MEET OUR COACHES

ALL OF OUR COACHES ARE CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL COACHES WITH USA FENCING

Jim Roberts

Director - Head Foil Coach

Academy director Jim Roberts has been fencing for nearly a decade in the tristate area. He was a three-time state champion at North Haven High School before moving on to fence Division 1 at Sacred Heart University. In college he captained the men's team for three years and lead the Pioneers to back-to-back NFC Championships in 2010 and 2011. Jim Was named the head coach of the Warde and Ludlowe Fairfield combined high school fencing team in 2012. Since that time he has coached 6 individual State Champions, 24 All State Team Members, two Squad Championships, and one Team Championship. At the high school state championships this year both Men's and Women's Foil events were won by FFA students. His student's have gone past high school career to compete for numerous college teams. 

Coach Roberts, "I have done many sports, but no sport is as challenging and rewarding as fencing. Competing all my life and now watching my athletes train and compete themselves is more rewarding than even my greatest results"

Justin Dion

Asisstant Director: Epee Coach

All-American A rated fencer Justin Dion has recently returned to FFA after spending a year and a half at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Justin began fencing in 2004 at Bishop Feehan High School in Massachusetts and by 2008 he was the epee state champion. Justin went on to compete at Sacred Heart University, where he started for four years, and was named all-league in all four seasons. While at Sacred Heart, Justin placed 11th at the 2010 NCAA championship and was named All-American. In 2011 he captured fifth place in the nation in Division 1A at the national championship. In 2012 Justin led the SHU epee squad to third place in the national team championship. In 2015 Justin joined Jim as the Assistant Coach for the Warde and Ludlowe Fairfield combined high school fencing team and successfully coach one of our fencers to a second place finish in Men's Epee.

Chris Aher

Coach: Epee/Saber

Chris has been fencing for the better part of four decades and has been coaching since 1999. He originally fenced foil at the Fencers of NY but mainly fenced epee soon afterwards.  He  studied foil with Semyon Pinkasov.   He studied both epee and coaching under Ioseph Vitebsky Orest Stetsiv, and Aleks Ulanovskiy.  His students have have achieved excellent results at the local, NCAA, national and international levels, including national finalists, a national championship and  membership on the US Veterans World Championship Teams. Chris is also a qualified referee in all three weapons.

In addition to his involvement in fencing, over the last 50 years, Chris has been a professional musician, production manager of live events, piano technician, and an IT executive in the telecom industry.  Since retiring from Verizon, he currently produces specialized training videos for serious classical musicians for Mystudyscores.com  He lives with his wife Bonnie in Brookfield and is very involved with the town's Arts Commission, serving as the technical director for the annual Brookfield Film Festival.

Galya Pundyk

Coach: Sabre

Galya Pundyk is a highly decorated sabre fencer who has just moved to the United States from Ukraine.  As an Olympic Goldmedalist, she was a key member of the 2008 Ukrainian Olympic Team when they defeated China 45-44 to win the gold medal in Beijing.  In 2009 her and her teammates won World Championships. She has done countless number of world cups that makes her experience the most unique of any Sabre coach in Connecticut. Galya is friendly and excited to push her students to help them reach their full potential.