Fencing Institute of Texas

FIT Coaches

FIT Coaches are graduates of diverse universities with special training or pedagogy in fencing. FIT Instructors and Assistant Instructors have completed, at a minimum, instruction through the US Fencing Coaches Association, or equivalent instruction.

Michael D'Asaro, Sabre Head Coach

Coach D'Asaro has fencing in his blood.  His father was USA Fencing Hall of Fame inductee, Maestro Michael D'Asaro; his mother was also a fencer. Coach D'Asaro lives and breathes sabre. Coach Mike was on the San Jose State University fencing team.  He was on the USA Pan American Team, and an alternate to the USA Olympic Team. 

Coach D'Asaro has produced many National Champions and medalists in various age groups and is considered one of the premier sabre coaches in the US today.  He met his wife, Sandra, when she was fencing in the Duel in the Dessert and he was refereeing. We expect his children to be fencers when they get old enough.

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Hossam Mahmoud, Epee Head Coach

Coach Hoss grew up in Alexandria, Egypt.  He began fencing at the early age of 9.  Coach Hoss was on the Egyptian National epee team for several years.  Although he never fenced in the Olympics, he was selected to the team multiple years. He fenced in many championships throughout Europe, especially in Hungary, Italy and Germany.  Coach Hoss came to the US around 1995 and began working with his close friend at Lone Star Fencing Center where he produced many junior and cadet National epee medalists . When his friend left Lone Star to become head coach at the Air Force Academy, Coach Hoss started Fencing Institute of Texas with a Board of Directors where he has continued his success producing quality fencers.


Coach Hoss has a BA in Accounting from the University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. He is the Head Fencing Coach at St. Mark's School Dallas.

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Volodymyr Yefimov, Foil Head Coach

Coach Volodymyr grew up in Lviv, Ukraine and attended the Fencing Youth Sports School of Troyanda. He received a Master of Sport of the Soviet Union with Fencing emphasis in 1987.  He worked for the Youth Sports School of Troyanda as a Youth Fencing Coach before coming to the US in 2000 to work at FIT.  His students have represented the United States at 14 World Championships in Cadet, Junior and Veteran.  Coach Volodymyr has produced two Olympians, Mona and Zain Shaito; Mona participated in two Olympics for Lebanon. Coach Volodymyr consistently has athletes fencing internationally on the US Junior and Cadet teams, and numerous medalists at National and Regional tournaments.

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Neil Mittal, USFCA Moniteur, Epee Coach

Coach Neil Mittal started fencing in 1987 under the instruction of third degree French Fencing Master Jean Gerard Poujardieu. He had the opportunity to learn not only fencing but coaching skills from USA Fencing Hall of Fame Masters Michael Marx (1997), Vinnie Bradford (1999), Yves Ariol (2007) and his brother, Leon Ariol; Duke University Head Coach Alex Beguinet;  and many excellent Region coaches. 


Coach Neil fenced foil and epee until 1993, and then focused on competitive epee. Neil’s competitive highlights include the South Texas Division foil champion, the Southwest Section epee champion, Junior Olympics Bronze Medalist in epee, and the Gold Medalist at the Michigan State Games in epee. 


  In 1996 he began his pedagogical apprenticeship with Maestro Gerard Poujardieu in coaching foil and epee. In 2005 Neil became the head coach of Salle Pouj following the passing of the Mastro. He coached at Salle Pouj and the San Antonio Fencing Center from 2005 until 2013.  Neil then moved to Michigan and was invited  to join the coaching staff of Three Swords Fencing in Traverse City where he continued coaching foil and epee until returning to Texas in 2017. 


In addition to fencing, Neil has been a high school Mathematics teacher since 1998, and a Computer Science teacher since 2003. Neil earned a BA in Studio Art with a minor in Mathematics from Trinity University in San Antonio followed by his Masters degree in Teaching. He continued his education in the field of Mathematics at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He has tutored and taught in public and private schools in Texas and Michigan.  Neil’s experience as a teacher and coach allows him to approach fencing instruction with an emphasis on growth and meeting goals. 



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Board of Directors and Additional Staff

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors set policy and standards of operation for the Fencing Institute of Texas. FIT Coaching staff are advisors to the Board of Directors.

The current Board of Directors and Officers are:

  • President, Ovy Waddoups
  • Vice President, Patricia White
  • Treasurer, Jeff Lewis
  • Secretary, Christine Tadlock
  • Tom Ives
  •  Melanie Mercer
  • Laura B Morales

Other Personnel

Office Manager, Lauri Lewis

General Manager, Brenda Waddoups

  • Our office personnel often have evening commitments or are away at tournaments on weekends. If you desire a meeting with one of them, you may schedule this in Setmore. Setmore will send an email notice to the office personnel.
  • Students may receive community service hours for helping in the office.

Armory Staff

  • Head Armorer, Ovy Waddoups has worked numerous World Cup, PanAmerican Cup, and North American Cup tournaments. 
  • Armorer, Jenny Bratton has worked National and Regional tournaments
  • Armorer, Amy Sanders has worked National and Regional tournaments
  • Armorer, Loralyn Sanders has worked National and Regional tournaments

Facilities Manager, Jim Matz