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
Back in December, I took a trip through Southern California to do some research, have conversations, scan a scrapbook and collect some fencing memorabilia. It was an extremely successful tour.
Other Tales from the Archive
I’m just back from my second ever visit to Andy Shaw’s fabulous Museum of American Fencing in Shreveport, Louisiana. What’s that? Never been to Shreveport? Well, it IS out of the way for most folks. It’s not a big town, but there are still some sights to see. And...
Computer analysts do data mining to look for patterns so that they can extract information from databases. I do data mining in the Halberstadt Scrapbooks to look for funny cartoons.
The woman to beware of is, as mentioned, the great Helene Mayer. To say that her competitive record is impressive is an understatement.
Regular readers will be familiar with the many tales told herein of Charles Selberg, himself a graduate of SF State (BA ’57, MA ’60). Selberg had his fencing beginnings at SF State under the tutelage of Erich Funke.
Sometime prior to the summer of 1977, Michael D’Asaro and Charles Selberg devised a plan to create a summer workshop for fencers. Both were instructors at Universities, San Jose State and UC Santa Cruz, respectively
We all give deference to our fencing coaches by calling them Maestro. But did you know that in order for your fencing instructor to call himself a Fencing Master he must be accredited? It's true. Fencing Masters must take a degree program just like a Doctor in order...
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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