To develop a strong community that is focused on learning, sportsmanship, and healthy competition through fencing.
At the Encinitas Fencing Academy, we believe that being a part of a supportive community is crucial to success. Participating in that community requires both drawing from it for help as well as contributing to it. Whether a student’s endeavors are athletic, scholastic, or beyond, we provide the skill set to achieve their goals through problem solving, setting healthy goals, and an emphasis on constant learning.
We believe that self-motivation and the formation of good habits are the cornerstones of advancement. Our coaches take every opportunity to open doors and show students the paths to achieve their goals, be they at the club, local, regional, or even national level. Our coaches are not motivated by victories at competitions, but motivated by their students’ motivation to succeed.
David "Lucky" Polakoski - Head Coach
Coach Lucky began fencing in 2000 as a freshman in high school with the goal of meeting some new friends. The sport grabbed his imagination immediately and he has been competing in it consistently ever since, at the local, regional, national, and international levels. His achievements include having an "A" rating since 2006, winning the Bladerunner tournament at UCSD, being a 4-year member of the UCSD fencing team, and being Men's Epee Squad Captain during his Junior and Senior years.
He had been coaching alongside Coach Jens Stephan since 2007, and has been with Encinitas Fencing Academy since its inception. He has experience giving private lessons to kids as young as 9 and adults as old as 60, helping them set goals, find their game, and improve their fencing.
William "Bill" Ostrie II - Coach
Coach Bill Got his start in fencing at Encinitas Fencing Academy under the instruction of Coach Jens and Coach Lucky. While his daughter brought him to the academy initially, once he saw how much she enjoyed fencing, he took up the sport. Bill instantly saw the value in the club's high level of instruction, great peer group, and balanced approach to the sport. As a coach he works tirelessly to foster these ideals in the club.
Bill currently coaches the Youth Group and assists with the Mixed Skill group. He began teaching as a high school student tutoring math, and he has continued to be a teacher and instructor in many capacities and subject areas including: mathematics, downhill skiing, drawing/painting, guitar, and using Iphones and Mac computers.
The Encinitas Fencing Academy was started in 2007 by Coach Emeritus Jens Stephan and David “Lucky” Polakoski with the goal of providing the opportunity to compete at a high level as well as make great friends. They started by renting out spaces in local facilities, our Monday classes in a 500 square foot dance studio and Friday classes in the Harding Community Center in Carlsbad. Having quickly gained a following of young students, they were eventually able to secure a space in the Encinitas Community Center for regular classes twice a week, where they started gaining many adult members.
During this expansion, thanks to our fencers’ passion and their hard work with coaches, the club started to have success at the local, regional, and national level in the Youth circuit (Y10, Y12, and Y14). In 2011, EFA was fortunate enough to be able to secure a space in the Encinitas Boxing and Fitness building. With a lot of elbow grease and love, the space was renovated and became a top-notch fencing facility. EFA fencers have gone on to compete at schools such as Cal Tech, Columbia, and UC San Diego, with many more continuing on to other prestigious schools without competitive teams.
Coach Jens moved on from the club in 2015, handing the reins over to current Head Coach David “Lucky” Polakoski, who has been running it alongside Coach William Ostrie II ever since. Together, they are continuing the tradition of competitive fencing and community building while starting new traditions like Summer Dusk Patrol and our Summer Series of tournaments.