New York fencing club


For Immediate Release: LI Student Isabella Chin Becomes Fencing Junior World Cup Champion


Contact: Sergey Danilov,, (614) 302-9009


Port Washington, NY (January 26, 2023) – On January 21, Isabella Chin (17) from Manhasset, fencer at New York Fencing Academy, competed in the Junior World Cup (under 20 years old) in Maalot, Israel. Only the twelve best fencers in the country earn spots to represent Team USA at the prestigious competition as part of the final selection towards the World Championships.

Chin showed a real desire to represent Team USA proudly and prove that she is the strongest fencer of the day, winning the Gold Medal and becoming a World Cup Champion.

Chin started the direct elimination round (playoffs) by beating an Israeli opponent, and then besting her friend and USA teammate by just one point. The next challenge was waiting for her in the quarterfinals where she faced the current Word Cup Champion, Kravetz from Israel, but nothing could stop her that day. With a close score of 14:13, Chin secured her spot on the podium. Determined to move on, Chin eliminated her next Ukrainian challenger 15:12,  and advanced to the final match where she fenced her current USA teammate and future teammate at Harvard University. Chin delivered a decisive answer to who was the best on that day – winning 15:10. Chin became the Junior World Cup Champion, adding another gold medal to her collection of three National Champion titles.

Chin’s coaches and the owners of New York Fencing Academy, Sergey Danilov and Michael Mokretsov, commented, “Isabella is not just a great fencer, but also a great student at school, an amazing teammate, and simply a hardworking person. She spends numerous hours on her studies to remain an excellent student and countless hours perfecting her actions at the gym, and yet, she manages to remain social with her family and friends. If there is one person who deserves this result, it is Isabella. She always stays for extra practice in the gym to get better but never forgets to help her younger teammates at New York Fencing Academy to succeed as well.”

Chin’s results are excellent not only in fencing but also in the classroom of Manhasset High School, helping her to get recruited to Harvard University, where she starts this fall and where she will continue her athletic and academic career.  “There is no doubt that Harvard earned a great person,” says Coach Danilov. “Our congratulations to Isabella Chin and the entire “village” which helped her get great results on and off the strip.” 

New York Fencing Academy (NYFA) was founded in 2010 in Brooklyn, NY by owner and head coach Michael Mokretsov.  In 2018, NYFA opened their second location in Port Washington, Long Island, NY with head coach and co-owner, Sergey Danilov.  NYFA is a center for excellence in epee, with one of the strongest competitive epee programs in the country. NYFA has produced Olympic, World and National Champions, and has members on the USA, French, and Greek national teams.  NYFA provides private lessons, group classes, after school programs, and camps for students of all ages and all levels, beginners to advanced. Visit for more info.




Contact: Sergey Danilov, (614) 302-9009

Company: New York Fencing Academy

Brooklyn: 2896 W 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11224, club phone: (718) 996-0426

Long Island: 8 Haven Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050, club phone: (516) 472-7042  



CLUB NEWS, fencing

Coach Alex Zurabishvili Joins New York Fencing Academy

Please join us in welcoming Coach Alex Zurabishvili as Head Coach of NYFA-Westchester! Alex brings over 20 years of experience as epee coach at clubs throughout the New York Metropolitan area and as Designated Coach for Team USA. In addition to joining NYFA’s coaching team, Alex is epee coach at Columbia University and NY Athletic Club.

Click below for his bio

Alex Zurabishvili, NYFA-W Head Coach

fencing, IN THE NEWS

Long Island coach celebrates Romain Cannone’s Olympic gold

August 6, 2021
by News 12 Long Island

Michael Mokretsov, who owns the New York Fencing Academy in Port Washington, just got a little more popular now that he successfully coached Romain Cannone to win Olympic gold.

While Cannone isn’t a Long Islander, Mokretsov is. He lives in Woodmere and has worked with Cannone since he was 12 years old.

“When he started, he was a regular kid,” says Mokretesov. “He wasn’t super strong or super-fast. There was nothing specific to tell about him to say OK an Olympic champion walking in the gym.”

Alan Temiryaev was Cannone’s former training partner. Temiryaev says Romain worked hard. He also says don’t be surprised if another gold medalist comes out of the Port Washington club.

“Definitely sets the bar high and now it makes me feel like I have to do it so see you guys in 2028 LA,” says Temiryaev.

fencing, IN THE NEWS

Who is Romain Cannone, the Olympic champion that nobody expected at the Olympics?

July 25, 2021
by Ijaz Ibrahim

PORTRAIT – The French swordsman has not experienced a trajectory like the others to become Olympic champion at 24 years old. His first medal on the international scene in individual. The most beautiful.

Special envoy to Tokyo

He lived his childhood in Brazil, then in the United States

If Romain Cannone was indeed born in France on April 12, 1997, near Boulogne-Billancourt, he did not stay there very long, then following his parents to Brazil to live his first school years in kindergarten. Before another great upheaval and a departure for New York, where his parents decide to launch a macaroon shop. And it is in the Big Apple that he will discover fencing at the age of 9, under the leadership of his cousin Zoey who pushes him to try foil, before becoming a star of his school. of Coney Island, the New York Fencing Academy (NYFA).

He has a Ukrainian mentor

The one who shaped the not very academic but very spectacular fencing of Cannone is called Misha Mokretsov. The meeting between the two occurs in 2010, when the Frenchman is still only 13 years old. At the time, it was more intended for the practice of foil, before changing to épée, convinced by Mokretsov, a former silver medalist in his country, Ukraine. Together, they will continue their journey, which made Cécile Cannone, Romain’s mother, say on the NYFA website: “Mokretsov is a true fencing enthusiast and he knows how to pass this on to his students. But the two of them are actually much more than student teachers to each other. It’s a very deep friendship, and he gives Romain great advice in many areas of his life.“

He shouldn’t have played his games

An Olympic title sometimes comes down to little. Initially selected as a replacement for the team event, Cannone was not expected to compete in the individual competition in Tokyo. An honor that should have gone to Daniel Jerent (30), both reigning Olympic champion and world champion in 2019, both times in the team event. Except that the latter, targeted by an investigation by the French Agency for the Fight against Doping (AFLD) for a positive control for a diuretic, Dorzolamide, was finally ruled out by the French Fencing Federation. A decision taken according to an extremely simple precautionary principle: by keeping Jerent in the team, the Federation took the risk, one day, of losing their possible medal on the green carpet if the swordsman was found guilty (which is not the case. case for now). A principle which therefore made Cannone happy.

He has never been on an international individual podium before.

The resident of Insep, and member of the VGA Saint-Maur (Val-de-Marne) club, only points to 47e world rank. Far behind his two compatriots present in Tokyo, Yannick Borel (6e) and Alexandre Bardenet (11e). Suffice to say that imagining him going so far was a colossal surprise. Especially since he owed his selection to his team performances, and not to those in individual, to say the least since he had never climbed on an international podium without his little comrades by his side. His best result was a 7e place at a World Cup event in Vancouver on February 8, 2019. But with the health crisis, world fencing has gone almost a year and a half without competition, which has undoubtedly made it possible to reshuffle the cards and open up the field of possibilities. Cannone is the best example of this with his formidable feat.

He is studying in Master

Throughout his career, Cannone never stopped studying, especially in the United States where he was at university. Since his return to France from Insep, he has also joined a Parisian school, SKEMA, where he follows a “Master in Audit, Management Control and Information Systems“. “I very much appreciate the understanding and support of SKEMA on my double project: high level athlete and higher education», He explained on the school website. “I benefit from adjustments to my course, shifting periods of internship… This allows me to devote myself fully to the periods of preparation and competition. This flexibility and the support of my teachers are a real plus. I live and train at INSEP and I jump in the RER A as soon as possible to join my classes.“

fencing, IN THE NEWS

Tokyo Olympics: “He had trouble holding the sword at the start”, Ukrainian coach Romain Cannone tells of the youth of the Olympic champion

July 26, 2021
by archyde

Tokyo Olympics: “He had trouble holding the sword at the start”, Ukrainian coach Romain Cannone tells of the youth of the Olympic champion

That’s it, the apprentice fencers have gone to bed, Misha Mokretsov has a little time to give us. “I run a summer camp with kids in New York State, the days are busy. But we did not miss Romain’s victory. Posted in front of television, the current students of the Ukrainian technician were able to admire the coronation of one of his former proteges. Gold medalist and surprise of the day on Sunday in épée at the Tokyo Olympics, Romain Cannone was introduced to fencing with this trainer, whose influence he spoke of just after stepping off the podium. A slice of life together in Brooklyn that Misha Mokretsov agreed to tell us about.

When he enrolled in fencing at 12, what state of mind is Romain Cannone in?

MISHA MOKRETSOV. He came to see how it was going, what the lessons consisted of. He was a boy who was looking for a nice activity, in search of a passion. He quickly progressed, and managed to reach the 32nd finals of a national competition. It meant that he had something in him, it is not given to everyone. But he absolutely had to settle certain things.

Which ones?

He was a very small and thin child. He had trouble holding the sword at first. He faced tougher opponents who weren’t going to give him a chance to express himself. So, I undertook to make him work physically, to make him capable of holding a match. He was smaller than the others and therefore had less elongation. He had to compensate with his speed and flexibility, a bit like he did at the Olympics.

He explained that your methods were strict and that he had had a bit of trouble with you …

The Ukrainian school is a physical school (smile). I insisted a lot on the points he had to work on so that he could continue to progress.

Did he fear opponents taller than himself?

(He cuts). Not at all. He never walked away. Romain, he has a heart. He was a very hardworking child.

Does the fencer you saw win the Olympic title look a lot like the one you trained until he was 20?

There is more maturity, but I see a lot of commonalities. He is a player, but has gained experience which allows him to correct the mistakes he could make. When he left the United States, he was already a confirmed junior.

Did he tell you about his Olympic dream which drove him to leave the country for France five years ago?

Yes, and I want to say he was very brave. The last year here he went to college in Connecticut. And I could tell it was not right at all. He found the level of training he was doing next to his studies bad, he could see that it was getting him nowhere. So he decided to go and try his luck in France. It was a difficult decision to make. He could have stayed in the United States, given it all up, pursued his business studies, then his life here when he joined a company in New York. But no, he took the idea to the end. He was so passionate.

After his gold medal, he explained that he was angry with the United States for not granting him American citizenship to fight in the American jersey …

Here, the federation does not have the power to naturalize someone. So, they wrote to the immigration services, but they must have decided that it was not worth the trouble. Afterwards, I think he shouldn’t have any regrets. If he had stayed here, he probably wouldn’t be an Olympic champion today. The structures are not the same, it is complicated to have state support when you are an adult, and the level is not the same. At the time, he had managed to convince the French federation of his level by going to participate in a competition there. For them, it was an unusual profile, that of a kid who learned fencing in New York.

Have you had him on the phone since his Olympic title?

No. But when he learned that he was selected to compete in the Olympics, I was the one he called first to announce it. It lasted five minutes, he was in tears on the phone. I am very proud that he wanted to share this news with me first.