BROOKLYN FENCING

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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…

RESULTS

September & October Results: SYCs, Cadet World Cup, Greek Natl Championships, RJCC, ROC


Kudos to all of our students who are working hard and getting better every day, and especially to NYFA fencers and coaches who earned these top results:

Congratulations on SILVER medal at the Junior Greek National Championship, which took place at Athens, Greece to Peter Kambeseles. Great fencing, great work ethics paid off. Good job to ALL – parents, coaches and of course Peter Kambeseles Go NYFA!!!

Two bronze medals at October North American Cup go to Ethan Kushnerik @ethankushnerik and Skyler Liverant @skyler0427.  Great job guys – many bouts didn’t start your way but you managed to adjust your strategy and show true athlete character! #fencenyfa #teamnyfa #gonyfa #octobernac2019 #top4

Another medal for Jackie Khrol! Top 8 cadets at October NAC! #fencenyfa #top8 #octobernac #teamnyfa

Our kids keep making us proud this weekend!
Congratulations to:
Rachel Kowalsky @rachelkowalsky for winning Gold at RJCC!!!
Liza Zigalo @lizazigzag9 – gold in Y12 and silver in Y14 at FC Youth Open!
Shawn Agaon @sagaon06 – gold at FC Youth Open in Y14!
Anna Temiryaev @anna.temiryaev – silver in Div2 RJCC!
Evelyn Agaon and Mia Smotritsky – bronze medal 🥉 at FC Youth Open in Y12 and Y14 respectively!
Alan Slavinsky – top 8 at DIV1a ROC and A2019!
Great job everyone! #teamnyfa #fencenyfa

Another super result from Budapest – team USA consisting of Skyler Liverant, Stafford Moosekian, Miles Weiss and Spencer Vermeule have won silver medals! Congrats guys – very happy for you! Also congratulations to @jackie.khrol for making top 32 in individual competitions today! #teamusa #usfencing #worldcup #fencenyfa #teamnyfa

Great job at Juniors RJCC for:
Peter Kambeseles @p_kambeseles – silver medal 🥈
Mitchell Bekker @mitchel.bekker – bronze medal 🥉 and A2019!
Keep up good results! #fencenyfa #teamnyfa #rjcc #newrating

Bronze medal at Cadet World Cup in Budapest for Skyler Liverant! @skyler0427  Way to start the season Skyler! Proud of you! Good luck tomorrow in team event to all team USA thletes! #fencenyfa #teamusa #beastmode #top4 #worldcup #teamnyfa

One more medal for our fencers at SYC!
David Dodin – gold medal 🥇 in Y10!
Liza Zigalo – top 16 in Y12!
#gonyfa #teamnyfa #syc #champion

Our fencers keep rocking this weekend!
Isabella Chin @izzychin123 won gold in Junior RJCC!
Josh Yavorovsky @josh__.y made top 8 in Cadets and dot his D2019!
Great job everyone! #fencenyfa #medalists #champion #rjcc #syc

Amazing job for our young stars as usual at SYC at Fairfax!
Dylan Kats – gold medal in Y12!!!
David Dodin – 6th place in Y12 – David is still Y10!
Finn Chimoskey top 16 in Y12!
Daniel Dodin – bronze medal 🥉 in Y8!
Grayson Shchur – silver medal 🥈 in Y8!
Mitchell Pozovskiy – top 16 in Y14!
Great job everybody! Let’s keep that number 1 title that our club earned last year in SYC medals! #fencenyfa #teamnyfa #syc #goldmedalist #youngchamps

Start the season strong! While some of us still on vacation some are taking first SYC medals!
David Dodin – 1st place in Y10 🥇
Landon Shchur – 5th place in Y12!
Great job everyone! #gonyfa #teamnyfa #bostonsyc

CLUB ANNOUNCEMENTS, College fencing

Updates: #1 Medals Earned, Club Expansions, College News


We’re excited to share great club news with our members:

2018-2019 Season End Results – our fencers, coaches, and parents should be very proud:

  • NYFA tied for FIRST PLACE with Alliance in the number of 2019 Summer National medals earned!
  • NYFA took FIRST PLACE in the number of Super Youth Circuit (SYC) medals earned in the USA!

Club Improvements – we are always striving to make NYFA even better for our students:

  • Port Washington: we renovated and expanded the fencing area to include 8 strips
  • Coney Island: we are expanding the waiting area for parents’ comfort and for students to have more space to do homework and store equipment

College News – Congratulations and best of luck to our high school graduates who have started college this year!

  • Alan Temiryaev – Columbia University
  • Emily Gao – Cornell University
  • Karina Popovich – Cornell University
  • Jeffrey Wang – Johns Hopkins University
  • Kevin Feng – New York University
  • Anna Lanzman – New York University
  • Michael Mogilevich – Rutgers University
  • Josh Shuster – Brandeis University
  • Tatiana Merheb – McGill University Montreal
  • Ann Zats – Macaulay Honors at Hunter College

Go NYFA!

RESULTS

Klagenfurt Cadet World Cup, College Temple Open


We are proud of our students who fenced in the Cadet World Cup at Klagenfurt, Austria!  Here are their Top 32 results:

  • Jaclyn Khrol – 11th place our of 170 fencers – great start to the International season – keep it up for even higher results!
  • Skyler Liverant – 32nd out of 185 athletes in his first international competition and he’s still Y14!  Great job, Sky!

We also congratulate Sam Bekker, sophomore at NYU, for his Top 8 finish at the Temple Open!

Go NYFA!