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CONEY ISLAND FENCING SCHOOL STAR WINS TEAM GOLD IN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP


http://www.bensonhurstbean.com/2015/03/coney-island-fencing-school-star-wins-team-gold-european-championship/

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Romain Cannone Team Gold European Champs IMG_0512-702x563

 

BENSONHURST BEAN
MARCH 16, 2015
By Jerry Del Priore

Romain Cannone lives anything but a normal teenage existence. His life revolves around school and fencing, with not much time for anything else.

But Cannone’s hard work and sacrifice paid tremendous dividends when he helped the French National Junior Team beat Hungary for the men’s epee gold medal at the European Championships in Maribor, Slovenia, earlier this month.

“When I got to school that day, people were congratulating me,” says Cannone, 17, noting that friends and family members watched the competition via live stream. “It felt very, very good.”

Cannone, who finshed 17th in individuals, took up the sport at a camp six years ago when his cousin Zoey urged him to give foil fencing a try. He switched to epee – a stiffer, heavier sword – at the recommendation of his mentor,  fencing coach Misha Mokretsov, who has trained numerous nationally recognized fencers through his company New York Fencing Academy (NYFA), located at 2896 West 12th Street in Coney Island.

Mokretsov wasn’t an established coach when he first met Cannone in 2010. In fact, Cannone was among his first generation of students. But as Cannone developed, so did his teacher, who recognized the ability in his budding pupil from the outset.

“He right away showed talent in footwork, and he was creative,” said Mokretsov, a former Ukrainian silver medalist who founded NYFA in 2010. “He wasn’t super athletic at first, but he had the feeling of distance and timing, meaning he knew when someone was in range to attack.”

As one of Mokretzov’s star pupils, Cannone has competed at fencing events all over the country and world – which pulls him away from his studies for weeks at a time. When he arrives home, it’s business as usual, and he works feverishly to make up all the school work he’s missed.

Romain Cannone right European Team Championships Maribor 2015 IMG_0515

But the young fencer doesn’t mind the sacrifice.

Cannone trains in fencing and overall fitness twice a week in Westchester – where he lives and attends school – and spends spends Fridays and Saturdays in Coney Island, taking private lessons with Mokretsov.

“It’s always a challenge, especially my trips. I just have to warn my teachers a week ahead of time,” the French native explained. “I don’t have a lot of time for slacking off. Some people might say it’s too much, but for me, it’s worth it.”

He has a point considering there are not many adolescents that can say they have visited places such as Virginia, Switzerland, Bratislava, Slovakia, and Estonia, let alone compete on the national and international stage in any sport.

In January, Cannone captured the bronze medal at the Basel Junior World Cup in Switzerland, earning himself the #1 ranking in France’s men’s epee, under-20 category. Last year, he also won the gold at the Cadet World Cup in Slovakia, and ended the season ranked third in the world.

“The winning, the experience, the traveling — I would never get to do that and meet all these people,” he said. “It’s been pretty interesting.”

As for his success, Cannone and his mother Cecile attribute a great deal of it to NYFA and his coach and friend Mokretsov.

“[Mokretsov] is a very dedicated person, loves his passion and knows how to transmit it to his students,” Cecile Cannone said. “But they are actually more than student-teacher to each other; it is a very deep friendship, and he gives great advise to Romain in many aspects of his life.”

Romain Cannone Team Gold European Champs IMG_0518-702x564

What’s next for Cannone? The rising fencer is currently in his last international competition of the season, where he will be competing in the World Championship team event in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on April 1. Next year, he plans on attending Sacred Heart University in Connecticut on a partial fencing scholarship to study business.

[Additional reporting by Rachel Silberstein.]

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BROOKLYN TRAINED FENCER RANKED NUMBER ONE IN FRANCE


http://homereporter.com/brooklyn-trained-fencer-ranked-number-one-in-france/

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Brooklyn trained fencer ranked number one in France Brooklyn Spectator Feb 2015

The Brooklyn Spectator
By Jaime DeJesus, homereporter.com
February 2015

On guard!

Brooklyn-trained fencer Romain Cannone continues to rise in the world ranks. During the Basel Junior World Cup in Switzerland last month, the 17-year-old, who trains at Coney Island’s New York Fencing Academy, defeated both the first and second world ranked fencers and took home the tournament’s bronze medal. As a result, the France native is ranked number one in the men’s epee under-20 category.

“I was a little too relaxed at first, but after that bout, the pressure kicked in,” said Cannone, who got off to a rocky start during the day’s semifinal match against Israel’s Yuval-Shalon Freilich, ranked number one in the world. Cannone started slow, losing 0-3.

“I had to wake up,” he recalled. “I turned it around to 5-3, and then Freilich got the next touch which started a debate. We continued to exchange touches and I was still down 12-14, but I wasn’t worried.  I thought, I got this. I tied it 14-14, and then right at ‘fence!’ he faked deep and I counter-attacked for 14.”

Cannone’s strategy paid off as he defeated Freilich 15-14. Although Cannone eventually fell to Yan Sych of the Ukraine, 15-12, he earned bronze medal honors.

“When I get in the mode, I just play around.  That’s when you can see what to do, you figure it out as you go,” he said regarding his strategy.

Next for the rising star, Cannone —  who is currently on the junior national team — will compete at the final World Cup of the season in Latvia, and hopes qualify to compete in the World Championships in Uzbekistan. He also expects to participate in NCAA college fencing this fall.

Cannone told The Home Reporter that he attributed his success to the New York Fencing Academy. “They pretty much taught me everything,” he said. “The work has been worth it. (My coach) knows me very well. He knows how to get me focused.”

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NY1: FIT KIDS STRENGTHEN MUSCLES, MIND AT NY FENCING ACADEMY


http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/fit-kids/2015/01/31/fit-kids-february–kids-strengthen-muscles–mind-at-fencing-academy.html

NYFA on NY1: Fit Kids Fencing

By Erin Clarke
Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 05:43 PM EST

As we continue coverage of our month long Fit Kids Initiative, we visit New York Fencing Academy where NY1’s Erin Clarke tells us kids are building their physical—and mental muscles. 

Just about every kid loves a good sword fight—whether pretend or for sport.

It turns out, the activity builds strong muscles too.

Take it from these kids at the New York Fencing Academy in Brooklyn.

“When you hold the blade, your arm gets stronger and like when you extend, we do some extending drills, you have to keep your arm extended while you fence and so that like kind of makes your hand stronger so you feel more muscle,” says Anna Temiryaev, 9. “When you sit in en garde, low the thighs, you can feel it, your thighs usually get a lot stronger.”

“I’ve seen myself with a bit more stamina. I could do a lot more. I could push more in myself,” says Alan Temiryaev, 14.

That’s not the reason they started with the sport, but it’s even more of a reason to continue.

The siblings and most students here work with NYFA’s owner and head coach, Misha Mokretsov—who says parents send kids as young as four to his Coney Island club to reap the benefits of this sport.

“Fencing is a higly demanding coordination sport and especially for little children, it’s very important to do sports that will be developing their agility, as well as, coordination. So fencing we have a lot of moves that are small or are changing direction, so it develops a lot of coordination,” Mokretsov says.

In addition to making kids faster, stronger, more flexible and coordinated, coaches also say fencing works the thinking muscles.

“It’s also very a mental sport, so you’re getting developed in terms of critical thinking, strategy,” says instructor Slava Zingerman.

That’s something that helps fencers when they’re off the matts and in the classroom.

“It can help you out with patience. You have to wait and see opportunities. You have to think a lot more.”

Building technicall skills and physical fitness is something that will benefit these kids for years to come.

For more information about the New York Fencing Academy visit fenceNYFA.com or give them a call at 718-996-0426.

IN THE NEWS

NEWS 12 : ETHAN KUSHNERIK, 10, BECOMES WORLD CHAMPION FENCER


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http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/ethan-kushnerick-10-becomes-world-champion-fencer-1.7614916

News 12 Brooklyn: Ethan Kushnerik Wins International Gold in Poland

Ethan Kushnerik, 10, is part of a group of fencers who train in Coney Island. (4/4/14)

April 4, 2014

BROOKLYN, NY – A young fencer from Brooklyn is now a world champion after winning an international tournament last week.

Ethan Kushnerik, 10, is part of a group of fencers who train in Coney Island. He just brought home gold from a tournament in Poland, where he beat 150 other kids his age.

The Mill Basin fifth grader is modest, but he and the other young athletes at Coney Island’s New York Fencing Academy work hard at their sport.

When you ask Kushnerik the secret to winning, his answer is simple. He said, “Don’t give up. If you’re losing, don’t give up.”

IN THE NEWS

MILL BASIN BOY TAKES HOME INTERNATIONAL FENCING TITLE


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http://brooklyndaily.com/stories/2014/14/mm-young-fencing-champ-2014-04-04-bk_2014_14.html

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Courier Life’s Brooklyn Daily
By Nichelle Henry
April 3, 2014

Sharp kid: Ten-year-old Ethan Kushnerik of Mill Basin, center, took the top prize at an international fencing competition held in Poland over the weekend. Photo by Vadim Kushnerik
A 10-year-old Mill Basin boy has shown the world his mettle — and it’s a fencing sword.

Superlative swordsman Ethan Kushnerik came in first at the 37th annual International Children’s Fencing Tournament Challenge, held in Wroclaw, Poland, March 27–31.

The five-day tournament is considered one of the premier fencing contests in the world, drawing 1,400 competitors under age 15 from 21 different countries.

Kushnerik was one of 19 kids representing the United States, and he won one of the two gold medals taken home by Americans.

He crossed swords with 142 fencers from around the world in back-to-back matches, fighting for seven hours straight, and he remained undefeated.

After the last competitor met his blade, Kushnerik didn’t even realize that he had just won the gold, because he was so focused on the swordplay.

“I was just concentrating on hitting may target,” he said.

En Garde!: Ten-year-old champion swordsman Ethan Kushnerik, at left, goes on the attack in an international fencing competition held March 27–31 in Wroclaw, Poland. Photo by Vadim Kushnerik

It was that mental discipline that made Kushnerik an international champion, according to his coach.

“For 10-year-old athletes, competing at such a big, international event, it’s a great accomplishment to be able to maintain such a strong physical and mental focus untill the end,” said Misha Mokretsov, head coach at the New York Fencing Academy in Coney Island.

This was Kushnerik’s first international competition, though he had also recently won silver and bronze medals at the North American Cup in Nashville, Tenn.

Kushnerik said his biggest challenge in Wroclaw was adapting to the various fencing styles of his European opponents, who come out of different traditions. Mokretsov agreed that dealing with the variety of fighting techniques is what make international tournaments so demanding.

“This was a world event of the highest magnitude,” said Mokretsov. “You need to be very flexible and able to adjust to different fencing styles.”