"I'm almost forty nine years old," says coach Adrian Colcisca. "I started fencing when I was eight and a half."
From the moment he picked up a sword Colcisca knew a desk job wasn't for him.
"I got hooked, and that's my life since then," he says. "I'm a coach and I'm happy having a hobby which is my job."
Colcisca fenced on Romania's National Team for more than twenty years, before becoming a coach. He eventually went to the Olympics twice, in 1996 and 2000 with athletes in the modern pentathlon. The event combines running, pistol shooting, horseback riding, swimming and fencing, Colcisca's favorite.
"It's a combat sport with a sword," he says. "You can't beat sword fighting."
After the 2000 games in Sydney, Colcisca came to the United States. He eventually relocated to Northwest Arkansas, to help set up the fencing center and it's foundation, which provides free fencing lessons to qualifying kids.
J.R. Culpepper started training with Colcisca seven months ago.
"Ever since I was a kid watching Peter Pan I've been dreaming of sword fighting," he says. "Now it's reality."
He feels lucky to have a coach of Colcisca's caliber.
"It's brilliant, like how'd he wind up here?" Culpepper says. "He yells a lot but he really knows what he's doing and he's taught me everything I know."
The student says watching the USA women's fencing team take bronze this year is inspiring.
"I keep thinking one day it's going to be me up there," he says. "As long as I keep winning, I might as well follow through."
Colcisca hopes the impressive showing helps fencing gain stronger footing here in Northwest Arkansas.
"Our guys from the United States, they did great there," he says. "I wish there was more coverage about fencing, because they really rock."
For class schedules visit the center's website, or to find out if your child is eligible for free lessons through the foundation here.