Alaux, Michel

Michel Alaux Began his fencing studies at the National School of Sport at Joinville and completed them at the Military School of Antibes. He graduated in 1947 with his fencing master's diploma. Later he received a series of medals and citations from the French governmentImage culminating in the award of the "Palme Academique," the highest educational honor bestowed by the French government for services rendered in sport in 1962. Monsieur Alaux also was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor   by the French Ministry of Sports. In the years preceding the 1952 Helsinki Olympics he trained Christian d'Oriola, the greatest French fencer of modern times. At Helsinki d'Oriola won the first of his two Olympic Gold medals (the last standard foil Olympics in history and the first electric foil Olympics in history). In March of 1956 (at the age of 32) Michel came to the United States to become Fencing Master at the Fencers' Club of New York (already established in his own club in Montpelier, France), replacing the retiring Rene Pinchart. He immediately plunged into his labors to try to develop American fencing to the level which he felt was within its potential. Among his many successful pupils were Herbert Cohen, Jeffrey Checkes, James Melcher, John Nonna, Ruth White and Neal Cohen. He became US Olympic team coach in 1964, 1968, and 1972 and at several World Championships. A regular contributor to national and international fencing journals (writing in both French and English) he summed up his thoughts on technique and philosophy in the book, MODERN FENCING. He joined the National Fencing Coaches Association of America and chaired and directed the committee which devised and set up the examination for "Fencing Master," the first such professional diploma available in the United States. The first examination was given by his committee at the University of Detroit in March of 1965 and successful candidates became recognized by the International Academy of Arms, the world body of fencing masters.


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