AFM Coaches Dima Chumak and Slava Zingerman
Coaches Dima Chumak (right) and Slava Zingerman at Summer Nationals 2019

By: Coach Dima Chumak

Dear Parents of Fencers!

      On behalf of all fencing coaches, I would like to thank you for supporting your child in keeping on learning the Olympic sport of fencing during this challenging time. Your commitment and dedication are truly amazing and inspiring.

      Our team has been working a lot to find the best solutions to conduct group and private lessons in new circumstances. Online fencing lessons are new to everyone, so we are all constantly and continuously learning (personally, I am far from being a computer geek -)). As you all know, we have already held a month of group classes/lessons on ZOOM platform which proved to be efficient and cool/fun! However, each student has his/her strengths and weaknesses as well as unique talents which often require an individual approach to develop one’s own pattern.

      Let me point out one aspect of fencing lessons from the perspective of a coach. As you may have noticed, each professional fencing club has walls with mirrors in its premises which are used to let sportsmen see their reflection and fencing positions. Nonetheless, the initial purpose of mirrors was to enable a coach to observe students not only from the front perspective but also from different angles. During online lessons, cameras to some extent replicate mirrors by allowing coaches to clearly see students’ movements and positions as during face-to-face lessons. Without any doubt, this option provides a great potential to conduct not only group classes but also individual ones to enhance fencers’ skills.

       You may be wondering what indisputable advantages of individual lessons are. Throughout my years of fencing/coaching, I have always been convinced that only individual/private lessons give a chance to adopt general strategical fencing tactics to unique individual abilities of each student. It allows to focus on developing most efficient systematic and simultaneously  quite flexible lesson plans to meet needs of each individual student. 20-minute online private lessons will be an essential part of a sport life for those young ambitious fencers who strive for new achievements, tournaments and victories!

       Eventually, life will go back to normal. We are all eagerly waiting to come back to our AFM premises and meet with our students. We miss them all! Hopefully, it will be soon! Meanwhile, I would like to encourage those who are willing to pursue new goals, enhance fencing skills, keep fit and motivated, to sign up for private lessons even during this virus-infected time. Show must go on! 🙂

Stay safe and healthy!

Your coach,

Dima Chumak