What an amazing year it’s been here at Academy of Fencing Masters!
The last twelve months have seen growth in our club, fantastic finishes for our fencers, expansion of our facilities, and tremendous support from the community. It’s been a good year for AFM, but most of all it’s been a good year for our incredible fencers.
Our fencers have created some fantastic success this year. Their hard work has paid off in ways that we didn’t expect, that we didn’t see coming! This year we saw our fencers earn a #1 Youth Championship placement! What an outstanding achievement for our youth fencers.
This year we also saw our high school students go on to make the All-Academic USFA Team. These are some amazing results for both their academic success as well as their fencing ability. AFM ranked #7 in the nation for the highest number of highs school students to make the team. For such a young club, that speaks to the hard work of our fencers and the talent of our coaches.
This summer at Fencing Summer Nationals, we saw more of our fencers qualify than ever before. Our fencers grew so much in 2017, and that’s a growth that showed at the big competitions that they fenced at. It’s gratifying to see the members of our club working so hard and making great progress.
We are proud of every single fencer, no matter what place they got or how many medals they earned. 2017 proved to be a year in which our fencers took their hard work and focus the next level, and it was absolutely inspiring.
Our club as a whole received a Congressional Recognition, straight from Washington D.C. This was an achievement that we didn’t expect at all, but it was a high honor that we are so humbled to have received. Fencing is a passion for us, and one that we see as being of service to the wider community. This sport is about helping people to be better than they were before through the sport of epee, foil, and sabre. We’re so honored to have been recognized by the United States Congress for this!
Just this month, AFM found ourselves at the receiving end of yet another accolade – this time for our blog. AFM’s blog (the one you’re reading right now), was ranked the #3 fencing blog on the internet by Feedspot. Again, this is a feat that’s really only possible because of you, our readers. Thank you for your support! Please keep reading, commenting, and sharing.
This year saw a dramatic expansion at AFM. We opened our new location in Sunnyvale, with so many new and wonderful things happening. The new space is much bigger and is beautifully equipped. Many of our fencing families stepped up to help us lay the floor, to decorate, and to get the place ready to be opened. We’ve had some glorious open fencing events going on regularly, along with lots of wonderful new students coming to join our fencing family.
The new space has meant new opportunities. Our fencers have been able to have a qualifier competition here in our own club for the first time just this month! It was so good to have fencers from all over come out and participate in our first local big competition. It meant a lot of hard work, but it went off without a hitch. We look forward to more large competitions in the future, right in our own space.
The expansion called for additional hands on deck, and those hands came in the form of our new coaches Andrey, Slava, and Bogdan. These three came into the AFM family and all three have fit in perfectly and helped our fencers to make the kinds of advancement that we like to see. It’s wonderful to see fencers learning and growing under the tutelage of these experienced and supportive coaches. Thank you for joining us!
2017 saw the addition of expanded fencing classes for our veterans and adults, led by our veteran coaches Mark Wheeler and Jere Bothelio. We are happy to open our doors to veterans and adults, as they are special, smart, and passionate. Exactly what we want to show our competitive level fencers. Veteran fencing is one of the best things available to adults for both mental and physical fitness. It’s a great program and a great addition to AFM!!!
There have been so many wonderful things that have come with the expansion to Sunnyvale, as well as with our fencing sponsorship within schools around the area. It’s been a blessing to be able to reach more fencers, and even more of a blessing to see how our supportive AFM community has come together to help create these opportunities.
What we really mean to say with everything in this blog is simply this – thank you. It’s been a tremendous year for everyone at Academy of Fencing Masters. What’s important to realize is that none of this happens because of us – it’s all thanks to our students and our coaches and our fencing families. Thank you for everything and here’s to a wonderful 2018!