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Our Coaches

In Pursuit of Great Fencing

The heart and soul of Bay Area Fencing Club resides in our team of passionate, devoted, skilled,  enthusiastic, and passionate coaches. We take immense pride in introducing you to a few of their remarkable stories. Should you have any inquiries or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out to us; we're here for you.

Coach Sergei Tikhonov


Coach Sergei Tikhonov stands as a pillar of excellence in the world of fencing, bearing the title of a World Champion and now masterfully guiding Bay Area Fencing Club's young team to unparalleled success. Born into a fencing family in Russia, Coach Sergei's destiny was seemingly predetermined. He began his fencing journey at a tender age and swiftly rose through the ranks, showcasing his exceptional talent in Russia and on the world stage. His crowning achievement came when he clinched the coveted World Cup Champion title, cementing his status as one of the sport's elite. 

Transitioning from a champion athlete to an esteemed coach, Coach Sergei brought his wealth of experience and deep understanding of fencing tactics to bear on Russia's national fencing team. His meticulous attention to detail, coupled with a keen eye for talent, has been instrumental in nurturing a new generation of world-class fencers.

Under Coach Sergei's mentorship, the Russian fencing team has achieved remarkable feats, securing numerous medals at international competitions, including the Olympics and World Championships. His coaching philosophy revolves around a blend of technical precision, strategic brilliance, and unwavering dedication, instilling in his athletes the values of discipline and sportsmanship.

Beyond the training salle, Coach Sergei Tikhonov remains a revered figure in the global fencing community. His leadership and expertise have not only helped Russia's prominence in fencing but have also set a benchmark for excellence that inspires athletes worldwide. Coach Sergei also served as the head coach in serveral Middle Eastern Countries' National teams, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, where he propreled those countries fencing teams to top regional and international levels. 

Coach Sergei 's legacy as a coach and former World Champion continues to shine brightly in the United States at Bay Area Fencing Club, serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of fencing. His dedication to his craft and the athletes he mentors is a beacon of inspiration for both current and future generations, ensuring that Bay Area Fencing Club remains a force to be reckoned with in the world of youth competitive fencing.

Vakhob Murdasov

Coach Vakohb Murdasov

Coach Vakhob is a distinguished fencing coach hailing from the picturesque country of Uzbekistan. Born with an innate passion for the sport, he has dedicated his life to honing the skills of young fencers and shaping them into champions.

Coach Vakhob's journey in the world of fencing began at a young age when he first picked up a foil. His natural talent and unwavering determination quickly propelled him to national recognition as a competitive fencer. With years of rigorous training and participation in international competitions, he earned numberous championship titles domesticlly and internationally as well as a reputation as one of Uzbekistan's top fencers.

However, it was in his transition from athlete to coach that Murdasov truly found his calling. Drawing upon his own experiences, he has become a mentor and guide to aspiring fencers, nurturing their talents and instilling in them the values of discipline, sportsmanship, and perseverance. His motherland reconigezed his talent and entrusted him with the country's top young talents at the Youth National Team to bring home honors from Asian Games and other international competitions. Under Murdasov's expert guidance, Uzbekistan's fencing team has achieved remarkable success on the international stage, consistently securing medals and accolades. His coaching philosophy revolves around a meticulous focus on technique, strategy, and mental fortitude, ensuring that his athletes are well-prepared for the challenges of elite competition.

Beyond the training hall, Vakhob Murdasov remains an ambassador for the sport of fencing in Uzbekistan. His passion and dedication have inspired countless young athletes to take up the sport, and his leadership has elevated Uzbekistan's standing in the global fencing community. He has also earned the presitigious FIE referee credentials. 

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the world of fencing, Vakhob Murdasov continues to be a revered figure not only in Uzbekistan but also on the international stage. His legacy as a fencing coach and mentor is one that inspires both current and future generations of athletes to reach for the highest levels of excellence in this elegant and precise sport.

Since moving to the United States, Coach Vakhob continues to produce numerous medalists at various regional, NACs,  Summer National, as well as international competitions. 


Coach Sandro Berto

Maestro di Scherma

Sandro Berto is a distinguished figure in the world of Italian fencing, renowned for his exceptional coaching skills and unwavering dedication to nurturing the talents of young elite fencers. With a profound passion for the sport and an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Maestro Sandro Berto has left an indelible mark on the world of fencing.

Born and raised in the heart of Italy, Sandro Berto's journey into the realm of fencing began at a tender age. His natural aptitude for the sport quickly became evident, and he rapidly ascended the ranks to become a formidable fencer in his own right. Yet, it was his insatiable hunger to share his knowledge and cultivate the next generation of fencing champions that truly set him apart.

Armed with an extensive understanding of the sport's nuances, he made it his mission to mold young athletes into world-class fencers. His exceptional coaching prowess, coupled with an innate ability to inspire and mentor, soon garnered him a reputation as a preeminent fencing coach in Italy.

For years, Maestro Berto has been a fixture in Italy's fencing community, known for his unwavering commitment to instilling discipline, technique, and strategy in his students. His coaching philosophy emphasizes not only the physical aspects of the sport but also the development of character, sportsmanship, and mental resilience. He firmly believes that the qualities honed in the fencing salle translate to success in life beyond the piste.

Sandro Berto has been instrumental in grooming numerous young fencers who have gone on to represent Italy on the international stage with distinction. His extensive experience has enabled him to tailor his coaching to each individual's strengths and weaknesses, guiding them to their fullest potential. Under his tutelage, his students have earned countless national and international titles, proving the effectiveness of his coaching methods.

Beyond the confines of the fencing salle, Maestro Berto is a respected mentor, imparting valuable life lessons and values to his pupils. He instills in them the importance of respect, perseverance, and a never-give-up attitude, attributes that extend far beyond the confines of the fencing strip.

Sandro Berto's enduring commitment to the sport of fencing and the youth he guides has made him an iconic figure in Italian fencing. His legacy is not just in the medals his students have won, but in the impact he's had on their lives. He remains a beacon of inspiration and a symbol of excellence in the Italian fencing community, continuing to shape the future of the sport, one student at a time.

Coach Daniel Milgram


Coach Dan embarked on his fencing journey during his high school freshman year, and his passion has been unwavering since. Notably, he achieved the honor of representing the USA as a member of the Junior World Team and clinched a gold medal at the prestigious fifteenth Maccabiah Games in Israel.

For the past three and a half decades, Coach Dan has been an integral part of the California fencing community. His commitment extends beyond personal achievement, as he has pioneered fencing programs in local grade and middle schools. He has also shared his expertise as an assistant coach at UCSD and currently serves as a dedicated volunteer assistant coach at Stanford University.

In his capacity as the President of the Western Fencing Coalition, Coach Dan is dedicated to a noble cause. He tirelessly works towards the establishment and funding of new collegiate fencing programs in the NCAA Western Region, fostering the growth of the sport he loves.

NATHAN MILGRAM - Youth Director

Coach Nathan Milgram

Nathan Milgram, hailing from the Bay Area, embraced the world of competitive fencing from the tender age of ten. His initial training took place at The Cardinal Fencing Club, where he had the privilege of learning from renowned mentors such as Olympic Coach George Pogosov, Sasha Lepeshinski, and Grigory Kirienko. Milgram's dedication and talent shone through as he secured both gold and silver medals while competing in the European Maccabiah Games in Berlin and the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel.

During his four-year tenure at Drew University, he not only excelled academically but also distinguished himself as an athlete by earning four varsity letters. Remarkably, he served as the captain of the team for three of those years, showcasing his leadership and commitment.

The beginning of his coaching journey saw him at Stanford's prestigious international training camp, where he honed the skills of athletes from the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, he has dedicated the past seven years to coaching novice fencers, imparting his expertise and passion to budding talents.


Adding a unique layer to his fencing story, Nathan Milgram proudly carries on the legacy of his legendary grandmother, American fencer Sherry Posthumus. In doing so, he takes immense pride in introducing the art of fencing to a new generation of American athletes, ensuring that the tradition lives on.


Coach Matthew Harris

Matt started fencing at age 11 after seeing a demonstration in his fifth-grade class. He credits fencing and the wonderful people he met while training and competing for paving his way to success in life and is proud to pass that success on to the newest generation of fencers.

Matt won the 1989 U. S. National Championship in Team Men’s Epee. That year he was nationally ranked 10th in epee. He also won a silver medal at the Olympic Sports Festival in Team Men’s Epee.
Matt’s coaching experience includes 3 years at the University of Notre Dame. While there, he coached the Irish to two NCAA national championship titles as well as the Great Lakes Fencing Championships.
Prior to Notre Dame, Matt spent four years as a varsity letterman for Penn State University, where he trained under Hall of Fame Coach Maxwell Garret. At Penn State, Matt was made captain of the fencing team. He took consecutive gold medals at the North Atlantic Fencing Championships in both foil and epee, each time qualifying for the NCAA championship tournament.  He became an NCAA finalist and an All-American. Matt was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and named Penn State’s most valuable fencer.

Matt has fenced epee and foil simultaneously. For example, in 1974, he competed in the U.S. Junior Olympics and is the only competitor to reach the finals of his events in both foil and epee. Rather than choosing to withdraw from one of the events, he chose to fence in both finals simultaneously, and, wearing both foil and epee body cords, went from foil bout to epee bout till the finals were over.  Matt placed 4th in foil and 8th in epee.

Matt moved to Europe to compete internationally in foil, training at the world famous Fecht-Club Tauberbischofsheim, and the Olympischer Fechtclub in Bonn, Germany. Matt traveled with the Bonn foil team and competed in World Cups and regional tournaments around the world.

Matt graduated from Notre Dame Law School and has been engaged in law and the legal system for 35 years, many of them as a trial lawyer. Matt says that being a trial lawyer is a lot like fencing, but it moves slower and not as tiring.

Coach Lisa Posthumus


Coach Lisa, the Club Manager, boasts an impressive legacy in the fencing world. With 25 seasons at the helm of the Stanford Varsity men's and women's fencing teams, her accolades speak volumes. Under her guidance, Stanford has clinched 21 Western Conference titles, 3 MPSF Championships, secured 17 top-10 NCAA finishes, and celebrated seven NCAA individual championships.

Among Coach Lisa's prodigies, Vivian Kong stands out. As the 2014 NCAA champion in women's epee, Kong soared to the world No. 1 ranking in her weapon in 2019 & 2024. She seized victory in two World Cup events and amassed an impressive total of seven medals during the season, cementing her status as a 2016, 2020, and 2024 Olympian representing Hong Kong.

Another jewel in Coach Lisa's crown is Felicia Zimmermann, an NCAA champion whose prowess earned her a well-deserved place in the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. Both Felicia and her sister Iris had the honor of representing the USA in women's foil at the 1996 Olympics.

In the realm of men's foil, Coach Lisa mentored Felix Reichling to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1999 and 2000. Her 1999 team, featuring NCAA champions Monique DeBruin (women's foil) and Felicia Zimmermann (women's epee), clinched an impressive third-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Academic excellence is a hallmark of Coach Lisa's coaching philosophy. With a remarkable 100% graduation rate overall, her dedication to nurturing well-rounded athletes shines through.

Coach Lisa's coaching journey began as a Stanford assistant coach from 1996 to 1998, during which Stanford consistently ranked among the top seven at the NCAA Championships, achieving third-place finishes in 1997 and 1998.  She became Head coach in 1999 to present.  Prior to joining the Cardinal coaching staff, Lisa served as the head coach at UC San Diego for three seasons.


Coach Lisa's passion for fencing, combined with her dedication to academic excellence, has left an indelible mark on the sport and the athletes she's coached. 

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