Duris de Jong was born in Amsterdam in 1902 and began fencing at age 19.
He competed for the Netherlands at the Olympic Games of 1928 and 1932. For the 1932 Games, he was residing in Los Angeles and applied to the Netherlands Olympic Committee to compete in the LA Games, as the country was not sending a full team. He was eliminated in the semi-finals in Foil at both Games.
He competed successfully in all three weapons for the LAAC, winning many tournaments and championships.READ MORE...
He began teaching in 1939 at the Hollywood Athletic Club, an appointment he received through Henri J. Uyttenhove who had been teaching at both the LAAC and the HAC. In 1954, after a two-year process, he was reinstated as an amateur and went on to win several more Pacific Coast medals and a bronze medal in Team Epee at the 1954 US Nationals. An avid bridge player, he retired to Thousand Oaks, CA in 1976 and founded the Conejo Fencers Club to, in his words, “have a place to fence.” He passed away in 1990.
A number of things have come my way recently through various paths. Taken individually, they add to the collection in nice ways, but don’t necessarily give me the grist to crank out a full story around them.
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.
I’m not sure of the original source for the story, but it goes like this. In the early days of the AFLA, precursor to today’s USA Fencing, the East Coast was in charge.
Driving around Southern California may not seem like much of a Holiday, especially when traveling alone, but a recent weekend outmatched all my expectations. The plan was to make four different stops in hopes of collecting fencing history.
My treasure hunting has been refined to a sharper focus that has proven no less fortunate to me than those who find spectacular Saxon hoards in Middlesex with a $60 metal detector.
The woman to beware of is, as mentioned, the great Helene Mayer. To say that her competitive record is impressive is an understatement.
I like statistics. Not the kind you learn about in school really. More the kind that come about when you ask yourself questions like, “When will I get THAT done?” and “How many Aldo Nadi stories did I write last year?”
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.
Want to know when we publish a story? Or release a new documentary? Sign up for our email list and we’ll keep you posted.