About Branimir Zivkovic
Branimir Zivkovic, Founder and President of Zivkovic Modern Fencing Equipment, has had a storied career first as a fencer, then as master, and finally as business owner.
Starting from a very young age, one of his more notable initial achievements early in his fencing career was becoming the first fencer from the former Yugoslavia to ever break into the top 24 in the world in 1953 – no small feat for a 22-year-old.
He also became national champion of the former Yugoslavia for both foil and epee in 1950 and 1955 and earned the title of International Fencing Master in 1953. He has represented the country more than fifty times between 1950-58.
During that time he studied at Salle Pierre Lacaze in Paris while current FIE President Rene Roch was a member. He also studied with famous masters including Dante Galante (Italy), Jean Gravelet (France), and Maestro Kevey (Hungary).
After coming to the United States in 1958, Branimir began teaching at clubs and colleges in the tri-state area, such as Salle Santelli, West Point Military Academy, Columbia University, and the Trinity School, among others. Maestro George Santelli was in fact his mentor and sponsor to become a U.S. citizen.
His longest teaching experience was at Harvard University from 1976-99 where he led the men’s and women’s teams to numerous individual and team championships and received many coaching awards, including U.S. Fencing Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1992. He was also responsible for bringing women into the IFA’s, the oldest intercollegiate fencing tournament in the country, which was previously men-only. Two trophies donated by Branimir for the women’s foil and epee teams commemorate this achievement.
After retiring from Harvard, Branimir has been focusing on running his business and continuing to bring new ideas to the sport. He looks forward to improving and promoting the sport in as many ways possible.
Most recently, a tournament he started in 1955 – the Trophy of Belgrade – was added to the FIE calendar.
Branimir is a Life Member of the International Fencing Masters Association, the United States Fencing Coaches Association, and the Yugoslav Fencing Federation. He is also a member of the USFA and has been the representative of world manufacturers for the FIE-SEMI in 1995 and in 1996 at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
World's FIRST electric wheelchair fencing presentation, UNH - 12.04.2010
Personal Involvement and Equipment development
World's FIRST perforated aluminum fencing strip - 1975 - FIE
Olympic Games: Montreal, Canada 1976
World Modern Pentathlon Championships: San Antonio, Texas 1977
Balkan Games: Kladovo, Yugoslavia 1978
World Super Masters: Calta Girrone, Italy 1978
World Junior Championships: Notre Dame, IN 1979
Mediterranean Games: Split, Yugoslavia 1979
World Super Masters: Paris, France 1980
Pan American Games: Caracas, Venezuela 1983
World University Games: Zagreb, Yugoslavia 1987
Caribbean Games: Mexico City, Mexico 1990
World Sabre Cup: Washington, D.C. 1992
World Sabre Cup: Dobbs Ferry, NY 1993
World Junior and Cadet Championships: Denver, CO 1993
World University Games: Buffalo, NY 1993
South American Games: San Salvador, El Salvador 1993
World Super Masters: Frankfurt, Germany 1993
World's FIRST transparent fencing mask - 1995 - FIE
Sportel Show: Monte Carlo, Monaco 1995 (FIE Representative)
Sportel Show: Monte Carlo, Monaco 1996 (FIE Representative)
World Super Masters: Rome, Italy 1996
FIE Category A Women’s Foil: Rochester, NY 1997
World's SECOND edition transparent fencing mask - 1998 - FIE
World Super Masters: Lausanne, Switzerland 1998
World's FIRST foil and epee safety guard - 1999 - FIE
World Junior and Cadet Championships: Notre Dame, IN 2000
Balkan Junior and Cadet Games: Zrenjanin, Yugoslavia 2000
Women’s World Cup (Foil): New York, NY 2002
Men’s/Women’s World Cup (Foil & Sabre): New York, NY 2003
Arnold Schwarzenegger Fencing Classic: Columbus, OH 2004, 2005
Trophy of Belgrade: FIE Satellite tournament: Belgrade, Serbia 2005
Belgrade Star Cup: Belgrade, Serbia 2007
European Cadet Championships: Novi Sad, Serbia 2007
World's FIRST electric wheelchair fencing, UNH - 12.04.2010
World's FIRST colour uniform - 2016 - FIE
World's FIRST Head, Chin and Neck protector - 2018
World's FIRST Zivkovic portable fencing locker on wheels - 2020 - 2021
Zivkovic Equipment has also been or is currently featured at:
Olympic Games Museum: Atlanta, GA 1996 (transparent mask)
Olympic Museum: Lausanne, Switzerland 1996-present (transparent mask on permanent display)
Sports Museum: Brussels, Belgium 1996-present (transparent mask on permanent display)
St. Louis Art Museum: St. Louis, MO 1999 (Masks: Faces of Culture exhibit)
Olympic Museum: Belgrade, Yugoslavia 2000-present (transparent mask on permanent display)