Art of Fencing, Art of Life

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Pan American Youth and Veteran Fencing Championship 2016

Academy of Fencing Masters at Pan American Youth and Veteran championship 2016 : From left to right: Andrea leang, Leehi Machulsky, Adam Chirashnya and Alan Buchwald

AFM fencers at Pan American Championship 2016. From left to right: Andrea Leang, Leehi Machulsky, Adam Chirashnya and Alan Buchwald

All eyes were on Rio this summer as the USFA was busy with promoting fencing in different places around the country in support of our accomplished athletes in the Summer Olympics. That’s rightfully so – the momentum and the press has never been better for fencing.

But there was actually something else big going on in fencing this summer – the Pan American Youth and Veteran Championship in Puerto Rico!

The Pan American Youth and Veteran Championship this year was held in Ponce, Puerto Rico on August 22-26, 2016.  Last year the Championship was held in Lima, Peru, and the next year it supposed to be at the Virgin Islands.

Our Amazing Pan American Games Experience

Relaxation Techniques for Competitive Fencers

Relaxation Techniques for Competitive FencersWe always talk about getting “psyched up” for competition – but what if getting “psyched down” is really what we need to be doing?

Fencing in competition is complicated stuff. There’s so much to it, so many things to think about all at once from your stance to the referee to the slew of people watching each match. Add to that the fact that most competitive fencers find themselves traveling significantly during the competition season, because travel in and of itself can be stressful and complicated. The problem is that fencing is best done when the mind is clear and focused, and the body is loose and relaxed.

Just as a fencer must learn techniques like how to thrust and parry in order to win, so too should they learn how to take control of their stress level during competitions and even during the sometimes stressful practice sessions that lead up to competition. Having some simple but effective relaxation techniques in your toolkit will really help!

5 Simple Relaxation Techniques for Fencers

How to Qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals Infographics

How to qualify for fencing summer nationals

One of the biggest confusions among parents is figuring out how to get their child to qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals in the United States. And the main reason – the qualification path changes every year! Not only will your child change in age category and start to attend older age brackets, but they also might go even further and start attending senior level divisions. Add to this that USFA qualification rules are constantly changing, sometimes quite significantly, and it’s no wonder that parents are confused.

The USFA provides all of the information about the qualification path (e.g., check out Athlete Handbook), but that information is quite advanced for novice parents and scattered throughout the manuscript. The Research Triangle Fencing club in North Carolina did a fantastic job in creating a one page reference, which we think is really amazing. Yet, parents are still confused.

In the discussions with parents I often use a drawing that explain to them how their child could qualify, and then an idea came to my mind – create an infographic that will explain how to qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals in one place and in really laymen’s terms.

Here it is!

17 AFM Blog Posts to help you during Fencing Competitions

17 Academy of Fencing Masters Blogs to help you during Competition SeasonLooking for some great advice about navigating fencing competitions? There is so much to the process of competing as a fencer – from regulations and preparation to how to deal with unexpected challenges that happen during a fencing bout. Here are seventeen of AFM’s best blogs (and an ebook!) about how to navigate fencing competitions. You’ll find tips in these pages on everything from weapons to rules to history – and you’ll want to read them all!

How and Why You Must Check Your Fencing Scoresheet – So Your Wins Aren’t Lost

How and Why You Must Check Your Fencing Scoresheet

Understanding fencing scoring is so essential to becoming successful as a competitor. Fencers are required to sign their scoresheets as soon as they have completed their bouts, but most often novice fencers just sign without thinking, assuming that the judges and competition runners are the experts and that they must be right.

Unfortunately this truly is not always the case. It is not uncommon for scoresheets to have serious mistakes. This isn’t necessarily because there’s something nefarious going on, these errors are most often simple oversights. Fencing competitions are large and complex, and getting it all perfect is a lot to expect from organizers who are usually stretched thin. In particular, the final responsibility for getting those scoresheets correct ultimately falls onto the individual fencer. It’s actually a great lesson in personal responsibility for young fencers!

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