Cobra Fencing Club will be hosting the Cobra Challenge Super Youth Circuit (SYC) fencing tournament November 28-30, 2014, at The Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Cadet-age fencers (ages 14-16, and the next competition age group after SYC-age fencers) will also be competing in separate competitive (non-qualification) events. Over 1800 fencers ages 9-16, coming from around the U.S. and internationally, are expected to compete in Epee, Foil and Sabre. Entry deadline is November 9, 2014; for more information and entry information, visit AskFRED.net.
SYC are competitions held around the United States and provide an opportunity for young athletes to experience elite competition, earn national ranking points and prepare for future national events. USA fencing national events are the beginning path to eligibility to represent the United States at international events, including the Olympic Games. Olympic fencing teams don’t have try-outs – it takes years of training and competing regionally, then nationally and then internationally until a fencer has earned rankings high enough to qualify. USA Fencing (the national governing body) says that 55% of its members are 15 and younger, and that children’s participation is growing every year.
The New York metropolitan area is considered a mecca of fencing talent, and the ability to provide young fencers with this caliber of competition sets the stage for the United States’ pursuit of international fencing dominance. Of the recent U.S. Olympic team fencers, half of them were from/trained in the New York area. There are more top clubs in the New Jersey/Manhattan area than any other part of the country.
Fencing also has a long history with universities and schools. New Jersey is at the forefront of high school fencing, with the largest program in the Country. Currently featured in American Fencing Magazine (http://www.usfencing.org/page/show/704073-american-fencing-magazine), New Jersey currently has 56 varsity teams, with more on the way (estimated 2500-3000 fencers in total competing each season). Former NJ high school epee fencer Holly Buechel (currently ranked #26 in Womens Epee in the US) is producing a video highlighting the intensity of NJ High School fencing (Fencing on the Edge – see a clip at https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=8090). Numerous opportunities exist for fencers to continue to compete for schools after they graduate from high school. More than 40 colleges and universities have NCAA varsity programs at the Division I, II or III levels and nearly 100 schools have club programs.
Following the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in which the U.S. won six medals in individual and team competition, the USA Fencing Team has grown to become one of the world’s top teams. A member of that team, New Yorker Tim Morehouse, founded Fencing in the Schools in 2011 to give children across the country the same opportunity he had to benefit from the Olympic sport of Fencing. Tim was honored as one of President Obama’s “Champions of Change” at the White House in 2012, and taught President Obama to fence on the White House Lawn.
Team USA is currently on the path in pursuit of Olympic glory in Rio de Janiero in 2016.
About Cobra Fencing Club
Located in Jersey City, NJ, Cobra was founded in 2002 by Steve Kaplan, 1976 Olympic Saber Team member, in order to foster the development of youth fencing. Cobra offers private lessons, classes, and camps in all weapons. Cobra has successfully hosted four previous SYC, initially at its 21-strip Club facility, then in 2012 at St. Peters University Yanitelli Recreation Center. In addition, Cobra hosts local tournaments during the season, including Regional Open Circuit (also national qualifying events), Regional Youth Circuit (events similar to SYC however no national points are earned), as well as its Club Sunday youth tournaments, which draw over 300 8-14 year-old fencers. For more information on the Club visit cobrafencing.com see post. For Cobra tournament information visit AskFRED.net (search for Cobra tournaments).
About United States Fencing (www.usfencing.org)
The United States Fencing Association (USA Fencing) was founded in 1891 as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) by a group of New York fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union. The AFLA changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981. The USFA was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act and opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado in August of 1982. The USFA is the recognized National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA is affiliated with the Federation Internationale d’Escrime (FIE), the international federation governing the world wide sport of fencing. The FIE was founded in Paris in 1913. In 1960 Miguel A. de Capriles became the first non-European president of the FIE.
USFA sends teams to the World Championships, the World Under-20 Championships and the World Under-17 Championships. The USFA selects teams to represent the USA at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games, World University Games and Pan American Fencing Confederation Championships for seniors, juniors and cadets.