CLUB NEWS

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, fencing, Parents

Where Do I Start?


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.

4. Tournaments

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!

CLUB NEWS, fencing camps

2021 NYFA International Summer Fencing Camp Highlights


No Comments

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!

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.