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What Next?

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Dear fencing friends and Families,

I hope you are have had a great summer! Our new gym is looking better and better each day.

We can't wait for our Olympic (and also 2023 Italian Champion and World Championships Top Eight) Dream Team Camp next week and for the season to start! Sparring Coach Inaki De Guzman is also stepping back in just for this week!

2023-2024 Season starts Tuesday, September 5th.

Website has been revamped and all registrations and recurring plans are now under /register

Beginners and first year fencers:

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. This is a perfect step to try the sport or follow up a Beginner Camp you did in the summer.

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 (check with your coach), the fencer will be transferred to our Core Programs. We will provide gear for one month after your intro session, then we require personal equipment to continue. Click here for our recommendations on buying your own gear.

David A, the father of James, our Region 6 Point Standings Champion will host a Q&A session this Sunday, August 13th at 3pm to have a parent’s chat at the club about all the different aspects of planning out a competitive season, the various types of events and point structure and the little things you might want to plan for. James will also be there to talk with the younger fencers if they have questions about competing as well. Please join our group chat to RSVP.

We highly recommend joining our group chat in general, any questions you may have are answered within minutes there. Reply to this email and you will receive a link with instructions.

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.

Initial goals are same as Group B, with the addition on getting a USA Fencing "C" rating and preparing for the National travel circuit. Then shoot for all 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 we offer all around Sports Education.

Class focus is on fencing specific coordination, strength, speed, stamina, discipline and injury prevention. 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. All taught in a joyful, supportive environment, with an individual approach when necessary.

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 some kids to develop it on an individual basis. Doing so in a group will help fencers 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 will become available for purchase last week of August 2023 and will renew each month on the date purchased. Discounts available if paid in full for the season.

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 already. Coach Doug returns this season as Tournament Manager and will be working closely with the rest of our team to guide you through the journey.

Once you decide on 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 recurring payment plans for 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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