You are listening to the SabreCoachKate podcast, where I highlight the great thinkers, athletes, and coaches in the dynamic sport of Olympic fencing.
info_outline Episode 26: Nikki Franke 07/01/2019
Episode 26: Nikki Franke Nikki Franke began her illustrious fencing career her last year in high school; she enjoyed the combative mental aspect of it. Listen as Dr. Franke explains the need for more fencing exposure for inner city youth. She’ll explain how training for the Olympics back then differed from today. You’ll hear what she looks for in a recruit and her vision for a college fencing team. She’ll also give advice on how an athlete should choose which college to attend.
info_outline Episode 25: Stacey Johnson 06/21/2019
Episode 25: Stacey Johnson Stacey Johnson got involved in fencing at 13 when the Pentathletes at Fort Sam Houston asked her to keep time and score at a tournament. She was terrible at it until her coach switched her to her left hand, a move that would eventually earn her a spot on the Junior World and Olympic Teams.
info_outline Episode 24: Terrence Lasker 10/19/2018
Episode 24: Terrence Lasker Terrence loved computers and jumped at the chance to study in a state-of-the-art computer science program at a new Kansas City Magnet school. He didn’t expect to turn that passion into a love of fencing. After being wooed by the promise of international travel and thanks to their focus on Olympic sports, Terrence learned from one of the greatest Sabre coaches of all time: Vladimir Nazlymov.
info_outline Episode 23: Cody Mattern 10/04/2018
Episode 23: Cody Mattern Cody Mattern started fencing at age 15 after an argument with his brother. After 2 years he became the Junior National Epee Champion. He competed at the 2004 Olympics and then joined the US Army’s World Class Athlete Program. In 2012 he was part of the Men’s Epee Team that won the World Championships. After all these successes, Cody retired to coach full time. Tune in to hear his journey from fencing wonder to coach, USAFencing Board VP, and Vice Chair of the USOC Athletes Advisory Council.
info_outline Episode 22: Lisa Campi-Sapery 09/20/2018
Episode 22: Lisa Campi-Sapery Lisa Campi Sapery is a woman who has filled pretty much every possible role in our sport: elite college athlete, coach, international referee, referee trainer, club owner, and published author. She is known as the Fencing Referee online on YouTube, Fencing.net and Facebook. She started fencing when her sister Barb thought the guy at the recruiting table was cute...and the rest is history. Tune in today to hear more about this history, a life story you will find both inspirational and uplifting.
info_outline Episode 21: David Sach 03/22/2018
Episode 21: David Sach Today’s episode is the story of David Sach, a man who has represented fencing on two continents, and who you probably know best as the Head Assigner of Sabre at most NACs. You know: the guy with the accent at the big table in the middle of the venue. You just had no idea who he really is!
info_outline Episode 20: David Sierra 03/08/2018
Episode 20: David Sierra David Sierra began fencing at Texas A&M when he needed a PE credit. Since then, he has worked his way up the referee ranks and is now the co-owner of Cutting Edge Fencing, a Sabre-only club, near Fort Worth. He describes what the fencing world was like back when he started in the 90s and the changes he has helped bring to our sport. Note: yes, David is my husband. We decided to do this from an impersonal journalistic perspective as much as possible and not as a married couple. This is HIS story, not ours.
info_outline Episode 19: Maureen Griffin 02/22/2018
Episode 19: Maureen Griffin Maureen Griffin started foil at age 14 when she quit the swim team; her dad said she had 24 hours to find a new sport. Her fencing career had many ups and downs, from a Bronze at the PanAmerican Games, to missing the Olympics because of a visa. She is now the owner of GGFC in San Francisco and will describe how to build a positive competitive culture, as well as the difference between losing and being beaten. Tune in today to hear the career of an extraordinary woman: Maureen Griffin.
info_outline Episode 18: Damien Lehfeldt 02/08/2018
Episode 18: Damien Lehfeldt Damien Lehfeldt coaches epée at the Richmond Fencing Club. His website, TheFencingCoach.com, is one of the Top 50 Fencing Blogs of 2018. He and his writing team post articles on a variety of topics. Damien can be found on Facebook and other forums leading wide-ranging discussions about contemporary societal issues. Tune in to listen to one of the thought-leaders of our sport talk about his experiences as a competitive fencer, Olympic epée Coach, blogger, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan: Damien Lehfeldt.
info_outline Episode 17: Peet Sasaki 01/25/2018
Episode 17: Peet Sasaki If you say the name “Peet Sasaki” to fencers, they might not recognize it. If, however, you ask them who “FRED“ is, nearly every one will be able to give you an answer. The name FRED is as ubiquitous a name to a fencer as HAL is to a sci-fi fan.
info_outline Episode 16: Delia Turner 01/11/2018
Episode 16: Delia Turner Delia Turner is a vivacious, energetic woman who has accomplished much in life simply by, as she says, “showing up”. She started fencing at 40 years of age and has become one of the top Veteran Women’s Sabre fencers in the US—and in the world. She talks about her fencing career, how her role as an educator helped her fencing skills, and about the two protagonists she created for her fantasy books. She also gives advice to adult fencers and tells us why fencing Sabre is like writing with a fountain p
info_outline Episode 13: Keeth Smart 08/24/2017
Episode 13: Keeth Smart Keeth Smart is a fencer who qualified for the Olympics in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Perhaps greatest of all, in 2003, he was the first American to be named the #1 fencer internationally. He was elected to the US Fencing Hall of Fame in 2014, the same year he decided to start his own business, Physiclo. He and his team created and now produce high quality compression gear with built in resistance for a more productive workout. Check them out at www.physiclo.com, Instagram, and Facebook.
info_outline Episode 11: Michael Mergens 08/10/2017
Episode 11: Michael Mergens Michael "Mergs" Mergens, is a USFA certified Armorer, Coach and Referee with over 35 years of experience in the sport of Fencing. He regularly works as the Head Armorer and Team Armorer for USA Fencing National and International events. He owns the Armorer’s Store (http://www.thearmorersstore.com) and is the author of The Care and Feeding of all Things Fencing. Listen now to the interview I did with him at Keystone College in Pennsylvania during Coaches’ Academy.
info_outline Episode 10: Lynn Botelho 08/03/2017
Episode 10: Lynn Botelho Lynn Botelho is a multi-faceted individual. She is a professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and serves as the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies. She is also a high-level foil fencer and has earned many honors in our sport. Listen now for the interview I did with Lynn while sitting on the floor near the referee lunch room at the Salt Palace during Summer Nationals.
info_outline Episode 9: Carla-Mae Richards 07/27/2017
Episode 9: Carla-Mae Richards Carla-Mae Richards allowed me to interview her the first day of Summer Nationals this year. She has had a direct influence on many aspects of fencing, including the structure of the North American Cup, or NAC, tournament series. She was the first Executive Director of the USFA. Listen as Ms. Richards tells you many stories about her experiences helping American fencing grow on the international stage.
info_outline Episode 8: Kamali Thompson 07/20/2017
Episode 8: Kamali Thompson My guest today is Kamali Thompson. Kamali is a very dynamic and determined individual who not only trains as an elite athlete but is also in medical school. She very candidly talks about her training regimen and turning disappointment into success. A mere three weeks after learning she didn't make the Olympic team she rallied and won the Division 1 Women's Sabre championship. You'll learn about the village it takes to create an elite athlete and the journey that Kamali took--and is still taking--to reach the pinnacle of our sport. I had so much fun doing this interview. Even though it was long distance, Kamali's energy and laughter made it a joy. Tune in now for an interview full of powerful insights into the double life of Kamali Thompson.
info_outline Episode 7: Summer Nationals 07/13/2017
Episode 7: Summer Nationals This year’s Summer Nationals and July Challenge broke records for attendance, even though the qualifying paths were more challenging. Many participants and coaches commented on how much more difficult every event was than in past years, which means the overall quality of fencing in our country is increasing! Over 4200 athletes total competed in this tournament—most of whom did multiple events. Day 6 had the highest number of participants in a single day: nearly 1500! Every day, I did a series of one-minute interviews to capture the stories of the people who make up this incredible environment. You’ll hear from armourers, National Office staff, vendors, fencing parents, Olympians, coaches, fencers, and referees. Every person at the venue was vital to the success of such a huge event. You’ll also hear the energy, excitement, and NOISE the participants experienced. Tune in now to hear what the largest fencing tournament in the world sounded like!
info_outline Episode 6: Jerry Benson 07/06/2017
Episode 6: Jerry Benson My guest today, Jerry Benson, has worn a huge number of hats over the years: fencing club owner, referee, business consultant, fencing Master, HEMA enthusiast, philosopher, a member of the US Fencing Board of Directors, husband, Paralympic coach, and, most importantly: mentor. Jerry has a passion for helping each individual reach his or her personal best whether that be on the fencing strip, serving as a referee, or navigating life's muddy waters. Jerry has special insight due to multiple degrees in business, religion, psychology, and fencing in addition to many years of personal, hard earned experience. Many referees, fencers, and coaches owe their skills and successes to this man. Here is his story.
info_outline Episode 5: Dan Berke 06/29/2017
Episode 5: Dan Berke If you have ever hosted a fencing tournament or competed in one, you have today's guest to thank for its smooth operation. Back before Dan Berke created Fencing Time, seeding was done by hand with the help of index cards; one gust of wind could ruin a whole event. Dan, a Microsoft engineer who started fencing later in life, put his impressive technological skills to work and created software that made that system obsolete. From its simple roots in the Pacific Northwest, it is now used to seamlessly run tournaments in a wide variety of countries. Listen now for my interview with the creator of Fencing Time, Dan Berke.
info_outline Episode 4: Vinnie Bradford 06/22/2017
Episode 4: Vinnie Bradford In today's episode you will hear Vincent Bradford talk about her long struggle to reach the Olympics, what it was like for a young woman in fencing "back in the day", and the people who inspired her to greatness. Her athletic career started in horseback riding, but she changed sports after meeting a friend of her riding instructor who was a fencer. She started fencing at age 11, placed second at the junior national championship at age 16, was an All-American for four consecutive years at San Jose State, and earned a place on the 1984 Olympic team at age 29. That was a great year for her, as she was both the National Foil and National Epee Champion as well. She is the only woman in US fencing history to win National Titles in two weapons in the same year.
info_outline Episode 3: Iris Zimmerman Nowack 06/15/2017
Episode 3: Iris Zimmerman Nowack Thank you for joining me for episode three of the SabreCoachKate podcast. In this interview, you'll hear about the experiences of Olympian Iris Zimmerman Nowack and her exciting evolution from cute four year old in patent leather shoes to fencing Olympian to club owner and coach. I originally interviewed Iris a month ago. In light of her disappointment about losing the opportunity to fence the Women's Foil Team event at her Olympics because of the introduction of Women's Sabre, I followed up with her yesterday to get her perspective about last week's announcement that all fencing team events will take place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Stay tuned at the end of the interview for those comments. The sound quality on this one isn't what I had hoped for. Sorry! Still trying to figure out how to record over video chat.
info_outline Episode 2: Ro Sobalvarro 06/08/2017
Episode 2: Ro Sobalvarro Thank you for joining me today for Episode Two of the SabreCoachKate podcast. Today you'll hear a conversation I had with Roberto Sobalvarro. He is full of surprises. He came to fencing in an unusual way, playing tennis during his young life then taking up fencing on a dare. After graduating from college, he decided to take a job as a high school fencing coach instead of the law school path he had originally planned for himself. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was his climb to the pinnacle of coaching in our sport: He was the Women's Epee Coach at the 2012 Olympics and helped them take home the only medal the US would receive in fencing at those Games. He is now the head coach at the Twin Cities Fencing Club in St. Paul, Minnesota and has been involved in fencing for over 35 years. In recognition for all his accomplishments, ro will be inaugurated into the Hall of Fame this year.
info_outline Episode 1: Ariana Klinkov 06/01/2017
Episode 1: Ariana Klinkov I chose to begin this podcast with an incredible woman: Ariana Klinkov. She was one of the first women to fence sabre in the U.S., she was the first female sabre referee the U.S. ever sent to an international competition, and she has coached many fencers who have had varying levels of success, including National Team members. She still gets out on the fencing strip once a year to be a part of my team at the April NAC. During the recording, Ariana shares her thoughts on what it took for her to be a good competitor and how that translated over to becoming a good coach. She regales us with stories of her first trip abroad as a referee and how everyone involved was surprised to learn that "Mr. Klinkov" was instead a "Mrs." You'll hear her answers to the Famous Ten Questions invented by Marcel Proust and used by James Lipton on his TV program "Inside the Actor's Studio". She will tell you about her obsession with CrossFit. She's a great friend; I learned a lot about her through this interview and hope you will glean some good information as well.