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AFM Newsletter #97 - October 2021

It’s an exciting time for AFM!

In the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed a beautiful blossoming of our fencers across so many areas. Mastery of new skills, shining performances in competition, fencers taking their training very seriously, and more of our fencers jumping into the joy of tournaments that push them to new heights. It’s not just about fencing, it’s also about friendship. The tight-knit community at AFM is supporting our fencers, and that’s the truest and most wonderful part of what we do. 

All of this results in fantastic achievements, the manifestation of our dreams and plans that we’ve been working for in the club and through our blog to build community and reach high in our sport. Our fencers make us proud in every tournament they participate in. This speaks to the diligence of our students and the expertise of our coaches, a combination that is proving to the world that we are a force to be reckoned with. With competitions ramping up across the country and AFM fencers showing our talent at every turn, there’s no doubt that the fencing community continues to take notice. 

Once again, AFM has been awarded the Club of Excellence Award by USA Fencing. It’s a humbling honor for a club that we built together with this community. This honor fuels us to work even harder to develop our epee program into a powerhouse that rises to the highest world standards. We’re ready for the challenge and to keep leveling up! Look for new supports and initiatives as we continue to charge forward and guide our already formidable fencers into the next phase of development. You deserve the kind of elite program that we’ve been working so hard to build, and this wonderful achievement is only the beginning. 

Here’s to an awesome October!

                                                  Sincerely yours, 

Club of Excellence Award from USA Fencing 

This is truly a big honor for our club. We are among only five clubs in the country to be given this award. AFM was named a Club of Excellence in Marketing and Communications! 


For the second time, AFM has been named a Club of Excellence by USA Fencing! We were previously recognized in 2016 for excellence in membership. 

What makes us so proud of this is that marketing for AFM has never only been about growing our own club - it has always been about spreading the word about fencing far and wide to help promote the sport. Through social media, our blog, interviews with fencing stars and important members of the fencing community, print and online advertising, and community efforts, we believe that fencing can grow and reach more people. It’s part of our mission to put this sport out there. 

This very newsletter that you are reading is part of our marketing and communication, and we thank you for reading it. Getting information out is a diligent process that we work hard on, but what really matters is that people like you keep reading it. 

We must also congratulate our fellow award recipients on their efforts as well. Fencing is a truly fantastic community, and we are thankful to be a part of it. 

You can read more about this award at

Competition Results in September and Beginning of October 

Photo: Coach Natasha Maximovich leads a warm-up session for Y10WE (RYC) 

What an incredible showing for our AFM fencers in September and the beginning of October! We are truly making strides as a top epee program, and we couldn’t be prouder of our fencers at every level for their competitive achievements. 

With restrictions changing to allow for more open events, we’ve seen lots of breaks forward for competitions that are encouraging and exciting. More and more events are opening up each month, and September proved to be one of our most competitive months since the start of the pandemic a year and a half ago. 

Well done to everyone!

Fairfax RJCC in Virginia - October 9-10
Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky for winning Gold in Cadet Women’s Epee and 5th place in Junior Women's Epee in Fairfax RJCC in Virginia! Way to go Leehi!

Regional Youth Circuit at TFC, October 1-3

Youth 10 Women's Epee
We had great results at the TFC RYC with Y10 Women’s Epee, with AFM final and fantastic fencing, which our youngest girls showed! Congratulations go to Jessica Xu for Gold, Morgan Hankins for Silver, Ava Budman, Ivanka Ren, and Isabel Huang for medalling with 5th, 6th and 8th place respectively! Great Fencing, girls!

Youth 10 Men's Epee

What a great start of the season with the first RYC of the season! For most of the kids, this was the very first fencing tournament and what a great spirit they showed! We are super proud of all! And now for the results! Congratulations go to Charles Niczewicz for medalling in Y10 Men’s Epee! And also we want to mention Nikhil Jha, Hendry Armstrong, Noah Gacioch, Hari Srikanth, Kaden James and Callum Kavanagh, each winning their first DE bout and finishing in top 16! Great Fencing, boys!

Youth 12 Men's Epee

Samyak Jain won a Gold medal today in Y12 Men’s Epee event! And showed fantastic fencing all day! Congratulations to Samyak and coach Slava!

Youth 12 Women's Epee 
Great results for our Y12 Epee girls! Anais Mollinier won the event and got a Gold medal and Tessa Camama finished with an 8th place medal! Anais fenced two events on the same day, medaled in Y14, and won Gold in Y12! And all this on her 12th Birthday! What a present she made to herself, her parents and her coach Dima on that special day! Congratulations Anais! And that’s not all: 7 girls got in the top 16 in Y12: Genevie Kwon,Aria Blanco,Ada Buricea, Tanvi Gariney, Sanjana Simhadri, Emma Lee and Jalyn Wu! Way to go, girls!

Youth 14 Women's Epee 
Congratulations to Veronika Zherebchevska for Silver, Sanvi Sharma, Diana Martynova and Anais Mollinier for medalling with 5th, 7th and 8th places respectively! Additional recognition goes to Jingjing Liang, Vaishali Wagle and Saahira Dayal for top 16 finishes! Great job, girls!

Youth 14 Men's Epee 
And what a great major accord we had in the Y14 Men’s Epee event in the TFC RYC! Four boys in top 8 in a large 56 fencers event! Congratulations go to Luke Castelly for winning Silver, Riley Dowdell and Daniel Chirashnya for winning Bronze, Luca Loftus for medalling with 7th place! Also, a great result was achieved by Hari Prakash, Travis Knudsen, and Arjun Chakravarthy with a top 16 finish!

Denver RJCC
Cadet Women's Epee 
Great performance by our girls in Cadet Women’s Epee event in Denver RJCC! Noya Chirashnya won Bronze medal, Desiree Poon got 6th place medal and Adele Hsu won 8th place medal! Congratulations girls!

Junior Men's Epee 
Congratulations to Sanil Sharma for Silver medal in Junior Men’s Epee in Denver RJCC! Fantastic fencing also by Anish Sarkar who got 10th place and Adam Chirashnya with 14th place finish.

Junior Women's Epee 
Congratulations to Noya Chirashnya for medalling with 6th place at Junior Women’s Epee in Denver RJCC! Great fencing is also shown by Hailey Haberman, who lost by 1 touch to seeded #1, and Meghana Simhadri, both finishing in the top 16.

Cadet Men's Epee 
Congratulations to Anish Sarkar for 6th place medal and E rating in Cadet Men’s Epee in Denver RJCC! Adam Chirashnya and Agniv Sarkar also receive a nod for their good fencing and top 16 finish!

What a great start to Season 2021-2022! Go AFM! 

AFM Designated Competitions

The 2021 list was sent to your email

Designated competitions are those competitions that AFM guarantees coaching availability for strip coaching. These competitions are the best opportunity for our fencers to move forward towards qualification for Fencing Summer Nationals and the Junior Olympics, besides being high-quality tournaments that are helpful for the growth of our fencers. 

The link to the AFM list of designated competitions is already in your inbox. It will be updated when needed. 

Senior Fencing Opportunities 


2014 Annual Dick Berry Invitational. Here is a historic picture of our awesome epee fencers at 6th Annual Dick Berry Invitational tournament in 2014 with Jamie Owens, Michael Wang, Alexander Javorski, Jordan Schmidt, and Daryan Qawami. 

Our senior fencers have a great event to participate in coming up on the 24th of October. The Dick Berry 90th Birthday Invitational in Davis, CA is an excellent opportunity for senior fencers, i.e., experienced Advanced and Competitive level fencers born on or before 2008.

It is rare to find a local fencing tournament that has such a broad distribution. This occasion dictates that we encourage all of our senior fencers to join in because this tournament celebrates life, fencing, dedication, and community. The atmosphere of this one will be fun and festive, with the competition itself being followed with food and merriment. 

For our athletes, this tournament will be rife with some strong Bay Area fencers whose presence will boost this tournament up to  a solid B3 tournament with only 3 A’s needed for the A4 classification. This is all the more reason to show up and celebrate all that Dick Berry represents, which is the most wonderful part of our community and our sport. 

Here is a summary from the askFred tournament’s page to give you some insight into why he’s such a wonderful part of our community!

 Richard “Dick” Berry is celebrating his 90th birthday and wishes to invite everybody to the celebration!!

Mr. Berry started fencing at the age of 16. He won two individual national championships, was on three gold medal teams and, unfortunately, had to decline the 1960 Olympic Games due to financial considerations. He was accepted to the USA Fencing Hall of Fame last year, but is still awaiting his induction ceremony.

After his competitive career, he wanted to give back to the sport and has offered fencing lessons as a volunteer coach for several decades. He especially enjoys coaching parents of fencers as his own parents never understood the sport and only ever saw one of his competitions. As he turns ninety, he still fences and coaches two to three days per week and credits fencing with maintaining his long, active life.

Please join us in wishing him a happy birthday to eat, drink and fence!!

 Find all of the details on Ask Fred at



Colleges Applications 

College application time is just around the corner, and we’re here to help our fencers make the most of their experience to achieve those big goals. 

AFM has been fortunate to have fencers get accepted into top-tier universities year after year, and we know that fencing has been a great part of the structure and achievement that helps them in their journey. 

Look for more information in the coming weeks about what we’ll be doing to support the college application process through materials and the sharing of knowledge. We understand how much pressure this process can put on families, but we also know that it’s a moment that’s full of opportunity. 


Private Lessons Importance  


Private lessons are available and they are important for all fencers!

Fencing classes and private lessons work in tandem to help fencers become the best that they can be. It’s the work with peers during classes in conjunction with the individual attention that private lessons offer that levels you up and helps you grow.

If you are not currently taking private fencing lessons, we urge you to sign up and get the support that you need. Improving form, timing, footwork, and confidence are all benefits you get from this one-on-one intensive instruction. Particularly as fencers compete, private lessons allow them to adapt and effectively set and achieve their fencing goals. 

Please contact the office about scheduling!


How to Qualify to JOs and SN  

The USA Fencing recently updated the Athlete Handbook for 2021-2022 season. This is the major source of information for all things fencing in the country, including the qualification process. 

There are some minor changes to the rules, but the basic path stays the same as before.

In particular, to qualify for Junior Olympics Championships (JO’s) or Summer National Championships (SN) via the regional path, each fencer to need to do one of the following based on their age category:

  • Cadets and Juniors need to get enough points from their two best results in their respective RJCC’s: 110 points from top 2 results for JO's and 65 points from top 2 results for SN.

  • Youth ages will have their best three RYC results summed up, with the top-ranking fencers qualifying for SN: Y10 needs to participate in at least one RYC or SYC, Y12 need to earn at least 70 points from top 3 RYC results, and Y14 need to earn at least 150 points from top 3 RYC results

  • Div2/3/1A will need a top 40% finish in one of their respective ROC’s

Look for additional paths for qualification, for example, via national tournaments, but the regional path is the most straightforward way to qualify. This is why it’s so important to attend as many regional tournaments as possible. Regional tournaments are a great experience, especially for our region. Great fencers come from Souther California and Nevada, and our regional competitions are a major qualification path towards the nationals.

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

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