Jan York Romary
Born in Palo Alto, Jan was the first woman to compete in six Olympic Games
Ralph Faulkner and Polly Craus
Two-time Olympian Faulkner coached Polly Craus to a National title and an Olympic berth
Sal Giambra, Emily Romaine, Hans Halberstadt, Helene Mayer, Bunny Fratessa
Clubmates in Germany in the 1920s, Hans and Helene reunited in San Francisco at Halberstadt Fencers Club
After experiencing San Francisco’s Summer of Love, in 1967 Michael became the coach at Halberstadt Fencers Club
György Piller and Gerard Biagini
At the Fairmont Hotel in 1958, Piller demonstrates a foil lesson with San Francisco native Biagini
Fencing Master at UC Santa Cruz, member of a team that won gold at the World Master’s Championships
Preserving Fencing History
The passion for fencing history you’ll find reflected here on the West Coast Fencing Archive can be traced to the legacy of Charles Selberg.
An exceptional teacher and storyteller, Charlie brought fencing history to life for his students through his vivid tales of great fencers and famous bouts.
His estate, filled with posters, photos, scrapbooks and other fencing memorabilia, became the initial collection for the Archive. Since then, we have incorporated sixty more collections and counting.
The Latest Story
The Latin meaning of that, according to Google Translate, is “Wine of the Spirit”. As a philistine in the ways of Latin, I’ll have to accept it. No clue. Truly.
Other Tales from the Archive
It isn’t often that my obsession with perusing the depths of Ebay delivers in such an intriguing fashion. Once in awhile, though, I’ll find a real treasure.
A number of people over the years have done impersonations of the inimitable Hans Halberstadt and they range wide in both style and substance. Charlie Selberg knew Hans well and would often quote him during fencing lectures or footwork drills.
Some interesting pieces of memorabilia got floated in front of me and I had to scramble to collect all the loose change under the floor mats in my car and count out pennies from the change jar, but I couldn’t resist making a deal for them.
I’ll say up front that I’m sick of my desk and computer. I still spend long parts of my day here, but motivation to string my thoughts together in a coherent way have been sparse.
A number of things have come my way recently through various paths. Taken individually, they add to the collection in nice ways, but don’t necessarily give me the grist to crank out a full story around them.
Serendipitous. Is that a word? Spellcheck isn’t trying to correct it, so I guess I’m on firm ground. Serendipitosity happens a lot around here. I find one piece of information, an image, a packet of photos. Time passes. I find another piece that fits into that puzzle. Then, quite unexpectedly, something comes across my desk…
The Last Captain
FEATURE LENGTH FENCING DOCUMENTARY
For fifty years, the Hungarian National Sabre team had two constants: they took home gold in every tournament they entered and they had George Piller.
This is the story of Jekelfalussy (Piller) Gyorgy, the 1932 Olympic Sabre champion who defected to the United States during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
By Doug Nichols and Greg Lynch
Meet the Fencers
Meet the Fencing Masters
Have something to share or add? Our goal is to capture the stories we know are out there. Plus photos, videos, home movies, posters—you name it. All this material helps preserve the stories of West Coast fencing.
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