Olympian Fencing Club is led by Coach Velizar, a world-class athlete and coach with combined experience of over 40 years. Coach Velizar still competes periodically but spends most of his time and dedication to the fencers he coaches.
His teaching philosophy focuses on the mental approach to the sport, which can be the most difficult to overcome, along with key cardiovascular and training techniques to increase stamina and develop fencing skills. His guidance allows for students pursuing competitive success as well as those looking for physical challenge for noncompetitive reasons to both thrive and grow in the sport.
Coach Velizar’s credentials speak for themselves. His lifelong pursuit of quality training has led him to personal and team triumph, which translates to the club’s success and grooming of many key students that have gone on to college scholarships, world championships, and even Olympic teams. Velizar Iliev is a:
- 2000 US Olympian (pentathlon)
- 3 time World Champion
- 1999 Pan-American Games Champion
- 1990 Goodwill Games Bronze Medal
- Holds numerous National Championship titles for the Modern Pentathlon and Epee fencing for US and Bulgaria. The Modern Pentathlon is one of the oldest Olympic sports and it consists of: Fencing, Riding, Shooting, Swimming and Running.
All of these lead to the best epee fencing school in the San Antonio region.
Coach Jake was born and raised in Port Charlotte, Florida. He has lived in San Antonio for few years where he now competes for the Division 1 fencing school University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). His best accomplishment is making top 16 at the 2021 NCAA Championships. He is rated an “A” in both Epee and foil, as well as a “C” in Saber.
Tommi Hurme has 20+ years of competitive epee fencing experience including 4 years training in Budapest, Hungary alongside the Hungarian National Team. He is trained and coaches in the Hungarian fencing tradition and has worked under Dr. Paul Pesthy, Dr. Aladar Kogler, Zoltan Dudas, and Ivan Kovacs. He brings his experience from competing at the local, national, collegiate and international levels to help students gain an advantage in competitive epee fencing. His fencing achievements include Junior National Team member in 2004, Junior National Champion in 2003, Princeton Varsity Fencing Team Captain in 2007 and 2008, Div 1 Nationals top 8 finisher in 2007, 8th place finish at NCAA Championships 2008, Paris World Cup top 32 finisher in 2009, 1st place Kupittaa Satellite World Cup Turku, Finland in 2011, and 1st place Men’s Epee Team Nationals 2008 and 2010.