Our instructors

John Chow is the Chief Instructor of Sydney Sabre, and one of our founders.

After a background in martial arts in Hong Kong and years spent playing around with foil in high school, John started fencing seriously while completing a PhD in structural biochemistry at the University of Sydney. He took up coaching in 2009. He tries to take a scientific approach to sabre training, and continues to compete here and there at World Cup level mainly to test how things work. This is fun for him.

In his day job, John is a former Director at the NSW Department of Justice, ex-management consultant and now does interesting mercenary work in semi-retirement.

Frances Chow is the head of referee training at Sydney Sabre, and one of our founders.

Not traditionally a sporty person, Frances got dragged into fencing by her husband while working on her PhD in molecular microbiology at the University of Sydney. She liked it, and things escalated rapidly. Although she’s competed in the past at national and World Cup level, she’s now focused on refereeing, and holds an FIE-B license. Frances also specialises in introducing complete beginners to the sport, with an eye to getting them playing the game and enjoying it as quickly as possible.

When not at the club or wrangling her two small children, Frances works on promoting sabre. She runs Sydney Sabre’s YouTube, social media and blog outlets, which have attracted an international following. If you get into a flamewar with Sydney Sabre online, you’re talking to her.

Hayel Albassit is an instructor, centre manager and head of armoury operations. He started training with us in 2012, and quickly moved in to both teaching and equipment management.  If something breaks, he’s the guy to talk to.

When Hayel isn’t at the club, he’s either selling motorcycles or hitting hot pieces of metal with big hammers.

Tom McGreevy is an instructor specialising in group training and special events.
He’s also the President of the local Aron Szilagyi fan club. We’re not sure why we ever let him in.