All of our instructors are “Professional Member” category members of the USFA and carry “safe-sport” security clearances.
Dr. Rudy Volkmann, head coach, took his first fencing class in 1960; he taught his first fencing class in 1965. He has taught fencing lessons and classes almost without a break ever since.
He is the author of America’s best-selling book on fencing (Magnum Libre d’Escrime) now in its fourth edition (Edition 3.0.1, available from leading fencing equipment vendors and Amazon). His one-semester text extracted from that volume designed for college classes is in use in a number of colleges and universities throughout the country.
An early organizer of fencing in the Georgia Division, Dr. Volkmann has been an officer on the division’s executive board nearly every year since 1972; he chaired the Southeast Section (consisting of the eight divisions in the Southeast United States) for several terms before sections were disbanded by the USFA in 2004.
Dr. Volkmann’s students (in all three weapons) have included regional,
national, and international medalists. He instills a love for the game in
his students; former students have gone to achievements including membership on a two-time NCAA sabre championship team, a twice-second place individual NCAA foil medalist, and the founder of the Georgia Tech fencing club.
Competitively, Dr. Volkmann is a sabrist. He has won numerous Georgia Division championships, several Southeast Section championships, numerous national medals, and the Bronze Medal in the Veteran 60+ World Championships.
A National and International armourer, he was an official in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA; his text on weapons repair (now in its fifth edition) has been the USFA’s major reference on electrical fencing repair since its first printing in 1974. It, too, is available from major fencing equipment vendors.
In his other life, Dr.Volkmann still composes and performs, having retired from a thirty-year career as a music theory professor/ department chair in 2000 and opening the August Fencers Club on a full-time basis.
Coach Sarah Bender started fencing in 1993. She quickly fell in love with the sport and was happy to help with any beginners who came into the group. She fenced with the club at University of California, Irvine. She then served as the captain of the women’s foil team at the University of Toronto while working on a Master’s degree in medieval studies. Throughout, she served as an assistant in the college fencing courses taught by her coaches.
Marriage, children, and relocations as a military spouse put Sarah’s fencing on pause for several years. She had the opportunity to train briefly with Dr. V the first time she lived in Augusta, but the Navy soon moved the family to new places. A move to Maryland and the entry of her oldest child into the sport re-kindled her desire to teach others. She was offered a coaching position at Baltimore Fencing Center. There she helped to develop and coach their youth competitive team.
Returning to Augusta, Sarah is thrilled to have the chance to work with the children of the club. Sharing her passion for fencing with the next generation has been an honor and a joy.
Coach Philip Ferko began fencing in Atlanta, Georgia with Coach Bill Murphy in 2003 before moving to Saint Louis and spending a decade under the instruction of Maestro Hossam Hassan at The Fencers Academy. Philip attained his A rating in épée in 2011 and placed in épée (gold), foil (bronze), and saber (gold) in the Show Me State Games the same year. Graduate school reduced the time dedicated to competing and Philip instead directed his efforts to coaching. Moving to California, he worked as assistant coach at the Monterey Peninsula Fencers Club for a year (2018-2019) before starting at Augusta Fencers Club. Philip is currently a member of the US Fencing Coaches Association and holds a Moniteur d’ Épée certification.