OUR COACHING STAFF
Where the Passion Begins
Coach Brenden has been teaching fencing in Orange County since 1994 and is committed to the development of fencers of all ages in a focused and positive learning environment. He is certified as a Prevot by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA), of which he is a lifetime member. He began as the head of the fencing program for the University of California at Irvine in the 1990’s and left to create the South Coast Fencing Center, a non-profit center focused on developing fencers of all ages and levels in the greater Orange County area.
In the early 2000’s he traveled extensively to Europe, training in England, Spain, Italy and Holland. He was invited to train with the Spanish Olympic team under the guidance of their National Coach and Olympian, Jesus Esperanza, and Brenden relocated to Madrid to focus on that training. He has since continued his development overseas as well as domestically. He has taught at the U.S. Coaches College at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and is a certified coach through that program. In 2009, Brenden was asked to represent the U.S. at the Pan-American High Level Fencing Course (also at the Olympic Training Center). Together with U.S. National Coach Buckie Leach, Brenden taught the foil portion of the course to over 80 national coaches from across the western hemisphere.
In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Brenden is a Regional Youth Coordinator for the United States Fencing Association (USFA), overseeing youth fencing development across southern California, Hawaii and Nevada. He was a former member of the United States Fencing Officials and was an active referee at the national level for many years before leaving to focus on the fencing center. He is also Chair for the Orange Coast Division of the USFA, which oversees fencing in the greater Orange County area.
Brenden’s students have been finalists at numerous North America Cups (NACs) and National Championships. His alumni have gone on to fence at the international level, including the Junior World Championships.
Coach Clinton brings an amazing energy to our program and a very strong background in both domestic and international fencing.
Clinton Kershaw has been involved with the sport of fencing for twenty two years. He has served on the U.S. Senior National Team, three U.S. World Teams and was a three-time U.S National Champion at the Cadet and Junior levels. Coach Clinton has competed at numerous World Cups (internationally) and North America Cups (domestically) over his fencing career. In the 2000’s, he relocated to Italy to train with high level fencers from their national team, including Olympian Andrea Casara. Having started at the age of just five years old, he has a tremendous amount of experience to share with our students.
“As a sport, fencing has brought so much to my life. My goal is to assist our fencers in achieving their ambitions, both on and off the strip.”- Coach Clinton"
He began coaching nine years ago at the age of eighteen and, after retiring from his competitive career in 2010, dedicated his fencing endeavors solely to teaching the sport of foil fencing. After coaching in New York City for three years at the Empire United Fencing (EUF) club, Clinton returned to California to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy and to continue producing high level foil fencers of all ages.
Coach Sarkis, an Olympian and member of the FIE SEMI committee, is extremely active in fencing and available to train students of all ages and levels.
Sarkis Assadourian is available for epee lessons at the center, teaching both group and private instruction. He is available on Mondays and Thursdays. Coach Sarkis, a 1976 Olympian and gold medalist at the 1974 Asian Games and numerous other international competitions, is very active in the fencing world. He is a professional coach and has passed many Epee and Foil coaching courses in different countries as well as high level courses in Russia and Olympic Solidarity. He has more than 40 years of coaching experience and was the Head Coach for the Iranian Junior and Senior fencing national teams for more than 15 years.
“Dilligence in a students’ training is the key to success.”- Coach Sarkis
Coach Sarkis has created a number of successful fencers that have achieved many medals from the Asian Games and Asian Championships as well as having been very successful in Junior and Senior World Championships. From 2004-2012 he was a member of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) Rules Commission and since 2012 is currently a member of the FIE SEMI Commission (which governs the material components of our sport). Coach Sarkis is also a member of the US Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA).
Coach Matteo, in his career as a sabre fencer representing Italy, his home country, was a junior national team member, multiple time finalist in Junior World Cup and in European U23 ciruits. Throughout his competitive career he fenced for Gemina Scherma Fencing Club, one of the best sabre club in Italy, winning several medals at the Italian national championships, both in Junior and U23, and leading his team to the national A2 title in 2010.
After his retirement in 2014, he decided to fully dedicate himself to coaching and refereeing careers. As a referee, he is licenced domestically for all three weapons and in 2014 he was elected by the Italian Fencing Federation best referee of the season. Currently he is a licenced FIE international referee for sabre. In his professional experience, he has served as a referee in every category of Italian national championships and in several international events such as Junior World Cup, European cadet circuits, European Championships, European Cup.
In 2011 he also started his apprenticeship as fencing coach serving as Assistant Coach at Gemina Scherma Fencing Club; from 2015 he begun his training as a professional fencing coach through the Italian Fencing Federation, obtaining the title of “Istruttore Nazionale” (Prevot d’Escrime) from the National Fencing Academy in 2016, and the title of “Maestro di Scherma” in 2018. His students have been medalist in youth Italian championships, national team members and took part into European cadet competitions, junior and senior World Cup, European Championships and World Championships.
Aside his fencing activity, coach Matteo graduated magna cum laude in Political Sciences and International Relationships and he’s graduating on a Master’s degree in Law.