We aim to provide the finest instruction possible, based on the idea that a solid foundation in technique + safe practices = the basis for fun and winning fencing.

Rick Orli Managing Director & Coach, Middle School Coach

Coach Orli started teaching fencing while at the University of South Carolina in the late 70s.   He has since served as instructor  for numerous fencing programs, and some of his many students have progressed to the finals of the Junior Olympics and earned varsity college scholarships.  Rick also studied Stage Combat, and has authored articles about and taught numerous classes in Rapier & Dagger fencing.  He also studied and taught Kendo (Japanese bamboo-sword fencing) .

Becca Ward – Saber Program Director, Coach and Saber Goddess

Coach Ward is one of the Olympic immortals and she descends to our club to reveal the mysteries of the Saber.  Besides two medals from Beijing 2008, she won multiple World Champion titles and multiple NCAA championships. She holds the distinction of being the first American senior fencing World Champion in the modern era, a title she earned at age 16.

Zach Porcu – Foil and Saber Coach

Coach Zach studied fencing in California and ran a small club there.  He is now a PhD student in the DC area.

Kaja Klodawska – Saber Coach, (limited engagement with us this Summer so please take advantage of her excellent coaching.)

Jim McGillvray– Saber Coach

Timothy Liu – Assistant Saber Coach

Coach Tim has fenced saber for over 7 years and has coached at AFC since 2015. He is a certified saber referee.

Tim Hoffman Saber Coach, Middle and High School Coach

Coach at George Mason University, Coach Tim teaches for our middle school programs, and specializes in Saber.

Jim Clancy Assistant Historical Fencing Coach

Coach Clancy has fenced for over eight years and has helped teach numerous fencing classes.  He participated in the Stage Combat training program at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, and enjoys developing fight choreography for local stage productions. Coach Clancy especially enjoys Rapier & Dagger, as well as saber fencing.


Joe Rutkowski –  Assistant Coach – Saber

Joe has been teaching for us since he was a high school student.  He is now a college student and still teaching.

Fiona Flathery– Jr. Assistant Coach

Coach Fiona has been fencing with our club since it started, and has coached at AFC since 2016