Meet the Team
My love of fencing began over 30 years ago as a boy growing up in Forest Hills, NY. I began fencing as a freshman in high school and competed Nationally finishing top 10 but never taking top prizes. I studied at Salle Santelli. It was there that I received my formal education and was imprinted with the legacy of 500 years of classical fencing knowledge. I also fenced at the NY Fencing Club. During that time I was honored to watch Peter Westbrook train for the 1984 Summer Olympics; he went on to win the bronze. Peter was a role model for "work ethic." I recall the one and only time he spoke to me. He asked me, "How are your grades in school?" I said "fine," but it wasn't true. In reality, I struggled terribly in school. At the time, I didn’t realize that I’d been given a gift and a responsibility to help keep this ancient art alive and thriving.
I've been blessed with the opportunity to give back and I've chosen to do it right by building a state-of-the-art facility, hiring talented coaches, and executing a long-term strategic plan with student succession.
From an early age, fencing provided me the opportunity to hone many skills beyond the blade. These skills continue to serve me daily in my personal and professional life. As was done for me, I'd like to use fencing as a vehicle to draw out the best of what each student has to offer, not only in sport but equally, in character.
Certified CT BOE State Coach
Coach Ridgefield High School Fencing Club
Coach New Cannan Country Day School Fencing Program
Coach Harvey School Camp Fencing Cavaliers
Coach Epee and Foil
Coach Ibrahima was the team captain and National Champion in both epee and foil of Senegal. He is a Master of Arms and was rated A in all 3 weapon forms. His years of world championship fencing brought him to the United States where he has been professional coaching since 2010. Coach Ibrahima is currently coaching at West Point Military Academy, and Storm King HS and now Way of the Sword on a part-time basis. Let's all welcome him.
Specialist in youth development to senior Div. 1.
Facts & Achievements:
• Sabre Coach Durkan Fencing Academy (2014 to 2019)
• Mexican Senior National Champion (2011) retired but still rated "B"
• Coach The New York Athletic Club (NYAC)
• Coach Regis High School
• Head Coach Bosco High School
• USFA national referee rated 4 in sabre and foil
Donald Grunewald Esq
Donald Grunewald, Head Coach of Greenwich High School, began fencing in 1996 at St. Luke's School in New Canaan. He was a four-year starter in foil at Haverford College, leading the team to a MACFA conference championship as captain in 2004. He was a NCAA regional qualifier for four years, and was 6th place in MACFA individual foil. He then spent two years fencing for Oxford, which won the UK national championships in 2006. He began coaching as an Assistant at Haverford in 2007, and secured another MACFA championship. He began coaching at Greenwich High School in 2009. Over the years, his students have won individual state championships 9 times, and several other runners up in Individuals. In the past two seasons, Greenwich has won titles in Boys' Foil twice, Boys' sabre, Girls' sabre, and the 2014 Boys' Overall Team Championship. Grunewald has coached at numerous programs, focusing primarily on foil. He has been coached by Jim Murray, Dave Litttell, and Tomek Walicki.
Guest Elite Coach Foil (We host two clinics at WAY and one clinic in France per year)
2008: Equivalence certificate from BEES 1 option fencing awarded by
the Ministry of Sports Health and Youth of the Republic
2008: Certificate of competence citizen of civil security
Level 1 civic prevention and rescue
2001: Master's degree in weapons at the EIMA (International School of
training of Africa's fencing masters)
2001: Entrepreneurship certificate
2004: First aid certificate
1998: L1 Series Tray
1995: Graduation certificate
March 2019 to the present day: Master of Arms at the Volvic Club
2018 - 2019: Technical Framework for the Polynesian Fencing Federation
2012: Frame of foil at national stage horizon of the best minims
the three gingham weapons in France
2007 - 2018: Masters of Arms at the Stade Clermont-Ferrand fencing in France
2004 - 2007: National coach at foil men and women at
2004 - 2007: Professor of foil at the EIMA
masters of arms) from Africa to Dakar Senegal
2002 - 2007: Master of arms at the fencing club Demba Diop of Dakar
2006: International referee category B foil and saber
2006: In May expert of the stage of development of the sports structure
(fencing) in Niger
2003: Workshop on collective lesson in Chatenay Malabry France
2001 - 2002: Repair and maintenance course for fencing equipment at
France blades company in Monistrol sur Loire France
2000 - 2004: Shooter at the national team of Senegal in saber then at the
Participation in two world championships
Participation in four world cups
Participation in five African championships
In 1999-2002 started his career working for Physicians Health and Injury Center as a physical therapy aid Working with physical therapists, chiropractors, and medical doctors he assisted in implementing post rehabilitation exercise programs designed for patients in their final stages of their care. In 2002 Salim received his personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and since then he has co-owned and operated Results Personal Training, for the past 10 years. Aside from being (nasm) certified, Salim has also attended and received certifications in Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA) in 2004, Grey Cook Functional Screening seminar in 2006 and Essentials of Post Rehab Fitness (AAHFRP) in 2008.
Louis Thiel LMT,CNMT
Certified Neuromuscular Therapist. His interest in therapeutic massage started as a teenager when he sustained many injuries while playing sports. In 2002, Louis entered the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Westport, CT. CCMT is one of the top accredited massage schools in the country. Two years later, Louis became nationally board certified in therapeutic massage and is a Certified Neuromuscular Therapist.
Although trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques, Louis’ interest is in Neuromuscular Therapy and the breaking down of scar tissue. It is the utilization of static pressure on specific myofascial (myo meaning muscle, fascial meaning connective therapy) points to relive pain. This technique manipulates the soft tissue of the body (muscles, tendons and connective tissue) to balance central nervous system. Trigger Point Therapy is a bodywork technique Louis uses that involves applying pressue to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
Louis’ clinical and intuitive approach benefits people of all ages. Younger patients come to him for sports maintenance and injury prevention. More mature patients are being treated for old injuries along with new ones. Louis believes that it is never too early or too late to get yourself educated.