WFA Coaches & Staff
The Washington Fencing Academy has several professional coaches and instructors available for your fencing classes and private instruction. We are also staffed by a team of professionals to manage club operations and your membership. We are dedicated to giving you the best-possible fencing experience and enjoyable club membership.
Meet WFA Epee Coach Susie (Zsuzsi)!
Meet Washington Fencing Academy (WFA) Epee Coach Zsuzsana Klara, also known to fencers and families as Coach Susie!
Originally from Hungary, Coach Susie is now in her second year at the WFA, instructing all levels of epee fencers, at all ages. You probably have seen her riding her bike to the club from her home in Bellevue, where she lives with her husband, István, who is also Hungarian. They moved to the USA in July 2017 from Budapest. (As you may know, our head coach, Atilio Tass, also comes from a Hungarian family.)
Coach Susie began fencing epee when she was 10 years old, and she has 20 years of competitive experience at a national and international fencer. She trained with the Hungarian national fencing team (including alongside multiple Olympic and world-champion fencers) as a cadet, junior and adult competitor, participating in multiple world cups as both a junior and adult (senior) fencer. As part of her training, she was coached by four-time Olympic champion Győző Kulcsár, who was also the coach of the reigning women’s Olympic epee champion, Emese Szasz (Rio 2016).
She also has competed in U.S. events, including taking seventh place in Women’s Division 1 Epee and earning her “A” rating at the 2017 Portland North American Cup (NAC).
On a personal note, Coach Susie says the person she looks up to the most was her mentor, Coach and Fencing Master Győző Kulcsár. “He was an extraordinary person,” she said. “Not only his fencing techniques, but his life philosophy influenced me a lot. He taught me to be patient but willing to win, stay focused until the last touch and never give up, respect my opponent, enjoy the game and not panic, and stay focused in the hardest situations. In addition: The hard work always pays off.”
Coach Susie began fencing because she was enamored with the “magic of the swordfight.” She says “…with the years, I wanted to be better and better in this playful fight, and I never get bored—there is always so much to learn.”
Her motto is “Nec spe nec metu,” which, translated into English, says “Without hope, without fear.” Coach Susie says “You should never give up. It should serve as motivation that will allow you to work on your dreams, without being afraid of what might go wrong—stay concentrated.”
Watch for Coach Susie’s classes, as well as some special workshops and clinics she will be part of over the next year. Contact her at Susie@WashingtonFencing.com.
WFA Head Coach Atilio Tass
WFA Head Coach Atilio Tass joined in January, 2018. Coach Atilio comes to the WFA after 18 years as head fencing coach for Brown University, an Olympic saber fencer (Los Angeles 1984, Moscow 1980), and an Olympic referee (Atlanta 1996).
Atilio is responsible for overseeing all of WFA coaching, as well as giving lessons and teaching classes himself. He is available for private lessons, and he is a fencing master in all three weapons. Please Email Atilio if you would like to meet about planning your fencing career, signing up for lessons, or you want to set your personal or your child’s goals for a successful fencing experience.