Brooklyn born Michael D’Asaro began fencing in high school, got a fencing scholarship from NYU and had tremendous success as a collegiate, national and international fencer. An Olympian (1960), US Individual Sabre Champion (1962), 2 time Pan American Games medalist (Epee Silver 1959, Sabre Gold 1963) and World Military Sabre Champion (1963), Michael dropped out of the competitive scene after demands that he cut his hair as a requirement to participate in the 1967 Pan American and 1968 Olympic Games.
Dropping into Haight-Ashbury’s hippie scene during the Summer of Love, a chance encounter led him to begin teaching fencing at the Halberstadt Fencers Club in 1967.READ MORE...
Success came quickly and he built a very strong program at Halberstadt before moving south to the head coach position at San Jose State University.
There, his women’s program, in particular, had phenomenal success, with his fencers winning the national collegiate individual title five years in a row. The program produced also produced Junior Champions, Senior National Champions and several Olympic Team members. He left San Jose in 1985, retiring to Ashland, Oregon. In the late 1980’s, he moved to Los Angeles and coached at the very successful Westside Fencing Center until his death from a brain tumor in 2000.
You don’t forget your first team, or your first teammates. The fortuitous circumstances surrounding my introduction to fencing couldn’t be more memorable; a time filled with remarkable personalities.
It’s impossible to know why these things happen. They can’t be planned for or expected yet I’ve been experiencing more than my share of these types of events since starting this archive and I couldn’t be happier about it. This is simply the latest.
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.
As a member of the Hall of Fame committee for USA Fencing, I get a chance to participate in the annual ritual of determining, in the fairest way possible, who is to be considered for inclusion into that prestigious body. But in the long run, just like every member of USA Fencing, I only get one vote.
Everything has a first time and 1982 was the year of the first Women’s Foil championship for the NCAA.
Fear. It’s a motivator for me. Not the average, everyday kind of fear, nor an amorphous fear of zombies or clowns. Rather, the fear of loss. A very specific kind of loss.
There’s been a bit of hiatus around here. Perhaps you’re one who noticed. I’m sure someone must have. The overriding catchall reason for the long layoff since our last story is all about how much effort it takes to make a feature documentary. “What?” I hear you...
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.
This film, a small part of a longer reel, was shot by Max Garret at the 1959 NCAA championships held at the Naval Academy. Garret coached at the University of Illinois for 28 years.
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