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
One of my favorite subjects to write about it the famous foilist and Olympic champion, Helene Mayer. There are numerous photographs of her in the Archive collection and since she was based in California for many of her competitive years, her story fits my focus.
Other Tales from the Archive
“Do you not know that a man is not dead if his name is still spoken?” – Terry Pratchett
My first fencing coach, Len Carnighan, died a week ago today, September 11, 2016.
I got a very nice phone call from Gerard Biagini this week. He is not digitally connected via the world wide web, but his daughter was kind enough to show him last week’s story that I wrote about my visit. Jerry called to thank me for posting the story.
I first became aware of Mr. Biagini as a young fencer, as he would invariably show up at tournaments at the Pannonia Athletic Club, back when it was still a going concern in San Francisco.
This film, a small part of a longer reel, was shot by Max Garret at the 1959 NCAA championships held at the Naval Academy. Garret coached at the University of Illinois for 28 years.
At last year’s Nationals in San Jose, I was able to sit down with George Nonomura and chat about his fencing career. Now, George is, and has always been, one of the nicest, friendliest people around. So when I posed the question about who might have been his nemesis...
It’s been a bit since our last update and I will say from the get-go here that we’ll have a pretty big announcement coming soon to this page, but not yet. Not yet.
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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