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 the great features of all the scrapbooks created by Hans Halberstadt is the inclusion of ephemeral media. Hans would post cartoons, news clippings and magazine articles, interspersed with snapshots and portrait photography.
Other Tales from the Archive
I tried to take statistics in college, but found that I was lacking enough (read: any) math skills to succeed. But put a fencing score sheet in front of me and I can calculate indicators like a house on fire.
There is a small cadre of people, myself included, who take credit – unrelated and unbeknownst to the actual founders – for setting the stage for the creation of the San Jose Fencing Center. It’s an odd tale that culminated in the 1982 Pacific Coast Championships being held at Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, CA.
Well, in 1964, Julie was a foil fencer, and a good one. Good enough to make the final at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where the Olympic Qualifier event was held.
There is a great deal to be told of Ralph B. Faulkner, Olympian, Fencing Master, and Fight Choreographer to the Stars. I’ve been collecting stories and photographs of him for some time and will undoubtedly have a great deal more to say about him as time goes on. For...
This post will finally wrap up Aldo Nadi’s recollections regarding his efforts as a Professional Fencing Champion. The letter, taken as a whole, is an astounding document. Both because Nadi is so clear in his remembrances (and again, I’m giving him the benefit of...
Somewhere along the line, Andy Shaw, Headmaster, Dean and El Jefe of the Museum of American Fencing, acquired a digital file with headshots of all the Olympic fencers. Since Andy was kind enough to grant me access to the file (I’m on his Board of Directors), I...
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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