Our Head Coach & Club Owner
Toby Tolley, Head Coach - Epee, Foil
Coach Tolley has fenced for 29 years on both the national and international level. Her achievements include World Cup points, Division 1A National Champion and 7 Sectional Championships. Prior to opening Duke City Fencing, she represented the New York Athletic Club in competition.
• Moniteur d'Escrime, US Fencing Coaches Assoc. (USFCA)
• Level 3 Coach in epee & foil, Level 2 in saber through the US Fencing Coaches' College
• Five years as head coach for 3-Weapon high school teams
• American Sport Education Program Certified (ASEP)
Coach Tolley is also a national and international referee. She referees for the US Fencing Association at home and abroad.
"I like fencing because it's fun, it's good exercise, it offers a good mental and physical challenge. 'It helps keep me young, by gollies!'
"I started fencing in 1999. I've coached in Reno, NV and for the University of New Mexico fencing team.
"In 2016, Coach Andy was awarded the Spirit of Fencing Award by the US Fencing Association."
Andy shares his love of fencing with anyone who is willing to listen. His enthusiasm for the sport, gentle humor, and ability to listen have drawn dozens of people to learn fencing, and kept them coming back to practice.
"I enjoy the camaraderie among Veteran (the USFA 40-and-over competition division) fencers. I started fencing in the VET-40 division 14 years ago. When I did the Veteran circuit tournaments, I'd see the same guys all of the time. We'd all know each other and greet each other with a 'Hi! How're you doing? How're the wife and kids?" Everyone was really friendly off the strip even if they were seriously competitive on the strip.
"I like to travel to different tournaments and see old friends. I'm in the VET-50 division now, and there are so many people I used to know still going to tournaments and even to Nationals.
"Fencing is such a unique sport, it lends itself to that kind of camaraderie."
"I love all forms of fencing! I started out as a Classical fencer in 2013, but quickly got into Sport and Historical fencing shortly after.
"I think the greatest thing about being an Assistant Coach at DCF is the students! It’s an absolute joy to lead a class when everyone really wants to be there. It’s also wonderful to get to see a student progress from beginner to advanced, and to know that I helped them get there.
"What I love most about DCF is the positive, inclusive environment. Although we are in competition, everyone is supportive of each other while learning these complex techniques. It makes for a fun, stabby time!"
"I have been fencing for twelve years. I started at DCF in the Mini Musketeers class when I was six years old. My mom saw an ad in the paper for fencing, and I was super into Star Wars at that time, so it was a natural progression.
"I started the Competitive class when I was nine. At that time, the Minis class and the Competitive class were at the same time, and one day, Toby asked us if we wanted to go over and do it, because we weren’t paying attention – we were looking at the exercises the Competitive class was doing, and that day, we said, 'Yes!' And basically, that's how I joined the Competitive class."
"Fencing is like if chess were a sport. It’s both a mental game as well as a physical one. It’s a challenge that anyone, old, young, tall, or short can take on, and Duke City Fencing is a great place to get started."
Our Student Coaches
"Part of the reason I really like fencing is because it’s not the standard ball throw catch sport. It is much more my speed. It’s also good because you start at any level and just do it as well as you can at that point in time.
"I really like coaching partially because it nice to teach kids how to fence and some of the basics of the etiquette that goes on with most martial arts."
"I’ve been fencing for more than 2 years now. It’s been a great escape from school for me, it’s been nice to be able to have something active that I really enjoy – I never had that before in my life.
"Fencing is a passion in which one must be physically and mentally balanced. The blade is an extension of the body and soul.
"The passion I see at Duke City Fencing is what drives me to be a coach. I love being a coach because I love seeing people thrive and be the best they can be.
"Duke City Fencing is a place where one is cared for and driven to better themselves. Everyone is important here, and I will always do my best to help them thrive physically and mentally in the passion of fencing."