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 above picture has been assumed to be Hans Halberstadt for a very long time. I thought so myself, even after scanning it (thanks Kathy Krusen!) at high resolution and having every opportunity to review it with a critical eye.
Other Tales from the Archive
As a member of the Hall of Fame committee for USA Fencing, I get a chance to participate in the annual ritual of determining, in the fairest way possible, who is to be considered for inclusion into that prestigious body. But in the long run, just like every member of USA Fencing, I only get one vote.
Some months ago, I paid a visit to UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library to look at a collection of scrapbooks donated to the library upon the passing of long-time Cal fencing master Julius Palffy-Alpar. Harold Hayes of the Pacific Fencing Club had told me of their existence and agreed to meet me there to get a look at the books.
Andrew Boyd is a fencer I have wanted to know more about for quite some time now. His name appears regularly in tournament results dating back to the early 1930s and continued until the early 1960s.
I can’t seem to get more than two or three entries along on this site before Aldo Nadi’s name pops up. Keeps happening.
Everything has a first time and 1982 was the year of the first Women’s Foil championship for the NCAA.
Back in August of 2017, I wrote a story about a donation to the Archive from Marc LeRoux. (Read it here.) Marc sent some terrific material about Dr. William O’Brien and the Letterman Fencing Club that hadn’t seen the light of day for many, many years. Along with...
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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