The programme of the Games of the I Olympiad in 1896 in Athens already included fencing competitions in the foil and the sabre. The first Olympic épée competitions were held in Paris, in 1900. Since then, this sport has been on the programme of every Olympic Summer Games.
Fencing is a beautiful, chivalrous sport which, if well organized, can favorably develop in a balanced whole the quantities of body, will and mind of those who practice it.
This book, for which I have the pleasure of writing this introduction, is a very useful description of the fundamental principles of the competitive training and practice of the foil, épée and sabre, of the techniques of this sport and of the arms used in it.
On behalf of the International Olympic Committee of which I have the honor to be President, I congratulate the author, Bac H. Tau, on this excellent work and I hope that all its readers will enjoy it and benefit from it in their fencing careers.
Juan Antonio SAMARANCH
Marquis de Samaranch
Lausanne, July 2nd 1992
I remember a time, when I was the French foil team Captain, I was observing in the Fencing School at the Institut National des Sports where the students prepare for their Fencing Master careers.
Among them I noticed a young asian who to me was more attentive than his fellows, filled with the desire to learn and to not miss any of the subtleties of fencing.
Conversations which I had at that time with many prestigious fencing masters who taught at the Institut National des Sports (PROST, LACAZE, GRISONI, GOURGUE) confirmed to me that this was a young man who would gain his Master certification without great difficulties, and who, in the future, would help the sport of fencing - more particularly, the French traditional technique - gain recognition.
That is what has occurred. Maître Bac has since obtained his diploma, and has pursued his coaching career in France, Finland, California U.S.A., and Canada.
Simultaneously with his activities with the clubs and fencing schools, Maître Bac has completed an enormous and detailed work of four books, dealing with the three different weapons and the methods of training to prepare for major competitions. This book is in the English language and is intended to introduce fencing to the English speaking world, and most particularly to the American continent.
All my best wishes go with Maître Bac. I hope he will rapidly find a publisher so that his manuscript, along with the reputation of the French method of fencing, will spread abroad far beyond our borders.
ASSOCIATION MONDIALE DES ACADEMIES d'ARMES NATIONALES
Havre, July 4th 1992
to Maître BAC H. TAU
Who besides the President of the World Association of Fencing Masters can truly appreciate the work that you wish to publish ? I will answer the above question with certainty: For yourself you have materialized your thoughts in this written work, verifying and affirming your knowledge. Your students will find that this theoretical work complements the practical development of their art. Your colleagues of the past, present and future will find the path that they either have followed or will have to follow in order to practice their ministry. Your work lies within the traditions of the Fencing Masters who together have had the honour to welcome you into the Academy of Arms of France and by extension into the International Academy of Arms.
Congratulations and best wishes for your work to receive the prosperity it deserves as a commemorative edition to 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Academie d'Armes de France
St. Mandé, September 7th, 1992
You have completed an excellent work, and I would like to send you my warmest congratulations! I hope that this work will be published as soon as possible, and why not consider a translation into French? We would very much like to see that!
Best wishes for a prompt publication of your remarkable manuscript.
Academie d'Armes de France
St. Mandé, le 7 septembre, 1992
Mon Cher Maître,
Vous avez fait là un excellent travail et je vous félicite très vivement! Je souhaite, que le plus rapidement possible, soit édité votre ouvrage. Et pourquoi pas aussi, envisager une traduction en langue française? Nous en serions très heureux!
Tous mes voeux donc, pour la parution rapide de votre remarquable manuscrit.
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