Our world class team of coaches are highly regarded in the world of fencing and come with a fountain of knowledge. They view coaching as an art and a skill. They care and pay full attention to the individual needs of our fencers so that they can develop to their full potential, whether it be on the high school strip or more competitive platform. By analyzing individual performances, instructing in relevant skills and encouraging continuously they provide support and nurture a love for the sport.

Slava Danilov

A professional fencing coach and master, Coach Danilov brings 41 years of fencing experience from all different levels, ranging from high school coaching to fencing with the Kharkov Regional Ukrainian and Soviet Union National Teams. He most recently served as the head coach at Ridge High School and Morris Fencing Club in New Jersey. His other coaching experiences include the Fencing Academy of South Jersey, Medeo Fencing Club & School, as well as coaching at Kharkov fencing club “Echo” in Ukraine. In addition, Danilov was also an assistant professor in physical education at Kharkov State Pedagogical University.

During his coaching career, Danilov has led the Ridge High School fencing team to the 2009 New Jersey High School Championship title and a Vice-Championship in 2014. Over the year, his students have seen a breadth of success including a World Junior Championship silver medal & World Championship silver medal, a title as Champion of Ukraine, a gold medal at the Division IA Summer National Championship, a NAC Champion, and third place at the Youth Summer National Championship.

In his own right, Danilov has been widely successful. As a full-time fencer, he was apart of the 1985 Champion of the World University Games epee team, placed seventh with his team at the World Championships in ’94 and was then crowned the ’95 European Cup Champion with his team. In ’96, Danilov was a World Cup bronze medalist and a gold medalist in the International World Championships Competition in Brussels.
Danilov holds a BA in Physical Education along with a Master’s in Sport Psychology. He is also a Master of Sports International Class in Fencing, which is the highest classification in sports in the former USSR.

Presently Coach Slava Is the assistant coach for Upenn.

Vitalii Druzhynin

  • 1995-2005 EPEE Coach for the Ukrainian fencing team
  • 2005-2006 EPEE Coach at the Elite Musketeers, FC, San Francisco
  • 2006-2008 EPEE and FOIL Coach at Medeo Fencing Club, NJ
  • 2008-2013 EPEE and FOIL Coach at GFA


Coach Vitalii is a native of Ukraine. He is a dedicated and talented coach with 41 years of experience under his belt. Coach Vitalii’s coaching style is very versatile and he cares deeply about each fencer’s individual needs. Whether his students are experienced fencers or newbies,whether they fence for a team or they fence on an individual level at high level competitions, he is determined to help achieve the highest level for each of his fencers. He wants the best for ALL his fencers.


Vitalii started fencing in 1975. His weapon of choice, the FOIL. In 1975 he came FIRST in the Kiev .In 1982 he started fencing EPEE
Vitalii became the champion of Ukraine in EPEE in 1985 and took 2ND place in the USSR Army Championship. HE went on to become the Kiev City Champion in 1989 and took 4TH place in Ukraine Championship in 1992.

Alex (Oleksii) Kuznetsov

Coach Alex has 30 years of experience in the Olympic Sport of fencing. During these years, Alex has participated in many National and International competitions. These include World cups, World Armed Force Games Soviet Union and Ukrainian Championships.
Recently, Alex took part in Veterans (40+) Division of the NAC in Baltimore where he took THIRD Place.

Alex is a professional fencing coach with an Masters Degree in Physical Education and fencing.He has worked as a National Sabre coach in India for 3 years before he arrived in the USA.

Notable Students
  • Ukrainian Cadet Champion
  • Medalist at Asian Games

Jason Choy

Jason graduated from Ridge in 2009, he was part of the 2009 state championship team.
Attended the University of Notre Dame, when they won the 2011 NCAA Championship.
Jason has competed in numerous national and international tournaments on the cadet, junior and senior level.
Has earned multiple national medals and has been ranked as high as 13th on the senior points list.
A Rated in Saber

Presently Jason is the Head coach for the Girls Ridge High School Fencing team.