Ed Korfanty was born in Poland. He started fencing at age 16 and fenced a number of years on the Polish Junior and Senior National Teams before graduating from the reknowned Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland with a master’s degree in Physical Education and a Master of Fencing degree. By 1984 he had become the head coach at the Olympic Center in Katowice, Poland and coach of the Polish National Team. In 1990 Coach Korfanty immigrated to the United States and became assistant fencing coach at the University of Notre Dame.
In 1993 he came to the Oregon Fencing Alliance (OFA). Maestro Korfanty’s first student to make historical progress in US fencing was Seth Kelsey who made the Cadet, Junior and Senior US National teams in epee in one season. Under his direction, the Oregon Fencing Alliance Club moved to become a one weapon club in 2000 concentrating solely on sabre fencing. The accomplishments of his students have been extraordinary in the history of US fencing.
His students have won 9 Individual Gold Medals at World Championships including the Olympic Gold in 2004. As US National Coach of Women’s Sabre the US Women’s Sabre team has won 6 Gold medals in the Team World Championships. Add to that the additional individual and team medals won at the World Championships and it makes 17 more medals.
Mariel Zagunis, who started her fencing with him at age 10, has won an unprecedented 3 individual World Championship Gold medals (Cadet in 2001, Junior in 2001, Junior in 2005) and the first OLYMPIC Gold medal for US fencing since 1904. She has been a member of all 5 teams that won World Championship Gold medals for US Fencing.
Other notable students include Caitlin Thompson – 2004 Cadet World Champion, Rebecca Ward: 2005 FIE overall Jr. World Champion – 2006 Cadet World Champion – 2006 Jr. World Champion – 2006 Jr. World Team Champion member- 2006 Senior World Champion. Additional students who have made the US national teams include Patrick Ghattas, Mera Keltner and William Thanhouser.
He continues to be recognized internationally by his students being honored as the World Cup FIE holder in Junior Women’s sabre for 4 consecutive years, and the Senior Women’s FIE World Cup holder in 2006. The US Women’s sabre team won the FIE team World Cup honor in 2003.