One of the top national fencers in the 1950s and 1960s, Michel Saykali began fencing in the Lebanese Army after it began hiring French instructors to train its most talented recruits. Saykali participated in his first international tournament at the inaugural Pan Arab Games in 1953, where both he and his team placed second overall. Four years later, at the 1957 edition, the team placed first overall. Alongside his friend Hassan El-Said, he was a member of the 1960 Olympic team that was eliminated in the opening round of the épée competition. At the same Games, he also failed to advance beyond the first round of the individual event. At the 1964 Summer Olympics he survived to the quarter-finals of the individual épée, but was again eliminated in the opening round of the team tournament. Throughout this time he also found success competing with the army in annual military World Championship events, participating in his last one in 1967. He retired soon after, his final competition being an international Arab tournament held in Lebanon, where he finished first overall.