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AFM Newsletter #96 - September 2021

When you want to grow and become better than what you are, you do well to focus on your strengths. That’s what we’ve decided to do, and it’s a huge step in the right direction for AFM. Recently, we made the decision that the best thing for our club is to turn our full focus to epee. We have consistently been a very strong epee club with a fantastic epee team, and now it is time for us to move towards making it even more successful. Our epee fencing program has a deep well of knowledge and a strong foundation to build forward to the highest fencing levels, and we are willing to support those competitors in achieving their dreams with an even stronger than ever program.
Our epee coaching team is one of the best in the United States, and we are so grateful for our remarkable coaches. The epee team includes two Olympians, as well as international level coaches who have put many fencers through the several national teams, AFM has a core epee program that speaks to the best in our fencers. At every level, our fencers provide a strong competitive discipline that rivals any fencing in the United States. We are rightfully confident in our skills and in the direction that AFM will go with this new focus. 

We are woven together with our foil fencers and are proud to be a part of their fencing stories. And we deeply appreciate all these outstanding families for all we have done together and wish them great success! We are happy to see our foil fencers and coaches finding their new fencing home in the best foil-focused clubs in the Bay Area! We are confident that your future is bright, we strongly believe in you!

Going forward, we will continue to raise the bar and improve our programs. As a strong fencing club with a laser-sharp focus in epee, our members will now be able to reach even higher heights, to reach out towards new horizons, and to elevate our epee fencers to whatever level they wish to rise to! 

For our epee fencers, this represents a newfound focus and a place where you can get the focused attention on improving that you need as well. We are confident about the future with our epee program! Being able to put our laser focus onto this single weapon is a transformative boost that will propel our epee program to the next level. We will be able to drive forward and make this coming season our best yet.

Again, thank you to everyone for your support through this transition. It has been a tumultuous and emotional couple of weeks as we worked through this move, and we are so thankful for the strength that everyone has shown in this time.  Best of luck to all foil fencers, and best of luck to AFM epee fencers in achieving their highest dreams. 



August and Beginning of September Competition Results

We are just getting started with the fencing season, and already we are seeing great results from our fencers. How amazing is it to have fall competitions back up and going? 

Fortune ROC/RJCC Results

It was a true celebration of the spirit of sport, determination, and hard work! 
AFM fencers showed their growing skills and beautiful fencing winning overall 15 medals and earning 8 new ratings including two A, three B, one D, and two E ratings! 
Congratulations to the fencers, their families, and their coaches! 
We hope that such a strong opening of the competitive season promises a very productive and special season 2021-2022! 

Here are all of the results from Fortune ROC/RJCC :
Junior ME

Fantastic result in Fortune Fencing RJCC in Junior Men’s Epee event! Alec Zhang won Silver and Ben Kim won Bronze, both earning their A ratings! Jonathan Levitsky finished 11th and Neil Weaver finished 13th in the furled of 87 fencers and Allan Chu also earned his E rating! Great job boys! Congratulations to all AFM coaches and especially coach Dima for such great achievement today! Way to go all!

Junior WE


Fantastic result in Junior Women’s Epee! Natalie Gebala won Gold, Alice Lan won Bronze and earned B and Lefu Chen won 7th place medal! Great job girls and coaches! Congratulations to all!

Cadet WE

Congratulations to Lefu Chen for Silver, Natalie Gebala for Bronze, and Veronika Zherebchevska for 6th place in Cadet Women’s Epee event in the RJCC in Ontario! Sanvi Sharma finished in the top 16 as well! Great job, girls!

Cadet ME 

Congratulations to Jonathan Levitsky for Bronze medal and B rating and Sarthak Jaim for 8th place medal and Ben Kim for 11th place finish in Cadet Men’s Epee event in RJCC in Ontario! Congratulations to all AFM coaches!

Div 1A WE 


Congratulations to Natalie Gebala with her Bronze in Division 1A, who was stopped only by the Olympian Anna Van Brummen, who won the tournament, and to Lefu Chen for 7th place medal! Congratulations also to Kaitlyn Lee (14thj) and Zandra Feland (15th) for the top 16 finish! Great job girls!

Div1A ME 

AFM epee boys showed great fencing in Division 1A Men’s Epee! Only one touch from the medal round but excellent fencing nevertheless! Ben Kin finished 10th and Elliot Park 12th and earned B rating! Also great Fencing for Allan Chu and Darren Watt and earning their E rating! Way to go guys!


Alice Lan won the Division 2 event and took home Gold, and Noya Chirashnya won Bronze and earned her D rating! Special recognition also goes to Kaitlyn Lee for the 12th place finish in the Fortune Fencing ROC in Ontario! Congratulations to the AFM coaches and especially coach Slava and coach Zhanna!

Div2 ME 

Congratulations to Neil Weaver for winning Gold in Division 2 ROC in Ontario, CA! What great fencing! Congratulations also to Agniv Sarkar and Andrew Zhang for the top 16 finishes! Great job boys!

Veteran’s World Championship 

Our first World Team Member - Suzanne Bloomer - qualified to represent the USA in the Veteran’s World Championship! What a great honor! What a fantastic achievement! Way to go, Suzanne! 

TFC FallFest Div2 ROC

Great work to our fencers at The Fencing Center’s FallFest at the end of August! Huge congrats to our fencers!

What a fantastic result at the first tournament of the season -5 Epee girls are in the top 8! Congratulations to Veronika Zherebchevska for winning Gold, Kaitlyn Lee for Silver, Donya Derakshandeh for 5th place, Melody Lyu for 6th place, and Desiree Poon for 7th place! Great job girls, way to go!

Div2ME (no photo was taken at the event, sorry) 
Congratulations to Sarthak Jain for winning the Bronze, and Elliot Park won 6th place medal! 

Div2WF (sorry, we did not receive photos) 
Congratulations to Neta Korol for winning the Bronze, Cheryl Sun won 6th place, Eunice Zhang 7th and earned E, Emma Fung 8th and earned E! Way to go! Good luck, Girls!! 

Alan Buchwald travels the world!
Alan continues to inspire us! 
He Took 5th place in august in the Men’s Combined Foil and re-earned his  C-21, fenced in Vets in Atlanta, and more! 
Way to go!

Congratulations to Alan Buchwald for winning a Bronze medal in Kern Fencing Foundation Senior Mixed foil competition! Way to go Alan!




If you still did not update your USFA membership, please do it ASAP.  All fencers need to check-in and update their membership for the new season. Everyone who participates in any fencing activities at AFM, whether it’s camp, class, private lessons, or competitions, MUST update their membership in order to take part. A current USFA membership is essential. Remember,  fencers, are not permitted to participate in club activities without having it current. 

It’s a simple process of logging into your USFA account and updating your information. If you have any questions about how to do this, then please contact someone at AFM for support. 

AFM Designated Competitions

Each season, we put together a list of recommended competitions so that our fencers know which tournaments we prioritize. In a sea of competitive fencing, it’s our way of offering direction. You are of course free to go to any competitions you choose, but designated competitions will have strip coaching support from AFM included. 

Be on the lookout for our recommendation list in the next few days! 

AFM Internal Competitions

AFM will begin hosting internal fencing competitions soon! These tournaments are an excellent opportunity for fencers to try their hand at competing for the first time or for experienced fencers to practice competing in a familiar space. 

Special dates od AFM internal open competitions will be announced soon, please stay tuned! 

ng forward to AFM fencers having a competitive experience right here!


High Schoolers Recognition by USA Fencing

Each year the USA Fencing runs a program to recognize high schoolers who succeed both academically and athletically. We are proud to announce that AFM fencers shine in all these areas! And they also brought AFM a huge pride to be in the top 5 clubs that qualified their athletes for such an honor.

All-American Team

USA Fencing recognizes high school fencers across the country who have achieved at a high level on the fencing strip and in academics. For the first all-American team, fencers must have earned or renewed an “A” or “B” during the current competitive season, or a “C” or “D” for the second team. 

Congratulations to Natalie Gebala, Leehi Machulsky, Sanil Sharma, Sean Sung, Alec Zhang, Ben Kim, Kaitlyn Lee, Jonathan Levitsky, and Naomi Pacheco for making it to the 2021 High School All American Team! AFM is among the top five clubs in the country to qualify its fencers! Congratulations guy, way to go! We are so proud of you on and off the strip!

All-Academic Team

The All-Academic program recognizes the exceptional achievements of fencers in their high-school studies. It’s a high honor for any fencer to attain, and it’s an incredible statement about how bright and diligent our fencers are. To balance academic studies at a high level while also fencing at a high level is incredible, and we are truly proud of our fencers who have gotten this wonderful achievement!

You can learn more about the All-Academic Team at USA Fencing -

 AFM had sixteen fencers qualify for the All-Academic First Team. What a remarkable accomplishment!!

Congratulations to our USA Fencing All-Academic First Team fencers!

  • Kevin Cai

  • Adam Chirashnya

  • Hanzel Desouza

  • Zandra Feland

  • Natalie Gebala

  • Ben Kim

  • Paul Kim

  • Priscilla Leang

  • Kaitlyn Lee

  • Sarah Louie

  • Leehi Machulsky

  • Naomi Pacheco

  • Sanil Sharma

  • Meghana Simhadri

  • Audrey Taylor

  • Alec Zhang

New Epee Coach Sergei Rassolko

We are so excited to share the news of our newest epee coach! Coach Rassolko begins working on September 20th and will work in both Campbell and Sunnyvale locations.

He joins our already superb epee coaching team and will be an incredible addition to our epee program. 

Sergei Rassolko is a representative of a bright fencing dynasty. His father, Vladimir Rassolko, was an accomplished fencer, having been a seven-time USSR Champion and a four-time European Champion. Vladimir transitioned from his success on the strip to the success of the strip as a fencing coach, leading the national team of Belarus for a decade to the world’s top placement.

Through his own talent and hard work, Sergei rose to become a worthy successor of his father’s legacy. He joined his father’s fencing school, where he adopted the positive qualities of both an athlete and a coach. He reached the podium in World Cups and World Championships, as well as becoming an Olympian in Sydney in 2000. 

As a coach, Sergei went on to become the national coach of Taiwan. He prepared Champions of Asia among both cadet and junior fencers, garnering international recognition through his efforts. He then accepted a position at one of the best and most richly traditional clubs in the work, Heidenheim HSB in Germany. His students included the top fencer in Britain, Jon Willis, who won several awards at international competitions and World Cups under Sergei’s training.  He also coached the top-rated junior team member from Chile, Rolf Nickel, who trained under Sergei to win the Pan American Championship.

The level of rigor and excellence that coach Rassolko brings to AFM is truly fantastic, and we could not be more excited for him to bring it all to our students!

AFM Red Hoodies and AFM Patches are available!

Our red AFM jackets or hoodies make us a distinctive presence in competitions. 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. 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.

AFM patches with logo should be put on the non-fencing arm of the fencing white jacket. Please purchase them in the offices in both locations. 

Fencers should have both the patch and red jacket or hoodie during competitions and wear AFM uniforms on the podium.  It’s all about belonging and team spirit!

Follow AFM on Social Media


If you aren’t already, we ask that you follow AFM on social media. You can find us on Instagram at @academyoffencingmasters or on Facebook at 

This is a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on at AFM and in the wider fencing world. You’ll find pictures, articles, and all kinds of great information about fencing. 

If you’re already following us on social media, please like and share our posts! It’s an important way that you can support the AFM community. Thank you!

Stay safe and happy!

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

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