AFM Newsletter #94 - July 2021

July is the heart of summer, and Fencing Summer Nationals are finally the heart of July again! We missed it so much last year, and so now we could not be more excited and proud to bring our talented fencers to Philadelphia for Fencing Summer Nationals this month. 

Our fencers are going to rock it at Summer Nationals, and we will be there with them to cheer our coaches and our fencers all along. The hard work and wonderful fencing spirit that you’ve all brought to preparing is absolutely amazing, and we are all so excited to see where it takes you. Fencing families have been here every step of the way, supporting training and pushing things forward when the world was throwing challenges in your way.

Coaches have been giving it everything this summer to get ready, and our fencers are all truly taking it to the next level. You have made it so far and in such unusual and immensely challenging conditions, and now it’s time for you to test yourselves. Keep focused, keep training, and take that phenomenal AFM pride all the way to Fencing Summer Nationals!

Now that we are in the thick of reopening, we continue to appreciate how far we’ve come and all of the ways that our fencing community has come together in the last year and a half. Everything that happened this year pushed us to grow. Whether it was fencing in the little droplets of rain outside or with layers of masks on. The zooming, the cleaning, the long days without in-person training as we made the most of the most extraordinary time. We made it through the tough times, and now we are here together again!  Right now, fencing is starting to feel much more like it did before the pandemic. Summer camps have gone into full swing, and class schedules are going back to normal. We are hopeful that this is a chapter that we will now see in the rearview mirror. Who knows what the road ahead might hold for our fencers? Whatever it is, we can be sure that it will be a bright path for us to walk along together. 

We cannot thank everyone enough for their support through the pandemic. Now that we are all able to take a breath, we realize how much we missed you all and how wonderful it is to be back together. May this summer be the start of a wonderful new way forward, built on the strength that we grew through this year!

                                                  Sincerely yours, 

Summer Nationals 2021

Philly, here we come!

Fencing Summer Nationals just started on July 3rd and will continue until July 12th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. AFM  will be represented by 70 qualified fencers in 163 fencing entries! This is an incredible achievement after such a challenging year almost without competitions! We are proud of every AFM fencer! Way to go! 

AFM’s fencers trained hard for this, and it’s the buildup of two years of prep and growth. Now is the time to push even harder. 

Camps and prep classes are over. Now you’re ready to go, so go enjoy it! Summer Nationals is not the moment to stress, because that stress will not serve you or your goals. This is the time to connect with your fellow fencers from all over the United States, creating a totally unique and amazing moment that will build you up and carry you through to the next level - wherever that level is for you. Take your time, and most of all enjoy the wonderful vibe that we feel at SN. 

Even being a niche sport, we are part of a fantastic community that feels much bigger when there are so many of us together. Though it is a competition, Summer Nationals is also most of all a place where we come together to share our sport. It doesn't matter the club you come from or the weapon you’re passionate about - we are all fencers together who are fighting to keep the sport of fencing alive. 

Good luck to our fencers and their families! Go AFM! You got this!

AFM Awards 2021


We had an outstanding End of the Season and Graduation Party last month! Thank you so much to everyone who came out to celebrate together, to share delicious food, and to take joy in the memories of this most extraordinary 2020-2021 season. 

We give extra congratulations to our fencers who were nominated for awards. Here’s the list of nominees and winners. We are thankful that each and every one of you is part of our community. 


    • Epee nominees: Leehi Machulsky, Sanil Sharma, and Natalie Gebala

    • The winner is Leehi Machulsky!

    • Foil nominees: Gabrielle Gebala, Cici Sun, Neta Korol 

    • The winner is Gabrielle Gebala!  


    • Epee nominees: Samantha Teachworth, Sasha Borovikov, Leyla Ayar

    • The winner is Sasha Borovikov!

    • Foil nominations are Pearl Mansuy, Iris, Max Ding, 

    • The winner is Pearl Mansuy!


    • Epee nominees: Natalie Gebala, Audry Chu, Leehi Machulsky

    • The winner is Audry Chu!

    • Foil nominees: Cheryl Sun, Sean, Jacob

    • The winner is Cheryl Sun!


    • Epee nominees: Andrea Leang, Natalie Gebala, Zandra Feland  

    • The winner is Natalie Gebala!

    • Foil nominees: Neta Korol ,Gabrielle Gebala, Cheryl Sun

    • The winner is Neta Korol!

  • LOCKDOWN HERO, Season 2020-2021 

    • Epee nominees: Mark Shamis, Alex Ulinich, Sanvi Sharma

    • The winner is Alex Ulinich!

    • Foil nominees: Sean Sung, Jacob Levi, Melissa Deng, Addison Ho

    • The winner is Jacob Levi! 

  • YOUNGEST TALENT, Season 2020-2021 

    • Epee nominees: Genevie Kwon,  Aidan Chan, Ryan Ma

    • The winner is Genevie Kwon!

    • Foil nominees: Joy Li , Ethan Wu, Alber Wu

    • The winner is Joy Li!

  • SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD, Season 2020-2021 

    • Epee nominees: Christopher Wright, Ben Kim, Agniv Sarkar, Anish Sarkar 

    • The winner is Ben Kim!

    • Foil nominees: Yash Ranjith, Cheryl Sun, Vera Fung, Emma Fung, Dana Korol, Sean Sung

    • The winner is Yash Ranjith!


Congratulations to all nominations and winners in each category! Way to go! Thank you for working hard and sharing your passion with others!

Graduation Party 2021

We were able to celebrate our graduates with community and fun!

The graduation party is usually a highlight of the year for us, in part because it is bittersweet to see our graduating fencers walk into this celebration. We know that they will be moving on to wonderful things beyond AFM, but we will miss them!

It was such a good feeling to be surrounded by friends and fencing families, especially after having been apart for so much of the last year. Thank you to everyone for sharing your delectable dishes! The festive international potluck was a huge success, and it’s hard to believe it’s been so long since we had all of this great food filling our bellies. What a beautiful thing! 

One extra special and unexpected boost that happened this year came when our graduates from previous years came back to AFM to support their friends and meet with their community. It meant everything to us to be able to hug them and hear in person how their lives have been going and growing. Hurray for vaccinations and a world changed! Hurray for strong students who keep growing into strong young adults. 

Our graduates got certificates of appreciation, awards were passed out, and we all celebrated the fantastic journey that we have been so privileged to watch them go along on. We all teared up watching movies that we created to honor them. The baby photos were fabulous! 

This was an evening that touched all of our hearts, and we thank you all for your love and friendships. We are truly part of a fencing family. Let's one more time appreciate our Graduates and their incredible achievements in fencing and college acceptance - 

Audrey Chu - admitted to Columbia University, and will fence in the team

Audrey Taylor - admitted to Brown University, and will fence in the team

Andrea Leang - admitted to MIT, and will be a captain of the fencing team

Hansel Desousa - UCLA 

Kevin Cai - UCLA

Anusha Vohra - Penn State University, and will fence in the team

Mark Shamis - Brandeis, will join their fencing team

Jason Louie – UC Berkeley, will continue fencing in Berkley fencing club

Preston Ellis - UC San Diego 

Tommy Koh – Columbia University, and plans to join the team

Good luck! Lots of love from AFM! 


Cobra Challenge SYC/RCC -
Youth 12 Women's Foil - Gabrielle Gebala won Gols and earned B2021
Zoie Wang got 12th and earned her E rating! 
Youth 14th Women's Foil - Gabrielle Gebala won 5th place! In Cadets Gabrielle finished 9th! 
Youth 10 Men's Foil - Alver Wu won the competition and got the Gold and the trophy! 

Our kind congratulations to Alber Wu, his parents, coach Natasha and all foil coaches on winning Youth 10 Men's Foil competition at the Cobra SYC, one of the biggest and famous competitions! Wow, what an impressive result and great fencing! Way to go, Alber! We are so proud of you!

Congratulations to Sean Sung for the great fencing and for earning the B rating in the Division I-A Men's Foil at the Fairfax Challenge Summer ROC/RJCC! Way to go Sean! We are so proud of you!

Congratulations to Alan Buchwald for medalling in Veteran Men’s Foil Competition in Boston!! Way to go Alan!

Alan Buchwald surprised us again  - congratulations to our dearest veteran foil fencer Alan Buchwald for winning a Bronze medal at the Tom Wright mixed Veteran Foil event at the DC Fencers Club in Maryland ! Alan, you impress us at every competition! Way to go!
SYC Windy City 
Youth 14 Women's Epee
Veronika Zherebchevska  got 7th place medal - way to go!
Youth 10 Men's Foil 
Suvir Maniktala got 5th place medal! Congratulations!
Cadet Women's Foil 
Cheryl Sun - Silver!  Way to go! 
Cici Sun - Bronze!  - Hooray!
Youth 10 Women's Foil 
Melissa Deng won Bronze! Congratulaitons! 

Congratulations to Veronika Zherebchevska for winning the 7th place medal at the Youth 14 Women's Epee at the Windy City SYC/RCC! Way to go, Veronika! Congratulations!

Congratulations to Cici Sun for winning two medals in the Windy City SYC/RCC - the bronze medal in Cadet Women's Foil and a silver medal in Youth 14 Women's Foil!!! You are unstoppable in this season! We are so proud of you Cici!

Congratulations to Melissa Deng for winning a Bronze medal in the Windy City SYC Youth10 Women's Foil! Look at this beautiful photo of Melissa! Way to go!!!

Congratulations to the Intermediate Epee Internal AFM Cup winners in the Boys event! We had a fantastic tournament today - thank you!! The winner of the competition in boys event is Liam Armitage! Way to go! The Silver medalist today is Calvin Higgins! great job! Bronze medals are going to Angelo Hartmann and Arjun Chakravarthy! Congratulations!!!

Congratulations to all Intermediate Epee AFM girls today on the impressive fencing performance today in the Internal Epee Cup! Here are our winners of the competition in Intermediate Epee (Girls) - The winner of the competition today is Genevie Kwon, and she takes home a beautiful shiny gold medal!! Way to go! The second-place winner is Penelope Cheng and gets a Silver medal! Bronze medalists today are Tessa Camama and Evelyn You! Congratulations!!

Congratulations to the top podium finishers of the Beginner Epee Internal Cup at AFM!! Sasha Borovikov, our youngest participant in the competition won the Gold Medal today! Wow, way to go! Evan Gonzales won a Silver Medal! Great job! Aaron Jao and Noah Gachioch won Bronze medals today! Thank you all parents and fencers for coming to learn competitions flow and compete today!

Congratulations to all participants of the First Internal Competition of the Beginner Epee at AFM!! We enjoyed having you guys, thank you for your hard work and for the spark to fence! Congratulations to the top four medalists of Group 1: Antoni Minutti and Noe Matthew got Bronze medals, Sekai Akbari won Silver medal, and the gold medal winner is Amanda Lai!!! Way to go!!!

Fortune ROC and RJCC 
Great performance of the AFM foil girls at the Fortune ROC and RJCC! In Div2: Neta Korol - Gold, Dana Korol - Bronze, Cheryl Sun - 5th place. In Cadets: Neta - 7th place, Cici Sun - 8th place. In Div1A: Neta - 8th place. In Juniors: Cici - Bronze and B rating, Neta - 5th. Great job, girls! Way to go!

Cici Sun - 

Neta Korol and Dana Korol 

Cheryl Sun 



Next Season 2021-2022 Classes Schedule   


It’s time for the new season! 2021-2022 is waiting for us just around the corner, and it’s so exciting to think about a full season. 

Our current group class schedule will remain in place through the next two months, with our new schedule starting on September 1st. 

We’ll try our best to keep the same days for classes as much as possible when we bring in the new schedule this fall. Look for an announcement sometime in August sharing the new schedule. Until then, we’ll see you this summer!


Zoom Classes are Discontinued - thank you!


It has been a season unlike anything else, and central to our work to get through this time have been our zoom classes. 

Thank you, thank you to everyone for being adaptable and showing how much you are dedicated to fencing training. 

AFM was committed to supporting every fencer from the very beginning of the pandemic. We built one of the best online fencing programs out there, starting all the way back in March 2020 and going all the way to this month. Our coaches stepped up with innovation and creativity to keep our fencers engaged and learning. The end result was a safe training environment that fencers learned and grew through, even though it seemed impossible at times. 

We appreciate your dedication to fencing and your support of our fencers and the club through the pandemic!

California is now in a significantly improved situation. Many of the restrictions have lifted, and the all of our coaches and staff, as well as the majority of our families and fencers, are fully vaccinated. Our kids are back for in person classes!

With all of this, we are now able to discontinue Zoom group classes starting July 1. Thank you for your trust and tremendous support! We’ll see you in Campbell and Sunnyvale on the strip!.

USFA High School All American Program


We encourage all of our eligible fencers to write in and apply for the USFA High School All American Program!

The perfect moment to put in this application is right after Summer Nationals and the July Challenge, that is if you haven’t already. This is an important achievement for high schoolers, who have the chance to be recognized by USA Fencing, the national body of fencing. It’s a great thing to have on your resume for college applications! 

There are several teams for fencers of different ratings, and the application process couldn’t be easier. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s a great reward for fencers who are chosen. 

The deadline this year has been extended to 7/31. 

Here’s the link with details.

Copyright © *|July 2021|* *|Academy of Fencing Masters|*, All rights reserved.

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