Stro: The Michael D'Asaro Story

Films, Sunday | Foriegn Films & Documentaries

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Michael D'Asaro taught about life through the medium of fencing
Micheal D'Asaro lived a life completely intertwined with the sport of fencing. It provided an avenue for him to escape the poverty of Brooklyn's Redhook district through a fencing scholarship to NYU. He became one of the dominant fencers of his era after coming under the tutelage of a fierce Hungarian Instructor by the name of Csaba Elthes. He made a name for himself internationally as well, fencing against the greats like Nazlimov and Pawlowsky. But D'Asaro always marched to his own beat which brought him into conflict with the governing body of American Fencers. He left the sport as a competitor when he wouldn't compromise to suit what he consider old fashioned codes of behavior. He returned to the sport as a coach in San Francisco purely by happenstance when he was hired to be the new head coach at the Halberstadt Fencer's Club. The only problem was, he had never been formally taught how to coach fencing. But, he taught himself to coach, quickly excelling to the top ranks of United States coaches. He was hired to coach National and International Teams. He achieved his greatest success at San Jose State where he directed the women's foil team to five straight national championships. His San Jose State students formed the basis for several Olympic Squads in the seventies and eighties He cut his college career as a coach short in the mid 1980s. He was burnt out and tired of the college politics. He moved first to Oregon where he opened his own salle, but that only lasted a short while. Ultimately, he moved to Los Angeles where he continued to teach fencing. He passed away in 2001 from an inoperable brain tumor. D'Asaro left an indelible impression on all the people he met. The lessons he passed on are still used today by his students, in fencing as well as in life.

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Credits

Directed by Gregory Lynch Jr
Doug Nichols

Written by Gregory Lynch Jr.

Production Company The Last Captain LLC

Produced by Mark Headley
Gregory Lynch Jr.
Doug Nichols

Cast Bob Bailey
Robert Blum
Vinnie Bradford
Peter Burchard
Al Carter
Gene Ching
Herb Cohen
Daniel Costin
Barbara D'Asaro
Michael D'Asarao Jr.
Dan DeChaine
Bob Dow
Gil Eisner
Carmen Ellis
John Federico
Terrence Garguilo
Gene Glazer
Jerry Goldstein
Cole Harkness
Henry Harutunian
Harold Hayes
Dean Hinton
Ed 'Buzz' Hurst
Stacey Johnson
Ted Katzoff
Harriet King
Scott Knies
George Kolombartovich
Hope Konecny
Stan Lekach
Gene Levy
Thomas Losonczy
Gay MacClellan
Daniel Magay
Paul Makler
Richard Martinez
Greg Massialas
John McDougall
Bruce Mebine
Al Morales
Doug Nichols
George Nonomura
Roy Nonomura
Alex Orban Nilo Otero
Al Peredo
George Platt
Geoff Russell
Peter Schifrin
Andy Shaw
Julia Sikes
Mike Tarascioa
Soren Thompson
Connie Yu