Congratulations to our Coach Sergey Danilov who has been named Assistant Coach for St. John’s University. St. John’s has a long and proud history as one of the best fencing programs in the country and with Sergey’s expertise, we’re sure they will reach new heights and become NCAA champions once again!
By Sergey Danilov
Where do I start? That’s a common question for anyone new to a sport. Let’s say your friend brought you to fencing and they’ve been doing it for a while. Then you have someone you can turn to for help with some of your questions… But what if you discovered fencing by watching the Olympics or a movie…or you simply have more questions?
Well, you’ve come to the club for a reason. You did some research and decided to give your trust to your club and your coach. Good, the first step is done.
1. Communicate with your Coach directly
While it seems like your Coach is too busy all the time, please remember that the Coach is there for you. Find the time and politely push to get an answer to your question. After all, you know very little about the sport and you deserve to have some answers. You chose to learn from the Coach for a reason: because he/she has expertise in this sport. But it’s important to realize that the Coach’s expertise goes beyond teaching technique and showing how to “stab” an opponent. The Coach also has a wealth of knowledge about how best to set your training schedule (how often, when, and what training you need based on your goals), nutrition, time management, and more. So don’t be afraid to “bother” the Coach. Believe it or not, Coaches are also inquisitive and curious by nature, just like their students.
2. Set your goals
Well, this one, we believe, is very important during your journey in the sport. The goal makes you train harder, not only on regular days, but also on those days when you do not want to. On days when you do not perform the way you like, goals can help you focus on the tasks and training, and can remind you to put aside other things that won’t help (like electronics and social media.)
Also, setting your goals should come from your heart. No one can push you hard enough except you. Coaches can motivate you, guide you in the right direction, help you to push yourself, maybe help you find motivation, but at the end of the day, your motivation should come from YOU. This will drive you in the sport to the highest possible results you desire. Of course, over time, your goals may change… well, whatever it is, remember the advice in the first paragraph – you need to discuss it with your Coach.
3. 21st Century, time of the Internet…so let’s talk about paragraph #1 again
You chose the sport, you learned the basics, and now you are dreaming about becoming an Olympic Champion, NCAA Champion, or High School Champion. You start researching the Internet and find so much information (equipment, supportive training, fencing videos, advice and much more) that now you’re getting lost. Well, we come back to where it started. Before committing to some “cool” looking exercises, buying an extremely good-looking piece of equipment, or following a certain “direction” in your training routine, communicate with your Coach. In our opinion, if you decide to trust the Coach, trust all the way. At the end of the day, your Coach knows you the best, well at least in fencing, and he/she knows what is best for you so your performance can be effective.
The last stage is when you decide to become competitive. And you discover that there are numerous tournaments and events, starting from little local events, to regionals (RYC, SYC, RCC, RJCC) and nationals (NAC, etc.) — the list can be extensive. In fact, there is an event every weekend in the drivable distance for you. Here is where you have to be very careful. Going to events, gaining experience, becoming a stronger fencer, is important. But on the other hand, training, mastering the skill, learning new skills, is also important for your competitive performance. So, you have to learn to find the right balance, choose wisely when to go to a competition and when it’s better to stay at the gym and train. And who knows best?? Yes, you are right again – the Coach!!
To conclude, trust the professionals that you chose to learn from. They did not become experts right away – they went through all the ups and downs, mistakes and successes, defeats and victories themselves and with many, many other students, and now they are here for you, helping you to avoid those obstacles. Oh well, sometimes you will still run into them – and your Coach will help you to overcome them.
So, listen, learn, and always ask your Coach!
Please join us in welcoming Coach Alex Zurabishvili as Head Coach of NYFA-Westchester! Alex brings over 20 years of experience as epee coach at clubs throughout the New York Metropolitan area and as Designated Coach for Team USA. In addition to joining NYFA’s coaching team, Alex is epee coach at Columbia University and NY Athletic Club.
Click below for his bio
We are proud to announce the grand opening of our third location:
New York Fencing Academy in Westchester
See club details and special promotions below!
NEW YORK FENCING ACADEMY-W
21 N Main Street, 3rd floor
Port Chester, NY 10573
Club: (914) 305-4597
Mondays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Tuesdays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Wednesdays: by appointment
Thursdays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Fridays: by appointment
Saturdays: 10 am – 4 pm
NYFA-W SPECIAL OFFERS
- FREE MEMBERSHIP: for 2021-22 season! (until 8/31/22, Westchester location only)
- FREE CLASS: Call for our introductory offer!
CLASSES & LESSONS
See our schedule of group classes and bouting sessions, and book your private lessons during club hours at your convenience.
NYFA-W HEAD COACH
Coach Alex Zurabishvili is Head Coach of NYFA’s Westchester location. He is also the epee coach for Columbia University.
NYFA has been named Fencing Club of the Year for two years in a row and ranked #1 in youth epee per National Fencing Club Rankings. NYFA students from all of our locations are members of the same great team with world-class training from our dedicated and accomplished coaches. All members receive the same membership benefits, and are welcome to fence together at our bouting practices, our day camps, and our popular sleep-away summer camps. They can also do make-ups at any NYFA location.
Our Westchester club is a state-of-the-art 3,854 square foot facility with 10 fencing strips. There are two rooms: one with 6 strips and another with 4.
In addition to the main gym, we will also have a separate stretching area and a study area.
NYFA-W LOCATION / DIRECTIONS
NYFA-W is located at 21 N Main Street on the 3rd floor, in Port Chester, near Westchester Avenue.
By train: Metro-North Port Chester station is right across the street.
By car: A few miles from exit 21 off I-95N or exit 2 off of I-95S. Click map above to get directions.
Parking: Free 3-hour parking in the lot behind the building and metered street parking is available.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s NYFA Summer Sleep-Away Epee Camps! It was great to come back to another successful and memorable summer fencing experience, despite the challenges of the pandemic. We couldn’t have done it without the cooperation and teamwork of our campers, parents, and staff!
Big thanks to our fantastic camp coaches: Anton Dutchak, Misha Mokretsov, Sergey Danilov, Yarik Ponomarenko, Alexei Sintchinov (Penn State University), Slava Danilov (U Penn University), and Misha Mazur (Ohio State University).
We welcomed athletes from Hong Kong, Argentina, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Bulgaria, and across the USA. Campers got to train alongside top fencers including Valentin Matveev, Silver World Championships Medalist in Juniors; Skyler Liverant, Bronze World Championships Medalist in Cadets; and Jaclyn Khrol, top 8 World Championships finisher in Juniors.
Click here to view photos and videos from camp: NYFA Summer Sleep-Away Camps Photo Album
Send us your feedback! Here’s some of the great comments we’ve received and we’d love to hear more.
Looking forward to seeing everyone next year. If you missed out, be sure to check back for Summer 2022!