Congratulations to our Coach Sergey Danilov who has been named Assistant Coach for St. John’s University. St. John’s has a long and proud history as one of the best fencing programs in the country and with Sergey’s expertise, we’re sure they will reach new heights and become NCAA champions once again!
By Sergey Danilov
Where do I start? That’s a common question for anyone new to a sport. Let’s say your friend brought you to fencing and they’ve been doing it for a while. Then you have someone you can turn to for help with some of your questions… But what if you discovered fencing by watching the Olympics or a movie…or you simply have more questions?
Well, you’ve come to the club for a reason. You did some research and decided to give your trust to your club and your coach. Good, the first step is done.
1. Communicate with your Coach directly
While it seems like your Coach is too busy all the time, please remember that the Coach is there for you. Find the time and politely push to get an answer to your question. After all, you know very little about the sport and you deserve to have some answers. You chose to learn from the Coach for a reason: because he/she has expertise in this sport. But it’s important to realize that the Coach’s expertise goes beyond teaching technique and showing how to “stab” an opponent. The Coach also has a wealth of knowledge about how best to set your training schedule (how often, when, and what training you need based on your goals), nutrition, time management, and more. So don’t be afraid to “bother” the Coach. Believe it or not, Coaches are also inquisitive and curious by nature, just like their students.
2. Set your goals
Well, this one, we believe, is very important during your journey in the sport. The goal makes you train harder, not only on regular days, but also on those days when you do not want to. On days when you do not perform the way you like, goals can help you focus on the tasks and training, and can remind you to put aside other things that won’t help (like electronics and social media.)
Also, setting your goals should come from your heart. No one can push you hard enough except you. Coaches can motivate you, guide you in the right direction, help you to push yourself, maybe help you find motivation, but at the end of the day, your motivation should come from YOU. This will drive you in the sport to the highest possible results you desire. Of course, over time, your goals may change… well, whatever it is, remember the advice in the first paragraph – you need to discuss it with your Coach.
3. 21st Century, time of the Internet…so let’s talk about paragraph #1 again
You chose the sport, you learned the basics, and now you are dreaming about becoming an Olympic Champion, NCAA Champion, or High School Champion. You start researching the Internet and find so much information (equipment, supportive training, fencing videos, advice and much more) that now you’re getting lost. Well, we come back to where it started. Before committing to some “cool” looking exercises, buying an extremely good-looking piece of equipment, or following a certain “direction” in your training routine, communicate with your Coach. In our opinion, if you decide to trust the Coach, trust all the way. At the end of the day, your Coach knows you the best, well at least in fencing, and he/she knows what is best for you so your performance can be effective.
The last stage is when you decide to become competitive. And you discover that there are numerous tournaments and events, starting from little local events, to regionals (RYC, SYC, RCC, RJCC) and nationals (NAC, etc.) — the list can be extensive. In fact, there is an event every weekend in the drivable distance for you. Here is where you have to be very careful. Going to events, gaining experience, becoming a stronger fencer, is important. But on the other hand, training, mastering the skill, learning new skills, is also important for your competitive performance. So, you have to learn to find the right balance, choose wisely when to go to a competition and when it’s better to stay at the gym and train. And who knows best?? Yes, you are right again – the Coach!!
To conclude, trust the professionals that you chose to learn from. They did not become experts right away – they went through all the ups and downs, mistakes and successes, defeats and victories themselves and with many, many other students, and now they are here for you, helping you to avoid those obstacles. Oh well, sometimes you will still run into them – and your Coach will help you to overcome them.
So, listen, learn, and always ask your Coach!
We are proud to announce the grand opening of our third location:
New York Fencing Academy in Westchester
See club details and special promotions below!
NEW YORK FENCING ACADEMY-W
21 N Main Street, 3rd floor
Port Chester, NY 10573
Club: (914) 305-4597
Mondays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Tuesdays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Wednesdays: by appointment
Thursdays: 3 pm – 9 pm
Fridays: by appointment
Saturdays: 10 am – 4 pm
NYFA-W SPECIAL OFFERS
- FREE MEMBERSHIP: for 2021-22 season! (until 8/31/22, Westchester location only)
- FREE CLASS: Call for our introductory offer!
CLASSES & LESSONS
See our schedule of group classes and bouting sessions, and book your private lessons during club hours at your convenience.
NYFA-W HEAD COACH
Coach Alex Zurabishvili is Head Coach of NYFA’s Westchester location. He is also the epee coach for Columbia University.
NYFA has been named Fencing Club of the Year for two years in a row and ranked #1 in youth epee per National Fencing Club Rankings. NYFA students from all of our locations are members of the same great team with world-class training from our dedicated and accomplished coaches. All members receive the same membership benefits, and are welcome to fence together at our bouting practices, our day camps, and our popular sleep-away summer camps. They can also do make-ups at any NYFA location.
Our Westchester club is a state-of-the-art 3,854 square foot facility with 10 fencing strips. There are two rooms: one with 6 strips and another with 4.
In addition to the main gym, we will also have a separate stretching area and a study area.
NYFA-W LOCATION / DIRECTIONS
NYFA-W is located at 21 N Main Street on the 3rd floor, in Port Chester, near Westchester Avenue.
By train: Metro-North Port Chester station is right across the street.
By car: A few miles from exit 21 off I-95N or exit 2 off of I-95S. Click map above to get directions.
Parking: Free 3-hour parking in the lot behind the building and metered street parking is available.
By Sergey Danilov
A warm-up involves doing exercises at a lower intensity and slower pace, exercises which prepare athletes for the specific work, improve athletic performance, and prevent injuries. Are these not enough reasons to take it seriously?
Warm-up activities might include, but definitely are not limited to, light jogging, jogging with some additional exercise, and warming up muscles necessary for the future work. Warming up before exercise prepares your cardiovascular system for physical activity by increasing the blood flow to your muscles and raising the temperature of your body. It also helps to lower the risk of injuries — when your muscles are adequately warmed up, the movements, stretches, and strain put on them during your workout is less severe. This also minimizes muscle soreness.
So why exactly do we warm-up?
1. Injury Prevention
The most important reason for doing a warm-up is to prevent injury during practice in general and during specific work. Keeping the muscles warm will prevent injuries such as hamstring strains, for example (one of the most important muscles for fencing). Stretching is considered part of the warm-up and should be included all the time in your preparation for practice, events, and private lessons.
2. Mental Preparation
A side benefit of warming up is that your brain will become focused on your body and your physical activity as you go through the process. This focus will carry over into your training or competition session to help improve your technique, coordination and skill.
3. Relieving Stress Before Events
One important thing we have to learn is that competition creates stress and that will never go away. So we just have to learn to deal with stress and find ways to reduce it so we can focus on more important tasks.
Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.
Scientists have found that participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. So bottom line – make sure you warm-up – it will help you physically and mentally.
And finally – specific warm-ups before events:
With all the points stated above, do not forget that warming-up before events takes a lot of time and as you prepare it should include the following:
- Warm-up itself
- Light footwork
- Light blade work with your teammates to feel the actions, blade and point control
- Warm-up bouts (where you should be trying out all “arsenal” you have, to see what feels best at the moment).
A lot of athletes ask what are appropriate amounts to do for each part of the warm-up? The answer is pretty simple – it is up to the individual, and you should develop your own routine during practices at the gym according to what is best for you.
To conclude, remember: warm-up every time you come to the gym, try to listen to your body and see what routine makes you feel your best mentally and physically. Once you figure out what is the best warm-up for you, stick to it and adjust when you feel you need it.
By Sergey Danilov
While I am lost in time, figuratively and literally, I realize how much I want to be back to a somewhat normal life. The past almost three months went in a blink of the eye and it was the longest three months of my life at the same time. We learned a lot during this time of the pandemic COVID-19 – new virus, what is social distance, online training, online learning, spending more time with the people we did not have time for before… I can continue on and on. But the bottom line… we are all ready to be back to normal.
At New York Fencing Academy, looking through different guidelines, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Fencing Association (USFA), New York Department of Health and Nassau County Department of Health, we are putting together our Academy guidelines for reopening when it will happen.
While both of our clubs are in New York, they are in different zones and it looks like the Long Island location is moving towards reopening a bit sooner than the Brooklyn location. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will work hard to follow all the guidelines before and during the reopening. So, both locations will follow the guidelines of the local Health authorities.
Meanwhile, we developed some New York Fencing Academy guidelines for all athletes, parents, coaches and staff.
While we will be reopening the facilities with strict guidelines stated below, we will provide full support to our NYFA family by continuing all online classes and online private lessons. So, you can choose either one or even a combination.
NYFA will be providing:
- Group classes with limited number of participants (when permitted by region’s control room);
- Private lessons at the NYFA facilities (by appointment only);
- Zoom training including group classes and private lessons;
- Any combination;
The following guidelines will apply to facilities, athletes, parents, coaches and staff who might be involved in fencing activities with NYFA.
Facility and cleaning:
- The gyms will be ventilated daily, and air purifiers with UV-C light & True HEPA filters, and ozone generator machines will be working overnight to sanitize the air.
- The gym, hallways and restrooms will be cleaned and fully sanitized daily, including the door handles of the street entrance, elevator doors and buttons.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be installed throughout the facility.
- The sign of all the necessary precautions will be posted in the lobby.
- Temperature checks for all who are entering the facility (including the coaches and staff) will be made by touchless thermometer. All who have temperatures of 37.2C (99F) or higher will not be admitted to the facility and will be asked to isolate themselves at home for 14 days (in case of good health, Zoom classes are still available for those who cannot attend).
- Changing rooms will be closed for all athletes. Gearing up should happen at home or in the car, prior to entering the building.
- The water fountain will be closed at this time. Only personal bottles are allowed for use (before and after private sessions only – in the designated bag area or outside the gym).
- NO PARENTS are allowed in the facility. The drop off for fencers will be right in front of the door. Anyone who does enter the facility must wear a face mask.
The Fencers and Coaches:
- NYFA Coaches and staff will be wearing face masks at all times.
- All fencers must wear face masks before entering the facility of NYFA. If not single use mask, it should:
· Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
· Be secured with ties or ear loops
· Include multiple layers of fabric
· Allow for breathing without restriction
· Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
- Fencers, coaches and staff should come to the gym directly from home.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home, self-isolate and call your healthcare provider.
- Practice proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
– Wash your hands frequently with soap and use hand sanitizer;
– Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze into a tissue;
– Practice social distance;
– Do not use or share other people’s devices such as phones, tablets etc;
Fencing and sport equipment:
- Coaches and Fencers are not allowed to leave any equipment in the gym under any circumstances.
- All personal equipment should be washed and/or sanitized after each use. If the equipment cannot be washed (mask, epee) – it must be sanitized.
- The club equipment will not be available for anyone. If Fencer forgot the equipment, he/she will not be able to participate in the club activity – no exceptions.
- Some sports equipment (i.e. jumping rope, tennis ball, resistant band, etc) will not be provided by the club; all fencers must have their own. Please consult with the coaches about what you need for upcoming practices.
- Due to closure of the changing rooms, there will be a designated bag area, marked with tape, which will be clearly visible. Please follow the 6 feet social distance rule when in the bag area.
Private sessions and group classes:
- Only fencers who have previously booked lessons or classes will be admitted to the gym (contact Marina at 516-472-7042 for Long Island location and 718-996-0426 for Brooklyn location). Fencers who have no appointments, please contact our office OVER THE PHONE ONLY! Availability of group classes will be announced separately when permitted by state.
- The fencers who have booked lesson(s) will be admitted to the facility no earlier than 15 minutes prior in order to warm-up. There will be a special designated area for the warm-up.
- All games including sharing of objects or possible physical contact are canceled.
- All fencers must wear face masks, covering the nose and mouth.
At the end of the day, we would like to keep everyone safe and healthy. We will continue Zoom classes and the combination of Zoom and in-person training. Stay healthy and We Will Fence Again!