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AFM Newsletter #92 - May 2021



There is a real sense in the air that things are slowly shifting in the direction of normal. It’s almost as if we can see the world coming back to its normal position. What a remarkable thing! After all of this time, going back to competitions, in-person training, and travel feels almost alien, like there’s something not right about it. With vaccination rates going up and things reopening, there is every reason to feel excited about the months to come!

With every step that we’ve taken, we can say with confidence that we’ve been moving in the right direction. It’s been a very long and hard year to go without competitions to fuel our fencing fire, but now it seems that we will be back with Fencing Summer Nationals in Philadelphia in just two months! While we are excited about national-level competitions, we also recognize that this is a point of transition for everyone. It will take some time to get used to.

This month, we’re seeing even more reopening and the bright sunshine of the hopeful end of the pandemic. This process is going to be slow, and we ask that everyone take time and continue to be supportive of comfort levels as far as interactions. We will continue to follow our social distancing safety protocols, because the safety of our fencers is of the utmost importance, even as vaccination rates continue to go higher. That being said, it’s a joyous month because we feel freer than we have in over a year! Hope!

Life is starting to get busy again, and that’s incredibly exciting. Schedules are filling up, and we are so happy to be holding fencing camps and seeing people in the real world instead of over zoom. With the summer just around the corner, we can begin to plan for more travel, more time with each other, and more fencing!

                                                  Sincerely yours, 

Summer Nationals & End of Season Competitions


The what, where, when, and how to qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals is different this year than it ever has been in the past. Do not assume that you know the process because you have done it in the past.

We dive deeply into the details of what you need to know in our recent blog post about Fencing Summer Nationals, but here are the highlights.

·         July Challenge, Parafencing Nationals, & Veteran National Championships are in different cities on separate dates

o   Summer National Championships:  Division 1, Division IA, Division II, Division III, Div1 Team, Youth 10, 12, 15 and Junior Olympics: Junior, Cadet, Junior Team - Philadelphia, July 3-12

o   July Challenge: Cadet, Junior, Junior Team - Salt Lake City, July 22-25
o   Veteran Age Championships: Atlanta, Ga, August 27-29

·         Qualification paths for some events include 2019-20 points

·         Protocols will be in place for social distancing and safety

There are significant changes in the qualification paths this year, and we want to encourage you to check out the information and also to talk to your coach. Points from the cut-off previous season are able to count towards the current championship in many instances, so it’s critical that competitors look thoroughly through the paths.

 Be sure to check our blog for details about what you need to know for qualification, and you can also look at the specifics from USA Fencing at this link:

The opportunity to compete at this level is enriching, and as we come out of lockdown we want to take advantage of what’s before us!

Know that things can always change between now and then if the pandemic doesn’t go as it is now. It’s important that everyone be aware of all of the pieces if you’re going to go. Most of all, it’s exciting that this is happening! What a step forward!


Competition Results in April - May

Photo: Coach Zhanna with our super special epee girls Andrea, Audrey, Zandra, Natalie, and Leehi at the NAC

We are extremely happy to get back the competitive spark and feel the vibe of competitions once again!
We celebrate all strong and hard-working fencers and coaches who continued to work hard during this challenging year! The dedication and hard work paid off - we have amazing results in the last competitions and we are so proud to present the result here - GO, AFM!

April 2021 North American Cup,
Fort Worth, Texas

Youth 12 Women's Foil 

Congratulations to Gabrielle Gebala, her parents, coach Natasha, and AFM's incredible foil team on 8th place national medal in April 2021 North American Cup - Y12WF! Wow!! Great job, Gabrielle! We know it was very difficult to fence after a year without competitions and without your coach by your side, but you are well known for your strong character and determination! Way to go! Gabrielle finished 9th in Y14WF - congratulations!
Our warm congratulations also are going to Zoie Wang for her great fencing in Y12WF and finishing 11th in this national competition! We are so proud of you, girls!

Youth 14 Women's Epee

Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky for such an impressive performance at the North American Cup (April 2021)!
Leehi won a bronze medal in Y14WE and also finished 13th in Div I WE! That's outstanding! Congratulations to Leehi, her family, her coach Zhanna and AFM fantastic epee coaching team! Way to go!! Natalie Gebala finished 19th in Div I - so great result! Way to go, Natalie!! Congratulations!
We are very proud of our hardworking fencers and outstanding coaches!

May 2021 North American Cup, 
Richmond, Virginia

 Junior Women’s Epee

Congratulations to Audrey Chu for medalling in Junior Women’s Epee and earning her A rating at May NAC! Congratulations to coach Zhanna and the entire fantastic Epee coaching team! Way to go!

Cadet Men's Epee 
Congratulations to Sanil Sharma for the great performance at the May NAC! Medal in Cadet Men’s Epee, top 32 finish in Division 1, and top 16 finish in Juniors! Way to go, Sanil! Congratulations to Coach Alexander and the whole fantastic Epee coaching team!

Youth 14 Women's Epee

Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky, her parents, coach Zhanna, and the whole fantastic epee coaching team with a Silver medal that Leehi won at the May NAC in Y-14 Women's Épée competition! Way to go Leehi! Great job! We are proud of you so much! You are a true fighter and an example of hard work and outstanding dedication!

Cadet Women's Epee 

Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky on her fantastic fencing, strong willpower, focus, and strengths she demonstrated in every event at this NAC!  Leehi won a Silver Medal in Cadets and renewed her A rating, showing great fencing skills and the character of a real fighter! Way to go Leehi! We are so proud of you! Zandra Feland finished 15th! Great fencing, Zandra! Also, Natalie Gebala was placed 23rd, which is a very good result as well in the national competition!  Good job!

Congratulations to her personal coach Zhanna, huge thanks to coach Dima, and all AFM outstanding epee coaches and fencers! 

Youth 14 Women's Foil , NAC
Congratulations to Bogdan and the whole fantastic AFM Foil Team with an impressive opening of the North American Cup in the Youth 14 Women's Foil competition!! Cici Sun won the 7th place national medal and earned "C" rating! Way to go! Cici, we are so proud of you! Gabrielle Gebala finished 9th, Cheryl Sun made it to the top 16 as well! Great job! Way to go!

Congratulations to all foil girls for a good performance! On the photo: Coach Bogdan with Cheryl Sun, Cicic Sun, Prisha Maniktala. 

Regional Youth Circuit
TFC, San Jose 

Youth 14 Women's Foil

Congratulations to our special, smart, brave, strong, and hardworking foil girls with the impressive podium sweep in the Youth 14 Women's Foil competition at the RYC (TFC)! Cici Sun won the competition! Cici, great job! It feels like this Gold medal is shinier and havier this season! 🙂 Way to go! Cheryl Sun won the Silver medal - hooray! Congratulations to both families, Bogdan, and all coaches! Emma Fung won the Bronze medal in this event! Great job! We are so happy for you! Congratulations to you, your family, coach Andrei and all foil coaches! Prisha Maniktala won the 7th place medal and made her coach Bogdan, all-foil coaches, and parents feel so proud! Way to go! Congratulations to the whole AFM foil team!

Youth 12 Women's Foil 

Congratulations to Prisha Maniktala for winning a Bronze medal in Youth 12 Women's Foil in the RYC in TFC! Way to go Prisha! You trained hard the whole year to improve your fencing and grow! We are proud of you!
Congratulations to Zoie Wang for winning the 8th place medal in the same event! We are so proud of you and happy for you and your dedicated family!
Congratulations to both families - thank you for doing everything possible to push thru the most difficult season! Congratulations, coach Bogdan and the whole fantastic foil coaching team!

Y12 Women's Epee 

Congratulations to Diana Martynova for winning the Youth 12 Women's Epee competition at the RYC in TFC! Gold medal after a year-long without competitions, working so hard! Way to go Diana! Congratulations to the family, coach Zhanna and epee team! Thank you!
Penelope Chung won the 6th place medal as well - what a great start to the competitions of the season! Way to go! We are very proud of you!
Anais Mollinier medalled with an 8th place medal - congratulations Anais, the family, coach Dima, and all epee coaches! We are very proud of you!

Youth 14 Women's Epee

Our warm congratulations to Diana Martynova for winning a Bronze Medal in Youth 14 Women's Epee event in the RYC at TFC! Diana showed that hard work and dedication during this challenging year paid off! Congratulations to Diana, her parents, her personal coach Zhanna and the whole fantastic Epee team!
Congratulations to Vaishali Wagle for winning 8th place medal in the same event! Vaishali, your beautiful smile helped your teammates to go thru the most challenging moments of the training this season! Thank you for working hard and for showing great sportsmanship! Way to go!


Youth 10 Women's Epee 
Congratulations to Genevie Kwon for winning a Bronze medal in Youth 10 Women's Epee in RYC at The Fencing Center! Way to go Genevie! Great job! Congratulations to the family and thanks to coach Zhanna and all epee coaches!

Youth 14 Men's Epee 

AFM fencers won 5 medals in Y14 Men's Epee in the RYC at TFC! Huge congratulations to Alec Zhang for winning this tournament! Way to go! The gold medal is a great celebration of getting back to normal after such a difficult year! Hooray! Congratulations to Christopher Wright for winning the silver medal! Fantastic! Agniv Sarkar won the bronze medal! We are so happy for you! Allan Chu got the 5th place medal - great job! Way to go! Elliot Park got the 6th place medal - congratulations!
Congratulations to fencers and their families! Thank you, AFM outstanding epee coaches! Way to go!

Youth 10 Men's Foil 

Congratulations to Alber Wu for winning the Y10 Men's Foi in RYC at TFC! What a great feeling to get Gold after a long year without any tournaments! Way to go! Congratulations to Suvir Maniktala for winning the Silver medal - Amazing result! Congratulations to Jackson Yue for winning 7th place medal! We are so proud of you! We had only three fencers signing up for the Y10MF tournament, and all three of them got medalled!
Thank you to AFM Foil coaches and congratulations to proud parents!


Youth 10 Women's Foil

Congratulations to Addison Ho, her parents, her private coach Bogdan and the whole foil team with a Silver medal in the Y10 Women's Foil event in the TFC Downtown RYC! Way to go Addison! We are so proud of you! It is extremely difficult to compete after over a year without competitions, and you did your job great!! Way to go!

Way to go! Fantastic results of all AFM fencers! 
Continue to work hard on the finishing line towards the biggest fencing competitions of the season - Summer Nationals and Junior Olympics! 


Beginner Parents Meeting & New Parent Orientation

Thursday, May 27th from 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm (Zoom)

We will send Zoom like to all Beginners' parents 

It’s challenging for new fencing parents to get their feet under them during normal times, and during the pandemic, it can be even more confusing. We’re bringing back our new parent orientation, and it’s more important now than ever.

Here are some of the big reasons that new parents should attend:

·         Fencing rules are very complicated and totally different from other sports.

·         There’s nowhere that all of this information is kept in one spot (except our fencing orientation session!)

·         The best places to find information are often overwhelming for new parents, for instance, the USFA Athlete Handbook.

·         Without the organic socialization that usually happens at the club between parents and staff to pass on knowledge, it’s even harder to get this information.

Parents walk out of these orientation sessions heaving a sigh of relief! They suddenly feel less overwhelmed and more supported. So much of this is about community, and this is a perfect way for new parents to not only learn a lot, but also to plug into our fantastic and supportive AFM fencing community. We’re here for you, even with social distancing.


Beginner/Intermediate Level Competitions


To all fencers and their families who started their fencing journey during this challenging year - thank you so much for your passion and dedication! We are so excited and honored to teach new kids the art of fencing. 
In this season kids had no opportunity to compete or try out fencing tournaments. Competitions are part of the big excitement that fencing brings to the kids. For that reason, we decided to organize a fun and educational internal tournament for  Beginner and Intermediate level fencers in foil and epee. 

Even if your child only recently joined the Beginner class, it still will be a very special event for them and we promise they will learn a lot about how real competitions are conducted. Our coaches will work with the fencers and guide them throughout the entire flow.  We created special AFM custom-made medals for top winners and lots of small gifts for participants!   The cost to participate is $40. 

Here are the dates for each event: 

Beginner Foil 
Sunday, May 23, 2021  @ 9 am
AFM Campbell 

Intermediate Foil 
Sunday, May 23, 2021  @ 1 pm 
AFM Campbell 

Beginner Epee
Sunday, June 13, 2021 @ 9 am
AFM Campbell 

Intermediate Epee  
Sunday, June 13, 2021  @ 1 pm 
AFM Campbell 

This is an excellent opportunity for the fencers to immerse themselves into the competitive world together with their classmates and in a friendly environment, which also quite homogenous based on the fencers level.
We encourage you all to sign up for this competition.
We are sure this first competition will be great for the kids!

If you haven't registered yet, please send an email to Julia: 
The payment will be taken on the credit card on file.
Note: the payment is non-refundable if you sign up because we estimate referees-coaches and pay them.  The deadline to sign up is May 15th.



AFM is offering Summer Nationals preparation camps and Introductory Fencing camps. They will follow our COVID safety protocols and will of course be in line with state guidelines. It’s a wonderful feeling of normalcy to have summer camp this year!

1. Introduction to Fencing camps are being held at both the Campbell and Sunnyvale locations starting in late June and going through the first week of August. You can register online:


·         June 28 - July 2

·         July 12 – July 16

·         July 19 – July 23

·         July 26 – July 30

·         August 2 – August 6


Please spread the word! This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to try fencing after the long days of lockdown.


2. Intermediate and Beginner level fencing camps at AFM are also coming this summer. These are great for fencers our current fencers at these levels and also for those who are coming back into the club and are ready to notch up those skills.


·         Foil camps at Campbell  - June 14 – 18

·         Epee camps at Sunnyvale -  June 14 - 18

To register please send an email to Julia:  

3. Summer Nationals preparation camps -
Both epee and foil camps will be held at Sunnyvale from
June 21 – 25

Epee  9 am - 12 pm

Featuring a special guest - Alexander Velikanov, two times Junior World Champion, representing the National Russian Team, a former teammate of coach Slava Novoselov in the Russia National Team. Not to be missed! 

Foil      1 pm - 4 pm
Work in progress to have a guest and sparing partners for this camp. 

You can register online for these competitive camps, which are exactly what’s needed for that extra edge ahead of Summer Nationals and Junior Olympics! 

Colleges Admissions 2021

We are so proud of our graduates this year, and we wish them to enjoy the new page of the lives! 

Congratulations to Anusha Vohra on her acceptance to the Penn State University and joining their foil fencing team! 

Congratulations to Mark Shamis on his admission to Brandeis University and their fencing team! Way to go, Mark! We are so proud of you!

Here are once again our congratulations to AFM graduates 2021 - 

Audrey Chu was admitted to Columbia University and their WE fencing team  - Amazing!
Audrey Taylor is admitted to  Brown University and their WE fencing team - Outstanding!
Andrea Leang was admitted to MIT, and to the MIT WE fencing team - Fantastic! 
Jason L
ouie is admitted to Berkeley University and will fence in their fencing club - Incredible!

Way to go, guys! 

Summer Schedule


Our current schedule is going to stay in effect until July 31st. We know that things sometimes change with the pandemic, but we’re hopeful for there to be steady forward progress rather than back and forth as it has been.

Our new schedule for next season will start on August 1st, and we’ll publish it in June. We’ll share any changes with you as soon as we have them.

AFM Hoodies Pre-Order

After a year without competition, everyone is stronger and taller! It’s time to order a new size in our AFM red uniforms.

Every fencer should wear a hoodie or a jacket to competitions for the warmup and most definitely on the podium. They are a symbol of our club,  they show your support and a sense of the AFM community! We are proud of each and every fencer. Please don’t forget to represent your coaches, who put their hard work and soul into each fencer that they train. By wearing the AFM patches when you fence and slipping on that jacket on the podium, you are showing how much you appreciate that support.

The hoodie price is $60.  Pre-order is now open, so please send your sizes and requests to 

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

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