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IN THE NEWS

WORLD CLASS FENCING COMES TO PORT WASHINGTON


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https://theislandnow.com/uncategorized/world-class-fencing-comes-to-port-washington/

By Luke Torrance
April 11, 2018
The Island Now

Michael Mokretsov with three of his students at a fencing event last year. (Photo courtesy of NYFA)

Michael Mokretsov loves fencing.

It began when he first tried the sport at age 12 in his hometown of Khmelnitsky, Ukraine. That love led him to a silver medal in the Ukraine National Championship, to travel to the United States to fence for St. John’s University, and then to open a fencing academy in Brooklyn and now, Port Washington.

“It is interesting to work with the kids, to share the experience and grow in a different way of perceiving fencing,” he said of coaching. “And it helped me with fencing because I had to start thinking more.”

Mokretsov said he played basketball and danced when he was younger, but was drawn to fencing by its mental component and the variety of outcomes.

“A match against one person can be completely different each time,” he said. “You have to make decisions. There is strategy. It isn’t all physical.”

For several years as a teenager, Mokretsov was a member of Ukraine’s national team, competing in tournaments around Europe and the world. He was a finalist in the European Championship team event in 2004.

In 2006, he left Ukraine for the United States, where he had received a scholarship to fence for St. John’s University.

“Many colleges have fencing scholarships,” he said. “And the scholarships are not that competitive compared to tennis or basketball since it is a niche sport.”

At St. John’s, he earned All-American honors in 2008 and served as team captain and manager.

Fencing dominated his life, and so he was unsure what to do when he graduated in 2010. The economy was in the midst of a recession and jobs were hard to find. He had already spent the previous four years volunteering as a fencing coach, so he decided to open New York Fencing Academy in Brooklyn.

“It was scary, but it became very successful,” he said. “For 14 and younger, we were rated number one in the country.”

Mokretsov’s students, many of whom he has coached since they were 9, have won medals around the world. Speaking in his empty Port Washington studio a week before it was set to open, he mentioned that he had just returned with some of his students from a world championship in Italy.

As to why he had chosen Port Washington for his second location, Mokretsov said he wanted to have another practice space closer to some of his students, and he had many in the Port Washington area.

“We have many students coming from Long Island, and it is hard for them to train at a high level if they can only come on weekends,” he said.

Students as young as 6 can join the Fencing Academy. Mokretsov said he starts off by teaching them positions and how to hold the weapon, and recommends that students take four private lessons before taking the group classes.

“For the kids, it’s fun because you get to use a weapon,” he said, and then noted that fencing was one of the safest sports to play.

Even though most of his students are younger, Mokretsov said one of his favorite things about fencing is that it is a sport you can participate in, and get better at, regardless of age and body type.

“We have tall and short, we have slow and fast, those less physically strong can defeat an opponent with strategy,” he said. “We have veterans, guys over 60, who fence. And some who are 40 can get the best results of their life because they have experience.”

IN THE NEWS

NEWS12: BEST OF BROOKLYN: JUNIOR OLYMPIC FENCER


http://brooklyn.news12.com/clip/14121585/best-of-brooklyn-junior-olympic-fencer

By Emily Lorsch
Feb 12, 2018 10:19 PM EST
News 12 Brooklyn

BROOKLYN – A fencer who grew up in Brooklyn is hoping that he’ll make it to the Olympics in 2020.

Alan Temiryaev, 17, won the Junior Olympics last year and is heading back for round two this weekend.

He trains in Brighton Beach for about four hours, five to six days a week.

“Sometimes I’ll take Wednesdays off to just relax, get myself together, focus on studies and tests and then Sundays I usually have off. But every other day I come here,” he says.

A high school junior, Temiryaev is also working to get accepted to Columbia University.

IN THE NEWS

CONEY ISLAND FENCING CHAMP WINS GOLD IN DRAMATIC FINAL BOUT


http://bklyner.com/coney-island-fencing-champ-wins-gold-dramatic-final-bout/

BKLYNER
March 2, 2017
Carly Miller

NYFA NY Fencing Club Brooklyn
Alan Temiryaev wins 2017 Junior Olympic National Championship
in Junior Men’s Epee. pc: USA Fencing

Victory moment for 16-year-old Alan Temiryaev.

A disciplined but fun-loving sophomore at James Madison High School is setting records for fencing and laser-sharp focus — from the fencing academy in Coney Island to championships around the world.

In February, Alan Temiryaev, back from a debilitating knee injury, nabbed the Gold in the Junior Olympics in a spectacular and dramatic bout. And at 16 years old, he is one of the youngest to win the Junior (under-20) age category, beating out 301 competitors this year.

This young fencer has quite the accolade list already: The event, held in Missouri, earned Temiryaev a National Championship medal and locked his spot on the USA National Team to compete in the World Championships. (He already won two bronze medals at World Cups in Austria and France.)

The winning moment

Over the long day, Temiryaev faced many challengers in multiple bouts, including previous champions. But by the final match, both competitors were exhausted and cramping, said Temiryaev. “It was all about willpower. We were both tired, we woke up at 6am and it was 6pm already and competing for this last touch.”

Temiryaev started off this bout losing and couldn’t catch up — until the very last moment.

With just 20 seconds left and trailing 4-6, Temiryaev pulled out his skillful combination of touches and a unique perseverance and won in overtime seconds with a score of 7–6.

“They both couldn’t move anymore. Most people thought it was over. But he’s famous for bringing bouts back from bad situations,” said Coach Misha Mokretsov. “With Alan, I never know what’s going to happen!”

alan-temiryaev-center-coaches-misha-mokretsov-left-yarik-ponomarenko-right-temiryaev-wins-2017-junior-olympic-national-championship-in-junior-mens-epee
Alan Temiryaev (center), Coach Misha Mokretsov (left) (Photo via NYFA)

And Temiryaev was flying solo, since the final bout took place far from the coaches seating area. “The students cannot hear and you can coach only in the break. He was on his own. It was his own willpower,” he said.

A unique blend of strategy, confidence, and courage

Temiryaev has been fencing since he was 10 years old, under the tutelage of Coach Misha Mokretsov of Coney Island’s New York Fencing Academy.

“At first, I had no idea it would be this much fun,” Temiryaev told BKLYNER, detailing the skills for when to attack and how, using the different rules of each weapon. “It’s strategic and competitive, with discipline involved.”

“Most of the time I observe a fencer before I fence them, and if he’s aggressive I’ll use that to my advantage,” he said. “But sometimes, I react in the moment.”

NY Fencing club Brooklyn Epee
Alan Temiryaev wins 2017 Junior Olympic National Championship in Junior Men’s Epee. (Photo via NYFA)

Temiryaev loves to win but also sees great value in losing. “Last year at the nationals I lost to some crazy guy from the college level world team,” he said. “I got destroyed, but this year it was fun to realize I’m the one who’s winning in that age group.”

Coach Mokretsov saw something special in Temiryaev right away, he said. “He started like a regular kid, but in little less than a year he got second place at Summer Nationals for 10 and younger — which was surprising because he was a beginner,” said Mokretsov, whose Coney Island-based fencing academy (NYFA) has one of the strongest competitive epee programs in the country.

He attributes some of that to technique and skill, but even more so to mental strength.

“He managed to overcome pressure and scored complex actions, which requires fine execution and takes a lot of courage — even without pressure,” said Mokretsov.

“I’ve been coaching for 10 years and have had a lot of good kids,” said Mokretsov. “But usually they are tense when it comes to close bouts. But Alan does better under pressure. That’s what makes him unique. Many people can have a good day when it’s easy, but when you’re not having a good day — which happens a lot in our sport — it’s psychological, and opponent matches play a big role,” he said.

Before coaching, Mokretsov fenced on the Ukranian National Team and came to the US to attend St. John’s University on the NCAA team. “I still know how it feels to be an athlete,” he said. “And I love working with kids because they always raise my mood. They’re always positive and open to the challenge.”

Next, Temiryaev will travel with his coach, Misha Mokretsov, to compete at the World Championships in Bulgaria in April.

For young fencers, Temiryaev has this advice:

“Definitely keep trying no matter what. I lost so many times before I won.”

 

IN THE NEWS

TEAM USA BRINGS HOME SIX MEDALS FROM AUSTRIA


http://www.usfencing.org/news_article/show/717418?referrer_id=2337618

USA Fencing
November 3, 2016
Kristen Henneman

team-usa-cadets-on-podium-klagenfurt-pc-kevin-mar
Team USA won gold, silver and bronze in the men’s team competition in Klagenfurt. Photo Credit: Kevin Mar

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA’s men claimed five of the seven medals and Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.) won bronze at the Epee Cadet European Cup on Saturday in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.) earned the individual gold medal in Klagenfurt for the second consecutive year while Alan Temiryaev (Brooklyn, N.Y.) grabbed a spot on the podium with a bronze at his first international competition.

In the men’s team competition, the Americans swept the podium, its four teams placing in the top four spots. For Griffiths, a gold in the team event marked his second title of the day; Temiryaev also brings home a pair of medals, adding a second bronze from the team event to his collection.

Team USA started the day strong in the men’s individual competition with nine members going undefeated in the pool rounds and the U.S. securing four of the top five seeds in the direct elimination rounds.

Griffiths was one of the Americans to finish 6-0 in pools, taking the eighth seed and receiving a bye into the table of 128, where he defeated Alexandre Hungerbuehler (GER), 15-12. He then cruised through the next two rounds, besting Ruslan Hasanov (UKR), 15-6, and Fynn Fafard (CAN), 15-8.

To secure a place in the quarterfinals, Griffiths overcame Alex Oroian (ROU), 15-11. In quarters and semis, Griffiths would have to beat two of his teammates, securing a medal with a 15-12 victory over teammate Eliot Herbst (Houston, Texas) and reaching the final with a 15-13 win over Temiryaev.

Once in the final, Griffiths took control, winning the bout 15-9 over Daniel Hosszu (HUN).

On his way to his first international medal, Temiryaev found his stride with a 15-6 victory over Zachary Jaccoud (SUI) in the 128 before defeating Bartlomiej Zbierada (POL), 15-12. In the table of 32, Temiryaev out-touched Samu Szlachanyi (HUN), 15-14, pitting him against teammate Theodore Lombardo (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) in the 16.

Temiryaev once again squeaked out the victory, winning the bout 8-7. In the quarters, Temiryaev held off Ian Hauri (SUI), 14-12, before giving Griffiths his closest bout of the day.

Team USA made up half the competitors in the table of 16 as Herbst, Emon Daroian (Encino, Calif.), Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas), Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.), Lombardo and Robert Hondor (Malden, Mass.) joined Griffiths and Temiryaev in the 16. Herbst and Daroian advanced to the quarterfinals, finishing in fifth and seventh, respectively.

In the Cadet Point Standings, Griffiths maintains his No. 1 ranking, holding a 300-point lead over Piskovatskov. Temiryaev climbed into the third spot with Lombardo just 30 points behind.

In the women’s competition, Daniel defeated two fencers from Great Britain in her first two DEs, outscoring Charlotte Summers 15-11 in the table of 128 and Laura Sheffield 15-12 in the 64. After advancing to the 16 with a 15-8 victory over Anna Musial (POL), Daniel overcame the No. 4 fencer in the European Cadet rankings, Zsuzsa Schlier (ROU), 15-12.

Daniel then beat Natasha Kis-Toth (CAN), 15-13, in the quarterfinals, but missed a chance at gold with a 15-9 loss to Renata Petri (HUN).

The podium finish at her first international competition of the year allowed Daniel to jump three spots in the Cadet Point Standings to No. 2. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.) holds the top spot while Ariana Mangano (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Sofia Komar (Laurence Harbor, N.J.) currently rank third and fourth.

Komar also finished in the top 16, controlling her table of 128 bout against Alessandra Luna (SUI), 15-7. In the next two rounds, Komar ended the day of two teammates, claiming victories over Amanda Pirkowski (Longwood, Fla.), 15-8, and Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.), 15-11. A loss to Edina Kardos (HUN) in the 16 led to a 13th place finish.

The team competition saw the U.S. men dominate the competition as all four teams secured spots in the semifinals.

In the first semifinal, USA 1, featuring Griffiths, Lombardo, Piskovatskov and Wolfe Crouse (Conroe, Texas), narrowly defeated USA 2, composed of Temiryaev, Anton Chmut (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas) and Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.) USA 1 jumped out to an early lead and despite a comeback from USA 2, held on to win 35-33.

USA 3, which included Michael Bissinger (Houston, Texas), Eliot Herbst, Daroian and Kevin Chao (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), and USA 4, containing Thomas Etchell (Greenwood Village, Colo.), Timothy Frank (Portland, Ore.) and Nathan Vaysberg (Brooklyn, N.Y.) squared off in the second semifinal. USA 3 won seven of the nine bouts for a 45-33 victory.

In the final, USA 1 overcame a 20-18 deficit to win 45-41 for the gold. In the bronze medal match, Isaac Herbst won the fourth round 6-1 to break a 14-14 tie and USA 2 went on to win 45-38.

In the women’s team event, Komar and Mangano fenced on USA 1 with Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.) The Americans first dominated Poland, 45-19 in the table of 32 before besting USA 3, 38-35. The quarterfinals featured a come-from-behind victory as Komar won her anchor bout 11-4, overcoming Romania’s six-point lead to win by a touch, 42-41.

However, USA 1 came up short of a medal, falling in the semi to Estonia, 45-34, and Hungary 2, 45-36, in the bronze medal match.

Click here to view complete results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Klagenfurt Men’s Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Ryan Griffiths (Fairlawn, N.J.)

2. Daniel Hosszu (HUN)
3. Adam Macska (ROU)
3. Alan Leo Temiryaev (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
5. Eliot Herbst (Houston, Texas)

6. Bartlomiej Szurlej (POL)
7. Emon Daroian (Encino, Calif.)
8. Ian Hauri (SUI)

9. Jonathan Piskovatskov (Houston, Texas)
10. Cedric Mecke (New York, N.Y.)
11. Theodore Lombardo (Mount Kisco, N.Y.)
15. Robert Hondor (Malden, Mass.)
18. Michael Bissinger (Houston, Texas)
21. Isaac Herbst (Houston, Texas)
33. Nathan Vaysberg (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
36. Wolfe Crouse (Conroe, Texas)
37. Anton Chmut (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
45. Hunter Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
71. Kevin Chao (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
78. Thomas Etchell (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
96. Thomas Xavier Ghazaleh (Winchester, Mass.)
129. Michael Wang (San Jose, Calif.)
149. Timothy Frank (Portland, Ore.)
156. Bennett Cohen (Old Westbury, N.Y.)

Klagenfurt Women’s Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Renata Petri (HUN)
2. Barbara Brych (POL)
3. Dora Kazar (HUNG)
3. Chloe Daniel (Sierra Madre, Calif.)
5. Eszter Muhari (HUN)
6. Natasha Kis-Toth (CAN)
7. Outi Jaakkola (FIN)
8. Edina Kardos (HUN)

13. Sofia Komar (Laurence Harbor, N.J.)
19. Ariana Mangano (Colts Neck, N.J.)
20. Emily Vermeule (Cambridge, Mass.)
22. Ariana Rausch (Houston, Texas)
26. Mina Yamanaka (Floral Park, N.Y.)
28. Catherine Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
33. Karolina Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
38. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
39. Miriam Grady (Broomfield, Colo.)
41. Kaitlyn Gill (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
45. Huda Aldadah (Peoria, Ill.)
46. Emma Scala (San Francisco, Calif.)
55. Lake Sheffield (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
62. Amanda Pirkowski (Longwood, Fla.)
69. Claire Beddingfield (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
71. Emily Lan Gao (Manhasset, N.Y.)
75. Sofya Bulavko (Dublin, Calif.)
83. Alexis Hedvat (New York, N.Y.)
163. Jaclyn Khrol (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Klagenfurt Men’s Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. USA 1
2. USA 3
3. USA 2
4. USA 4

5. Hungary
6. Poland 2
7. Romania
8. Poland 1

Klagenfurt Women’s Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Estonia
2. Poland
3. Hungary 2
4. USA 1
5. Hungary
6. Canada 1
7. USA 2
8. Romania

13. USA 3
21. USA 4

IN THE NEWS

LOCAL CHAMP DEFEATS OLDER OPPONENTS IN PERU; MILL BASIN KID AIMS FOR GOLD IN AN UNLIKELY, GROWING SPORT


http://www.canarsiecourier.com/news/2015-08-20/Sports/Local_Champ_Defeats_Older_Opponents_In_Peru.html

Canarsie Courier
August 20, 2015
By Gregory Alcala

For Mill Basin’s Ethan Kushnerik, fencing never stops – even during the dog days of summer. Just last week, the 12-year-old epee specialist traveled to Peru for the five-day 2015 Pan American Championships of fencing, capping off another great season for the No. 2 rated youth fencer in America, via the U.S. Fencing Association …

Click below to enlarge full article

Ethan Kushnerik, Local Champ Defeats Older Opponents In Peru