Our friend and colleague Ned Light died of cancer in December 2011. We are keeping this page as a memorial to him and his wonderful spirit. You may also be interested in this letter.
Coach and Instructor
Ned Light began fencing as a freshman at Duke University in 1985. He captained the saber squad for two years and was men’s team captain for his senior season. After graduating and staying at Duke to do research in Biomedical Engineering, Ned volunteered as an assistant coach with the Duke team for 8 years. During that time he attended the USFA Coaches College, and is certified in both saber and foil. Ned also spent time teaching and coaching youths in all three weapons with the North Carlina Fening Development Project for several years. Since 2001, Ned has run the Triangle Fencing Club, teaching young people the joys of saber fencing.
Questions and Answers
How long have you been fencing? I have been fencing for 25 years.
What is your greatest fencing result?
I represented North Carolina in the 1987 Junior Olympic Championships.
How long have you been coaching? I have been coaching since 1989.
Greatest Coaching Moment?
Anytime I watch a fencer succeed in a bout using what I have been teaching is fun for me.
What locations have you coached at?
Volunteer assistant at Duke University, North Carolina Fencing Development Program (NC-FDP), Triangle Fencing Club, Mid-South Fencers’ Club.
What is your approach to coaching and how has it evolved over time?
My current approach to fencing is to provide safe and fun instruction that focuses on the basic underlying skills needed to enjoy fencing for a life time. I have come to stress the importance of respect for the one’s self, one’s opponent and the sport of fencing itself. I try to use humor where appropriate as a teaching tool, but I also stress that my students meet high standards.
What type of group instructor are you?
What would your students say about your as an instructor? I am a disciplined instructor that stresses that the students meet a high standard for learning and respect for themselves as well as the sport, but I am also likely to break off into an amusing story or statement at any moment. I think most of the students who have been with me a while would say I am crazy, but obviously care more about them as people than as fencers.
You love fencing because(list)?
I love fencing because it is fun and a great sport you can do at almost any stage in your life. It provides a wonderful forum for constant learning.
You love coaching because(list)?
After 21 years of coaching it is difficult for me to separate coaching from fencing in general. For me, coaching provides many rewards. I certainly enjoy the wonderful opportunity for continued learning that coaching provides. New learning opportunities abound as a coach as well as a fencer. Both aspects of the sport provide me not only the chance for technical learning, but also a chance for personal learning and learning about (and from) other people. But, by far the best part of coaching is building long term relationships with people. I have been privileged to attend many wonderful events in the lives of my students; graduations, weddings even college reunions. My coaching has also furthered the relationship with my first coach, which is always a great benefit for me.