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
Ebay can be tricky to navigate. Not in a general sense. However, sometimes real gems can be found that are hidden between the lines when sellers don’t have a clue about what they’re selling.
Other Tales from the Archive
I thought I’d focus on another fencing publication, but this time, the granddaddy of them all; American Fencing Magazine. First published in November of 1949, the early issues give a fair rundown of the happenings across the nation.
There’s a mystery that needs to be solved and I haven’t had any luck on my own. The subject of Aldo Nadi has come up on the WCFA several times already in our short life so far.
Ok, youngsters! Gather ‘round while the old folks talk about life before the Interweb. Yes, such a time did exist, strange as that may seem. Before Google, we had encyclopedias, newspapers and magazines.
While looking through all the photographs the Archive has amassed of Hans Halberstadt, two things become clear. First, he got around. He clearly traveled a great deal. There are pictures of him all over his European playground.
If you can say anything about the fencers at UCSC during the reign of Charlie Selberg, (and you could say a great deal) they knew how to have a good time.
Harold Hayes, he of the Pacific Fencing Club in Alameda, CA, put this into my hands, so I thought I’d share a little article from the May, 1946 issue that caught my attention. This particular article was written by Pierre Paret, one of the Associate Editors of the newsletter.
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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