Blue Ridge Fencing Center (BRFC) is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization whose mission is to promote fencing and to provide high-quality instruction in the modern sport of Olympic style fencing for those in the Charlottesville, Virginia area and its surrounding communities. BRFC offers a safe, team-oriented learning environment for adults and students eight years and older to discover and excel at the sport of fencing. BRFC delivers excellence in fencing education for students of all skill sets and interests from the brand new to the experienced fencer and for those interested in recreational or competitive fencing.


Our Coaches:


Nathaniel Sides

Head Coach

Coach Sides has been teaching and coaching private lessons and group classes in central Virginia for the past five years. He has fenced competitively on both the local and national level and is a rated fencer in all three weapons: foil, epee and saber. He is also a rated fencing referee and a ''Member-at-Large'' on the Virginia Division Board of the United States Fencing Association. Coach Sides was also highly involved in the Virginia 4-H program from which he brings a great deal of leadership training. He aspires to teach students to not only excel at the sport of fencing, but more importantly to be people of character, honor, and discipline.

Dorothy Carney


Coach Carney joined the Blue Ridge Fencing Center coaching staff for the Spring 2020 Session! Many of you may already know Coach Carney as the fencing coach for the Charlottesville City Schools. Coach Carney is a founding member of the Blue Ridge Fencing Center and a welcome addition to BRFC.

Coach Carney learned to fence at UVA, then transferred to the University of Notre Dame, where she was captain of the women's fencing team. She coached there for a year before taking a break. After moving back to Charlottesville, she began coaching and fencing competitively. She has been both a school club coach and a city club coach for almost 20 years. Coach Carney also competed in the veteran's women's foil, where she was in the top 10 nationally for three years straight.

Danielle Oktay

Assistant Coach

Coach Oktay started fencing in 2014 as a freshman in high school. She now is attending Liberty University in Lynchburg. After three years of fencing, Coach Oktay started to help coach the introductory class at Blue Ridge Fencing Center and has expanded to work with other classes as well. She often assists with fencing demonstrations throughout the area, has introduced others to fencing, and enjoys competing in local tournaments. Coach Oktay appreciates the amount of personal growth that an individual sport such as fencing can foster. She hopes to help students learn to fence and to build confidence in themselves through the sport of fencing.


Code of Conduct

Blue Ridge Fencing Center (BRFC) is open to all adults and students over the age of eight years old who are interested in participating in the sport of fencing. Participation and membership at BRFC is a privilege, not a right. Along with this privilege come expectations of behavior by coaches, fencers, guests, volunteers, and staff.

Everyone who participates in Blue Ridge Fencing Center activities has the right to be safe, included, and valued. Remember that, at all times, you are an ambassador for the sport of fencing, Blue Ridge Fencing Center, and the Virginia Division of Fencing. Bullying, intimidating, or threatening behavior, either physical or verbal, will not be tolerated.

Coaches, fencers, guests, and spectators (including parents and family members) are expected to abide by the following Code of Conduct during all BRFC activities (classes, lessons, open fencing, tournaments, and events), and while attending all fencing activities as a representative of BRFC, regardless of who is hosting the activity.

BRFC Fencers will:

  • Maintain an active USA Fencing membership and complete BRFC registration and waiver forms prior to participating in all BRFC fencing classes and activities.

  • Behave in accordance with the USA Fencing Safe Sport policies (https://www.usafencing.org/safe-sport).

  • Demonstrate integrity and good sportsmanship in both words and actions while participating in all fencing activities.

  • Respect members of your team, other teams, spectators, and officials.

  • Respect the property of others.

  • Lose with honor and win with dignity.

  • Never use foul language or gestures.

  • Never argue with a referee, opponent, instructor, coach, guest, or spectator in a disrespectful manner.

  • Never attempt to unfairly influence others to give you an advantage, such as throwing a bout, giving touches, or tampering with your equipment.

  • Never throw equipment under any circumstance. Respect Salle equipment as if it was your own property. Before leaving the Salle, put away any club equipment you may have used.

  • Respect and protect the club equipment and training space. Do not damage walls, floor or strips. Do not hit the wall, floor or strip with the point of your weapon or blade.

  • Safety is very important. Always check your equipment for defects in gloves, masks, uniforms and blades. Never point your weapon at anyone who is unmasked or unprotected. Always keep your weapons pointed downward when carrying them around.

  • Less experienced fencers should ask more experienced fencers to bout. Experienced fencers should fence with less experienced fencers with patience and encouragement.

  • Never appear on the strip with defective equipment or in a dirty uniform.

  • At the end of a bout, salute, and shake your opponent's hand with your non-weapon hand.

  • If late for training/class, join with the least amount of disruption.

  • BRFC fencers who compete with a USA Fencing Competitive membership, shall represent Blue Ridge Fencing Center in all USA Fencing sanctioned competitions. In order to represent or enroll in a competitive fencing club other than BRFC, you must have prior approval from your BRFC coach.


If at any time during BRFC activities a fencer threatens the safety of other fencers, guests, spectators, or coaches, or is in violation of this Code of Conduct,a member of the BRFC staff may immediately escort the individual from the premises. BRFC members who violate this Code of Conduct may be subject to having their membership permanently terminated without refund of dues paid up to the time of the infraction.

No Discrimination

BRFC coaches, staff, fencers, guests, and spectators are expected to treat other coaches, staff, fencers, guests, and spectators at all times in a manner free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, status, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.


PO Box 2931
VA 22902

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