The Boss, as he was affectionately known, had a storied history even before making his way to Hollywood during the silent film era. An accident during filming motivated him to find a way to rehabilitate and he found fencing, training under Henri Uyttenhove at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Being chosen as an Olympic team member in 1932 was a rare feat for a western fencer, as the Eastern hegemony had a lock on the selection process in that time. After his Olympic experience, he opened his own club, the Falcon Studios. There he and his wife, the dancer Edith Jane, split duties, she teaching dance, Ralph teaching fencing.READ MORE...
He molded numerous young fencers into champions, including Janice Lee York, Polly Craus and Sewall Shurtz. Ralph continued to teach at his Falcon Studios until his death in 1987 at the age of 95.
The mystery to me today is fencing master John Mckee from Southern California who trained hundreds and hundreds of fencers over decades. For all the people he taught and all the times he was in the paper, it’s his nature and character that I can’t get a handle on.
As many times as I’ve mentioned the Halberstadt Scrapbooks on this website over the years, I was shocked to realize that I have not, until now, written a defining story about what they are and (to me, at least) their significance.
Janice Lee York Romary was the US National Foil Champion ten times in a span of 18 years from the first win to the last. She represented the United States at the Olympic Games a then-record six times.
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...
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