MEET OUR COACHES

*All BBFC coaches are officially sanctioned by the USA Fencing Association*

Coach SANG YUP LEE

A three-time South Korea Olympian (1992- 2004), World Cup champion, and medalist at numerous Pan-Asian Games, Coach Lee inspires all with his dedication to the sport and his students. As the former Head coach at the Busan (S. Korea) fencing academy, Coach Lee personally trained 3 Olympians and served as the national coach at the World Championships.

In 2013, Coach Lee joined the coaching staff at the Fencing Academy of Nevada (FAN), and in 2019, became owner of BBFC. He earned his first USA Gold medal at the 2018 Veteran Team Championships, as a member of the BBFC team.

Personal fencing motto/philosophy
-I always try my best for the students
-Fun Fact: though right-handed, Coach Lee can fence equally well with his left!

Coach WALTER DRAGONETTI

Ranked the #1 fencer in his age category for most of the last decade, Coach Walter leads and inspires by example. Trained by world-renowned Maestro Lajos Csiszar, accolades achieved in his 45+ years of fencing are astounding. To date, he is a 10-time Veteran National Champion, 2-time Veteran World Champion, Division 1 Men’s Epee Bronze medalist (North American Cup 2007), Veteran World Team member since 2006 (Gold in 2018), member of the 5-time Fencing Academy of Nevada/BBFC Veteran North American Cup and National Champion teams, and he was named the 2017 Veteran Fencer of the Year.

Coach Walter brings to BBFC the mindset of a champion, the business acumen of a former fencing club owner (Hooked on Fencing and BBFC), along with the mental steeliness & common sense approach of a retired air traffic controller. Under his guidance at HOF, FAN, and BBFC, students have earned over 125 national medals!!!

Personal fencing motto/philosophy:
-We fence for the love of the game.
-It’s not how much you win, it’s about how much you lose and keep coming back.

Coach YVES AURIOL

Highly regarded as one of the world’s top fencing instructors, Coach Yves earned his Maitre d’Armes (Fencing Master) degree from the French Institute National du Sport. He came to the U.S. in 1972, and co-founded the Salle Auriol Fencing Club in Oregon. He served as head coach for the Portland State Women’s fencing team (1975-1985) and was the designated coach at the Junior World’s Championships from 1976 – 79. During his tenure as head coach at the University of Notre Dame (1985-2002), Notre Dame fencers garnered 59 All-American Honors (with 6 NCAA champions) and he was recognized as the NCAA Coach of the Year.

Having served 4 times as the U.S. Olympic Team coach (1980-1992), Coach Yves was bestowed the prestigious “National Coach of the Year” award in 2002 and was inducted into the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame in 2007. A valuable part of BBFC, Coach Yves continues to instill his winning knowledge into young fencers through private lessons.

Personal fencing motto/philosophy:

-The answer is on the strip
-As a coach, I feel that you have to establish good communication. You teach on and off the strip. You have to connect with the students to obtain the best results.

Coach MARIAN TONCHEV

A 4-time Bulgarian National Champion, highly decorated member of the Bulgarian Junior National team (winner of 7 Golds, 12 Silvers, and 8 Bronze medals), and the #1 ranked Junior fencer in Bulgaria for 4 years, Coach Marian has been training fencers of all age groups at FAN and BBFC for the past two decades. A USA Fencing Association certified Prevost d’Armes, Coach Marian’s disciplined teaching style translates into precision of form and technique.

Personal fencing motto/philosophy:

-If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
-If you are not willing to learn, no one can teach you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.

Coach AMY MONTOYA

Coach Amy is an active competitor in the Veteran Women’s Epee tournament circuit.  With a National Championships Top 8 medal, numerous North American Cup medals under her belt, and as a mom of a now-grown fencer, Coach Amy understands what it takes to keep the attention of our young fencers (Musketeers/Cavaliers) and how best to focus their energy.

Armorer: BENNY MONTOYA

Not only does our armorer, “Mr. Benny” as he is affectionately called, keep the club’s weapons and scoring equipment in top condition, he also helps to maintain our overall facility. Always ready to help, Benny has been with FAN/BBFC for over a decade, not only as an armorer, but as husband of our Coach Amy and dad to a nationally ranked fencer.