The beginnings of the USC Fencing Team date back before its creation in 1926 to the initiation of Rufus B. von KleinSmid as the fifth President of the University of Southern California in 1921. Von KleinSmid was, among his many talents, a skilled fencer and an enthusiastic promoter of the sport. He received instruction on a regular basis at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (L.A.A.C.), an institution which is still in existence in its original location downtown. The fencing instructor at the Athletic Club was a Belgian fencing master by the name of Henry J. Uyttenhove. Shortly after von KleinSmid took office, fencing was first offered as a "Sophomore Sport," essentially a recreational sport separate from the varsity athletics of the university. None other than Henry Uyttenhove became the first fencing instructor at USC.
In 1926, a few years into the fencing program, the team grew out of its sophomore sports standing as "the department was reorganized by Coach Uyttenhove, and with the material at hand he put out an honest to goodness fencing team." After only being in existence for one year, the USC Fencing Team placed second in the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate matches of the... Read More