Founder and Head Coach
Fencing for over thirty years, Eric Holmgren was trained by fencing master Albert Couturier in modern international style that combines the best of the French and Hungarian systems. Coach Holmgren is a member of the USFA (United States Fencing Association) and has been a competitive fencer.
Since 1993, Eric Holmgren has been the head coach for the fencing club at the University of California at Irvine. In 2000 he established their first intercollegiate team.
Coach Holmgren has been certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association as a Moniteur d’ Arms (all three weapons) and Prevot de Fleuret (foil).
Coach Holmgren is a certified Level 2 Instructor by USA Archery. He has been practicing archery and competing locally for over 20 years.
Coach Holmgren founded Gryphon Fencing Club in 2009.
Senior Competitive Coach
Heik Hambarzumian is a gifted fencer and coach. He was trained by the great Dr. Bill O’Brien in San Francisco. Heik is a 3-time US National Foil Champion. Over the years, he has represented the US on 14 international teams.
Heik has been coaching for over 30 years. During that time, he was the head coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. More recently he had been the head coach for the Massialas Foundation in Orange County. He has trained top level fencers, including national champions. While foil is his specialty, Heik can also teach epee and saber.
Coach Heik considers fencing an art. He teaches his students the technique and rhythm of the game. His goal is to help each student reach their full potential.
Competitive Foil Coach
Cory Price began fencing when he was twelve years old. He had a successful youth fencing career in both foil and epee. He competed in the Junior Olympics and several national Championships. Cory has been trained as a coach by George Clovis and Heik Hambarzumian.
He is the youth fencing coach at UC Irvine and served as the assistant fencing coach at Polytechnic High School. Coach Price has been certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association as a Moniteur d’ Arms (all three weapons) and a Prevot de Fleuret (foil). Cory has also been trained internationally at the Pan American Fencing Federation in 2018 and received his FIE Coaches Certificate
Competitive Foil and Epee Coach
Atefeh, “Ati”, is an accomplished foil and epee fencer. She trained with the Iranian National team and competed in the Olympic qualifying games for Athens 2004. She fenced in the Asian games in 2003 and placed 1st in the Persian Olympiad games in 2008.
Ati served as a fencing coach at the University of Tehran Polytechnique and a lecturer in Sports Science at Tehran University of Scientific Research. Coach Seif is the assistant coach for the fencing team at UC Irvine. She also teaches at Cal State Long Beach. Coach Seif has been certified by the United States Fencing Coaches Association as a Moniteur d’ Arms (all three weapons) and a Prevot de Epee.
Archery and Fencing Coach
Dan started fencing as part of a senior-year high school project. He was one of the original members of Gryphon Fencing and has been trained by Coaches Clovis and Holmgren. Dan has fenced competitively at collegiate and USFA tournaments.
Dan learned how to shoot a bow when he was thirteen in Boy Scouts, and is now a certified Level 1 Archery Instructor through USA Archery. Coach Dan is an Eagle Scout.
Dan’s focus as a coach is to harbor a love for these sports in his students as well as creating intelligent and resourceful athletes.
Archery and Fencing Coach
Fencing for over six years Coach Richard, aka Ricky, started his fencing career with Coach Holmgren in the summer youth program in 2009. Richard has also been taught by Coaches Cory Price, Ati Seif, and George Clovis. Since then Coach Richard has fenced from middle school up to his current status in college in many fencing events representing both his schools and Gryphon Fencing Club. He has been a coach at Gryphon since 2014 and is the Youth Fencing Coach at the University of California at Irvine. He is a certified Moniteur in Saber by the USA Fencing Coaches Association He is a certified level 2 archery coach with USA Archery. He enjoys working with students of all ages.
Coach Shima had been trained in Iran and was a member of their national team. She has a degree in Pysical Education and is certified by the United States Coaches Association as a Prevot and Monitor in Foil. She is a rated referee in the United States.
Coach Shima brings much experience as a fencer and athlete to her classes. She wants her students to improve their athletic abilities and fencing skills.