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AFM Newsletter #101 - February 2022



What’s not to love about February? Even though it’s a short month, it’s still jam-packed with excitement and big things. We’re quickly heading towards the final competitions ahead of Summer Nationals - how did we get here so fast? The fencing season seems to be going at light speed this year!

The Junior Olympics is happening in Salt Lake City in this weekend, and it’s hard to believe that we’re so close to this major competition. Thank you to everyone who has been working super hard to prepare for the JO’s. The coaches and athletes, the families who are sacrificing so much for this competition, none of that goes unnoticed. However it turns out, please join us in cheering for our fencers as they compete in this huge competition! 

The end of February will bring with the downhill run towards the biggest competition of the year - USA Fencing Summer Nationals. It’s like a breath of fresh air that can fuel our training and give us clarity and confidence. The wheels of the season are turning, and it feels so refreshing to be in the throes of a regular year again. We aren’t back to normal by any stretch, but then, what is normal again?

Thanks to the hard work and tremendous flexibility of everyone who has been working to create a successful environment for training at AFM! We are inspired by all of the hard work that you do day in and day out to increase your skills and support those around you. There is a great sense of purpose and normalcy that’s fallen onto everyone in the past few months, even as we continue to ride the waves of the pandemic. That has everything to do with you. 

Here’s to a fantastic month! Every training session is a love letter to fencing, and we are so thankful for all of the love that you give to our community. 

                                                  Sincerely yours, 

Junior Olympics 2022

Later this week, our fencers will compete at the Junior Olympics in Salt Lake City! 

The Junior Olympics is a national competition that is the last chance for competitors to qualify for the Junior and Cadet World Championships. If you want to learn more about this competition, which is not related to the Olympic Games, then please check out our blog post about the Junior Olympics

This year sees the largest team from AFM ever to qualify for the Junior Olympics. We are so excited to be sending five of our coaches to support the team of Cadets and Juniors as they pursue the next level in competition. 

Let’s rock this tournament! It’s not about bringing home the biggest medal or getting to the top of the podium, it’s about how much this level of competition challenges our fencers to grow. 

Stay strong and train consistently in the lead-up to the competition, and be sure to take advantage of everything at your disposal. This might mean extra lessons, consistent visualizations, and checking in with your coach about what improvements are possible for you. Look on YouTube for inspiration and tweaks to your strategy that comes from the best fencers. Take extra lessons when you can. 

This competition means significant travel for our fencers, and the change in environment from here to Salt Lake City is certainly a consideration. Plan to dress warmly and stay healthy as you travel, and of course, keep a close eye on travel precautions for the pandemic. 

If you have any questions at all, please reach out to someone on the AFM staff to ensure that you feel as healthy and prepared as possible. We are wonderfully excited for all of our competitors and oh so proud of you!


Dates: February 18-21, 2022

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Venue: Salt Palace Convention Center 

Championships: Junior, Cadet, and Junior Team  

Competition Results in January 2022

World Cup in Krakow, Poland (February) 
Congratulaitons to Leehi Machulski, her family, coach Zhanna and the whole fantastic epee team with an impressive 10th place in her second international competition, representing USA in the World Cup!
Way to go, Leehi!! 

World Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia (January)   
Natalie Gebala and Leehi Machulsky were a part of the USA Epee Team!

Congratulations to Natalie, her family, coach Alexander and team with the 12th place!
Congratulations to Leehi, her family, coach Zhanna and the team with the 20th place! 
Way to go! 

Fantastic start for our girls in their first ever Cadet World Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia! Congratulations to Natalie Gebala for finishing 12th and Leehi Machulsky for finishing 20th in the field of 250 strongest girls from the whole world, from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, Hungary, Estonia, and of course, USA! Girls, we are so proud of you and waiting to see your next international achievements!

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Leehi Machulsky was a first time member of Team USA 2 at the team competition at the Cadet World Cup in Bratislava. The USA-2 team took 5th place, beating such known teams as Ukraine-2, Switzerland, Estonia and Italy, and loosing to USA-1, which eventually took Bronze medal. Per regulations, each country can have two teams composed of top 8 ranked fencers. Congratulations to the both USA Teams and of course to Leehi! Way to go!

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Fantastic start of our girls in their first ever Cadet World Cup in Bratislava, Slovakia! Congratulations to Natalie Gebala for finishing 12th and Leehi Machulsky for finishing 20th in the field of 250 strongest girls from the whole world, from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, Hungary, Estonia and of course, USA! Girls, we are so proud of you and waiting to see your next international achievements!

Battle of the Bay Div1A ROC - February 2022
Div 1A WE 

Congratulations to Natalie Gebala for winning Gold and renewing her A rating, to Hailey Haberman for Winning Bronze and earning B rating, to Priscilla Leang for medalling with 6th place and To Zandra Feland for medalling with 7th place! Shut-out to Sanvi Sharma and Alice Alan for top 16 placements! Congratulations to the fencers, their coaches and parents! Way to go! Next stop - JO’s!

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Div 1A ME
Great performance of our boys in a super thought A4-level tournament which featured 114 contenders! Warm congratulations to our AFM boys who competed this weekend at the Battle of the Bay ROC! Congrats to: 🥈Ben Kim and renewing his A22, 6th place medal: Adam Chirashnya and earning his A22, 14th: Kevin Wong and earning his B22, 15th: Sarthak Jain and renewing his B22. Congrats as well to Darren Watt for earning his D22, Daniel Chirashnya for renewing his D22, Trenor Burling for earning his E22, and Nicholas Lomio for earning his E22. A special shout-out to Sanil Sharma for getting 9th place. Congratulations to the coaches and the parents! What fantastic results 🥳🥳 keep up the hard work and good luck to the girls competing tomorrow!

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TFC‘s January 2022 Fence-A-Thon: Senior Mixed Épée - Congratulations to Priscilla Leang for winning 3rd place, also to
David Zaydman for the 3rd place medal and also renewal of his D rating! We would like to mention the good fencing of Darren Watt who got 5th place and renewed his E rating, also Kevin Wong got 6th place and renewed his E rating! Big thanks to Bobby Liu for sharing these photos! Way to go!

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TFC‘s January 2022 Fence-A-Thon - Our warm congratulations to Dan Sirbu for winning the Bronze medal in the Mixed Epee event!!! Way to go, Dan! So impressive!

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Treasure Chest RYC
Y10 Women's Epee
Serena Xu won Silver, with one touch missing the Gold, Morgan Hankins and Jessica Xu won Bronze and Dana Cho medalled with 8th place. Great job, girls, congratulations!

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Y10 Men's Epee
nton Roman earned Bronze medal, and then next four boys each medaled in top 8: Kaden James finished 5th, Aaron Millikan - 6th, Owen Zhu - 7th and Artin Amini - 8th. Great job, boys!

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Y12 Women's Epee

Morgan Hankins and Anais Molllinier earned Bronze medal, Jessica Xu medalled with 6th place and Serena Xu medalled with 8th place. Way to go girls!
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Y12 Men's Epee

Congratulations to Samyak Jain for the Silver medal and Joseph Louie for medalling with 6th place in the Treasure Chest RYC in Y12 Men's Epee event!
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Y14 Women's Epee

Y14 girls demonstrating a great performance in the Treasure Chest RYC! Congratulations to Diana Martynova for winning Gold, Saahira Dayal for Bronze, Gabriela Yin for 5th place finish, Anais Mollinier for 6th place finish and Celina Xu for 8th place! Great result, girls! Congratulations!


Y14 Men's Epee 

Congratulations to Riley Dowdell for winning Sikver, Luke Castelly and Travis Knudsen for Bronze and Zaan Sinha for 6th place finish! Great job, boys, way to go!
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NAC, San Jose 

NAC in San Jose - Vet-40 Men's Epee - Our warmest congratulations to our dear friend Dmytriy Karuchenko for winning this event - bravo, Dima, it was such a beautiful last bout!! Come more often to visit friends and fence! It was fun to see you! Our best congratulations to Nicolas Sallembien for winning the 8th place medal in the same event! Wow, way to go, Nicolas! Congratulations to you and your family - your kids are surely proud of you!
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January NAC, Vet-60 Men's Epee - Congratulations to Sergey Schindler for winning the 5th place medal in this prestigious tournament! Congratulations to your family and supporters, also to coach Slava and Jere! Way to go!
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January NAC in San Jose, Vet-70 Men's Épée - Our warm congratulations to Jere Bothelio for winning the Silver medal in this tournament! Great fencing Jere! Way to go! You were so proud in the last few days of your students, now it's t our turn to give a round of applause! Way to go!

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Junior Women's Epee at the January NAC in San Jose - Leehi Machulsky and Audrey Chu finished in the top 16, showing fantastic fencing! Their last bouts for the top 8 were breathtaking, full of powerful fencing, and showed true sport spirit! Girls, we are so proud of you! Way to go!

Bay Cup's NACATTACK Vet Epee Combined
Heidi Chang won 3rd place and renewed her C 2022 rating. Haejung Hofman got 7th place and earned her D22 rating! Way to go!!! So impressive!

Alan Buchwald, our inspiration for so many young fencers, proved once again that age is really only a number, that's all. It has no limitations! The only limitations are the ones you set for yourself. Congratulations to Alan for winning a Bronze medal today in the Veterans 70+ category today at the NAC! Congratulations to you, your family, and coach Alexander! Way to go, Alan!!
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What a fantastic start of the January NAC with 2 Gold and 1 Bronze medal! Congratulations to Heidi Chang for winning Gold and Haejung Hoffman for winning Bronze in Vet 40 Women’s Epee today and congratulations again to Suzanne Bloomer for Gold in Vet60 and of course to our adult coaches Mark Wheeler and Jere Bothelio! What a great start of the year!
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Gold in Vet60 Women’s Epee! Suzanne Bloomer with coach Jere Bothelio! Fantastic result Suzanne, congratulations!!!
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What a great start of the January NAC with Suzanne Bloomer taking Gold in Vet60 Women’s Epee and upgrading her rating to B22! Congratulations to Suzanne and her coaches Mark Wheeler and Jere Bothelio!
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Upcoming Competitions


There are few significant competitions ahead for our fencers that are great for those chasing qualifications for Fencing Summer Nationals, as well as for our competitors who are pushing to grow through competition. 

Talk to your coach about which of these competitions is right for you, and what support you might need from us in order to reach your fencing goals. These are some of the last competitions for fencers who want to qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals to earn points! 

Keep in mind that there are COVID protocols in place for all USA Fencing competitions. 

  1.  Fortune Fencing SYC 

This big Youth competition is down in Ontario, California, which makes it easier to get to than many of the high level competitions in the next couple of months. If you’re needing to get a boost to get qualified for Fencing Summer Nationals, this is a really good opportunity.  It’s for Y8, Y10, Y12, Y14, and Cadet fencers. 


March 18-20, with a regular registration deadline of February 28.  Sponsored by Fortune Fencing and held at the Ontario Convention Center. See all the details on the AskFred link below.  



  1. March NAC 

The March NAC is being held in Richmond, Virginia. It’s for Y10, Y12, Y14, and Veteran fencers. This is the next to last NAC of the season! Talk to your coach about whether this is an important event for your path to SN. 


The dates are March 4-7, with a late entry deadline of March 3. 

See all the details on the link below. 



 3. Silicon Valley RYC 

The Silicon Valley RYC is being held in Fremont. It’s for Y10, Y12, Y14 fencers and is the last Regional Youth Circuit in Northern California. This tournament is definitely one to attend!


The dates are April 8-10. 

See all the details on the link below. 



 4. April NAC 

The April NAC is the last national level tournament for Cadet/Junior/Senior fencers prior to the Summer Nationals. First of all, this NAC is the Division 1 National Championship. It also features Division 2, Cadet, Junior and Senior Team events. For our Competitive and Advanced fencers, this is a fantastic tournament, full of highest level fencing and quite a few events! 

The dates are April 8-10. 

See all the details on the link below. 


AFM Competitions 

AFM is excited to be hosting several fencing tournaments in the next few months. These are perfect for new fencers who want to start competing, as well as for fencers who are experienced in competition and want to keep those competitive skills sharp. 


The best part is that they’re held right here!

  1. AFM Youth Cup #2

March 13 at AFM Sunnyvale.

The second on the Youth Epee Cup series of competitions for Y8/Y10/Y12/Y14 epee fencers. At the end of the season, the fencer with the most points across this series in each category will be awarded a trophy. 

Preregistration closes on March 10. 

See all the details on the Ask Fred link below. 

  1. AFM Youth Cup #3

June 5 at AFM Sunnyvale.

This is the third competition in the series, and will again host Y8/Y10/Y12/Y14 fencers. Preregistration closes on 6/1. If you competed in any of the previous Youth Cup events, you’ll definitely want to take part in this one!

See all the details on the Ask Fred link below. 

  1. AFM Open Junior Tournament

June 12 at AFM Sunnyvale.

AFM is hosting the Open Junior Epee Tournament for both men and women in mid-June, and it’s a great opportunity for fencers to get in a post-season warm-up before Fencing Summer Nationals in July. This is a sanctioned USA Fencing tournament, and it’s specifically designed to give fencers a boost during this period of downtime to keep their skills sharp and their fencing excitement going.  

 See all the details on the Ask Fred link below. 


Summer Nationals Prep Camps 



Competitive fencing takes a whole lot of commitment. There is so much preparation and hard work that goes into qualifying for Fencing Summer Nationals, and it’s important that fencers give themselves every opportunity to do well. Attending a Summer Nationals preparation camp can give a significant boost to fencers who are committed to doing their absolute best in Minneapolis in July. 

Great training is all about codified preparation!

AFM offers an intense training experience in a totally focused environment. Over the years, we’ve found these preparation camps to be highly effective, besides being incredibly rewarding for fencers. Fencers train with special guest teachers who bring the highest level of expertise to these camps. That’s in addition to the high quality of training that they are accustomed to from our incredible coaching staff. 

This year, we are so excited to announce that we will be welcoming members of the Russian National Junior team to these camps! These are high-level fencing champions who have medaled at a multitude of international fencing tournaments. It’s an incredible opportunity to train with these champions ahead of Minneapolis!

A Summer Nationals preparation camp is hands down the best way to boost a fencer’s level of performance ahead of the big competition. 


Summer Nationals prep camp for Y14/Cadet/Junior
Week 1: June 13 - 17, 2022. 9 am - 12 pm.  AFM Sunnyvale
Week 2: June 20 - 24, 2022. 9 am - 12 pm.  AFM Sunnyvale

Summer Nationals prep camp for Youth (Y10 and Y12)
Week 1: June 20 - 24, 2022.       1 pm - 4 pm.  AFM Sunnyvale
Week 1: June 27 - July 1, 2022.  9 am- 12 pm.  AFM Sunnyvale

Look for an email about registration, as well as an announcement in the newsletter.  The camps will be open on askFred by the end of the week.


Summer Camp for Beginner and Intermediate Levels

We are happy to offer two weeks of camps for our current Beginner and Intermediate level fencers! Fencing summer camp is for everyone! All of our existing fencers, whether they’re going to Fencing Summer Nationals or not, can benefit from summer camp.
Camp helps to hone fencing skills, build camaraderie, and to get fencers excited about their training. Our coaches always make camp special, and the amount of growth that we see in fencers who attend camp is a testament to how well this mode of intense training works!

Save the dates, sign up will be available on askFred by the end of this week. 


1. End of the Season Summer Camp 

Open for all current Beginner and Intermediate level fencers 
June 13, 2022 - June 17. 2022 
1 pm  - 4 pm 
Sunnyvale location 
All regular classes are conducted as scheduled 

2. Back to Season Summer Camp 
Open for all current Beginner and Intermediate level fencers 
August 1, 2022 - August 5, 2022 
9 am - 12 pm
Sunnyvale location 
All regular classes are conducted as scheduled 


Plan your summer ahead of time, and don't forget to include fencing camps into your favorite activities over summer 2022! 


Introduction to Fencing Summer Camps

It’s time to start thinking about summer camps again! Beginner epee fencer camps will be held in person for our newest fencers this summer. All of the social distancing and safety precautions that we’ve had in place will continue, and we are very much looking forward to having fencing summer camps in person!

Lots of our fencers have come through the beginner camp model, and it’s a great way to introduce new fencers to the sport. They’re great for siblings and for friends who want to try something new. Fencing summer camps offer a firm foundation for those who have never tried fencing before. They don’t involve a heavy commitment, but they do offer a whole lot of fun. These are exciting, engaging, and exuberant weeks that get kids’ bodies moving and their minds thinking. 

Share the word with your family and friends, as well as your classmates! When we get more people into fencing, it makes it more fun for all of us. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is a fantastic place to start. 

These camps are for kids aged 7-13. They include all of the equipment, so kids just have to show up in comfortable clothes, wearing sneakers, a light jacket and carrying a water bottle. We sanitize the equipment between uses, and are rigorous about our safety protocols. Face masks are always required. 

When a fencer graduates from fencing summer camp at AFM, they are eligible for entry into our intermediate fencing class. It’s a fantastic way for kids to get started in fencing!

Location: Sunnyvale and Campbell

Location: Sunnyvale and Campbell

The week of June 13-17, 2022
The week of June 20-24, 2022
The week of June 27 - July 1, 2022 
The week of July 18 -22, 2022
The week of July 25 - 29, 2022
The week of August 1 - 5, 2022 
The week of  August 8 -12, 2022 



USA Fencing Announces Regional Patch Winners  

We could not be prouder to announce that we had several fencers at AFM win Regional Patches from USA Fencing! These patches can be sewn onto their jackets or hoodies as a proud symbol of their accomplishment as top fencers according to USA Fencing.

These RYC patches are given to the top Y10, Y12, and Y14 fencers from the 2020-21 season and are awarded by region. Those recognized through the RJCC section are gold, silver, or bronze medal winners in the Cadet and Junior age categories. ROC patches are given to Division IA and Division II fencers. You can read more about the program at 

Congratulations to the winners from AFM for Region 4!
Our epee fencers Chris Wright and Elliot Park, Veronika
Zherebchevski, and Genevie Kwon have each been honored for the 2020-21 season. We also have three foilists from last season who were honored, Cici Sun, Alber Wu, and Emma Fung

Way to go and we are so incredibly proud of you!!

Copyright © *|February 2022|* *|Academy of Fencing Masters|*, All rights reserved.

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