Changes as of December 1st, 2016!

As we continue to grow and establish our academy within the fencing world, we have to make changes to adapt to better serve our clients. Please note, that anyone who wishes to take advantage of the many services we offer, you must become a member. We are also implementing some price and time changes to our classes.

  • The only available discount is for military personnel and it does not apply to annual memberships, only to monthly class rates/private lessons.
  • There is no longer an adult group class. However, members 18+ are eligible to take private lessons and attend open/electrical fencing hours.
  • The Speed & Agility training group classes will now be held from 5:30PM - 6:30PM on Monday and Wednesday, and Saturday training will be from 11:00AM - 12:00PM.
  • Musketeers classes are now $40 a month.
  • Academy/Competitive classes are now $140 a month. 
  • Speed & Agility is now $60 per month.
  • Open Floor Fee is now $10 per day.
  • Checks will no longer be accepted as a form of payment.

Membership pricing:

AGES 4-6

$100 per year if paid annually
$10 per month if paid monthly

AGES 7-9

$200 per year if paid annually
$20 per month if paid monthly

AGES 10+

$400 per year if paid annually
$40 per month if paid monthly

*Monthly payment form is by credit card only. Annual payment forms are cash and credit card only.*

Having a membership gives you:

  • Unlimited access to open fencing hours
  • Access to our discount packages (Equipment packages / Loyalty packages /Summer deals)
  • Access to tournament coaching for local/regional/national events
  • FREE Coaching at SFA Tournaments only
  • Access to Speed & Agility training
  • Access to Group Instruction & Private Lessons from our coaches
  • FREE Rental equipment 

* Annual memberships will not be discounted or pro-rated. 

* Annual membership cancellation will result in a balance owed credit card payment. 

* Annual memberships & payments may be placed on "Hold" if Medical/Injury/Illness documents are submitted.

Speed & Agility

Starting on October 1st, we will be offering speed and agility training classes. These will only be available for fencers ages 10-17. They will be taught by our newly hired coach, Joseph Galano.

Coach Joe is certified in personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). His specialities are in free-weight style exercises, speed and agility training, and fat burning exercise routines. He is also CPR/AED certified. Coach Joe has always loved playing a variety of sports and considers himself to be a determined individual that will go out of his way to help anyone out. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help someone achieve their goals! He is all about being positive!

In addition to group speed & agility classes, Coach Joe will be available to schedule private, 1 on 1, training sessions.

 

Welcome to our SFA family Coach Joe!

We Love Interns!

We have opportunities for college students to intern with us year-round! Previous SFA interns have made an impact on the business and left with real-world samples to put in their portfolios. Some have gone on to graduate school, while others have found work in their field of interest.

So whether you are looking to gain experience to put on your resume, or need it for school credit, apply with us today! Send your resume to our General Manager, Amanda, at abirro@suffolkfencingacademy.com

 

INTERNSHIP: We are looking for interns that have either a communications/media background, graphic design background, sports management, and/or administrative background. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
 

OUTLINE OF RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist in the company’s social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube)
  • Support in adding content/updating the company’s website (SquareSpace) - html knowledge helpful, but not necessary
  • Research and facilitate in writing for the company blog
  • Assist in developing flyers, brochures, mailers, and other graphics for sales/marketing purposes
  • Work closely with team members to brainstorm and implement marketing strategies, promotional ideas, events to promote, other ways to get our name and the sport to the public, etc.
  • Assist in taking and editing photos/videos of classes, tournaments, events; and creating video clips, photo slideshows, etc.
  • Aid in light office duties: answering the phone, making copies, scanning documents, filing, data entry, etc.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • GPA: At least a 2.5
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledgeable in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, & Photoshop and/or other common design and layout applications
  • Having a computer and access to graphic design and layout software is preferred but not required
  • Should be extremely organized and detail oriented
  • Should have excellent time management skills

** THIS IS AN UNPAID INTERNSHIP. STUDENTS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR SCHOOL CREDIT**

*Interns will be able to take fencing classes for free during the time of their internship*

We are looking for students ( sophomore, junior or senior ) who attend local colleges.

 

SFA Travel Team

If you are a competitive fencer, or want to be, please schedule a competitive member meeting with Coach Anthony ASAP. In these meetings, Anthony will go over the schedule for regional and national tournaments for 2016-2017, costs, and requirements.

 

A travel team will be formed, which will be a core group of dedicated fencers (and their families) that will compete and represent SFA at these large scale tournaments. When competing as an SFA fencer, you must have and wear your SFA attire, including the adidas warm-ups, to any event.

 

For more details, please call or email to schedule your competitive member meeting.

Parents Night

We held our first ever Parents Night Potluck Party on Sunday 7/31 and it was quite the success!

There was around 25 of us, parents and SFA coaches included, and lots of food! Everyone brought delicious eats, including homemade mac & cheese, baked ziti, taco pasta, shrimp, an assortment of salads and dips, cookies and other desserts.

Some of the parents wanted to get in on some fencing action, so we dressed them in our special gear, reserved for our musketeers (4-6 year-olds) and let them go at each other a bit! A few moms and dads had some real good moves!

We want to thank all the parents who came and thank Coach Amanda for organizing this event. With all the positive feedback we've received, we will host another in the future!

Check out our Facebook page to see photos!

Summer Intern Shares First Fencing Experience

My name is Lily and I am a graphic design intern at Suffolk Fencing Academy for the summer.  One day, after I finished my work for the internship, I took my first fencing class. Coach Amanda was teaching that night and I learned fencing using the epee weapon. It is a lot more fun and interesting than I anticipated!

Trying to remember to keep my feet in an “L” shape and stay low with my knees bent while learning the basic movements was more difficult than I thought it would be.  I really learned how much concentration and coordination is needed when you are fencing in order to remember what moves to do and when to do them.

At first it was a little weird hitting and being hit with the weapon, as well as the awkward positioning, but as we worked on it, the motions became more comfortable. I'm really looking forward to taking more classes while I continue my internship here!

Fencing Competition: The Basics

Now that you're familiar with your weapons, it's time to learn the rules of fencing so that you can get out on the strip!

THE BOUT
A match between two fencers is called a bout. The goal of a fencing bout is to score either 5 or 15 points - in preliminary pool play and direct elimination play, respectively. You can also win a bout if you have a higher score than your opponent when the time is up.

Points are scored when a touch is landed in the opponent’s target area. One pool bout is up to 5 points, however for foil and epee, it is either first to 5 or when three-minutes expires. Direct elimination matches for epee and foil consist of three, three‐minute periods with a one‐minute break between each period. For sabre, the first period lasts for eight touches and the second period ends when the first fencer has scored 15 points.

PENALTIES
There are four categories of penalties in fencing. USA Fencing describes them as follows:

Category One
All Category One penalties are interdependent. Upon the first occurrence of an offense during a bout, the fencer is warned and receives a yellow card. Committing any additional offense during the bout will result in the offender receiving a red card and the opponent receiving a penalty touch.

Category Two
All Category Two penalties are also interdependent. A fencer is given a red card upon first and any subsequent infraction during a bout.

Both Category One and Two infractions result in the annulment of a touch made by the offending fencer while committing the offense.

Category Three
Category Three penalties may be assessed for infractions against safety or the order of the competition.

Such infractions can result in penalty touches (red card) or expulsion (black card) from the competition.

Category Four
The Category Four penalties involve unsportsmanlike conduct, using fraudulently modified equipment, collusion or brutality. The infractions result in automatic expulsion (black card) from the competition.

RIGHT OF WAY                                                                                                                              

The right‐of‐way rule was established to address seemingly simultaneous touches in a bout. This rule is only applied to foil and sabre and the difference is important only when both the red and green lights go on at the same time. When this happens, the point is awarded to the fencer that the referee determines held the right‐of‐way at the time the lights went on. The most basic, and important, precept of the right‐of‐way is that the fencer who started the attack first will receive the point if they hit the valid target area.

Naturally, the fencer who is being attacked must defend himself or herself with a parry, or somehow cause their opponent to miss in order to reclaim over right‐of‐way and score a point. A fencer who hesitates for too long while advancing on their opponent gives up right‐of‐way to their opponent. The referee may determine that the two fencers truly attacked each other simultaneously. The simultaneous attack results in no points being awarded, and the fencers are ordered back to en garde position.

In sabre, the fencer who starts to attack first is given priority should his opponent counter‐attack. However, sabre referees are much less forgiving of hesitation by an attacker. It is common to see a sabre fencer execute a stop cut against their opponent’s forearm during such a moment of hesitation, winning right‐of‐way and the point.

Epee does not use the right‐of‐way in keeping with its dueling origin. He who first gains touch earns the point, or if both fencers hit within 1/25th of a second both earn a point. Think of epee as a free-for-all, fencers can hit anywhere on the body and at anytime or the same time, epee is most like an actual duel.

EQUIPMENT

Fencers will need their own equipment to compete. Basic equipment includes the jacket, plastron, chest protector (women), knickers (fencing pants), glove, mask, and knee-high socks. Fencing shoes would be ideal, however running/cross-training sneakers are fine. It is best to have at least 2 working weapons, 2 body cords, and 2 head clips (for foil & sabre). For foil and sabre fencers, they will also need lames and masks made for electrical fencing. At National events, it is required to have the last name and country printed on the back of the jacket/lame or down the leg of a fencers' knickers.

COST

Other than equipment, being a competitive fencer requires additional costs. Fencers will need a competitive USFA membership, which costs $70 per year. Each tournament varies in pricing, most often there is a registration fee and an event fee. Fencers who compete in more than one event will pay per event, where the registration is a one-time fee. Please note, most often these fees are non-refundable, so only register if you can commit to the tournament. If something comes up last minute such as illness or serious injury, provided you have a medical note, some tournament organizers may partially refund the fees (note: not all will). If you plan to compete outside of your home state, note the cost of travel and lodging will vary accordingly. If you want to have a coach while you compete, coaching fees vary depending on the tournament.

GOAL

The ultimate goal for fencers who compete is to have fun and gain experience! Take the knowledge and skills you learn in class or private lessons and try to apply them in a tournament setting. The more you fence, the more you'll learn. If you are new to competing, your best bet is to attend any tournaments your home club offers so you are in a comfortable environment. But remember, to learn and grow, you will need to compete at other tournaments outside your home club. To best prepare yourself before a tournament, take a few private lessons with your coach to work on fine-tuning your skills. As for parents, have fun being supportive and cheering your fencer on!

 

SFA's Interns Take Their First Fencing Lesson

The interns at Suffolk Fencing Academy came on board with no fencing experience or knowledge. They've been learning and growing as they work and have found some time to take classes. Here are their responses after taking their first ever fencing class!

Gio's Reaction: 

Fencing is intense! It is awkward at first to re-train your body to walk sideways, and it takes a toll on the glutes to stay in a low position for an extended period of time, but I loved every minute of it. Fencing demands you to be very conscious of your form and body movements. In this way, it’s a very stimulating sport – things happen very quickly and you must be aware of what you are doing and plan your reactions carefully on the fly. It forces you to get in the zone, and I love that. It’s a very personal and exciting experience. It was jarring at first to get hit by a weapon - especially in the mask, but I quickly adjusted and felt safe and comfortable. That’s not to say I didn’t go home with a couple of bruises though! I had a great deal of fun and even won one of my first practice matches, but it’s clear to me my technique needs lots of work. Looking forward to improving upon my lunges and becoming more comfortable and graceful on the strip! 

Alexis's Reaction:

My name is Alexis and I am a Graphic Design intern at Suffolk Fencing Academy. After our internship hours Coach Amanda taught us how to fence! It's really fun! We learned how to use the Epee weapons. We fenced a bit after learning foot work/basics. We learned Parry 4. It’s funny how slow we all were because we were so focused and new to the sports and muscle movements. I was pretty slow with remembering the moves and actually preforming, but I won both my bouts against my fellow interns. I got some skin scrapped off while fencing. I gave the other guy a bruise on his chest so it's all good. I was surprised how hard the sport is and how much more goes into it (rules, footwork, concentration, etc.). The weapons are heavy and your arm starts to hurt because you haven’t trained your body to holding them. We practiced lunges with a glove. We had to throw the glove up and lunge to grab the glove before it fell. It overall was so much fun. I’ve never noticed how many muscles I had until after our first lesson ended and I was sore. I’m excited to fence again!!

Know Your Weapon: Sabre

Over the last two weeks, we hope our blog posts have helped to break down the key differences in the foil and the epee. This week, we introduce the third and final weapon used in fencing: the sabre!!

                                         A sabre fencer may use the edge of their blade to score a touch.

The sabre is similar in length and weight to the foil, but the use of the blade is much different in action. Sabreists may use the edge of their blade to cut as well as thrust in order to score a touch.

The weapon is meant to simulate the cavalry experience, and as such the target area consists of the area from the hips to the top of the head. Like foil, the sabre fencer wears a lame around the target area to allow the scoring machine to register a touch. Because the head is also a valid target area, a sabre fencer's mask is also electrically wired.

The right-of-way restrictions in sabre fencing strongly encourage quick and decisive actions by favoring the fencer whom attacks first. This makes sabre the perfect weapon for the aggressive fencer, with sabreists rushing to get the first attack from the moment the referee starts a bout.

We hope you've enjoyed learning about the weapons in fencing! Which is your favorite??

Know Your Weapon: Epee

Last week, we began introducing and demystifying the weapons of fencing with an overview of the foil. We're gonna keep it going this week with a breakdown of the epee!

                           The epee features a larger guard to protect the hand from an opponent's attacks.

                           The epee features a larger guard to protect the hand from an opponent's attacks.

The epee - pronounced "EPP-pay" and meaning sword in French, has a triangular blade, similar to the foil in length. It is different, however, in that it is heavier, its blade is much stiffer, and it has a much larger guard. 

The epee is also similar to the foil in that only the tip of the weapon may be used to score touches (points) - this is again registered by a button fixed at the tip. The target area for epee is the entire body, simulating a real duel. The larger guard comes in handy here, as it makes it more difficult for the opponent to score a touch on the hand.

Epee fencers are not regulated by the rules of right-of-way. Still, the fact that no part of the body is off limits as a target makes the epee the perfect weapon for the patient strategist. Epee fencers thus use their time to learn and test their opponent's defenses, as well as creating optimal distance - often fencing defensively for the majority of a bout.

Next week, the sabre!