Metro Tacoma Fencing Club

The Home of Sport Fencing in the South Puget Sound

Thank You

For most of its early years Metro Tacoma Fencing Club relied exclusively on volunteer coaches who gave their time generously to help the club grow. We would not be here today without these coaches. We have had a number of coaches graduate, relocate, and retire given the longevity of this fencing club.

We want to acknowledge and thank all these individuals and their contributions.


Club Founders

Harald R. Hillemann (1920-2007) President Emeritus and Club Founder. Anivivo! Anaviva! Harald R. Hillemann founded the Blue Steel Fencing Club in 1967. He was the senior member and President Emeritus of the Blue Steel fencing Club and the 'Metro Tacoma Fencing Club, Blue Steel'. He began his fencing career in Poland in the 1920’s. Later in his 30’s he studied with Maestro Leon Auriol becoming proficient in all three weapons. Since 1967, Harald actively taught fencing in the Tacoma and Pierce County area. He began programs in fencing instruction at Fort Lewis, McChord Air Force Base, the YWCA, Pierce College, First Covenant Church, and the University of Puget Sound. Harald attended the United States Fencing Association Coaches College for Sabre in 1994 studying under Maestro Ed Richards. Harald participated in numerous fencing tournaments and demonstrations in his career. Harald brought his faith to the sport and was a fast proponent of Classical Fencing technique and style. A fierce competitor, spry and crafty, Harald took on all comers. Coach Hillemann taught all three weapons for the Club.

Marty Tetloff,(Coach, Prevot in Epee, and Moniteur in Foil and Sabre) founded the not for profit Metro Tacoma FC in 1998 and served on the Board of Directors as President and CEO. He was certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) and Academie of Armes Internationale (AAI) as a Prevot in epee and Moniteur d'Armes to teach all three fencing weapons. He is a rated referee in all weapons. Marty developed, implemented and coached various programs in his fencing career including: Gig Harbor Sport Fencing, Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma, The City of Enumclaw Parks and Recreation, Enumclaw Home School Cooperative, Tacoma School of the Arts (TSOTA) and the West Chester University Fencing Club in Pennsylvania. Marty has intercollegiate, local, divisional, regional and national competitive experience: USFA National Championships, Foil and Epee - national points ranking; had a B rating in Epee and a C rating in Foil. He has fenced in North American Cup circuit events and the following USFA Divisions: Western Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Philadelphia. Marty was a 3 year NCAA fencer at California State University, Sacramento where he first started to fence in 1976. Marty has had articles published on fencing and edited the chapter on fencing for the book Playgrounds to the Pros: An Illustrated History of Sports in Tacoma-Pierce County by Caroline Denyer Gallacci, Marc Blau and Doug McArthur.

Former Coaches

Bruce Burch, (Club Maestro). A retired Air Force pilot and Teacher, Bruce was a fencing instructor locally for over 30 years. Bruce, a former All-American Fencer, began in 1950 under Irving Kipnis, a student of Maestro Anthony Greco, and later became a student of Greco’s. Bruce has won 30 Gold, 15 Silver and 15 Bronze medals or trophies, including the Southwest Sectional Championships in foil and sabre. In 1956 he won the Western Intercollegiate Championships in foil and sabre, and placed 2nd in épée.He was on the All Western Collegiate Fencing Team in 1954, 1955 and 1956. In 1956, Bruce was honored with a Conference Outstanding Fencer Award. Bruce taught foil, épée, and sabre at the University of Arizona. In 2000 Bruce began a Basic Foil certification program following a curriculum developed by Maestro Anthony Greco. Maestro Burch has also trained under Ed Korfanty, Coach of the Polish National Sabre Team, Gyorgy Pillar, Hungarian Fencing Master, and Ed Richards, American Fencing Master. Bruce attended the United States Fencing Association Coaches College in épée and sabre, and was a rated referee in all weapons. He was a member of the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA), Bruce taught foil, épée, and sabre.

Arturo Iglesias (Coach) Arturo was a former International 'A' Epeeist from Venezuela. Arturo taught epee.

Aaron Page (Coach, Armorer, Assistant Moniteur). Aaron began fencing in 1993 and was involved in the development of the fencing clubs at Tacoma Community College and later at Central Washington University. He was the Inland Empire Division Champion in Foil in 1997. He has competed in foil fencing in North American Cup events as well as Summer Nationals. He was a volunteer coach in the foil classes. He also served on the Club Board of Directors and was the Club Armorer.

George Peebles,(Coach and Assistant Moniteur). George was a three weapon fencer and had earned his certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as an Assistant Moniteur. George assisted in the Youth Program and taught Beginning Foil.

Tom Priester, Phd (Assistant Coach, Assistant Moniteur). Thomas has been fencing with Metro Tacoma Club since 1999 and is a three weapon fencer. He fenced in college and spent many years fencing in the Capital Division in Maryland. Tom earned his Greco Certification for Basic Foil from Bruce Burch. Thomas Priester has earned certification from the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) as an Assistant Moniteur in Foil.

Sierra Roth, (Instructor's Assistant and Assistant Moniteur). Sierra was an assistant with the Youth Program. She earned her certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as an Assistant Moniteur. She had an E rating in foil. Fencing was one of three sports in which she competed, the others were Soccer and Volleyball.

Lauren Roux (Coach and Assistant Moniteur). Lauren served as Secretary to the Board of Directors, was the Communication Director for MTFC and assisted in coaching duties. Lauren had earned certification from the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) as an Assistant Moniteur in Foil. Assistant Webmaster.

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 joined the varsity fencing team at Vassar College in 2018. Her coach is Kwangsuk Chung.

Dylan Waits,JD (Coach and Prevot in Foil). Dylan began fencing as a high school freshman in 1988 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, moving on to The Hague, Netherlands and training at Club Des Villiers until joining the fencing team at Brigham Young University in 1992. He was team captain, and taught beginning fencing through the Physical Education program. Fencing was cut from the university athletic roster in 1996, so he founded a campus club, continuing to teach. Relocating to Salt Lake, he taught youth fencing at the Salt Lake Fencing Club, eventually returning to coach at BYU for the campus club. Dylan returned to coaching after relocating to Western Washington. Dylan has earned certification from the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) as a Prevot in Foil in 2011.

Derek White, (Coach and Assistant Moniteur). Derek was a high school fencer, and earned certification from the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) as an Assistant Moniteur in Foil. Derek was a three weapon fencer and was planning to attend the University of Oregon.

Chris Winslow,(Coach and Assistant Moniteur). Chris began fencing at Eastern Washington University (EWU) where he minored in early childhood education. He facilitated the growth of the EWU Fencing Club with upgrades to electric fencing and a stronger emphasis on competition through his coaching. Chris joined MTFC and assisted in coaching the beginning and intermediate classes as well as the Youth program, combining his passions of teaching children, fun, fitness, and fencing. He was a three weapon competitive fencer with ratings of C in foil, D in epee, and E in sabre. Chris had earned his certificate from the US Fencing Coaches Association as an Assistant Moniteur.