The researching and writing of this book were both very personal, but shared experiences. In the hours I spent alone, sifting through the long documents, training, practicing, and trying to make sense of the very complicated terminology of the art of fencing, I hoped to produce a work that would be useful and helpful for initiating people of the English speaking world into La Science des Armes. After numerous trips to France to discuss my work with my teachers and colleagues, and hours of isolation to study, reseach, and clarify my own thoughts, this book was written. I hope to emulate the many other distinguished professionals who complement their careers by publishing a book containing the wisdom gleaned through their years of fencing experience. I feel I have run a long and challenging road through frustration, discouragement, rejection, and interruption in pursuit of this difficult dream. Today, twelve years later, I am almost surprised to see that the book is now at the printing stage.
This book could not have been completed without the early assistance of my numerous loyal fencing students, who spent countless hours editing the manuscript over and over again to help capture the vision of my thoughts. My daughter, Krista, read what I had written and entered my entire original type-written manuscript into a computer. Her ideas, suggestions, hints and queries were the source of my inspiration.
In the summer of 1991 a trip to Paris permitted me to finalize my work with my professor, Maître Pierre Lacaze. He is an encouraging scholar, a former president of l’Academie d'Armes de France, and Maître d'Armes at the Institut National des Sports, the Conservatoire National de Musique and the Conservatoire National d'Art Dramatique. A sabre specialist, he has choreographed numerous dual scenes for the theater and is the author of many works on the history of fencing. Constantly trying to sharpen my theoretical vision, Maître Lacaze was supportive in a number of ways, above all as an example of a totally human person.
I must also thank Maître D. Popelin, director of the fencing division of the Institut National du Sport et de L'Education Physique; Maître Le Bay, my very first teacher; Maître Piot of the Association Sportive de la Police de Paris section escrime; Maître Claude Carliez, president of the Academie d’Armes de France; Maître Foucteau, president of the International Academy of Arms; and especially Mr. Roland Boitelle, president of the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime, all of whom have all been very helpful in examining and reading the entire manuscript with their gentle criticisms.
My heartfelt appreciation goes to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, who has generously shared his viewpoint of this book - that it should be a realization that nothing is as important as a good technique in fencing. May it be a blessing, much appreciated and cherished throughout the modern fencing lifetime of this book.