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AFM Newsletter #99 
December 2021

Welcome to winter! Nothing is quite so heartwarming as coming together with family and friends during the holiday season - especially this year. It’s hard to believe that only a year ago we were all separated from one another due to the pandemic. The holidays were not the same through zoom!

This year, life is much more back to normal and we’re once again in the thick of fencing competition season in December. We are all back into the swing of in-person school too, and to compare that to remote learning last year is just unbelievable. Though life hasn’t quite ramped up to the level that it was in 2019, we are seeing a lot of families feeling the crunch this year. Know that you are supported! Recently, we wrote about how fencing families can find balance during the holidays, and we encourage you to all to put the emphasis on family right now. Check with your coach, work on your training and competition schedule, and take a breath. 

We are definitely seeing lots of great results from our fencers during the last few months! Congratulations! It’s been fantastic to see fencers really getting into the swing of competition season and pushing themselves to the next level. That momentum is powerful, and it’s a joyful thing to see our epeeists move through the competitive season this way. Moving forward, we want to keep that up. 

This month will see the first competition in the AFM Youth Epee Cup and the Central California Division JO Qualifier. You’ll find details below, and both of these are great opportunities for fencers to compete locally. The NAC in San Jose is just four weeks away too, so there’s lots of competition to be had right here in our area. It’s exciting to see!

All things are possible when you’ve got such a supportive community. We are once again honored to be closing out another year, and it’s been quite the year. Thank you to everyone who’s helped us continue to grow as a club in 2021. Truly, we would not be here without the generosity and commitment that you all show to the fencers here at AFM. It’s together that we are able to keep moving forward!

We wish you all the best holiday season. Enjoy your time off of school and treasure the special moments that we share with friends and family. We are so very fortunate to have each other!


                                                  Sincerely yours, 
                                                                                  Irina and the team

Competition Results in November



November was a fantastic month for our AFM fencers across the board! We are so proud of everyone for their incredible results this month. Truly some performances to shout about! We love the dedication and hard work that everyone put forth to make these happen.

AFM girls rocked in both Cadet and Junior events in Pasadena RJCC, making both finals in these events to be AFM final!

Juniors Women's Epee
In Juniors Leehi Machulsky won Gold and Lefu Chen won Silver, while Natalie Gebala and Alice Lan both medalled with top 8 finish.

Cadets Women's Epee
In Cadets Lefu Chen won the Gold, Natalie Gebala won Silver and Veronika Zherebchevska medalled with 6th place. Fantastic result, girls! Congratulations to you, your coaches, and your parents! We love these AFM finals!

Juniors Men's Epee
Congratulations to Alec Zhang for winning Bronze medal, Adam Chirashnya for 5th place, and Sarthak Jain for medalling with 6th place! And recognition for their performance goes to Jonathan Levitsky, Elliot Park, and Neil Weaver who received 10th, 11th, and 12th place and unfortunately faced their own teammates for the top 8. Luca Loftus also deserved warm congratulations for earning his E rating in Epee! Great job, boys, and congratulations to your coaches and parents too!

Cadets Men's Epee
Congratulations to Sarthak Jain for winning Bronze, Jonathan Levitsky for 5th place, and Elliot Park for 8th place medal. Alec Zhang also finished in the top 16 in the field of 61 fencers. Congratulations to the boys, their coaches, and their parents!

SYC in San Jose 

Youth 14 Women's Epee

Sanvi Sharma medalled with 5th place and Diana Martynov’s medalled with 7th place. Also good performance from Eva Pacheco, Penelope Chung and Tessa Camama, all finished in top 16. Good job girls!

Youth 14 Men's Epee 
Congratulations to Travis Knudsen for medalling with 6th place! And also a good performance from Zaan Sinha who finished 13th in the total field of 62 fencers. Good job boys! Congratulations on the coaches and parents!

Youth 12 Women's Epee
Congratulations to Ariia Blanco for finishing 5th and Tessa Camama for medalling with 7th place! And great performance also by Anais Mollinier who finished 10th, Valerie Lee with 12th place and Jalyn Will finished 16th! Great job all!

Youth 12 Men's Epee
Samyak Jain won Bronze in Y12 Men’s Epee! Congratulations and way to go!

Youth 10 Women's Epee
Congratulations to Jessica Xu for winning Bronze, Morgan Hankins for 5th place, Pearl Mansuy for 6th place and Kylie Miyoshi for 8th place finish! Great job, girls, way to go!

Youth 10 Men's Epee 
Congratulations to Charles Niczewicz for winning his first official medal in the regional competitions! Wat to go! 

RYC in Los Angeles 

Congratulations to Ariia Blanco and Genevie Kwon for medalling with 6th and 7th place in 9th Annual Little Musketeers RYC in Los Angeles in Y12 Women’s Epee category!

UCSD Blade Runner ROC/RJC
Once again, our warm congratulations to fencers, their coaches, and their families on the great performance in San Diego at the beginning of November! 
Junior Men's Epee
Congratulations to Yasha Shur for Bronze, Victor Ma for medalling with 6th place, and additional recognition goes to top 16 finishes of Ben Kim with 10th place, Adam Chirashnya with 11th place and Jonathan Levitywith 15th place in the field of 82 fencers. Great job!

Junior Women’s Epee 
Congratulations to Lefu Chen on winning Silver, Priscilla Leang with Bronze and Zandra Feland with 6 place!  Alice Lan finished 12th. Congratulations!

Division 1A Women’s Epee
Congratulations to Leehi Machulsky for winning the tournament, Lefu Chen for medalling and Alice Lan for a good 9th place finish! 

Division 1A Men's Epee
Yasha Shur medalled and got his A rating! And 3 more boys received their ratings in that tournament- Adam Chirashnya received C rating, Allan Chu got D rating and Alex Ulinich got E rating! Congratulations!

Veteran's Cup in Russia
Congratulations to Alan Buchwald for winning the Silver medal in the Veteran's Cup in Russia! He dedicated this medal to his grandfather who was born in Moskow! Very inspirational! Way to go Alan!

Go AFM! 

Mental Strengths Clinic Reminder

  • When: Sunday, January 2 from 1pm-5pm

  • Facilitator: National Champion and former World Team Member Corwin Duncan

Mental training in fencing is just as important as physical training! That’s why we’ve put together a Mental Preparation Clinic for our fencers right at the first of the year.

Fencers will be able to learn specific methods to become more mentally resilient during competition. Through the use of sports psychology, competitive fencers can increase their overall performance and success while improving their mental health.

Maintaining focus under pressure, improving mental acuity on the piste, and balancing focus with creativity will all be topics covered in this seminar. Look for specific examples and targeted techniques during the on-strip practice sessions, all to build strong mental fencing skills. Live practice is the best way to learn!

Cadet, Junior, and Senior fencers are highly encouraged to attend! Fencers who are prepping for the big competitions like the Junior Olympics and the coming NACs will greatly benefit from this clinic. 

You can register here for the clinic -

January NAC in San Jose

  • January 7-10

  • San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 W San Carlos St. 

  • Events: Division I, Parafencing, Junior and Veteran Age

There’s a North America Cup (NAC) coming right here to San Jose! It’s fantastic to have a fencing tournament of this size and scope come right here to our backyard, and we cannot wait to experience it with our fencers. 

This event is a must for all fencers who qualify for it. Junior, Senior, and Veterans who are in the competitive program should absolutely sign up to participate (you’re hopefully as excited as we are!). This is a wonderful opportunity to invite your family and friends to watch you fence on this level. 

If you are not a competitive fencer or an advanced fencer, come out to watch! This kind of competition is huge, like a smaller version of Fencing Summer Nationals. It’s worthwhile to be in the audience to see this level of competition in person, as its inspiring and exciting. Not to mention, you can cheer on AFM fencers!

AFM Red Jackets Available - all sizes!


Red jackets are back in stock!

A friendly reminder that every fencer who competes must have their own AFM red jacket or red AFM hoodie, which should be worn at competitions. These are our club uniforms and help to show cohesion and team spirit at competitions. We are distinct in our bright red! One of the things that help our club to be strong is the powerful sense of community we build together, and our team uniforms are part of that.

You don’t have only wear them at competitions, of course. Both our jackets and our hoodies are great for school now that the weather is cooling off. Parents are encouraged to wear these as well, and siblings too. We’re proud to be a part of this fencing community, and this is one way that we show off that pride. 

These are now back in stock, so if you don't have one or outgrew the old ones, you can get it today! Available in both locations, all sizes. 

AFM Epee Cup - Competition at AFM Reminder
Sunday, December 19th, 2021 @ AFM Sunnyvale 
Categories: Y8/Y10/Y12/Y14



The AFM Youth Epee Cup has its first competition this month!

This is the first in a series of competitions that will go across several months. The top four finishers in each age/gender category will earn points at each of these competitions, and the top point earner across the competitions will win! It’s a great opportunity for both new and even more experienced fencers to enjoy competition in a stress-free environment. 

On December 19, AFM will host a local fencing tournament, the first in this series. This is specifically designed for our youngest and most exuberant fencers, and we’re so excited to see their engagement in competition.

This competition is designed to be easy to access for fencers who are new to epee tournaments, as well as a way for more competitive fencers to have a comfortable environment to fence in. Building community is an important part of what we do, and this kind of easy-to-access fencing competition is one way to do that!

Register at the link below on askFred. The sooner you register, the better so that we can establish the number of participants and work out the logistics of this competition. That way we can keep things running smoothly on competition day! 


Central California Division JO's Qualifier

December 19th @TFC

Speaking of the JOs, there’s a major competition on the path to qualification for this competition coming up later this month, and it’s right here in San Jose! This will offer a one-day possibility for qualification for the Junior Olympics for all fencers who make it to the top 25% of the competitive pool. 

  • Where: The Fencing Center of San Jose

  • When: Sunday, December 19

  • Who: Cadet and Junior advanced and competitive fencers

If you have not qualified via the regional path for the Junior Olympics, this is a fantastic chance for you to make that happen. You can learn all about it on ask Fred -



JOs info - Where, Who, Qualifications

The Junior Olympics are right around the corner! Luckily they aren’t far this year, being held in Salt Lake City. The Junior Olympics are not connected to the Olympics in any way except that they share the name, but rather that they are a separate, national-level US Championship for Cadets and Juniors. These are a big deal for Cadet and Junior level fencers. 

Notably, this is the first time in two years that the JOs will be held on their normal schedule at the end of February. Last year, they were folded into Fencing Summer Nationals because of the pandemic.

Here are the basics:

  • When: February 18-21, 2022

  • Where: Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Who: Cadet, Junior, and Junior team fencers who qualify. 

If you’re not sure what you need to do to get qualified, please check with your coach. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what you need to do. Just to give you a refresher, here’s a reminder of the qualification specifications for the 2022 Junior Olympics:

Cadets - ONE of the following

  • Be on the Cadet National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) 

  • Earn at least 110 regional points on either the Cadet or Junior Regional Point Standings (Total points = an athlete’s top two point results)

  • Top 25% percent of your division’s Cadet JO qualifying competition

  • Top 25 percent your division’s Junior JO qualifying competition 

Juniors - ONE of the following

  • Be on the Junior national rolling point standings

  • Earn at least 110 regional points on the Junior Regional Point Standing (Total points = an athlete’s top two point results)

  • Top 25% of your division’s Junior JO qualifying competition

You can learn more about the details at USA Fencing -


Summer Camps planning

Summer might seem so far away, but it’ll come up fast! AFM is already in the planning stages of our fencing summer camps, and it looks like this year we’ll be in a great place to have our in-person camps for epee fencers.

Our fencing summer camps are engaging, active, and most importantly they build fencing skills for everyone, no matter their skill level or age. Youth, Cadet, and Junior fencers get structured support from both our extraordinary coaching staff and from special guests. 


In 2022, we’ll be offering the following fencing summer camps:

  • Introduction to fencing - for brand new fencers. Great for siblings and friends to try fencing for the first time!

  • Beginner & Intermediate Epee camps 

  • Advanced Epee camps

  • Competitive Epee camps to prepare for Fencing Summer Nationals


Once we open registration, our summer camps tend to fill up quickly. Be on the lookout for what you need and register quickly to reserve your spot. When those spots are filled, they’re gone!

USA fencing - Vaccine Mandate 

 * Applicable to participation in NACs, Junior Olympics, Summer Nationals only, not for local or regional competitions

Beginning January 1, 2022, everyone who wants to participate in the USA NATIONAL FENCING EVENTS (NACs, JOs, SN)  will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

This is a major step forward in getting us all back to normal, and it’s an important part of how the USA Fencing is helping to turn the tide of the pandemic. We want to be back in competition, worry-free and enjoying the thrill of being with everyone!

All fencers, coaches, officials, and spectators must adhere to this rule in order to enter the building. This does not apply to anyone under the age of 12, which were only recently approved by the FDA. 

There are medical and religious exemptions, for which you can fill out a form found here. If you do qualify for one of these, which must be approved by USA Fencing, you’ll be required to get a PCR COVID test that comes out negative no sooner than 72 hours prior to the competition. Rapid tests aren’t permitted. This negative test will need to be shown every day of the competition.

Fencers, coaches, and fencing officials will be able to upload their proof of vaccination to their member profile at This only has to be done once and will cover all competitions.

The mask mandate for all fencing competitions remains in place. Social distancing and limitations on the number of people allowed in venues are in line with the local guidelines of every competitive area. 

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

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