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AFM Newsletter #93 - June 2021



Do you feel that in the air? That’s the warm June breeze that’s bringing us closer to the end of the pandemic. The world is opening back up, and it’s giving us all that wonderful feeling of freedom and possibility. 

The vaccine is at last widely available and we are seeing a major bump in rates. California is inching towards a fifty percent vaccination rate, which is amazing! Not only that, but now that kids twelve and over can get vaccinated, we’re able to do a lot more with a lot more safety than we were before. That’s the key part - safety! It’s truly a breath of fresh air, and it’s hard to imagine life going back to normal. Somehow it seems as though it’s going to happen! It’s surreal for everyone, but also truly marvelous. Like light breaking through the clouds. 

One big hallmark of things going back to normal is the return to in-person classes. June will be our last month of Zoom classes! It’s a major milestone in the return to normal. We had all gotten so used to zooming our fencing classes, and we are thankful to our coaches and students for their hard work and flexibility during the pandemic as we worked through these things. It is another adjustment to go back to normal, but what a positive step. It seems that we are all learning to be adaptable. 

June is normally a busy month as the season comes to a close and we are going to lots of competitions, and now we are back doing this again. It’s familiar and comforting after the long time at home, but also stretching for families. We’re here for you as we all adjust to travel and competition, so please reach out if you ever have questions or concerns. Normal is also coming in the form of fencing camps, which are back in person this summer. Our coaches have been planning and we are all excited to welcome fencers back in for intensive training. 

We are always so grateful for our fencing family. It’s wonderful to see everyone again in person in a safe way! Thank you for your diligence this last year, and let’s enjoy a wonderful summer. 

                                                  Sincerely yours, 

End of Season and Graduation Party!

Saturday, June 19th at 6 pm at Sunnyvale location 

The most challenging fencing season is almost done! We all worked hard, trained hard in difficult conditions on Zoom and outdoors, in cold, darkness, and even under the rain! We did it! And we will remember this year as the one that made us stronger. We will celebrate the end of the 2020-2021 season and the end of the pandemic at our annual End of Season and Graduation Party and Potluck! 
Date:  June 19, 2021
Place - Sunnyvale 
Time - 6 pm - 8:30pm 
What's in the plan:
6-6:45pm We will have a potluck outdoors – Please bring one dish to share
7-8 pm     We will celebrate our outstanding graduates of this year!
We are so ready to celebrate our graduating fencers and proud of them a lot!
This year we have ten graduates to celebrate, and we plan to celebrate them in style. We want to highlight the wonderful achievements and personality of these fencers (ABC order):
  1. Andrea Leang - MIT, the fencing team 
  1. Anusha Vohra - Penn State, the fencing team 
  1. Audrey Chu  - Columbia University, the fencing team
  1. Audrey Taylor – Brown University, the fencing team
  1. Hansel Desousa  - will reveal soon
  1. Jason Louie – UC Berkeley, the fencing club
  1. Kevin Cai - UCLA
  1. Mark Shamis - Brandeis, the fencing team 
  1. Preston Ellis - UC San Diego 
  1. Tommy Koh – Columbia University, fencing


Internal Epee Competition - Sunday, June 13

Beginner and Intermediate Epee fencers 

Photo: Winners of the Beginner Foil Internal Competition we had in May. Warm congratulations to the top 8 medalists - Ethan Wu won the tournament and got a gold medal! Way to go! Pearl Mansuy got Silver! Isaac Kil and Josie Dearborn got Bronze medals! Bruce Dau, Joshua Song, Cameron Ho, and Tommy Faigal were medalled as well with top 8 medals! 


This is the last reminder about AFM internal epee competition on June 13th. This will be a great chance for epee fencers to compete, both for beginners and for intermediate fencers. These kinds of internal competitions have been deeply missed, and we can’t wait to have fencers back in the club for this. 

As kids didn’t have a chance to dip their toe into fencing tournaments this year, this competition is a welcome place to do the thing that fencing is all about. Competition is one of the things that makes fencing so special, which is why we decided it was time for us to organize a fun internal tournament that will enrich the fencing experience of our epee fencers. 

This competition is ONLY open to AFM fencers. Children who have only recently joined the beginner class are welcome to participate if they have been fencing for two weeks or longer. 

Custom medals will be awarded to the winners, with lots of little gifts for our participants as well. It’s important that kids learn the joy of fencing events and also improve their skills!.



  • Sunday, June 13th, 2021  

  • Beginner Epee - 9 am 

  • Intermediate Epee - 1 pm 

  • AFM Sunnyvale - 1269 Forgewood Ave., Sunnyvale 

  • The fee is $40

  • Full electric gear is required 

  • Email your child’s name to Julia at

Don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity to really feel what it’s like to compete in fencing within a friendly environment. Parents will be allowed to watch. We encourage everyone to participate!


Summer Nationals Info 

Summer Nationals is coming up fast! We’ve only got a few weeks left until the big event, and it’s now two years in the making so it’s going to feel even bigger than it has. Though there will still be restrictions and safety procedures, having this competition is going to feel just amazing for our fencers.

We expect to have a great team participate at SN. After working hard together through the pandemic to train and being so patient, it’s an excellent chance to showcase everything that we’ve all put into the last year. 

Summer Nationals this year will be different than it has ever been. All age categories, divisions, and teams are eligible to participate. This means Y10/12/14/C/J/Div1, and also D2/D3/D1A, Junior and Senior Teams. The Junior Olympics are being held in conjunction with Summer Nationals due to the pandemic. Caps of many events have been increased to compensate for the larger numbers of competitors in the two-year combined qualification pool. Check your qualification status and sign up!

This year’s competition is going to be held at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 3rd - 12th. It’s a great city to visit, and with the protocols, in place, we are so ready to have a safe and exciting competition. 

Here’s a quick primer on some action steps that you can take to get ready for Summer Nationals. This is especially important since most of us have not traveled much in the past year and so are out of practice. 

  • Check the event times

  • Finalize your travel plans, and double-check COVID travel protocols for your flights

  • Familiarize yourself with a map of the area

  • Check on your hotel, in particular with regards to pandemic safety measures

  • Check your gear, and double-check it

  • Check-in with your coach about the final month of training

  • Make a specific plan for your travel - write it all down!


You can find detailed information about Fencing Summer Nationals, including a schedule of events at the following links:



Preparation camps for Fencing Summer Nationals are incredibly important as they provide essential training for the Summer Nationals. 

This preparation is more important this year than it ever has been before. Participating fencers from all over the country will have a wide variety of preparation going into this competition, some who have trained hard during the pandemic and others who were less rigorous. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, the focus and boost that prep camp provides will make a difference in your outcome. It’s not about where you place, it’s about your growth and how you are able to maximize your own experience.

Our coaches have created specific regimens to prepare our fencers for this unique competition year. It is unlike anything that we have experienced before, but training is a grounding and pragmatic way forward. 


You can register for camps on AskFred at the following links:


Photo: ROC in Anaheim Cadet Women's Epee : Zandra, Alice, Natalie, Lefu 

We had another outstanding month of competition results in May!
Congratulations to all AFM fencers and coaches who traveled and worked hard to compete! 

Fortune Fencing ROC, VET & RJCC May 29-May 31 
Congratulations to the whole AFM foil and epee team on fantastic results in every event of this big competition! Way to go! AFM fencers won 23 medals and 9 new ratings at the ROC in Anaheim! Congratulations!
Junior Men's Epee - three new ratings!
Cavin Cai took 9th place and renewed his B rating,
Elliot Pak 21 and got C2021,
Neil Weaver 21 and got C 2021 rating!
Junior Women's Epee
Zandra Feland won a Silver medal!
Lefu Chen won 5th place medal!
Division II Men's Epee
Vicor Ma won GOLD! and earned C2021!
Ben Kim won Silver medal!
Sarthak Jain won 5th place medal!
Cadet Women's Epee
Lefu Chen - Silver!
Zandra Feland - Bronze!
Alice Lan - Bronze and C2021!
Natalie Gebala - 7th place medal!
Veronika Zherebchevska - 8th place medal!
Cadet Men's Epee
Alex Zhang Bronze and B 2021!
Sanil Sharma - 5th place
Division 1A Women's Epee
Natalie Gebala Gold and A 2021!
Zandra Feland 6th
Lefu Chen - 7
Cadet Women's Foil
Neta Korol - 7th
Cici Sun - 8th
Division II Women's Foil
Neta Korol - GOLD and renewed her C 2021
Dana Korol Bronze!
Cheryl Sun 5th
Division 1A Women's Foil
Neta Korol - 8th place!
Junior Women's Foil
Cici Sun Bronze and B 2021!
Neta Korol 5th!
What a fantastic weekend for AFM fencers! Go AFM! Congratulations to fencers, their families and coaches!

Congratulations to Zandra Feland for Silver and Lefu Chen for 5tg place medal at Junior Women’s Epee event in Fortune Fencing RJCC in Anaheim! Great job girls! Way to go!


AFM final at the Division 2 Men’s Epee at the Fortune Fencing ROC in Anaheim! Victor Ma for Gold and renew of his C and Ben Kin came gone with Silver! Great job boys!

Zandra Feland with coach Alexander

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!

Cobra Challenge SYC/RCC Reg NJ- 05/28-05/30 -
Congratulations to Gabrielle Gebala for winning Youth 12 Women's Foil and for earning B 2021 rating! Wow! Way to go!
Congratulations to Zoie Wang for getting 12th on the same event and earning her E rating!
Youth 14 Women's Foil - Gabrielle Gebala also won a medal! 5th place! Congratulations! In Cadet Women's Foil Gabrielle took 9th place - incredible! Way to go!

Cobra Challenge SYC/RCC - 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!

Chicago ROC, VET & RJCC

Congratulations to Cici Sun for winning a bronze medal in Cadet Women's Foil in the competition in Chicago ( Fencing Center of Chicago ROC, VET & RJCC)! Way to go Cici! Congratulations to Cicic, her parents, coach Bogdan and AFM foil team!

Congratulations to Anusha Vohra for winning a Bronze medal in Div II Women's Foil in the Fencing Center of Chicago ROC, VET & RJCC. Anusha also renewed her D rating. Way to go Anusha!

Regional Youth Circuit - 2 at TFC (San Jose)
Congratulations to all AFM fencers, their coaches, and parents for another successful performance in the Regional Youth Circuit - 2 at TFC (San Jose)! We don't have all of the photos because the competition was closed for supporters, so please send us your photos with medals! Here are the results:
Youth 14 Men's Epee
Elliot Park -1
Adam Chirashnya -3
Alexander Ulinich - 3
Travis Knudsen - 5
Riley Dowdel - 6
Darren Watt - 7
Arjun Chakravarthy - 8
Youth 14 Women's Epee
Veronika Zherebchevska - 2
Sanvi Sharma - 6
Youth 12 Men's Epee
Daniel Chirashnya - 6
Ethan Li - 8
Youth 12 Women's Epee
Sanvi Sharma - 3
Youth 10 Women's Epee
Genevie Kwon - 2
Tanvi Gariney - 7
Youth 14 Women's Foil
Gabrielle Gebala - 1
Cici Sun - 2
Youth 10 Men's Foil
Alber Wu - 1
Suvir Maniktala - 2
Youth 10 Women's Foil
Addison Ho - 3
Melissa Deng - 6
Congratulations! Way to go!

Orlando SYC -
Congratulations to Jackson Yue for winning the 6th place medal in Youth 10 Men's Foil! Way to go! Warm congratulations to Joy Li for winning a 7th place medal in the Youth 8 Mixed Foil competition! Great job!

Orlando Super Youth Circuit - Joy Li won 7th place medal in Youth 8 Mixed Foil competition! Our warmest congratulations to Joy - our super warrior at age 8, who works hard every single lesson and class and is an example of a burning desire to succeed! Way to go!


Beginner and Intermediate Camps
Next week, June 14-18 , 9 am - 12 pm 

Intermediate and beginner fencing camps at AFM are also coming next week. These are great for fencers who are coming back into the club and are ready to notch up those skills. Particularly after the long lockdown, these camps can help beginner and intermediate fencers find their footing again and spark tons of passion for the sport. 

The best thing about our fencing camps is the camaraderie that athletes build-in training. It’s a perfect way to hone skills and connect with other fencers. If you still did not sign up, please email Julia: 



Introduction Summer Camps

Do you know someone who has always wanted to try fencing but has been waiting for the right moment? Our introductory fencing camps are perfect for those who have never picked up a sword. It’s where many of our best fencers at AFM got their start, and it’s a perfect post-lockdown way to start a new passion. 


We are holding introductory fencing camps at both the Campbell and Sunnyvale locations starting later this month, and they run through the first week of August. Please share this information with friends and family to help grow our sport!


AFM Patches and Red Hoodies

Share your AFM pride during Summer Nationals and all competitions!

Our red AFM jackets make us a distinctive presence in the competition. We all feel huge pride when we wear them, not only because we are supporting our AFM team, but also because we feel connected to our strong fencing community. 

Fencers should have both the patch on their uniform during competition and a red hoodie to wear on the podium. It’s so important! If you have any questions about where to place it, please ask our staff or your coach. The hoodie should be worn with pride during warmup and downtime to show how proud you are to be a part of our AFM family of fencers. It’s all about belonging and team spirit!

If you don’t have either a patch or a hoodie, or if you’ve outgrown your fencing jacket or hoodie and need to order a new one, please reach out to order it ASAP. Fencing Summer Nationals is just around the corner and you’ll want to have this before you go!

CenCal 2021 JO & Div2/Div3 Summer National Quals

There are still qualification opportunities for Fencing Summer Nationals, and a grat one is the CenCal 2021 event that’s happening next week. It’ll be held at the Fencing Center in San Jose, which makes it an easy one for our fencers to attend. 

Here are the details: 

  • June 12 - Cadets & Juniors

  • June 13 - Div2

  • Cadets: born 2004- 2007

  • Juniors: born 2001- 2007

  • Division 2 - Born 2007 or earlier and C, D, E OR U

  • Division 3 - Born 2007 or earlier and D, E OR U

If you haven’t yet registered, you can do so on AskFred at 

  Note that masking requirements are still in place for this event, and also that spectators and parents are not allowed in the venue. Proof of a negative COVID test within 7 days of the event is required, and temperature checks will happen at the door. This is all standard practice for fencing events right now. 

It’s a great opportunity to qualify for Summer Nationals for those who haven’t yet done so!

High School All-American USFA
The deadline is July 31

USA Fencing is currently taking applications for the 2021 High School All-American program. We highly encourage our fencers to apply, and we are happy to help you understand the process if you have questions. The application process is easy, and the deadline has been extended to July 31st this year due to the lack of competitions this season.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • 9-12 grade students in the 20-21 school year

  • E rating or higher

  • Good academic standing at school

  • Public, private, and homeschooled students are eligible

  • Displayed “exceptional character as an athlete, student, and community member”

There are three teams that fencers can place into. First Team is for those rated A or B, Second Team is for those rated C or D, and Honorable Mention Team is for E rated fencers. 

This is a great piece for students to add to their CV for college applications. We highly encourage fencers to apply if they are eligible! You’ll find the application here

*Note that there is also the Absolute Fencing Gear All-Academic Team, which is also sponsored by USFA, but that deadline has passed. It’s a good thing to keep in mind for next year.  

Our warm congratulations to Tommy Koh and his family on the incredible achievement - acceptance to Columbia University! Tommy got into a special program at Columbia University in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin. We are so proud of you!
Copyright © *|June 2021|* *|Academy of Fencing Masters|*, All rights reserved.

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