Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Celebrating a Decade of the AFM Blog: A Journey of Words and Fencing

Celebrating a Decade of the AFM Blog: A Journey of Words and Fencing

It’s hard to believe that exactly ten years ago, on this very day, we embarked on the journey of creating the AFM Blog. Back then, we had little more than a vague idea of what it would become. It felt like stepping into the unknown, with only the first step known to us, while the direction and duration remained shrouded in mystery. But, oh, the lessons we’ve learned along the way!

Writing the blog for ten years is hard. It’s impossible to understand the determination that would be required when you just start. To do something, anything actually, no matter how hard it is, for a short period of time is easy. I didn’t know that it would be hard when I started. The first number of blogs were easy. The difficult part is to write every week, rain or shine, whether I travel or not, whether I have a well-developed concept or a very initial idea. So, in the last ten years, I learned what it means to have a goal and what it takes to develop grit and discipline.

Yet, amid the challenges, we’ve discovered the immense reward of having a dedicated audience, people who value our work, provide feedback, and simply say a kind word. For that – a huge thank you!

Our initial motivation for starting this blog was simple: we wanted to connect with our local fencing community, particularly parents, and assist them in navigating the intricacies of the sport. However, it soon transcended our expectations. What began as a modest blog has grown into a widely cited source on all things fencing. It has not only crossed geographical boundaries but has also connected us with diverse audiences, sparking meaningful conversations. One of the most rewarding aspects has been its role in introducing countless new parents to the world of fencing. We’ve often heard newcomers say, “I discovered fencing through your blog.” There’s no greater satisfaction than knowing our efforts have contributed to the growth of the fencing community.

The true power of words lies in their ability to connect people, and it’s exhilarating to see how the AFM Blog has achieved this over the past decade.

Education has been at the heart of our mission from the very beginning. Whether it’s guiding novice fencers in selecting the right weapon, explaining rule changes to seasoned practitioners, or sharing tips on maintaining fencing gear, it’s the educational component that has made the most significant impact on our readers. Supporting our fencing community through knowledge sharing has been a fundamental goal, and it continues to be a cornerstone of our work.

In the course of a decade, we’ve established some cherished traditions here at the AFM Blog. Among them, our April Fool’s posts are my favorites. Yet, every April, I find myself questioning whether my sense of humor is on par with our readers’ tastes. It remains a delightful puzzle.

We are always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. If there’s something that has resonated with you or a topic you’d like us to explore, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us through this platform or on our social media channels. What we share with the world matters to us deeply. We aspire to bring more people into the fencing through education and information, and, on occasion, provoke change. This blog has served as a platform for discussing opportunities for growth within the sport and addressing broader issues that affect everyone, both inside and outside the fencing community. We take this responsibility seriously and are immensely grateful for our readers’ willingness to engage with our thoughts.

However, all these accomplishments pale in comparison to the heart of this blog – the fencing community!

Parents and fencers, not only across our nation but from around the world, have turned to us for information and insights. We view this blog as a repository of fencing knowledge, a place where new fencing families can seek guidance and where experienced fencers and their families can find motivation and support. To fulfill this role, we continue to be learners ourselves. We understand that we can’t provide more if we don’t keep seeking new ideas, constantly striving to understand the ever-evolving world of fencing. While the art of swordsmanship has ancient roots, it continually adapts to new techniques, technologies, rules, sensibilities, and the needs of both youth and adult athletes. Writing this blog has allowed us to stay sharp and open-minded. As we often say, competing in fencing forces you to grow, and for us, writing this blog forces us to remain open and engaged.

In essence, the power of blogging lies in its ability to bridge gaps, create communities, and inspire change. It stands as a testament to the profound impact words can have in influencing, educating, and connecting us. What we contribute to the world holds immense significance, and we are grateful to have you, our readers, along for this incredible journey.

As we raise a virtual toast to the start of our second decade at the AFM blog, we reflect not only on what we’ve accomplished thus far but also on the limitless potential for what we can achieve together.

Thank you for being a part of this remarkable journey and for reading our blog!

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4 Comments

  1. Alan Buchwald

    You’re done a great job, Igor. Congratulations. Alan

  2. R

    Mazel tov and חתלצחה. May you write for the next 120 years.

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