Our Coaches

Head Coach, Lead Epee Coach, Michael Botenhagen
Prevot D'Escrime Epee, Moniteur D'Armes

Michael Botenhagen, has fenced for more than 30 years and worked over 10 years as a fencing coach. He was a National point holder in Div.1 Epee and has 3 silver medals from The Pacific Coast Championships, in the Pacific Coast Section, 1997, 1999 and 2001. He also has a silver medal from The California State Games, finishing 1 touch behind Olympian Soren Thompson. YAY! Mike finished 8th at the 2002 Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was a Epee World Cup participant in 2002.

Michael has over 30 years of competitive fencing experience and is a Professional member of the USFA (United States Fencing Association) He is also a certified Moniteur D’ Armes and Prevot D` Escrime in Epee by the USFCA (United States Fencing Coaches Association). He was awarded the classification of Level II Instructor in The German Epee System at Halberstadt Fencing Studio, San Francisco, CA in 1992. He is also a Level II Epee Instructor, from the USFA National Coaching Development Program, Coaches College, Colorado Springs, CO, awarded in 1999.

Michael’s students have gone on to fence for Stanford University Varsity fencing team, University of Pennsylvania Varsity fencing team, and University of California, Berkeley. Michael is CA State, and USA Nationally Live Scan certified.

Student’s recent achievements:

  • 2nd Place, ROC of the Rockies, Div2 Men’s Epee, 04/27/2018
  • 5th Place, ROC of the Rockies, Div2 Men’s Epee, 04/27/2018
  • 5th Place, SpringFest RJCC, U16 Men’s Epee, 04/14/2018
  • 1st Place, Silicon Valley RYC, Y14 Men’s Epee, 03/30/2018
  • 3rd Place, WinterFest Div1A ROC, Div1A Senior Women’s Epee, 01/20/2018
  • 3rd Place, Fencing Center RYC, Region 4, Y12 Women’s Epee, 12/01/2017
  • 3rd Place, FallFest ROC, Div2 Men’s Epee, 08/19/2017
  • 1st Place, The Silicon Valley RYC, Region 4, Y14 Men’s Epee, 03/31/2017
  • 2nd Place, SpringFest RJCC, U20 Men’s Epee, 05/01/2016
  • 1st Place, SpringFest RJCC, U17 Men’s Epee, 04/30/2016
  • 3rd Place, SpringFest RJCC, U17 Men’s Epee, 04/30/2016
  • 3rd Place, TFC/Coastside RYC, Y14 Women’s Epee, April 2016
  • 1st Place TFC FallFest Div2 & Vet ROC, Vet Combined Epee, Nov 2015
  • 3rd Place TFC FallFest Div2 & Vet ROC, Div2 Women’s Epee, Nov 2015
  • 3rd Place TFC FallFest Div2 & Vet ROC, Div2 Men’s Epee, Nov 2015
  • 6th Place, Men’s Epee, Div II, USA National Championships 2015
  • 3rd Place, Men’s Epee, Vet 70, Vet World Championships, Oct 24th, 2014, Debrecen, Hungary
  • 1st Place, Men’s Epee, Vet 70, USA National Championships, June 2014
  • 1st Place, Men’s Epee, Vet. 70, North American Cup, Dec. 2013
  • 5th Place, Men’s Epee, Div. III North American Cup, March 2013
  • 7th Place, Women’s Epee, Div. II North American Cup, Dec. 2012
  • 2nd Place, Men’s Epee, Vet. 60, USA National Championships 2012
  • 1st Place, Y12 Men’s Epee, Royal Arts Super Youth (SYC) March 2012
  • 3rd Place, Y14 Men’s Epee, Royal Arts Super Youth (SYC) March 2012
  • 3rd Place, Women’s Epee Y14, North American Cup 2011
  • 1st Place, Women’s Epee, Div. III, USA National Championships 2011
  • 1st Place, Men’s Epee, Div. III North American Cup “D” 2011
  • 2nd Place, Men’s Epee, Junior Pacific Coast Championships 2010
  • 2nd Place, Men’s Epee, Div. II North American Cup “E” 2009
  • 5th Place, Men’s Epee, Div. III North American Cup “E” 2009
  • 5th Place, Men’s Epee, Div. II U.S. National Championships 2008
  • 3rd Place, Men’s Epee, Div. II North American Cup “E” 2008
  • 1st Place, Men’s Epee, Div. III North American Cup “E” 2008
  • 2nd Place, Men’s Epee, Veteran’s USA National Championships 2006
  • 3rd Place, Men’s Epee, Veteran’s USA National Championships 2005

Lead Saber Coach, Stuart Marshall,
Maitre D' Sabre

Notable Fencing successes

  • Regional Sabre Champion for North West England for 10 years.
  • 4 Time British Champion
  • 2010 Commonwealth Gold Medallist for England in Melbourne
  • Former Great Britain Cadet, Junior and Senior team member at major international competitions including European and World Championships at Cadet, Junior and senior levels.

 

My experience of competing in European and World fencing and having trained and competed with the best fencers in the world has given me the knowledge and the drive to give inspiration and confidence to those that I coach, therefore giving the fencer better performance outcomes.

As a coach, I have had great success in developing people from regional fencers to international athletes.

  • Stuart has qualified 15 fencers for the Cadet/Junior World and European Championships between 2010-2020.
  • Stuart’s fencers have won 54 British and English national Podium finishes between 2010-2020
  • Stuart Fencers have won 24 international podium finishes between 2015-2020.

 

Coaches I have had experience working with as a coach and Pupil,

  • Laszlo Jacob(Hungarian Master)
  • Peter Frolich(Hungarian Master)
  • James Williams(the British one)(3 times Olympian)
  • David Sach(ex-performance director of USFA)
  • Jim Philbin(Olympian)
  • Ian Williams(Olympian and ex-National coach)
  • Laszlo Szepesi

 

Through all of these highly experienced coaches I have gained a wide range of knowledge and expertise to develop fencers to a high level and to give world class competition lessons and structured sessions.

Fencing Education

  • Level 5 BFA Sabre
  • Level 1 BFA Epee
  • Level 2 BFA Foil
  • International Master of Sabre Diploma acquired from Hungary FIE Diploma

Student's Results:

Previous and current Coaching successes

  • Coach of a top 5 female Cadet British Team member 2010/11
  • Coach of British Cadet number 1 female sabre fencer 2011/12 who Attended Cadet European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Junior Squad Members 2011/12
  • Coach of British number 2 Junior female sabre fencer 2012/13 and attended Junior European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Junior male and female Squad Members 2012/13
  • Coach of British fencing Cadet and Junior male squad members 2013/14
  • Coach of British number 2 Junior female sabre fencer 2013/14 and attended Junior European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Junior male and female Squad Members 2013/13
  • Coach of British fencing Cadet male and female squad members 2014/15
  • Coach of British fencing Cadet male and female squad members 2015/16
  • Coach of British Cadet number 1 male sabre fencer 2015/16 who Attended Cadet European and World Championships
  • Coach of British fencing Junior male and female squad members 2015/16
  • Coach of British fencing Cadet male and female squad members 2016/17
  • Coach of British Cadet number 1 female and 1 male sabre fencer 2016/17 who attended Cadet European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Junior number 3 male sabre fencer 2016/17 who Attended Junior European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Cadet number 1 female sabre fencer 2017/18 who Attended Cadet European and World Championships
  • Coach of British Cadet top 5 male sabre fencer 2017/18
  • Coach of British Junior number 1 male sabre fencer 2017/18 who Attended Junior European and World Championships
  • Coach of veteran fencers that attend multiple Veterans European, World and commonwealth Championships
  • I am Currently Head Sabre coach for the Great Britain Cadet/Junior sabre team.
  • Coach of Senior female and male British Squad members 2014 – Present
  • Coach of multiple age group British Champions from U10 up to U23 from 2010-Present
  • Coach of multiple age group English Champions U11/U13/u15 From 2011 – Present
  • 2018 Coach of 2 time Cadet mens sabre Gold medallist and 2 time Female Gold Medallist. Cadet Commonwealth Championships.
  • Coach of 2 time Junior Commonwealth Gold Medallist.

Assistant Saber Coach, Heath B Winer
Prevot D' Saber, Moniteur D’Armes

Heath found fencing while attending community college in Overland Park, Kansas. He quickly realized that since this sport was the perfect marriage of strategy, tactics and physical ability.  In 1999, Heath won Gold at the Kansas Division Senior Men’s Saber Summer Nationals Qualifiers as well as several medals in local tournament.

Since 2011, he has been teaching students the art of swordplay. In October 2015, Heath started TFC’s third Competitive Training Program in Saber.

In January 2017, one of TFC’s Saberists earned his E2017.

February 2017, Heath took Four Saberists to the Junior Olympics National Championships.  This was the first time in 20-25 years TFC was represented in Saber.

Heath is a Moniteur d’Armes (Saber, Epee and Foil), a Professional Member of the United States Fencing Association, a Member of the United States Fencing Coaches Association and is both FBI and California DOJ Livescan certified.

Foil Coach, Connie Yu,
Moniteur D’Escrime Fleuret & Epee

A founding member of The Fencing Center’s first board of directors, Connie Yu, selected as the USFA Western Region Developmental coach of the year in 2000, has over 16 years of competitive fencing experience and is a certified Moniteur D’Escrime in foil and epee by the USFCA (United States Fencing Coaches Association). In 2010 Connie was awarded The USFCA Award of Merit for contributions to the promotion and teaching the art of fencing.

Connie, mother of Jennifer (1990 National Foil Champion & World Championship team member), Jessica (Oscar Winner and Multiple World Championship team member) and Marty (Multiple World Championship team member) brings a long history of excellence to youth, junior, and adult development at TFC including several finalists at Junior Olympics and national circuit events. Connie has organized, managed, and coached annual Junior fencing camps since 1988. Since 2001 Connie has organized and coached TFC’s ‘Camp Winabout’ for youth and juniors and was the teacher of Youth Fencing classes at the Palo Alto J.C.C. 1986-2007. Additionally, 2 of her students were among the top 10 youth fencers being considered for the 1998 Moscow Youth World Championship team.

Connie is CA State, and USA Nationally Live Scan certified.

Some of Yu's coaching highlights

  • Charlie Kanavel, won both the Foil and Epee championships at the 1998 Jr. PCC’s.
  • Raelyn Jacobson and Peter Erickson were among the top ten youth fencers considered for the 1998 U.S. Team to the Moscow Youth World Championships.
  • Raelyn Jacobson and Joanne Sickler were on TFC’s gold medal Women’s Jr. Epee team at 1998 Summer Nationals. The team also won 2nd place in the senior team Women’s Epee.
  • Matt Burriesci, 3rd Place Men’s Foil, Div. II, Summer Nationals, 2001,
    Guy Thompson, 3rd place, Men’s Foil Div. III, Summer Nationals, 2004.
  • Dan Tucker Jr., first place, JCC Springfest Jr. Foil Challenge, 2005
    Kersten Schnurle, Jr. PCC’s Women’s Epee, finalist, 2007
    Jason Chang, 3rd Place, Cadet Men’s Foil, Jr. Olympics, 2010.

Connie has always encouraged her students to aim high, and consider the outstanding colleges with varsity fencing programs. Among the student-athletes Connie has coached and mentored are:

  • Lynda Tang, received early acceptance to M.I.T., Nov. 2012
  • Jason Chang, Varsity Men’s Foil, University of Pennsylvania, class of 15
  • Lawrence Wang, Haverford College, 14
  • Kersten Schnurle, Varsity Women’s Epee, Stanford University, 11
  • Dan Tucker, Jr. Varsity Foil Team Captain, Stanford University 09
  • Rebecca Illowsky, Varsity Women’s Sabre, Stanford, 08
  • Jimmy Fruchterman, Varsity Foil, Brandeis University, 08
  • Matt Burriesci, Varsity Men’s Sabre, Stanford 07
  • Greg Donaker, Varsity Foil, Stanford 05
  • Harrison Osaki, Stanford 05
  • Raelyn Jacobson, Varsity Sabre, UCSD 05
  • Nathan Elchert, Varsity Foil, Yale 05

Foil Coach, Brian Bacher
Provost at Arms

Brian Bacher

Level 2 equivalent coach – Accademia Nazionale di Scherma, Italy
    Provost at Arms under Maestro Gaugler in 1996.
Brian is a Foil fencing coach for the The Fencing center (www.fencing.com) both as a Level 1 and Level 2 coach. His classes are popular, interesting, and very educational.
Currently a Masters Candidate in all three weapons (foil, sabre and epee) through the Accademia Nazionale di Scherma, organized by AIMS (Associazione Italia Maestre di Scherma) and FIS (Federazione Italia di Scherma) in Italy.
Coached at:
Military Masters Program, (SJSU)
Santa Clara Adult Ed
West Valley College as an assistant to June Ambrose
College of San Mateo with Maestro Paul Scherman