The various levels of certification in the US Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) include Fencing Master who are at the highest level of certification and are qualified to teach all levels of fencers as well as fencing coaches. Prévôt are at the next level of expertise focus more on training all levels of fencers to compete rather than training other coaches. Moniteur are members of this professional coaching organization focus on beginner and intermediate fencers, and Assistant Moniteurs are qualified to assist all levels of professional coaches. Fencing Masters, Prévôt , and Moniteurs are required to pass a rigorous written, practical, and oral examination to receive their credentials.
All our coaches hold a professional US Fencing Association membership, passed a background check, and completed the SafeSport training.
Dana Sanford, (Head Epée Coach, President). Dana has been fencing since the age of 12, competed nationally for 4 years, and trained at Northwest Fencing Center during his senior year of high school, 2002-2003. He attended Drew University and was selected to participate in the NCAA Championships 3 of his 4 years while there. When he was competing, he held an A classification in épée. Dana runs the elite épée program at Metro Tacoma Fencing Club. His students have earned a number of national medals, achieved national rankings, and represented the United States internationally. Dana runs the épée program for Annie Wright Schools. He is president of Metro Tacoma Fencing Club.
Joseph Jasper, MD (Coach, Prévôt in Sabre). Dr. Jasper is certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) as a Prévôt in Saber and also teaches foil. He is a valued certified saber and épée director. Joe first fenced in 1971 in NYU’s Junior Varsity team under Hugo Castello, and continued at Case Western Reserve University, but did not fence again until 1999. Joe has worked with coaches Bruce Burch, Harald Hillemann and later M. Wang Yung. He has attended workshops for fencing instruction and directing. Joe stays busy outside the salle with his career and the medical community, where he served as President of the Pierce County Medical Society and has served on hospital committees and other society boards. He has also advocated on behalf of patients and physicians in DC and Olympia. Joe enjoys teaching foil to new and intermediate fencers, and believes that good modern footwork and technique combined with competitive tactics and experience will yield a better fencer. Joe has a great desire to see our fencers succeed in USFA Competition. He offers both group and individual instruction. Joe has a passion for the club’s welfare and friendly but disciplined atmosphere. Joe has a keen mind, level head and great sense of humor. His positive attitude and active lifestyle are gladly shared with his son, Max, one of our former star fencers.
Tobias Lee, MD (Coach, Prévôt in Foil). Toby started fencing in 1986 at Lakeside High school. He was a member of the Harvard varsity fencing team as an épéeist from 1991-1994, coached by fencing master Branimir Zivkovic. He enjoys helping with beginner classes, open fencing, and competing whenever he is not on call for his cardiology practice. He has earned his certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as a Prévôt in Foil in 2011. He has weapons ratings of A2018 in épée and B2017 in foil (he had an E2009 in sabre which has lapsed). Toby started competing regularly in the veteran 40 (ages 40-49) men’s épée category nationally starting at the 2017 US Fencing Summer National Championships and has medaled (top 8 finish) at every North American Cup (NAC) in this division since. For the 2017-2018 season he is ranked 3rd in the country for veteran 40 men's épée. His US fencing referee ratings are a 6 in foil and a 7 in épée (2012). He finds fencing terrific for physical fitness, but just as wonderful are the people he has met at the Metro Tacoma Fencing Club. He wrote the Beginner Fencers’ Guide. Additional information about Toby can be found at tobylee.com/fencing.htm.
Zoe Tolbert (Instructor Assistant, Moniteur). Zoe started competitive foil fencing in 2011. She placed 2nd in the 2017 April North American Cup (NAC) in both division 2 (C and under) and division 3 (D and under) women’s foil events. She finished 7th out of 136 fencers in Division 3 women’s foil at the 2016 US Fencing Summer National Championships. She enjoys competitive fencing as well as practicing with her MTFC friends and helping new club members. Zoe enjoys rock, mineral, gemstone, and fossil collecting. She has helped coach the Competitive Foil Class and has earned her certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as a Moniteur in foil in 2015. She is a rated referee with a 4 in foil, 5 in épée, and 10 in saber (2018) and regularly referees at North American Cup (NAC) events. She has a classification of B2017 in foil and E2018 in épée. She will be fencing at Vassar College starting in the fall of 2018. Her coach is Kwangsuk Chung.
Benjamin Lee, (Instructor Assistant, Assistant Moniteur). Benjamin has been fencing since 2008. He has consistently earned national points in foil since 4/2011. He was one of only eight Y10 men’s foil fencers nationally to hold a classification in the 2011-2012 season having earned an E2012 after finishing 3rd at the US Fencing Summer Nationals. He was one of seven 12 year olds to qualify and compete in the Junior Olympics National Championships in 2/15/2014 for Cadet (U17) men’s foil. His top national rankings by age group (USA team points standings as of 12/11/2017) include Senior (open) men's foil 24th, Junior (U20) men's foil 30th, and Cadet (U16) men’s foil 15th. He represented the United States in the designated European Circuit event (Cadet World Cup) at Bratislava, Slovakia in January, 2018 and placed 52nd out of 169 top foil fencers from 23 countries. Benjamin has a classification of A2018 in foil and C2018 in épée. He is a rated referee with a 10 in foil and 10 in épée (2016). He attends Charles Wright Academy. Benjamin earned his certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as an Assistant Moniteur in 2016. His coach is Kwangsuk Chung.
Brian Li, (Instructor in development). Brian has been fencing since 2014. After a year studying fencing basics in foil, Brian switched to épée and began training with Coach Dana Sanford. Brian loves to compete and regularly earns medals at local and regional events. Brian earned the Regional Gold patch for Y12 épée for the 2015-16 season and the Regional Silver patch for Y14 épée in the 2016-17 season. Brian has a classification of D2018 in épée. He is a rated referee in all three weapons with a rating of 9 in foil, épée, and saber (2016). Brian regularly assists with the beginning épée class is is currently working on his Assistant Moniteur Coaching Certification with mentor support from Coach Dana Sanford and Coach Tobias Lee. Brian will begin high school in the fall of 2018 at the Science and Math Institute here in Tacoma. Brian also enjoys playing the tenor saxophone and learning jazz. Brian’s favorite subject is glass blowing, which he has studied at Jason Lee Middle School the last two years.