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What to do next: The 2023-2024 Season.

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Dear fencing friends and Families,

I hope you are have had a great summer! Our new gym is looking better and better with each week. We can't wait for the new season to begin!

2023-2024 Season starts September 4th.

Intro-Intermediate classes will be run on a monthly basis, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. $200 per month and you are welcome to stay in these as long as you like. Curriculum will reset each month and if you join mid-month an assistant coach will catch you up.

You are welcome to purchase equipment and start private lessons while still in the Intro-Intermediate classes. Intro to Tournaments will be held every six weeks or so and highly encouraged.

Once ready, the fencer will be transferred to our Core Programs. We will provide gear for one month after your intro session so that you can make sure you

Core Program:

Group A: Youth 7 to 12, zero to three years experience. Size two (Youth) blades. One to four days a week at CFA. 3 to 12 tournaments a year in the local DMV area including the RYC/SYC circuit where you can earn points to qualify for USA Nationals.

Goals are to learn how to learn, develop good habits, get used to tournaments, and potentially attend USA Nationals in early July.

Group B: Youth 11 to Adults, zero to four year experience. One to four days a week at CFA, 3 to 20 tournaments a year with some travel to Region 6 events.

Goals are same as Group A with the addition of earning a USA Fencing Rating and climbing the Regional Point Standings to develop consistency.

Group C: Youth 12 to Adults, one year to forever. Two to Four days a week at CFA, 6 to 20 tournaments a year, DMV, Region 6, potentially National and International travel.

Goals are same as Group B, with the addition on getting a USA Fencing "C" rating and preparing for the National travel circuit. Shoot for the stars!

Core Program Class Descriptions:

Athlete Prep: 60 Minutes, Mondays and Fridays. Taking advantage of Coach Konstantin’s experience in Modern Pentathlon and as a military trainer. Our focus is on providing an all around Sports Education to our fencers, including coordination, strength, speed, stamina, discipline and injury prevention. All taught in a joyful, supportive environment, with an individual approach when necessary. The travel calendar is also considered and prior to events the Athlete Prep classes will teach good tournament habits. This includes pre and post event recovery, equipment maintenance, situational awareness, emotional strategies, referee etiquette and more.

Core Group A and B: 80 Minutes. Group C 120 minutes (more sparring). Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday.

Each Class will have the following segments:

Warm Up: Critical component to wake up and prevent injuries. This habit is a game changer and it has always been a struggle to get kids to develop it on an individual basis. Doing so in a group will help them elevate each other and normalize that it's a part of each practice or tournament.

Footwork: Good fencing is far more leg work than blade. Fencing steps, combinations and acceleration. Games, shuttle runs, relay races and more. Fencers will also learn to lead the drills themselves.

Drills: Learning to implement techniques from private lessons against fencers in white adjusting for each unique individual.

Sparring: Situational and competitive free fencing. Learning to manage and build a bout from start to finish. Sensing the clock and strip position. Observation, strip coaching and refereeing. Learning the language of fencing and debriefing.

Core Program Levels:

Pricing reflects Groups A and B vs C (80 min classes vs two hour classes). Each includes a monthly membership that allows you to use the gym any time it's open. Recurring monthly plans available for purchase last week of August 2023.

Bronze: One day a week: One Private Lesson, One Group Class per week.

Bronze Plus: Two days a week. Two Private Lessons, Two Group classes.

Silver: Three days a week, our most popular package. Two Private Lessons, Two Group Classes, One Athlete prep that can be attended either Monday or Friday.

This is a well balanced program for a fencer looking to eventually go beyond the local DMV area and prepare for Nationals. We have a track record of multiple "A" ratings, local, regional and some National medals with fencers on this program. Travel is encouraged.

Gold: Four days a week. National and International preparation package. Three Private Lessons, Three Group Classes, Two Athlete Prep classes. We have a track record of a scholarship to Notre Dame, multiple National and World Cup medals with fencers on this program. Travel is part of the program and is planned out for the school year.

We provide a Tournament Matrix with expected events to go to sorted by age category, location and ratings. Please request access in the group chat or by replying to this email. Tournament coaching assignments are also available there. It is regularly updated and already has most of the season mapped out.

Once you purchase a program, please respond to this email and we will assign you to the proper classes and lesson slots as close as possible to your group classes via our Schedule Grid “Hephaestus”. It is a locked Google Doc and you will receive access upon request.

Please understand that Hephaestus for 2023-2024 will take a few iterations before the schedule is finalized as we will do our best to accommodate each family so that the logistics are as convenient as possible.

The programs will become available for purchase online in the last week of August.

We also offer consultations for a long term commitment at $150 an hour where I will go over the path from a complete beginner to potentially fencing in college, National and International events and qualifying for the Olympic Team.

We invite all our fencers and their families to our group chat which is supported by our Coaching Team at nearly all hours of the day. Please do not be shy to ask any questions there first, we were all Beginners once!

Thank you so much for your time and I hope to see you at CFA soon!

Head Coach and CFA Founder Ilya V. Lobanenkov

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