Nick Dinu - Head Coach

 

Coach Nick has been fencing for 40 years and spent the last 30 years teaching kids and adults the secrets of this very exiting sport. An accomplished fencer himself, he is proud to have been national champion of his native Romania and to have represented his country at many international competitions.

But what he is most proud of is seeing his students succeed. And he has a proven track record for training for success. Among his most notable students at the Olympic Center for Juniors in his native Romania was Mihai Covaliu, Olympic and World Champion. In 1993, Coach Nick moved to Canada, were he continued developing national team members, including national champions Ursula Bero and Olga Ovtchinnikova. Olga also won the bronze medal at the 2002 Cadet Word Championship and finished 15th representing Canada at the Olympics in Beijing 2008.

In 2006 Coach Nick moved to the United States. His students here have already had exceptional results, placing constantly on the podium at national and international events. The list of national champions he produced in the US includes Mary Barnett, Ian Jones, Ryan Jenkins and Morgan Jenkins. 

Coach Nick enjoys working with elite fencers as well as novices. He teaches thru positive reinforcement and strives to create a fun and pleasant learning environment. He also believes that good pedagogy is one of the most important qualities of a fencing master.

 


Daniel Grigore - Coach

 

Coach Daniel is a two time Olympian (Barcelona, 1992 & Atlanta, 1996), a finalist in the 1993 World Championship in Essen, Germany, placed third in individual events at several World Cups (Sofia 1993 , Athens 1994, Padova 1996), and won a bronze medal with the Romanian team at the World Championships in Athens, Greece 1994. He earned the Romanian National Championship title 12 times for both individual as well as team events.

After retiring from his athletic career, coach Daniel became a fencing coach in his hometown, Brasov, where before the Sydney Olympic Games, he had the privilege to help coach 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist in Saber, Mihai Covaliu. Coach Daniel is a highly experienced professional with a great aptitude for teaching fencing. Shortly after his arrival in California, he coached several top ranked US saber students.

 


Mike Ivankovic - Coach

 

Coach Mike has 23 years of fencing experience. He was a member of the Canadian National Cadet and Junior Sabre Squad. He competed internationally for Canada while training under Coach Nick during his time in Toronto.

In 2006, Coach Mike retired from competitive fencing to focus on coaching. Coach Mike is also a FIE certified international 3-weapon referee and has officiated at numerous international events, including the 2015 Pan American Games, 2015 Veteran World Championships and the 2015 World Military Championships.

Coach Mike shares with our students his knowledge of the sport thru a rare combination of experiences as an athlete, a referee and a coach. 

 


Hamidreza Taherkhani - Coach

 

Coach Hamid brings a world of international fencing experience to our center. During his competitive career, he represented his native Iran at 11 World Championships and won medals at numerous World Cups, Asian Championships and National Championships. After retiring from competitions, he trained some of the best Cadet fencers in Iran.

Coach Hamid is great with kids and adults alike. He is also available for private lessons.