About our fencing trainers
Armorer Mark L. Master
Mark Masters, principal fencing champion and founder of the Philadelphia Fencing Academy, is a Board Certified Fitness Instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition to his US Fencing Coaches Association and International Weapons Academy certifications as a fencing master, Maestro Masters holds a Master of Arts and Education in Recreation Programming and Management. Maestro graduated cum laude from Wayne State University with a Masters in Education. As a competitor, Maestro has lived and trained abroad with some of Europe's top fencing masters. Maestro ran the first full-time professional fencing company in the country and has inspired many other clubs and coaches. Maestro Masters has achieved numerous personal and training successes in fencing. He is proud of such significant achievements as training world champions Graham Wicas in epee and Delia Turner in saber, and World Junior Team fencers in all arms. Some of Maestro's accomplishments over the years include: 2021 Coach of Tokyo Olympics Fencing Alternate 2018 Coach of Junior Olympic Cadet Women's Foil Champion 2017 Fencing Coaches Association Fencing Association Award of Merit for Contributions to the Profession 2016 and 2017 Épée Teacher at the US Fencing Coaches Association National Coaches Academy 2012, Coaching 5th Place Samorin International Cadet Men's Foil Fencer and International Sportsmanship Award 2006 Winner, Coaching Cadet Champion World Men's Épée Fencer 2006, Coaching Veteran 50+ Women's World Champion Saber Fencer 2007 World Junior Championship Coach Silver medal epee junior fencer male
Master of Lara
Lara Masters, Head Coach and Director of Programming at FAP-Norte, has thirty years of teaching experience complemented by a B.S. in Psychology from Wayne State University. She is also a Masters nominee in the United States Fencing Coaches Association, having received a coaching certification in 1988. The Masters Coach is nationally certified as a referee for both foil and epee. Lara has national training certifications in all three weapons and has produced many regional and national finalists and champions throughout her career.
As an athlete, Coach Masters is a former NCAA Women's Team Foil Champion from Wayne State University in Detroit. She has competed individually at all levels, from local to international events, reaching several national finals in foil and epee.
Coach Ben is one of the most decorated epee fencers in US history and has won multiple national championships at senior, junior and cadet levels. Coach Ben served as an Olympic alternate in men's epee at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He competed on 8 teams at the World Senior Championships, winning a silver medal in team competition in 2010, winning the first gold medal in US fencing history with United in 2012 and achieving No. 30 in the world on Lord's Sword. As part of the Pan American Championship teams, Coach Ben competed in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011 and 2010; He won individual bronze in 2017, team gold in 2015 and team gold in 2011. together they became the first male fencing team to win gold at the World Team Championships in American fencing history.
Founded by St. John's University, Coach Ben brings over a decade of youth coaching experience to the Peter Westbrook Foundation, a nonprofit organization working with youth in downtown New York. Coach Ben founded Fencing 101, an outreach program that offers introductory fencing programs to schools in New York. Coach Ben is the head varsity coach at New York University. Ben teaches in Chester County, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Coach Enguerran began teaching fencing at the prestigious Racing Club de France in Paris. He coached the Ivory Coast national fencing team and worked with several private fencing academies in France and Italy. Coach Enguerran earned the Maître d'Armes diploma in 2012. As an individual athlete, Coach Enguerran took part in the French top class. Highlights of Coach Enguerran's athletes' achievements include French junior and senior championship titles, junior and cadet World Cup victories, triumphs at African fencing championships and many medals at French junior championships (U15 and U20). Coach Enguerran, a Philadelphia freshman, will primarily coach foil at Central.
Jacob began his fencing career at the age of eleven, attending classes in the basement of a church on Main Street in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. He developed a passion for the sport that carried him through high school, through high school, and through to college. At Drew University, he became captain of the varsity fencing team, where he crushed regional rivals Haverford. After graduating he was offered the position of assistant coach at Haverford and from there he began his coaching career. Jacob spent three years at Haverford and six years at the Philadelphia North Fencing Academy where he learned the basics of youth development. The opportunity to work with world class coaches and referees brought him to Washington DC for 3 years where he learned from some of the best in the world and trained with several members of the women's national team. Philadelphia has always been Coach Jacob's home, and his appeal has brought him back to the Philadelphia Fencing Academy. Jacob started refereeing nationally in 2016 and is working hard to join the International Referee Board. He earned his "4" in Saber three summers ago and looks forward to running the international circuit soon. In his free time, Jacob spends his time writing creative novels. He's got a few projects bubbling under the surface, and if you see him staring into space, that means he's thinking of a fencing drill or a new idea to write about.
James R. Basler
James "Jim" Basler hails from "the largest state in the Union," Texas. Coach Basler helped start some of the first competitive high school fencing programs in Texas and has coached his athletes each year at the Summer Nationals and Junior Olympics as the Head Coach of the MECHS Fencing Club. In college, Coach Basler fenced at Texas State University and competed in college club tournaments and US fencing events. Coach Basler is a certified referee and has served on several fencing governing bodies, including vice president of the South Texas Division and president of the SouthWest Intercollegiate Fencing Association (SWIFA). Coach Basler recently earned his Prevot of Epee and is currently seeking his Prevot of Foil. When not training, Jim can often be found working as our in-house gunsmith and handyman.
Reilly Beauchamp has been an assistant coach at the Academy since 2017 and is a certified Foil Instructor by the US Fencing Coaches Association. He is currently working on training certifications for other weapons as well. A member of the FAP program since the age of eight, Reilly is a national fencer with over a decade of fencing experience.
Patricia Dominguez began her fencing career at the Philadelphia Fencing Academy at the age of 10 and excelled on the varsity fencing team at Hunter College in New York. In 2006 she started an internship as an assistant coach and reached the level of a Moniteur de Coaching. Outside of fencing, Coach Patty is a certified Pilates teacher and performance artist.
Coach MacKenzie has been involved in the fencing world for over 25 years: first as a student, then as a competitor, then as an assistant coach and now as a coach in our West Chester program. She is now a mother of three who is homeschooled.
In addition to coaching, Ambika Singh works at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is currently completing her master's degree. In Coach Ambika's college fencing days at Princeton, she captained the team and was NCAA Foil National Champion, NCAA Women's Foil All-American (3x), Ivy League Champion (3x), All-Ivy (3x), Ivy League Most Standout 2011 Player and Rookie of the Year. Ambika was a member of the United States Women's Foil Senior National Team, Gold Medal (2x) at the Pan American Championships and Cadet National Champion. Trainer Ambike lives in the Olde Kensington/Fishtown neighborhood with her two furry puppies.
Born in suburban Philadelphia, Coach Jacob has been a student of Maestro and Coach Lara since he was 8 years old and has excelled at the national and international level. Coach Jacob was a bronze medalist at the 2006 Junior National Championships; 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 member of the US junior and cadet international teams; a 2-time All-Ivy Team selection; a 2010 NCAA entrant; and 2011 NCAA All-American. In college, Coach Jacob was the captain of the University of Pennsylvania fencing team. He is a certified monitor in foil and foil. Coach Jacob, who has been a trainer since 2011, worked in various contexts in the business world in the US and Israel before returning to the Philadelphia Fencing Academy in a more permanent role. Married, father of a young son, coach Jacob also runs the club's business.
Coffee is the official unofficial FAP mascot. When she's not napping, her main duties at FAP are looking adorable, asking for tummy rubs, occasionally eating things off the floor, and sloppily kissing puppies. We know you will love it!