Paul Macdonald was born in 1972, and raised in the West Highland village of Glenuig, Moidart, Scotland. He began his study of fencing in the 1992 at Napier University, in Edinburgh, founding and running the University club as President and principal instructor for 2 1/2 years. With an ever-growing interest in historical swordsmanship, he founded the Dawn Duellists Society in 1994, and ran the DDS as President until 2006.
Since 1994, Maestro Macdonald has dedicated his path to European martial arts, travelling throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the US to research, study, practice, present seminars and demonstrations and teach. He has studied most styles of historical European combat and revived the methods and techniques of several lost systems, such as the medieval duelling shield, the spada in arme, dusack and backsword.
In 1998, Maestro Macdonald established his own business of Macdonald Armouries, dedicated to researching and manufacturing historical European swords and edged weapons. In that same year, he also founded the British Federation for Historical Swordplay (BFHS), serving as its President from 1998 – 2004. He received his Master-at-Arms certification from the Italian Ancient and Historical Federation (FISAS) in 1999 and established the Macdonald Academy of Arms in 2001.
Maestro Macdonald was one of the founders of the International Masters at Arms Federation and a fencing advisor to the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts. He is also a member of the Association for Historical Fencing and has given instruction at Leeds Armouries and various venues and historical fencing schools throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the US.
He is also a fight director and member of the Independent Fight Director’s Guild, having provided fight direction services for various UK stage and screen productions. Macdonald co-founded the Commando D Living History Group in 2008, dedicated to reviving wartime combatives and training disciplines. He has been trained in the British Army through 4 Para (The Parachute Regiment) and continues to serve in Military Intelligence (5 MI, 52 Coy) When not making swords, on exercise or teaching, Maestro Macdonald enjoys gliding, for which he holds a solo pilot’s licence.