Garik Balayan

Garik Balayan has been recognized by the USFCA/AAI as a Maitre d’Armes (2001). Maestro Balayan was trained as a fencing master in the former Soviet Union, and had a distinguished career as a foil coach in the USSR.

From 1978-1988 Mr. Balayan was a member of the USSR Olympic coaching staff. In 1988 Garik was awarded the USSR Medal of Merit for his performance as a coach at the Olympic Games in Seoul. In 1990, he was named a Coach of the USSR, the highest Soviet coaching rank. In 1989 Garik worked with the National Team of China. From 1990-1996 he trained the Belarus national team. From 1996-1999, Garik taught in Graz, Austria. He moved to Seattle with his family in April of 1999, and has worked with us since then.

Greg Jones

Greg Jones is the head coach at Rain City Fencing Center. He is a USFCA/AAI certified Prévôt d’Armes in foil and épée, and a Moniteur in sabre. He started fencing in 1995. He has won national medals in épée and sabre and has competitive experience in all three weapons. Greg took the bronze medal in Men’s Épée at the satellite World Cup in Edinburgh in March, 2004. His students have medaled at all levels of national competition, and include the 2012 Division I-A Men’s Foil and 2022 Veteran-60 Women’s Épée National Champions. He was trained by Allen Evans, Jim Denton, Steve Colton, and Garik Balayan.

Spencer Felt

Spencer Felt started fencing at RCFC in 2005. He was trained by Greg Jones and Steve Colton. From 2007 through 2012, Spencer was a part of our nationally competitive men’s foil team. He began teaching beginning and continuing classes in 2015. Spencer earned his Prévôt certification in foil in 2018.

Matt Cameron

Associate Head Coach Matt Cameron earned his USFCA/AAI certified Prévôt d’Armes in foil in 2019 at Duke University under the direction of Christophe Duclos and Alex Beguinet.  Originally hailing from Chicagoland, Matt began fencing at Illinois Fencers Club at the age of 11 and in 1995, he transitioned to Fencing 2000 to work with Bakhyt Abdikulov.  Matt is a 12x national medalist and was a member of the 1996 USA Fencing Junior PanAm Team where he competed in foil and sabre.  Matt served as Head Fencing Coach at the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana from 2014-2019.  Matt’s students have gone on to fence at Notre Dame, UPenn, NYU, United States Naval Academy, Cleveland State, Indiana University, William & Mary, among others.  Matt coaches all three weapons and has had students medal at national competitions in foil and sabre.  Matt is a national-level referee in all 3 weapons and has reffed extensively in USA Fencing, NCAA, and USACFC events.  Matt also served as Vice-Chair of the Indiana Division.  Matt and his family moved to Bellevue in February of 2020.

Nick Gutierrez

Nikolai “Nick” Gutierrez started fencing in California in 2006 and moved to Washington in 2015. Specializing in foil fencing, he has won numerous medals at local and regional events in California, Arizona, and Washington. He competed for the UC San Diego varsity fencing team, helping the men’s foil squad secure two consecutive conference championships in 2010 and 2011. He was trained by Peter Burchard, Edwin “Buzz” Hurst, and Greg Jones. Nick earned his Moniteur certification in foil in 2023.

Vlada Khavaldzhi

Vladlena “Vlada” Khavaldzhi earned her MS in Physical Education at H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University in 2015. Vlada began fencing at the age of 8 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. During her 15+ year competitive career, she earned a silver medal in Cadet Team women’s epee at the European Championships in 2010, a bronze medal in Junior Team women’s epee at the European Championships in 2013, and many medals at the Ukrainian National Championships. Vlada worked as an epee coach at Lviv Academy of Fencing for 7 years under Andrii Orlikovskyi. Vlada and her family moved to Bellevue in 2022.

Chris Ford

Chris Ford is a USFCA/AAI certified Prévôt d’Armes in foil and épée. He started fencing at Wallingford Rod & Foil in 1983. He was trained by Jim Denton and Steve Colton. In the 1990s, Chris worked for several years with Maestro Kim Man Sik, the former South Korean Olympic coach. Chris also trained with Maestro Ed Richards. Chris was a B-rated fencer in both foil and épée. He was nationally ranked in Div 1 men’s foil, and took the silver medal in Div 2 men’s épée at the first US Fencing Summer Nationals in 1997. His students have medaled at national competitions.

Vince Camillo

Vince recruited an Italian fencing master out of retirement to establish a fencing program at his junior high school in Chico, California. He moved to San Francisco and continued his training at Halberstadt Fencing Club.

Vince began coaching at Mission High School in San Francisco, then founded Panhandle Fencing Club, working with students in the panhandle of Golden Gate Park.
After moving to Portland, Vince accepted a coaching position at Northwest Fencing Center in 2012. Vince led the youth beginner and youth intermediate foil programs at NWFC, earning his Masters in Foil in 2017.

In 2022, Vince moved to Durham, NC, where he built a foil program for Forge Fencing.

Vince is excited to be coaching at RCFC and living back in his home, the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, table tennis, and playing with his dog, Goblin.

Head Coach Emeritus, Stephen Colton

Stephen Colton is the head coach emeritus at Rain City Fencing Center. He is a USFCA/AAI certified Prévôt d’Armes (1996). Coach Steve trained with Kim Man-Sik, former head coach of the South Korean Olympic fencing program, and with Ed Richards, a member of the USFA’s National Coaching Staff. Steve taught fencing at Wallingford Rod & Foil from 1980-2000, at Shoreline Community College in Seattle from 1988-2000, and at the University of Washington from 1990-2000. Steve served two terms as the West Region Vice President of the US Fencing Coaches Association.

His students have competed and medaled at all levels of US National competition.

Coach Steve retired from teaching in 2016.

Coach Emeritus, Barbara Todd Heiner

Barbara is one of the three founding members of Rain City Fencing Center. Coach Barbara retired from Rain City Fencing Center in July 2012.