Just say “The Maestro” and all Pennsylvanians know you are referring to Lajos Cziszar, the legendary fencing master and head coach of NCAA champions and Olympic Games competitors.


The Maestro was considered the finest fencer in Europe when he left his native country for the United States in 1947.  As Pennsylvania’s head coach he guided the fencing team to two NCAA team championships (1953, 1969), and coached nine NCAA individual champions and 27 All-Americans.  The 1953 NCAA title was the first ever won by any Pennsylvania varsity team.


Csiszar established the Salle Csiszar Club in Philadelphia, a training and practice club for many of the outstanding fencers in the country, and also a teaching center.  He coached American fencers in Olympic and Pan-American Games, and in world championships.