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Lost fencing link between Poland and Hungary

kazimierz laskowski janos kevey swordsman sword sabre fencing historical foil eepe military fencing hungary poland budapest warsaw

Janos Kevey, Kazimierz Laskowski

It turns out that at beginning of the 20th century not only Hungarians traveled to Poland to teach Polish fencers. Polish fencers also visited Hungary in order to train. The place they visited to learn more about fencing was the Miklós Toldi Royal Hungarian Institute of Military Sports and Fencing in Budapest, and the person who contributed to entering into a closer relation was Kazimierz Laskowski.

Kazimierz Laskowski, arms-bearing Korab, “Kazik”, (born 7th November 1899, Troick, died 20 October 1961, Warsaw), was a swordsman, Major of Polish Army, director of the fencing team in the Central Military School of Gymnastics and Sports in Poznan. He raised many generations of fencers.

Béla Szombathely – the begining

In 1928 he invited a Hungarian trainer Béla Szombathely to Warsaw to prepare the Polish sabre fencing team for the Olympic Games. At that time Polish team was winning with Germany. In 1928 Kazimierz Laskowski became an individual sabre vice-champion during the Military Championships of Europe in Ostend.

He also won a few bronze medals in team competitions during championships in Liège and Ostend. Team members: Kazimierz Laskowski, Tadeusz Friedrich, Leszek Lubicz-Nycz, Adam Papée, Władysław Segda, Kazimierz Szempliński, and Jerzy Zabielski.

Kazimierz Laskowski in Miklós Toldi Institute

After a few years, in 1936, Béla Szombathely was sent back to Hungary because of the weaker and weaker team accomplishments. One year later the team led by Kazimierz Laskowski traveled to Hungary to perfect their skills in… the Miklós Toldi Royal Hungarian Institute of Military Sports and Fencing. Then Laskowski met Janos Kevey, who at his invitation came to Warsaw to train the national Polish national fencing team.

After World War 2 Janos Kevey came to Poland again as a trainer of the Polish national fencing team (1947-1958) and he taught Jerzy Pawłowski, the best fencer of all-time.

The text is based on an article from a Hungarian newspaper “Fencing Magazine” (1972), written by Kell Klell

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