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The letters from Christian d’Oriola to Michel Alaux span a twenty year period from 1951 to 1971 … Warm and witty, they recount in extraordinary detail d’Oriola’s thoughts and strategies as he fenced his way to Gold. Between 1947 and 1956, d’Oriola won four World titles and six Olympic medals.
In the heady atmosphere of post World War II Europe, the two young fencers, four years apart, developed a synergistic relationship as teacher/student that catapulted them both to the top of their world. After the nightmare of the Second World War, any endeavor worth doing had to be large in scope, bright and exciting. Training was intense work, but “the moment fencing ceases to be fun,” d’Oriola would say, “will be the moment I stop practicing it.”
Oriola 1
Letter from Christian d'Oriola
to Michel Alaux

Le Bulletin des Maitres D'Armes (Le Bulletin des Anciens d’Antibes) was a monthly bulletin that Michel Alaux edited and published in Montpellier, France, from 1949 to 1953.
It was addressed to Fencing Masters throughout the world, who, like Michel, had undergone years of rigorous training and embarked on their careers with idealism and passion. Like him, they were conscious of their historical role as members of the new generation emerging from the ashes of the Second World War. Like him, they felt keenly the weight of the past upon their shoulders.
As the Readers’ letters make clear, the Bulletin became a lifeline for many of the young Fencing Masters as they found themselves isolated and in precarious situations.
For other Readers, the Bulletin was a way to be involved in cutting edge discussions about the direction of modern fencing.
The Readers/subscribers formed a tight-knit albeit far-flung community that extended around the globe from Montpellier, Cap d’Antibes, Paris, and other French and European cities, to Casablanca, Rabat, Sidi-Bel-Abbes, Madagascar, Haiphong, Saigon, and Detroit.
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