OUR TEAM

MEET THE PEOPLE WHO FUEL THE INSPIRATION AND PASSION AT WEST BERKELEY FENCING CLUB.

Mark Headley

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

George Platt

FENCING MASTER

George began fencing in 1974 as a first quarter Freshman at University of California, Santa Cruz under the instruction of Charles Selberg. Within a year he had a cadre of his own students. In George’s senior year, Charlie formally taught him how to teach fencing. First the group class, then the individual lesson. In 1983 George took over the Boston Fencing Club/Academy of Fencing and has been a full-time fencing teacher ever since. He earned certification as a 3-weapon Fencing Master (Maitre d’Armes) in January 1986 before moving back to the Bay Area and opening Swordplay Fencing Academy first in Martinez and then from 1992-2017 in Concord.

 

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George has worked with and been influenced by numerous teachers. He attended the original “Coaches College” which afforded contact with many brilliant fencing coaches both through formal instruction and invaluable opportunities to pick the brains of the masters over lunch. For his success in coaching George credits 4 mentors:

  • Charles Selberg was undoubtedly the greatest influence on George as a fencer, a coach, and a person.
  • Len Carnighan began coaching George at UC Santa Cruz and was a major influence on George’s approach to individual lessons.
  • Michael D’Asaro (Sr.) worked closely with George at the Coaches College and sponsored his Prévôt exam.
  • Ed Richards taught George the ins and outs of running a fencing club before George took over for Richards in Boston.

George invites students of all ages and experience levels to sign up for a lesson, join a class, or approach him with questions on everything fencing.

David Sinkkonen

DIRECTOR / COACH

Elizabeth Earls

CLUB MANAGER

Elizabeth started fencing in the summer of 1995 and found George Platt’s Swordplay in 1997, where she was formed as a fencer. She competed in both individual and team at Junior, Senior, and Division 1 levels. She was multi-year NorCal Division Champion and top 4 finalist at both Junior and Senior Pacific Coast Championships. Her best-loved competitive moments were as a member of medal-winning teams at PCC’s and the Summer National Championships.

Elizabeth was instructor and assistant coach to Maestro George Platt and has taught recreation programs throughout the Bay Area since starting coaching in 2001. She holds a Prévôt de Sabre degree from the US Fencing Coaches’ Association. Elizabeth can often be seen at the bout committee table where she administers local and regional competitions.

Elizabeth is a UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources alumna and, when not at WBFC, works in environmental policy for the County of Alameda agency Stop Waste.

Elizabeth Earls
Ryan Arieta

Ryan Arieta

COACH

Doug Nichols

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WEST COAST FENCING ARCHIVE

Doug began fencing at Cabrillo College in 1977 under the tutelage of Len Carnighan. Transferring to San Jose State in 1979, he trained under Olympian and Olympic team coach Michael D’Asaro. In all, Doug trained with Maestro D’Asaro for 13 years. At SJSU, Doug won the Western Regionals NCAA qualifier and was an NCAA championships finalist in 1981. A three weapon fencer, he was an A rated foilist and a member of the gold medal-winning Pacific Coast Championship foil team from The Fencing Center in 1985.

After graduation, he coached at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA before beginning a 25 year career in animated films, working for Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks and Lucasfilm. He has returned to the sport as the Executive Director of the West Coast Fencing Archive.