Brian Toomey


Foil/Epee Coach


After many years of martial arts training and study, Brian took an elective at UNC-Charlotte. It was fencing 101. He was enthralled with the sport from the first day. That was over 15 years ago.
Brian has extensive experience in competing on the local, regional, and national level, and his students have also succeeded on both the national and the NCAA collegiate level. Of his students, 6 have reached a USFA "A" rating, the highest attainable in epee, and 1 in sabre. Multiple have attained their "B" and "C" ratings in all three disciplines and have been nationally ranked at the cadet(Under 17) and junior(Under 20) levels.

Colleen Gallant

Foil Coach


In 1987, looking to meet new people and just have some fun, Colleen took a fencing class at Central Piedmont Community College. She was instantly hooked, so much so that she continued fencing there for over a year.

To further her training and progress in foil and epee, she took it upon herself to travel weekly to Columbia, SC to train with noted coach Michael Tarascio in late 1988 through 1991. Her efforts were rewarded by success in local and regional tournaments and qualification in foil for the '90 and '91 Nationals. As her love of the sport increased, so did the time constraints of her career and in due course she had to curtail her training. 

In the fall of 2003, at the Charlotte Fencing Academy, Colleen was able to revive her passion and commitment to the sport, and we're extremely pleased to have her as part of our staff. Her reemergence in the sport has also resulted in her continued tournament successes.

Some of her competitive highlights:

  • 2005-2011 North Carolina Division Women's Foil Gold Medalist
  • 2006 Reno North American Cup Women's Veteran Foil - 3rd Place
  • 2005 Sacramento Summer Nationals Women's Veteran Foil - 7th place
  • 2004 Richmond North American Cup Women's Veteran Foil - 7th place
  • 2005 Inagural Iron Maiden Open, Wilmington NC - Gold Medalist
  • 2004 North Carolina Fall Circuit Event Women's Foil - Gold Medalist
Her further training and coaching at the Charlotte Fencing Academy will lead her and her fellow students to reach for higher goals and undoubtedly continued success.

Sandy Tapia

Epee Coach


Sandy Tapia is our newest coach at Charlotte Fencing Academy. She's a four time South Carolina Division Champion in epee, and the former president of the Winthrop fencing club; where she graduated with her degree in Exercise Science.

Sandy brings an energetic approach to her lessons, and gets her students excited about the sport of fencing.