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
When I struggle with ideas for writing about fencing history for this site, I have a couple of favorite fallback topics. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you can probably guess most of them.
Other Tales from the Archive
There are many ways in which the scrapbook of Erich Funke d'Egnuff is a gold mine, not least of which are the amazing variety of newspaper photos of fencers. The scrapbook covers the years 1934 to about 1942 and the fencers of that time had a style all their own. ...
There is a great photo hanging on the wall at the Halberstadt Fencers Club on South Van Ness in San Francisco that I’ve always admired. It shows four fencing masters sitting and watching a tournament at the Funke Fencing Academy when it was on Geary Blvd in the City.
I confess, I don’t know a whole lot about Kendo. Outside of the countless samurai films I’ve seen (which I don’t pretend are representative of Kendo), I’ve only been around the sport a couple of times.
I'm always fascinated by people who are the first to do something. I take little interest in things like climbing Everest, other than reading the current news of how the mountain's exploitation is causing the needless deaths of adventurous souls from around the...
If you’ve been checking in here regularly, you’ll know I frequently haunt the corridors of that virtual thrift store known as Ebay. Sometimes I find things of fencing interest, sometimes I don’t. It’s a mix of disappointment and fascination.
My first introduction to Ferenc Marki was at the 1978 Junior College Championships for Northern California. Maestro Marki called us all together at the start of the Men’s Team Foil to explain the format and strip assignments. He spoke for a good 15 minutes and I didn’t understand a single word that he said.
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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