- Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Wednesday, 13th April 2011
We regret to announce the death of savate and la canne master Roger Lafond on April 8th, 2011. He was 97 years old.
Roger Lafond’s martial arts and combat sports lineage can be traced back to the early origins of la boxe Française as an organised system of self defence, via his father and grandfather, who were both named Eugene, through E. Quillier, the Leclerc brothers and to Charles and Hubert Lecour.
During the Second World War, M. Lafond served five years as a prisoner of war, instructing his fellow prisoners in French martial arts. He refused to teach the enemy officers and guards, protesting that this would be fraternisation.
After the War he was instrumental in the revival of la boxe Française in Paris. He established numerous clubs and, in 1955, created his own unique blend of French and Japanese martial arts, which he referred to as la Panache. In the late 1960s he was among the trainers for the cast of the popular British television spy series, The Avengers.
As recently as two years ago, Maitre Lafond was still teaching students at his Parisian school. He was featured on several martial arts-themed documentary series, including an episode of The Human Weapon.
His funeral was held in his home town of Le Perreux sur Marne.