Parents

CLUB NEWS, Parents

Coronavirus Update: NYFA Safety & Schedule Changes Effective Immediately


Dear NYFA Parents, Fencers, Coaches and Staff,

We have been continuously and closely monitoring the developments on COVID-19 through CDC (Center of Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). NYFA has always made the health and safety of its customers and staff a top priority. While this decision is hard to make, we would like to put the safety and health of our customers as the top priority.

In order to keep our environment safe we will take the following precautions:

We will be CLOSED for March 16th and March 17th, for deep cleaning of the facilities and evaluation of the development of the COVID-19 situation. We will reopen on March 18th for private lessons only until further notice.

The private lessons can be scheduled throughout the day.

1. Our gyms will be cleaned daily and sanitized properly. All staff will continue to be vigilant in cleaning each day and will take extra precautions when necessary.

2. We are implementing a NO-HANDSHAKE policy during practice, private lessons, etc.

3. Every night we will be installing OZONE generator at the gym to sanitize the air and organize proper ventilation.

4. For Long Island – the door on the street on the left of the main entrance will be open, so customers can take the stairs instead of elevator (there is no way to unlock that door, so we will be installing the block which will keep the door open. If the block will be accidentally moved, please contact our office). The elevator will be cleaned daily.

5. We will be scheduling private lessons throughout the day, so we can reduce the amount of athletes at the gym at the same time.

6. Only one person at a time can visit the bathroom.

7. No food in the gym or lobby area.

8. While we wash and clean all the equipment – we advise not to share any equipment and use your own.

9. If anyone knows about a case of direct contact with a person infected with COVID-19, please inform us immediately.

10. We will credit the group class payments towards private lessons with no penalties.

11. Coaches will give individual tasks for footwork, target work and fitness to kids who come to private lessons to boost the efficiency of training.

Any changes and updates will be emailed immediately to all our fencers and parents.

STAY SAFE AND HAPPY FENCING!!!

Best regards,

TEAM NYFA

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, fencing, Parents

What Age Should You Start Fencing?


By Sergey Danilov

Another question I get asked very often:  Is 5 years old too early…or I am 50 – is it too late to start fencing?

YOUTH
NY Long Island Fencing
Sergey Danilov
(age 18)

Let’s start with the younger age first. I was raised in the Soviet Union and back in my time – we were not allowed to start fencing until 9-10 years old. Earlier, before me, the age to start was even 12 years old (if I remember this correctly). Why is it so? Well, equipment during that period was much less safe than now, much heavier. Fencing, requiring much focus and a lot of repetition, would be hard for someone at the age of 6-7 with all that equipment, focus and hard work. Did I mention that the question “did you have fun?” was not even a question back then? So, if you come to the sport, coaches expect you to work hard and improve on a daily basis like professionals… that, of course requires a level of focus that little guys do not have yet. On top of that, your first tournament would be sometime when you turn 14-15, not earlier.

Nowadays, people start fencing much younger. The first Cadet World Championship (under 17 yo) started in 1987. If you decided to represent your country at the World Championships, you would have to start training much earlier. Of course, shortly after, many National World Federations started to create local, National and International events for this age category and younger (for example, under 13 yo in Europe and under 14 yo in the US). And in order to be able to compete successfully in these categories, you have to start training earlier.

What about equipment? Well, problem solved – it’s the 21st century with new technologies – lighter and much safer equipment was created. Now you have much, much lighter equipment and swords which are easier to bend. The first official event is under 10 yo (Youth 10). Some local events feature even Youth 8 events but have not been official on the National level.

While at a younger age, you don’t compete as often as later on – learning fundamentals, learning how competition works, learning ethics of improving during the class, listening, cooperating with other kids and just having a great time learning – it is beneficial to start earlier. And with all the new equipment (yes, fencing now even has plastic equipment for the youngest kids, like 5-7 years old, which weigh almost nothing) kids will enjoy the classes.

TEENAGERS

Another question, parents always ask, is 14-15 years old too late? Well, here is the first question… What is your goal? If you are 15 and planning to go to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, then yes – it is too late. Fencing is a unique sport, and I heard a story of a girl who started the sport at the age of 18, out of a bet with her boyfriend, and then fell in love with the sport and became an Olympic Champion. In my career, I had quite a few students starting at the age of 14 and ending up getting Athletic Scholarships at top Universities. What you have to understand – there will be a lot of losing in the beginning, while you’re catching up with the sport – you will be fencing much more experienced fencers. And it really will take hard work to catch up. But that hard work will definitely pay off.

Now, are you looking for the sport to develop your mind and body, maybe competing, maybe not? Want to try something new? Then fencing it is and it is not too late. Besides what we discussed earlier – it will help to develop strategic thinking, time management, new friends and… who knows maybe you will fall in love with the sport and will be the next Olympic Champion some years later.

ADULTS

Long Island fencing, Brooklyn fencing, epee club, Coney Island sports, NY Fencing ClubI also often hear from people who already have jobs, kids, etc. that they want to try… GREAT! I think this is the best sport for adults. While many sports require you to be fit in a certain way, fencing can be done at your own pace, at your own level of fitness. While, of course, it involves physical activity, it is also “physical chess”, where strategy and thinking is just as important as the movements. If you are looking for a low injury sport that’s interesting, fun, and will boost your level of fitness… well then this sport is for you as well.

So, you are looking for a new sport, and you are somewhere between 5 or 6 and 99+? Then FENCING will be a great sport to try…

BLOG, CLUB NEWS, fencing, Parents

How Safe Is Fencing?


By Sergey Danilov

Is fencing dangerous? Does fencing hurt? These questions are frequently asked by people when they are considering fencing for their little kids. Well, as strange as it sounds – since the sport includes “hitting” each other with metal blades and so on – fencing is one of the safest sports in the world. Hard to believe?

Credit: Trifiletti / BizziAccording to research by Junge A, Engebretsen L, Mountjoy ML, Alonso JM, Renstrom PAFH, Aubry MJ, and Dvorak J (2009) from the University of Oslo, during the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, there were only five sports that had fewer injuries than fencing which were diving, synchronized swimming, rowing, kayaking, and sailing. The same study found that the most injuries occurred in soccer, followed by taekwondo, field hockey, handball, and weightlifting.  Additionally, the research illustrates that one third of all Olympic sports injuries were caused by contact with another athlete. In fencing, body contact is prohibited by the rules, and in certain situations, the athlete can be disqualified if the body contact was initiated.

Well, it is hard to believe, right? Let me explain a few things about fencing, as a lot of people imagine it to be Zorro slicing the other person’s outfit into pieces, making a “Z” on the shirt, or Musketeers who kill each other during breakfast, lunch, dinner or even during a glass of wine with their friends. Modern fencing is about scoring points with the tip of a very flexible, relatively light blade. The tip is not sharp at all which makes fencing very safe. The fencer’s body is fully covered with several layers of equipment made from Kevlar, which is the material used to make bulletproof jackets. (Of course, we did not try to shoot to test it, as we actually use fencing blades only.) The fencer’s head is fully protected with a mask that is made from metal mesh, which can withhold force much greater than the fencing blade.

There are myriad of studies you can find on the internet, and all of them depict that fencing is not considered a dangerous, risky or potentially high injury-causing sport.

Yes, injuries in fencing happen; however, they are mainly pulled or strained muscles, bruising, or sprains. With the proper training, warm-ups, stretching, etc., these injuries can all be prevented and minimized. After all, these same injuries happen while children play on the playground. As we can see, fencing has a very low risk of injury. Children, teens, and adults will find a lot of benefits as they discover the unlimited potential of the sport, such as focus, self-discipline, comradery, respect and more. These skills will help you throughout your life and will last lifelong.

NY Fencing Academy Long Island Brooklyn
Credit: Graphic by Jen Christiansen, Illustrations by MCKIBILLO; Source: Lars Engebretsen, University of Oslo