing can not give up.

The perfect balance and balance of our sports blades are the result of a fencing proud tradition, which is renewed in the Brescia area, already famous for a past world excellence in fencing Forged blades. 

The quality The long and complex production cycles required to achieve excellence every foil, epee and saber Esprit Blades tells its own story. Finished by hand, our sports blades are tested according to very strict internationally recognized by the supervisory controls materials of various federations of each country and, of course, the FIE, which we use the same machines approved for testing.

Fioretti, Swords and Sabers

The blades Esprit fencing Blades are produced with a sophisticated procedure that link to excellence, if not looking for perfection.

Available in the three regulatory measures: blade 85, blade 88 and blade 90, the blades Esprit born from fencing and professional Alberto Franchini are ideal for athletes who want to fully customize their fencing blade or the Armory that want to deliver to their students a lasting blade, durable and precise, with all the scoring expertise gained over the years by the Italian and European champion in its steel-mechanical company Franchini Acciai Spa.

The maraging steel, special metal alloy based on iron , nickel and cobalt, from high flexibility and durability characteristics, it is forged to the mallet, a process that makes the blades with an internal structure like no other manufacturing process can get.

To achieve excellence, each fencing blade is machined with a long and complex production cycle : at hand are alternated finishing the internal quality controls the company, which already meet the more stringent standard FIE (Federation Internationale D'Escrime) , thanks to the use of special type-approved equipment.

For seizing one world-class, hand-made fencing blade, please click here.

Grant Stockman


A multi-lingual, professional in two sporting codes: skiing and golf.

Possesses over two decades of domestic and international experience gained both as a competitor and fully qualified coach. 


  • NZSIA Ski Instructor "International Certification Level 3” 
  • International Race Coach 
  • NZPGA qualified Golf Professional 


  • 24 years Race Coaching and Ski Instructing 
  • 10 years as a Professional Golfer both playing and teaching


  • Represented NZ on World Cup Parallel Slalom tour 1999-2002 
  • 1st place Swiss Ski School Champion 2001 
  • 2nd Place World Ski School Championships – Whistler 2001 
  • Competed in World Powder Eight Championships at Mike Wiegeles 2003


How did you become an alpine ski race coach?
I started at Whakapapa after 2 years as a ski instructor I was offered the chance to coach ski racing.

What are you known for and have a knack for in your role as an alpine ski race coach? 
I am often told that I have a strong understanding of each individual athlete and I can always find a way that works best for that individual in order to improve. I get called a bit tough sometimes but the athletes get to know my line of when to be serious and when to just have fun. 

Who and where have you coached in the past? 
I have coached all levels of skiing from beginner racers all the way through to World Cup athletes. I have coached at: New Zealand - Mt Ruapehu, Mt Hutt,Treble Cone, Coronet Peak, Cardrona. Austria - Ellmau Switzerland - Davos, Elsigen Alp, Andermatt, Stoos, Engleberg, Obersaxen 

What excites you most about alpine ski racing?
SPEED AND RISK … Seeing an athlete learn about the importance of how discipline and self belief is required and that it is learned by training hard and learning to risk as much as they can as they progress in the sport . 

What’s your golden rule when coaching? 
To have fun and treat each day as a new day, no matter how good or bad it was the day before … always finish the day on a positive no matter what. 

Describe a coaching success … 
Knowing you have helped an athlete to achieve their goals and much more.

Describe a lesson learnt from coaching …
Patience my friend ... Patience…. 

Favourite saying? 
Don’t eat yellow snow 

Your secret weapon is … 
My loveable personality.

Who’s your hero?
Never had one particular person… but freestyle skier, Glen Plake was the guy that made me want go out there and push myself when I started the sport! 

Where can you be found when you’re not working on the hill?
Taking photos all over the place… playing golf and riding my Moto... 

Describe the funniest situation you’ve encountered as a coach?
I'd have to write a book on that one… I’m laughing now just thinking! Louis Cronin skiing a Slalom course in his underwear was pretty entertaining to say the least.

How would you like to be remembered as a coach?
By athletes saying they always learned a lot with me and it was lots of fun! That would be a good way to be remembered.

Let's go and find out the training program Grant puts together this year, by clicking here!

One-Belt-One-Road on Sports Training Collaboration


Thirty Years of Unprecedented Growth In just 30 years, China has developed from a poor inward-looking agricultural country to a global manufacturing powerhouse. Its model of investing and producing at home and exporting to developed markets has elevated it to the world’s second-largest economy after the USA.

Now faced with a slowing economy at home, China’s leadership is looking for new channels to sustain its appetite for growth at a time when developing neighbours are experiencing rapidly rising demand.

A New Economic Paradigm Emerges At the heart of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) lies the creation of an economic land belt that includes countries on the original Silk Road through Central Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as a maritime road that links China’s port facilities with the African coast, pushing up through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. The project aims to redirect the country’s domestic overcapacity and capital for regional infrastructure development to improve trade and relations with Asean, Central Asian and European countries.

Historical Roots The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty. The road originated from Chang'an (now Xian) in the east and ended in the Mediterranean in the west, linking China with the Roman Empire.

As China’s silk was the major trade product, German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen coined it the Silk Road in 1877. It was not just one road but rather a series of major trade routes that helped build trade and cultural ties between China, India, Persia, Arabia, Greece, Rome and Mediterranean countries.

It reached its height during the Tang Dynasty, but declined in the Yuan dynasty, established by the Mongol Empire, as political powers along the route became more fragmented. The Silk Road ceased to be a shipping route for silk around 1453 with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, whose rulers opposed the West.

Rolling Out the Red Carpet Chinese President Xi Jinping hopes OBOR will help to build a community of common destiny.

The Asia Development Bank estimates that Asia needs US$8tn to fund infrastructure construction for the 10 years to 2020. China well knows its development is linked to Asia and beyond and, in part, is banking its future on responding to its neighbours’ huge infrastructure needs via One Belt, One Road.

Meanwhile, China’s growing domestic market means the chance for the region and the world to capitalise by providing goods and services. The initiative is not without its challenges; cooperation and coordination with partner countries over the long term are paramount for it to be a lasting legacy.

China’s Relationship with Silk Road Countries Key to One Belt, One Road’s success is the development of an unblocked road and rail network between China and Europe. The plan involves more than 60 countries, representing a third of the world’s total economy and more than half the global population. We have ranked each country’s relationship with China from 1 to 5 based on political, economic and historical factors. China’s ultimate goal is to extend the initiative to Africa and Latin America.

Politics of Trade There are compelling geopolitical reasons, such as energy security, for China to push forward with its One Belt, One Road plans at a time when its trading partners are potentially excluding it from strategic agreements

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the EU-Japan agreement show comprehensive liberalisation agendas, but do not include China and have the potential to increase trading costs.

In response, China plans to negotiate free-trade agreements with 65 countries along the OBOR. Until now China has signed 12 free-trade agreements including Singapore, Pakistan, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Taiwan and a further eight are under negotiation with Japan, Korea, Australia, Sri Lanka, Norway, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Asean and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

China’s Marshall Plan Some worry that China has ulterior motives for naval expansion and energy security. What the sceptics miss is that securing economic growth is at the core of national security, as it legitimises the party’s rule. To ease worries, President Xi Jinping has emphasised “Three Nos” 

No interference in the internal affairs of other nations 
Does not seek to increase the so called “sphere of influence” 
Does not strive for hegemony or dominance 

Domestic Silk Road Plan One Belt, One Road could have as much impact on China’s internal economy as it will have internationally. China’s top priority is to stimulate the domestic economy via exports from industries with major overcapacity such as steel, cement and aluminium.

Many will be build-transfer-operate schemes in which large SOEs will lead the way, but smaller companies will follow. The domestic plan divides China into five regions with infrastructure plans to connect with neighbouring countries and increase connectivity.

Each zone will be led by a core province: Xinjiang in the Northwest, Inner Mongolia in the Northeast, Guangxi in the Southwest and Fujian on the coast. 


Lots of opportunities and avenues open to sports training by leveraging the OBOR network.

STEPIO is striving to success to establish the sports training network, build up the coach collaboration, coordinate own camps and support the local tournaments in many OBOR countries, including China, Hong Kong SAR, Moscow and Italy.

We position ourselves as the pioneer on this platform and will work closely with other countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Kenya; Central Asia and South-East Asia including Malaysia.

Further collaborating with different countries, it benefits only our athletes to get the best out of each country on sports training and build up their own globally blended style of sportsmanship!

Certain contents and illustration are courtesy on The One-Belt-One-Road Exclusive Report by CLSA 

For more details on how you can leverage the opportunities ahead on our sports career based on this one-belt-one-road platform, please click here for details.

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Evgeny Mate

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Nick Cowper

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Grant Stockman

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