Michael Marx was born into a fencing family. His mother, Colleen, taught fencing when Michael and his brother Robert were young and they grew up around the sport. Colleen ran a club in the Portland area and hired French-trained Leon Auriol to drive down from his club in Seattle to teach.
Leon’s brother Yves moved to Portland in 1971 to bring full-time fencing instruction to Portland and he developed Michael into a champion. Michael won the US National Individual foil title 8 times, medaled at 3 Pan American Games, took home the Silver medal at the 1985 World University Games and was selected for everyREAD MORE...
Olympic Team from 1980 through 1996. Since retiring from competition, Michael has become a very successful coach and currently heads up his own program at the Marx Fencing Academy in Concord, MA.
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.
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.
Carl Borack was something of an enigma to me when I first encountered him in 1979. By that time, he had traveled the world, won the US Nationals (foil), been on an Olympic team and produced his first feature film in Hollywood.
Between my own collection and some donations to The Archive over the last couple of years, I think I have every edition of the Fencing Times that were published beginning, I believe, in 1980.
I confess that it has been hard to sit down and find the wherewithal to come up with a story in the past weeks. Since the death of my first coach, Len Carnighan, it’s been frankly a challenge.
One of the things, we are also collecting here at the West Coast Fencing Archive, besides medals, blades, and posters is stories. We have a rich tradition here on the West Coast but it is mostly known through oral tradition.
Where Have We Been? What a crazy bunch of weeks! It may still take a bit to get back up to speed with regular stories, but the reason will hopefully be made clear as I describe recent events. First, Nationals. That would be the US Fencing National Championships,...
Here below, I’ve culled the best of the black & white negatives that were shot by Charles Selberg. And, fortune of fortunes, the negative pack was taped into a scrapbook that had many of these prints mounted inside.
I had two rolls of 35mm film, 36 exposures each, and was using a borrowed camera. Never having shot a fencing tournament before, I didn’t have much clue as to what was best to capture.
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.