Coaches

About Our Fencing Coaches

Mark L Masters Head Fencing Coach

Maitre d’ Armes Mark L. Masters

Head Fencing Master and founder of Fencing Academy of Philadelphia, Mark Masters is a certified fitness instructor from the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition to his certifications from the US Fencing Coaches Association and the International Academy of Arms as a fencing master, Maestro Masters holds a degree as Master of Arts & Education in Recreation Programming and Management. Maestro graduated Cum Laude from Wayne State University with a Master of Arts degree in Education. As a competitor, Maestro lived and trained abroad with some of the best European fencing masters. Leading the first full-time professional fencing business in the country, Maestro has inspired many other clubs and coaches. Maestro Masters has had numerous personal and coaching achievements in the sport of fencing. He takes pride in these significant results, such as training world champions Graham Wicas in épée and Delia Turner in saber, as well as Junior World team fencers in all weapons. Some of Maestro’s accomplishments throughout the years include: 2021, coaching Tokyo Olympics Fencing Alternate 2018, coaching Junior Olympic Cadet Women’s Foil Champion 2017, recipient of Fencing Coaches Association Merit Award for Contributions to the Profession 2016 and 2017, Épée Lecturer at the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association National Coaches Academy 2012, coaching 5th Place Samorin International Cadet Men’s Foil Fencer and winner of the International Sportsmanship Award 2006, coaching Cadet World Champion Men’s Épée Fencer 2006, coach for Veteran 50+ World Champion Women’s Saber Fencer 2007, coach for Junior World Championship Silver Medal Junior Men’s Épée Fencer

Lara Masters Head Fencing Coach

Lara Masters

Coach

Lara Masters, Head Coach and Director of Programming at FAP-North, holds thirty years of teaching experience, complemented by a B.S. in Psychology from Wayne State University. She is also a Master-Candidate in the US Fencing Coaches Association, having received coaching certification in 1988. Coach Masters has national certification as a referee in both foil and epee. Lara holds national coaching certifications in all three weapons, and has produced many regional and national finalists and champions throughout her career.

As an athlete, Coach Masters is a former NCAA Women’s Foil Team Champion for Wayne State University in Detroit. She has competed as an individual at every level, from local to international level events, making several national finals in both foil and epee.

Fencing Class Coach Benjamin Bratton

Ben Bratton

Coach

Coach Ben is one of the most decorated épée fencers in U.S. history, and has won multiple national championships in Seniors, Juniors, and Cadets. Coach Ben served as the Olympic alternate in Men’s Épée at the 2016 Olympic Games. He competed on 8 Senior World Championship teams, won the silver medal in the team event in 2010, won the first in gold in the history of United States Fencing in 2012, and ranking as high as 30th in the world in Men’s Épée. As part of the Pan American Championship Teams, Coach Ben competed in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011, and 2010; winning the individual bronze in 2017, team gold in 2015, and team gold in 2011. In 2012 Coach Ben became the first African-American fencer to win a World Championship title as a member of the U.S. Men’s Épée Team; together they became the first-ever Men’s Fencing Team to win gold at the World Team Championships in American fencing history.
A graduate of St. John’s University, Coach Ben brings over a decade of experience as a youth coach with the Peter Westbrook Foundation, a nonprofit that works with inner city youth in New York City. Coach Ben founded Fencing 101, an outreach program that brings introductory fencing programs to schools in NYC. He is currently the New York University varsity assistant coach. Ben will lead classes in Chester County, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

coach Jacob Hazle-Cary

Jacob Hazle-Cary

Coach

Jacob started his fencing career when he was eleven, attending classes in a church basement along the main line of Philadelphia’s western suburbs. He developed a passion for the sport which carried him through middle school, past high school, and into college. At Drew University he became captain of the Varsity Fencing team where he crushed their regional rivals Haverford. After graduating, he got offered a position as assistant coach at Haverford, and from there he started on his coaching path. Jacob spent three years at Haverford and six years at Fencing Academy of Philadelphia North, where he learned the foundation of Youth Development. An opportunity to work with International level coaches and referees brought him down to Washington DC for 3 years, where he could learn from some of the best in the world and train with several members of the National Women’s sabre team. Philadelphia has always been Coach Jacob’s home, and its gravitational pull has brought him back to Fencing Academy of Philadelphia. Jacob started Refereeing Nationally in 2016, and is working hard to break into the International Refereeing Cadre. Three summers ago he earned his “4” in Sabre and is looking forwards to refereeing the International circuit soon. In his off times, Jacob spends time writing creative fiction. He has a few projects bubbling underneath the surface, and if you see him staring off into space, it means he’s either thinking about a fencing drill or a new idea to write about.

James R Basler Assistant Fencing Coach

James R. Basler

Coach

James “Jim” Basler hails from “the greatest state in the Union,” Texas. Coach Basler helped start some of Texas’ first competitive high school fencing programs and coached his athletes at Summer Nationals and Junior Olympics every year as the head coach of MECHS Fencing Club. In college, Coach Basler fenced at Texas State University and competed at both club collegiate tournaments and USA Fencing events. Coach Basler is a certified referee and has served on several administrative boards for the sport of Fencing, including as the Vice Chair of the South Texas Division, as well as the Chair of the SouthWest Intercollegiate Fencing Association (SWIFA). Coach Basler has recently earned his Prevot of Epee and is presently pursuing his Prevot of Foil. When he is not coaching, Jim can often be found serving as our armorer and in-house handyman.

Reilly Beauchamp Assistant Fencing Coach

Reilly Beauchamp

Coach

Reilly Beauchamp has been an assistant coach with the Academy since 2017 and holds certification from the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association as a foil instructor. He is currently working towards coaching certifications in other weapons, as well. A member of the FAP program since the age of eight, Reilly is a national level fencer with more than a decade of fencing experience.

Jacob Wischnia

Jacob Wischnia

Coach

A suburban Philadelphia native, Coach Jacob has been Maestro & Coach Lara’s student since the age of 8 and has excelled at both the national and international levels. Coach Jacob was bronze medalist at 2006 Junior National Championship; a member of USA Junior and Cadet International Teams 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008; a 2-time All-Ivy Team selection; a 2010 NCAA Participant; and 2011 NCAA All-American. In college, Coach Jacob was captain of the University of Pennsylvania Fencing Team. He is a certified Moniteur in both foil and épée. Coaching since 2011, Coach Jacob worked in diverse contexts in the business world in the United States and Israel before coming home to Fencing Academy of Philadephia in a more permanent role. Married with a baby son, Coach Jacob also manages the club’s business.

Kaffe The Fencing Dog

Kaffe

Kaffe is the unofficial official mascot of FAP. When she is not napping, her main duties at FAP are looking adorable, asking for tummy rubs, occasionally eating things off the floor, and giving sloppy doggie kisses. We know you’ll love her!