Giorgio Santelli and Csaba Elthes - 2 Great Fencing Masters

This growing repository of facts, data and anecdotes of legendary fencing maestros Giorgio Santelli and Csaba Elthes is meant to document the immense legacy left by these two men to American Fencing through their teachings and training of fencers and coaches. Many of our coaches today were taught by these two men and their everyday work and coaching is a living legacy to american fencers as these coaches pass on their accumulated knowledge and experience to new generations of fencers. As examples: In 2003 American epeeist Justin Tausig, one of Giorgio's last students - 18 years after Maesto Santelli's death is the U.S.A.' s 3rd highest ranking epee fencer and #62 in the world. Csaba Elthes was Peter Westbrook's coach, and through Peter and his Peter Westbrook Foundation Csabas legacy lives on.

We are formulating a treatise concerning the great legacy left by them through anecdotes and first hand stories regarding these two great maestros. If you can contribute photos, first-hand experiences with these 2 incredible men, please email them to us at:    Please list approximate dates of the photos and encounters and training period if you were a student of either or both and if you went on to coach. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. It is also our intention to publish this information on this website.


Remembering Maestro Giorgio - Olympic Gold Medalist MS Team 1920, U.S. Olympic Coach 1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952

 photo of young Giorgio  photo of Giorgio Santelli in 1950    Photo of Giorgio Santelli in his 80's

"After all, victory should not mean too much. It is when you measure up to what you have got and have the ability to bring it out in yourself which should give you the real inner satisfaction." - Giorgio Santelli  (quote from the Portland Fencing Center main webpage at

Facts below (provided by Andy Shaw, official historian of the USFA):

    Name: Giorgio Leslie Santelli 
    Born: Nov. 25, 1897   Budapest, Hungary    Immigrated to USA in 1924
    Parents:  Italo and Paolina Santelli, nationality-Italian, moved to Budapest in 1896
    Siblings: 1 brother: Gianpaulo, 2 sisters: Maria Pia and Fiorenza
    Education: grammar school 4 years, 8 years private high school and Jr. College The Royal Gymnasium in Budapest, then
    a business academy (name unknown at this writing) owned by a friend of his father's.
    Children:  Daughter, Donatella by Hungarian first wife Baroness Gizella Buskas (divorced in 1932) , Son John Christopher
    by  American second wife  Louise St. Joseph.  Daughter, Andrea "Andy" Santelli by wife Betty.

Italo Santelli - Giorgio's world famous father


1920's  The duel







Links to sites with information on Giorgio Santelli  - Santelli's own site  Lessons with Giorgio as remembered by Frank Collins   Justin Tausig, U.S. National Team Member - one of Giorgio's last students, trained with Giorgio from 1983 - 1985, good photo of Giorgio in his later years.

Many photos courtesy of Andrea Santelli who at the request of Andy Shaw, sent copies to the USFA for the official archives.


Remembering Maestro Csaba - U.S. Olympic Coach 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984


Born:  March 10, 1912   Died: Massive stroke in fall of 1995 in Budapest, Hungary. Buried in his homeland.
Immigrated to USA in 1956
Wife: 2nd wife, Baba Elthes, resides in New York.


Did you know that Csaba graduated from the University of Budapest with a doctorate in Law in 1936?  - Andy Shaw, historian of the USFA







Csaba with brothers 8 yr. old Andy  (L) and 13 yr. old Ted Shaw (R), photo taken by Andy's mom at Salle Santelli located at 412 6th Ave. , 3rd floor, summer of 1959. Csaba was 47 at the time. (photo courtesy of Andy Shaw, historian of the USFA)


THANK YOU to all contributors