In memoriam: Roger Lafond (1913-2011)

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 Fran├žaise 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 Fran├žaise 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.

5 Comments

  • By James King, Thursday, 14th April 2011 @ 11:01 am

    I would like to extend my hand for condolence.

  • By Matthew Cacy, Tuesday, 19th April 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    What a loss, but what a life lived!

  • By Dave, Sunday, 8th May 2011 @ 9:34 am

    I was in Paris several years ago. I really wish I had made more effort to visit his school. I had heard many great things about it.

  • By Mark, Monday, 19th December 2011 @ 8:25 am

    Just found out about his passing via a video on youtube. What an extraordinary man. I too am sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to visit his schools and learn from the master himself. May you rest in peace, Dear Mr. LaFond for a life well lived. You will live on in the hearts of may for centuries to come.

  • By Francis Allen, Sunday, 22nd January 2012 @ 5:18 am

    My father was a student under him for 8 years he was truley a master. i got to train with him from 1974-1975 untell we moved back to the US from france he was fast as a mongoose and a very kind person i really liked him he was good man. And a good teacher!

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