Marx Fencing Academy. New England
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Thank You to Those Who Filled the Sleigh!


We ended the last term of the year with good cheer and charity. Even old heroes like Coach Ralf dug out his stuff and borrowed some equipment to fence! Thank you to those who supported this charity drive, and congratulations to the winners of the Y14 Foil/Epee and Open Foil/Epee events.


Y14 Foil
Sha Yi Peng (Gold Fencing) (1st), Lisa Xu (2nd),  Kincaid DeBell (3rd), Naomi Millen (3rd)

Y14 Epee
Arthur Andreev (1st), Seva Plottinchenko (2nd), Joachim Laurent (3rd), Christopher Petter (3rd)

Open Foil
Jonathan Ding (1st), Anuj Sirsikar (2nd), Ralf Bissdorf (3rd), Reid Anctil (3rd)

Open Epee
Adam Macik (1st), Liam Carpenter (2nd), Cameron Santos (3rd), Rebecca Pfeiffer (3rd)

More photos have been uploaded on the Marx website, so be sure to check them out here.

The toys were donated to the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest. Here's a little Thank You note from them:

"Thank you for donating so many wonderful gifts to the Chest's gift drive. I understand a grandmother came in right after we dropped them off and was astounded by her choices. I know many other families will follow, and deeply appreciate your donations." - Liz Henrey

Celebrating Kaija's First Junior World Cup in Burgos, Spain


As a young fencing club, we always count our victories because they don't come easy. We celebrate medals, we celebrate top 8 finishes at NAC events and we absolutely celebrate national representation at international FIE events because there are limited entries allowed per country and only top fencers get selected to be a part of the squad! At Marx, we are proud that Coach Adam, Gregory and Julian regularly qualify for these events. And now, the day has come for Kaija to make her debut in Burgos, Spain, for her very first Junior World Cup.


Kaija is currently ranked 16th in the US Junior Women's Epee standings. She is the top ranked women's epeeist from the New England Division.

Q: How do you feel about achieving this significant milestone?
I feel really proud of myself and my fencing to make my first World Cup. I have worked really hard to get here and it’s really exciting to have this opportunity. 

Q: What were your thoughts the night before your event and on that day itself?
The night before I went through a series of preparations, reminding myself of the things I’m good at and telling myself little encouraging tidbits. When I arrived and walked into the venue it felt very normal. I warmed up, did what I needed to do to be ready to fence, fenced some warm up bouts, I went through the motions of a normal NAC tournament. 

Q: Did your fencing meet expectations?
In complete honesty I did not fence as well as I believe I can. I was one touch away from winning my pool. I fence my best when I am in a good physical and mental state of mind. As a result, the long flights and stresses of school can impact my performance, which is something I need to work on. Overall, I am proud of myself for making it this far and eager to continue to improve. 

Q: Did you enjoy this international experience and would it motivate you to qualify for the next one?
I loved the international experience. It was so cool to be able to speak with locals and explore Burgos- it is a beautiful city. I love to travel and see new countries and it is definitely a motivation to continue to qualify for World Cups.

Q: Describe Burgos! Also, would it be a vacation destination you'd recommend?
Burgos is a beautiful city. It has wonderfully filled cobblestoned side streets for pedestrians with little cafes and clothing stores. While we were there the city was covered in Christmas lights and decorations, it was absolutely gorgeous. It's definitely worth visiting on vacation. 

Q: What are some of the sightseeing activities that you did? 
While we were there we walked to a small café and had churros and chocolate. They were absolutely amazing! We also walked around the city and saw a cathedral and the Christmas lights.

The 101 on Ratings


It’s another one of those intricacies of fencing in the US and you can add that to knowing your SYCs/RYCs/RJCCs/ROCs (by the way, we’ve done a post on that here) and the various pathways to qualification. Well, the short answer is that they reflect a fencer and competition level to a degree.

 
But here’s the long answer.
 
There are 5 categories of ratings in the US Fencing system: A, B, C, D, E and U. U is for Unrated, which is the first rating that everyone starts off with when they start competing. So how then do you progress to higher rating? “By joining sanctioned competitions and placing high enough for them” is not even the full statement. We told you it’s complicated.
 
There are a number of elements that must be considered in totality to determine if there is even potential to be awarded a rating when you join a competition:
  1. The competition must be sanctioned. This means that the organizers of the competition must comply to certain standards set about by USFA (read: how to sanction an event) So yes, you could win at an MFA-organized event with strong fencers and not get a rating.
  2. Total number of competing fencers; of which
  3. There are rated fencers present; and
  4. These rated fencers must finish at a certain placing.
The table above, taken from AskFred, explains the ratings (also called classifications) awarded in various scenarios. The full table can be found here: http://askfred.net/Info/eventClass.php.
 
What does joining a Group C1 event mean? Assuming you (an Unrated fencer) join a sanctioned competition with say 20 competing fencers, of which there are 2 C-rated, 2 D-rated and 2 E-rated fencers, and that of these rated fencers, 2 of them who are C-rated and 2 of them who are D-rated end up placed in the Top 8 positions of the event, you will be awarded a rating as long as you are placed in the Top 8 too. Specifically, if your placing is between 5th to 8th, you will obtain an E rating. If between 2nd to 4th, you get a D. If you are first, you get a C.
 
Therefore, the competition level and the rating that you could get from it is dependent on who turns up and where they eventually place. But if you take a look at a listed event on AskFred, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the level of the event is, along what the ratings that you could potentially earn:
 
While we do agree that ratings reflect a fencer’s capability, we say that it does so only to a certain degree. The reason is because ratings are not constantly updated after each sanctioned competition and they only reflect a fencer’s highest achievement in the given season.

Ratings do not reflect the consistency of performance.
So don't be quick to decide on the outcome of a bout based on your opponent's rating; judge their current fencing on the strip.


So what are the practical implications of ratings? There are a few:
  1. Ratings qualify fencers for events. For example, Division 1 only includes fencers who are rated A, B, or C.
  2. Ratings are used for seeding at competitions.
  3. College applications do consider ratings and rankings for student intakes.
The importance of ratings versus rankings is comparable to that of the result of one examination versus the overall grade point average (GPA). The GPA is a better reflection of the overall standard of the student, isn’t it? But that said, it is unnecessary to focus on ratings and rankings as these are indications that are not within your direct control. Focus on your craft, your skills and techniques- they are the ones that get you there.

And have fun while you're at it.

A Winter of Intensive Fencing and Fun


We had a good turnout at Winter Intensive, that fencing aside, included recreational activities like candle pin bowling and a trip to the cinema for the newly released Passengers movie. 


Intensive Training concluded with participation at the annual Jack Norton Hangover Open, which has a long tradition of being the first competition of the year for epee fencers in New England. The turnout for the open epee event was a whooping 74 fencers, with Coach Adam reclaiming his winning title for the third time!

This was also the first year that the Jack Norton was open to foil fencers, the turnout was small  - 11 fencers - with our Marx Fencers Julian Cheng, Duncan Rheingans-Yoo, Brian Li and Oliver Hu claiming the top 4 positions respectively. 

Do look forward to the next intensive training sessions:
  • Pre Nationals (06/21 - 06/30) Note: 21-26 June sessions are for Senior, Junior and Cadet Fencers, 25-30 June sessions are for Y14 & Under fencers.
  • Epee Intensive for A, B and C-Rated Fencers (07/24 - 07/29)
  • Epee Intensive for C, D, E and Unrated Fencers (07/31 - 08/04)
  • Foil Intensive for A, B and C-Rated Fencers (08/07 - 08/11)
  • Foil Intensive for C, D, E and Unrated Fencers (08/14 - 08/18)
Sign ups can be done here: https://fs21.formsite.com/marxfencing/form26/index.html

Club News


Jan 03: New term begins.

Medal Count

Gold: 6
Silver: 8
Bronze: 15

Miles Travelled

242,230
(33 times around the earth)
December Results
Dec NAC
Div 1 Men's Foil- Gregory Mitberg (8th), Duncan Rheingans-Yoo (14th), Julian Cheng (17th), Brian Wang (73rd), Allan Ding (93rd), Will Chiang (103rd), Brian Li (139th)
Div 1 Men's  Epee- Adam Maczik (35th), Liam Carpenter (115th)
Div 1 Women's Epee- Cassandra Bates (13th), Meghan O'Reilly (52nd), Kaija Gisolfi-McCready (59th), Hannah Provenza (71st), Rebecca Pfeiffer (107th), Ariel Cox (115th)
Div 1-A Women's Epee- Aeryn O'Reilly (53rd)
Veteran Men's Epee- Gerald Duffy (34th)
Vet 50 Men's Epee- Jeffrey Sumler (42nd)
Vet 70 Men's Epee- Gerald Duffy (9th)

NEUSFA U20 JO Qualifiers
Men's Epee- Cameron Santos (5th), Tom Stadnikov (16th), Liam Carpenter (17th), Robby Kirkwood (20th), Anthony Ma (23rd), Joshua Lim (31st)
Men Foil- Oliver Hu (8th), Andrew Sledeski (20th), Albert Wu (30th), Anuj Sirsikar (41st)
Women's Epee- Rebecca Pfeiffer (1st), Anisha Kundu (6th), Gabrielle Roberts (8th), Helen Cobert (16th), Charlotte Epstein (21st)
Junior World Cup (Londres)
Julian Cheng (44th)

Junior World Cup (Burgos)
Kaija Gisolfi-McCready (53rd)

RJCC
Cadet Men's Epee- Anthony Ma (8th), Cameron Santos (14th), Arthur Andreev (20th), Joshua Lim (33rd) Tai Kronrod (35th)
Cadet Men's Foil- Andrew Sledeski (2nd), Oliver Hu (9th), Albert Wu (16th), Brandon Li (21st), Jonathan Ding (29th), Anuj Sirsikar (37th), Banjamin Lu (55th)
Cadet Women's Epee- Gabrielle Roberts (6th), Emily Kirkwood (9th)
Cadet Women's Foil- Evelyn Cheng (9th), Katelyn McShine (16th)
Junior Men's Epee- Liam Carpenter (8th), Cameron Santos (11th), Tom Stadnikov (14th), Anthony Ma (28th), Robby Kirkwood (36th), Joshua Lim (44th)
Junior Men's Foil- Brian Wang (5th), Allan Ding (9th), Oliver Hu (20th), Brian Li (36th), Sledeski Andrew (55th), Albert Wu (59th), Anuj Sirsikar (72nd)
Junior Women's Epee- Rebecca Pfeiffer (12th), Anisha Kundu (14th), Ariel Cox (15th), Gabriella Roberts (18th), Emily Kirkwood (28th)






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Marx Fencing Academy · 119 Commonwealth Avenue · Concord, MA 01742 · USA

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