Betterfly was a online service that allowed private instructors to document the work they did and schedules they kept.  I used it for years.  Now that service has been sold, and I’m not sure what will become of the information I had stored there.  The most important information I had on Betterfly was the recommendations my fencing students provided me.  When I read through these I am flattered and grateful for their kind words and thoughts.  My fencing Maestro, Paul Geraci, is to thank for these, too.  He has made me a strong fencing Moniteur d’ Fleuret.  I thought this was a good place to store these messages.  Certainly, I didn’t want to lose them!

  • S. R. June 26, 2013
    Simply put….if you see him fencing, you’ll want him to teach you. He has great foot work and incredible sense of distance.
    I always enjoy fencing with him. I highly recommend Mark. 
    Five stars *****
  • Wright F. June 24, 2013
    Mark is a very patient instructor who is obviously passionate about fencing. He offers great insight and feedback on your weaknesses while still making you feel like you are progressing and learning.


    As a beginning fencer I cannot recommend Mark enough!

  • Nikita P. August 29, 2012
    Mark is an amazing fencer, instructor, and mentor. I have been learning foil for four years now under his instruction, and I have grown so much as a fencer. Regardless of your level, age, or skill, he teaches with the perfect blend of instruction and encouragement. Not only can he teach a class filled with people ranging from young beginners to older fencers, but he does it with a kind of enthusiasm and skill that you don’t find just anywhere. The learning environment is comfortable, yet focused, and if you are looking to go to tournaments and be a serious fencer, or even if you just want to have fun experiencing a great sport, Mark is the perfect teacher.
  • Rhonda A. August 25, 2012
    I presently have 3 young fencers under Mark’s instruction. All three have very different personalities–one is extremely competitive, one is very stubborn and one has some health issues–Mark is a wonderful instructor for them as he adapts to their different styles easily with patience and care for their well being. He is easy to talk to and I am very comfortable and confident with my children under his supervision. While all three are learning at different paces, they are all progressing in the sport. Fencing not only provides them with exercise–yes, it is very physically demanding–but they are acquiring skills in sportsmanship and discipline that are valuable to their development. It also instills in them a sense of confidence and achievement, they proudly tell anyone who will listen that they are fencers!
  • Andrea N. June 10, 2011
  • Carolina S. January 14, 2011
    Mark is great! We joined the fencing club soon after we moved here. My daughters had no experience, nor even any knowledge of what fencing was. Well, they got hooked! Two and a half years later they are still fencing with enthusiasm. A lot of the credit for this goes to Mark who has worked endlessly and patiently with both of them, matching his teaching style perfectly to their quite different temperaments. I’ve noticed this with the other younger members of the club too; Mark seems to be able to read how best to get the most out of each of them. The result is a group of teens and pre-teens who are really having fun working hard. If that’s not the definition of a good teacher, I don’t know what is!
  • Sara J. January 12, 2011
    Mark is an awesome fencing teacher. He is very involved with the club and with the people as well. His way of teaching is very understandable yet has a well balance of both beginner’s and for the more advanced. I have definitely improved tremendously in my own fencing skills since when I first began. 
    Mark is also very easy to talk to and instead of viewing him as only my instructor ( a highly respected one) he also fits in my category of role models and maybe even a friend. Which makes everything much more fun and enjoyable and when he teaches me or fences one on one, I have no pressure at all. It’s okay to make mistakes, because with him, they can only get better. 
    I love fencing and I look forward to Mondays and Wednesdays all the time. I wish I could get to more of the lessons more frequently.
    Anyways, Mark is a wonderful instructor and person. Thanks to him, I have finally found that one sport that I love and will continue it, for who knows how long. :) 
  • Ed S. January 10, 2011
    Mark is a patient instructor. He knows that adults and youth learn differently, and that not everyone is superbly coordinated and in top physical shape…yet they want the basic or even entry competition skills in fencing. He adjusts the teching style – method to match the student, regardless of end goals for fencing, or even changing goals of fencing. 
    He teaches by use of standard – accepted fencing drills, and develops the student to the appropriate level before allowing them to “open” fence, so that first non-holds-barred bout goes well. I will remember my first such bout forever…and the look of pride on Mark’s face as I survived the bout. 
    He is “not” some things. He is not an instructor that teaches by showing off his own skill. He is not an instructor that thinks 8 weeks of lessons is good enough, and tries to let the student know the process is long. He is not so oriented to the foil that he can’t read the student’s natural abilities that may point to epee (myself) or sabre. 
    I am a certified instructor in another psychomotor skill, and critically judge all instructors…I cannot speak highly enough of Mark’s abilities as an instructor. From my first lesson through USFA regional competition against a field of over 100 epeeists, Mark always gave just the right bit of advice. 
    Mark Brandyberry



  Never Hang Your Head

Twitter: @markbrandyberry