Author: NY Fencing Academy (NYFA)

fencing, PRESS RELEASES

For Immediate Release: World Championship Bronze Medal for New York Fencer Skyler Liverant


Brooklyn, NY (April 15, 2021) –  The World Championships is the most prominent international competition in the sport of fencing, after the Olympic Games. Only three fencers from each country qualify to participate. For 17-year-old Skyler Liverant (Kensington, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School), this was his second World Championship in the Cadet (17 and under) age group, and his experience paid off with a bronze medal finish in Cairo, Egypt last week. 

Liverant’s coach, Misha Mokretsov at New York Fencing Academy, recalls, “when Skyler competed two years ago in the World Championship in Poland, he was only 15 years old fencing against opponents two years older, and he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the event. This time, Skyler came fully prepared and knew what to expect.”

“I felt really confident,” Liverant confirmed. “I was practicing really well and was mentally prepared. Having been there before, I knew how I needed to approach the competition to win.”  The COVID-19 protocols didn’t seem to faze him either. Athletes remained in a “bubble” from arrival at the airport and throughout the competition. “On one hand it was hard to stay in the hotel all the time” said Liverant “but I think it also helped us to focus on the competition.”

Liverant started off feeling a little nervous and tight and lost the first pool bout by one touch. After discussing his mistakes with coach Mokretsov, he took off, fencing free and easy and winning the remaining bouts in his pool. He finished the pool round 14th out of 100 athletes. 

In the direct elimination round, Liverant first faced Krystof Pohnan from Czech Republic. Liverant was flawless, leading 14-0 and he finished the bout with a double touch to make 15-1. In his bout for top 16 against Lukin Bogdan from Kazakhstan, Liverant started confidently and held his lead throughout to lock in a 15-7 win. 

For Liverant, the most significant bout of the day was for top 8 when he had to beat fellow American, Henry Lawson. “It’s always a lot of pressure to fence a teammate at an international competition, especially World Championships,” Liverant said.  Lawson was ranked third after pools, and both fencers knew each other very well. It all came down to who could change the game enough to surprise the opponent. They fenced evenly to 7-7, then Liverant built a comfortable lead and won 15-9. 

The next bout determined whether Liverant would make top 4 and earn a medal. His competitor was Markus Salm from Estonia, whom Liverant fenced and beat in the pool round. Coach Mokretsov’s main advice was to not underestimate his opponent just because he beat him in the pools. Liverant was winning 13-8 and then lost 3 touches in a row. His lead narrowed to 13-11 and his coach intervened, changing tactics to attack more aggressively so as not to give too much freedom to the opponent. Liverant succeeded, won 15-12, and earned a medal. 

To make the finals, Liverant had to fence in the semifinals against a very strong fencer, Artem Sarkisyan from Russia. Liverant started to attack early in the match which was not the right strategy. Sarkisyan was very comfortable defending and with his lead, did not need to attack. With a strong performance, Liverant ended the day with the bronze medal, adding to USA’s success at this World Championship. 

“Skyler fenced his heart out,” said coach Mokretsov. “He really deserves this medal for all his hard work over the past eight years, his dedication and love for the sport of fencing, and very importantly his personal qualities – honesty, loyalty and diligence. It’s a beautiful way to finish the cadet age level and I know it will only inspire him to achieve greater results in the future.” 

New York Fencing Academy (NYFA) was founded in 2010 in Brooklyn, NY by owner and head coach Misha Mokretsov.  In 2018, NYFA opened their second location in Port Washington, Long Island, NY.  NYFA is a center for excellence in epee, with one of the strongest competitive epee programs in the country. NYFA has produced National and World Champions, and has members on the USA and French national teams.  NYFA provides private lessons, group classes, after school programs, and camps for students of all ages and all levels, beginners to advanced. Visit www.fencenyfa.com for more info.

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Contact: Misha Mokretsov, , cell phone: (347) 741-1343

Company: New York Fencing Academy

Brooklyn: 2896 W 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224, club phone: (718) 996-0426

Long Island: 8 Haven Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050, club phone: (516) 472-7042

info.nyfa@gmail.com

www.fenceNYFA.com  

CLUB NEWS, fencing camps

2021 Summer Sleepaway Fencing Camp Registration Open


We are thrilled to announce that our summer sleep-away fencing camps are back for 2021 and registration is open!

Here are the dates for the 3 sessions which will be held at Storm King School in Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York (just 70 miles north of NYC):

  1. JULY 16-25, 2021
  2. JULY 26-AUGUST 4, 2021
  3. AUGUST 5-14, 2021

Sign-up for all 3 sessions and receive 6 free private lessons with top college and club epee coaches!  NYFA International summer camps are ideal for fencers ages 10 & up with at least 1 year of experience. Each year we welcome fencers from around the world and across the country including world and national champions, national team members, NCAA athletes and top ranked youth fencers.

Visit our Summer Fencing Camp page for registration and all the details you need to join us for a fantastic summer of fencing and fun!

 

NYFA Summer Sleep away Fencing Camps

 

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, Parents

What Is So Important About The Warm-up?


By Sergey Danilov

A warm-up involves doing exercises at a lower intensity and slower pace, exercises which prepare athletes for the specific work, improve athletic performance, and prevent injuries. Are these not enough reasons to take it seriously?

NY Fencing Academy workoutWarm-up activities might include, but definitely are not limited to, light jogging, jogging with some additional exercise, and warming up muscles necessary for the future work. Warming up before exercise prepares your cardiovascular system for physical activity by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and raising the temperature of your body. It also helps to lower the risk of injuries — when your muscles are adequately warmed up, the movements, stretches, and strain put on them during your workout is less severe. This also minimizes muscle soreness.

So why exactly do we warm-up?

1. Injury Prevention

The most important reason for doing a warm-up is to prevent injury during practice in general and during specific work. Keeping the muscles warm will prevent injuries such as hamstring strains, for example (one of the most important muscles for fencing). Stretching is considered part of the warm-up and should be included all the time in your preparation for practice, events, and private lessons.

2. Mental Preparation

A side benefit of warming up is that your brain will become focused on your body and your physical activity as you go through the process. This focus will carry over into your training or competition session to help improve your technique, coordination and skill.

3. Relieving Stress Before Events

One important thing we have to learn is that competition creates stress and that will never go away. So we just have to learn to deal with stress and find ways to reduce it so we can focus on more important tasks.

Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.

Scientists have found that participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. So bottom line – make sure you warm-up – it will help you physically and mentally.

And finally – specific warm-ups before events:

With all the points stated above, do not forget that warming-up before events takes a lot of time and as you prepare it should include the following:

  • Warm-up itself
  • Stretching
  • Light footwork
  • Light blade work with your teammates to feel the actions, blade and point control
  • Warm-up bouts (where you should be trying out all “arsenal” you have, to see what feels best at the moment).

A lot of athletes ask what are appropriate amounts to do for each part of the warm-up? The answer is pretty simple – it is up to the individual, and you should develop your own routine during practices at the gym according to what is best for you.

To conclude, remember: warm-up every time you come to the gym, try to listen to your body and see what routine makes you feel your best mentally and physically. Once you figure out what is the best warm-up for you, stick to it and adjust when you feel you need it.

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, Parents

Why Should I Start Fencing?


By Sergey Danilov

7 Reasons to Start Fencing

1. Fencing improves your fitness and coordination

Hours of sitting for online classes, computer games, or Netflix will inevitably make your body feel a little clumsier and out of shape. Well, fencing improves fitness and develops a number of skills. As you learn to move quickly on the fencing strip (2 x 14 meters) in specific positions and with different motions, you aim to outsmart your opponents and execute the actions before they even realize that you “fooled” them. Fencing makes you work hard physically, keeps you in shape, and improves your coordination, speed, agility and strength.

 

2. Fencing makes you think

All actions in fencing require not only focus on your own position, but also the ability to read and anticipate actions and movements of your opponent. Fencing develops strategic thinking on the same level as chess or other logistical games. That is why the common nickname of fencing is “physical chess”. Fencing teaches the athlete to find the way in situations when it seems there is no way, and find the most effective ways to make the right decisions in a short period of time. These skills will help you succeed off the strip as well — in school, college, careers, family, life.

3. Fencing teaches you focus and resilience

You win, you are happy. You lose…well it happens, but you will be responsible for it and only you. Every loss will teach you to find your own mistakes, practice and master the skills and try again and again, until you succeed. Isn’t this what we need in life? Instead of stressing out, you learn to focus and work hard to perfect something (even if nothing is ever perfect) until you achieve your goals.

4. Fencing is a very safe and low injury sport

Fencing is one of the safest sports in the world. Hard to believe, right? Fencers must wear protective gear, made of high-tech materials, including masks and gloves. Body contact is prohibited, and safe and proper protocols are taught from the start. Fencing is one of the sports with the lowest risk of injury — occasionally, there may be a few small bruises if someone hits too hard accidentally, but that is a big maybe!

5. Fencing teaches you time management

Well, you learned the sport, you got busier… now you have to manage all the time you have to succeed everywhere. During sparring with your opponents, you will learn to manage time in “split seconds”; during practice you will learn to manage your time to complete everything the coach told you to do; outside of practice you will learn to manage your time for academics, training, competitions, family and friends so you can accomplish everything you want.

6. Fencing is for everyone

Any size, any age, any gender, any ability — you can succeed in fencing! This sport is called “physical chess” for a reason. It’s all about using your unique traits to your advantage. Unlike sports like volleyball and basketball where height is an absolute game-changer, fencers primarily utilize their lateral movement, quickness, and precision. This means that shorter and taller people can both use strategy to score a touch on their opponents. Fencing is a demanding and safe sport that one can practice throughout a lifetime, which means that you may cross paths with fencers from ages 8 to 80 and learn from all different kinds of people throughout your fencing journey.

7. Fencing can help you get into college

Your child may not be thinking of fencing as they prepare for college admissions, but maybe they should — especially, if he or she has a passion for and dedication to the sport. Fencing can give your child that extra edge that’s needed to get into a great college. 32% of male fencers and 38% female fencers who compete in high school will continue to compete in college with a partial or full scholarship. Compare that to football which only sees about 7.8% of its students continue with the sport in college. Fencing can really benefit your college application and enrich your college experience.

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, Parents

NYFA Guidelines to Reopen!


By Sergey Danilov

While I am lost in time, figuratively and literally, I realize how much I want to be back to a somewhat normal life. The past almost three months went in a blink of the eye and it was the longest three months of my life at the same time. We learned a lot during this time of the pandemic COVID-19 – new virus, what is social distance, online training, online learning, spending more time with the people we did not have time for before… I can continue on and on. But the bottom line… we are all ready to be back to normal.

At New York Fencing Academy, looking through different guidelines, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Fencing Association (USFA), New York Department of Health and Nassau County Department of Health, we are putting together our Academy guidelines for reopening when it will happen.

While both of our clubs are in New York, they are in different zones and it looks like the Long Island location is moving towards reopening a bit sooner than the Brooklyn location. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will work hard to follow all the guidelines before and during the reopening. So, both locations will follow the guidelines of the local Health authorities.

Meanwhile, we developed some New York Fencing Academy guidelines for all athletes, parents, coaches and staff.

While we will be reopening the facilities with strict guidelines stated below, we will provide full support to our NYFA family by continuing all online classes and online private lessons. So, you can choose either one or even a combination.

NYFA will be providing:

  • Group classes with limited number of participants (when permitted by region’s control room);
  • Private lessons at the NYFA facilities (by appointment only);
  • Zoom training including group classes and private lessons;
  • Any combination;

The following guidelines will apply to facilities, athletes, parents, coaches and staff who might be involved in fencing activities with NYFA.

Facility and cleaning:

  1. The gyms will be ventilated daily, and air purifiers with UV-C light & True HEPA filters, and ozone generator machines will be working overnight to sanitize the air.
  2. The gym, hallways and restrooms will be cleaned and fully sanitized daily, including the door handles of the street entrance, elevator doors and buttons.
  3. Hand sanitizing stations will be installed throughout the facility.
  4. The sign of all the necessary precautions will be posted in the lobby.
  5. Temperature checks for all who are entering the facility (including the coaches and staff) will be made by touchless thermometer. All who have temperatures of 37.2C (99F) or higher will not be admitted to the facility and will be asked to isolate themselves at home for 14 days (in case of good health, Zoom classes are still available for those who cannot attend).
  6. Changing rooms will be closed for all athletes. Gearing up should happen at home or in the car, prior to entering the building.
  7. The water fountain will be closed at this time. Only personal bottles are allowed for use (before and after private sessions only – in the designated bag area or outside the gym).
  8. NO PARENTS are allowed in the facility. The drop off for fencers will be right in front of the door. Anyone who does enter the facility must wear a face mask.

The Fencers and Coaches:

  1. NYFA Coaches and staff will be wearing face masks at all times.
  2. All fencers must wear face masks before entering the facility of NYFA. If not single use mask, it should:
    · Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    · Be secured with ties or ear loops
    · Include multiple layers of fabric
    · Allow for breathing without restriction
    · Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  3. Fencers, coaches and staff should come to the gym directly from home.
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider.
  5. Practice proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
    – Wash your hands frequently with soap and use hand sanitizer;
    – Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze into a tissue;
    – Practice social distance;
    – Do not use or share other people’s devices such as phones, tablets etc;

Fencing and sport equipment:

  1.  Coaches and Fencers are not allowed to leave any equipment in the gym under any circumstances.
  2. All personal equipment should be washed and/or sanitized after each use. If the equipment cannot be washed (mask, epee) – it must be sanitized.
  3. The club equipment will not be available for anyone. If Fencer forgot the equipment, he/she will not be able to participate in the club activity – no exceptions.
  4. Some sports equipment (i.e. jumping rope, tennis ball, resistant band, etc) will not be provided by the club; all fencers must have their own. Please consult with the coaches about what you need for upcoming practices.
  5. Due to closure of the changing rooms, there will be a designated bag area, marked with tape, which will be clearly visible. Please follow the 6 feet social distance rule when in the bag area.

Private sessions and group classes:

  1. Only fencers who have previously booked lessons or classes will be admitted to the gym (contact Marina at 516-472-7042 for Long Island location and 718-996-0426 for Brooklyn location). Fencers who have no appointments, please contact our office OVER THE PHONE ONLY! Availability of group classes will be announced separately when permitted by state.
  2. The fencers who have booked lesson(s) will be admitted to the facility no earlier than 15 minutes prior in order to warm-up. There will be a special designated area for the warm-up.
  3. All games including sharing of objects or possible physical contact are canceled.
  4. All fencers must wear face masks, covering the nose and mouth.

At the end of the day, we would like to keep everyone safe and healthy. We will continue Zoom classes and the combination of Zoom and in-person training. Stay healthy and We Will Fence Again!

Team NYFA!