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Michael Marx teaches an Epee class for our Fencers!

The Phoenix Center was very happy to have Michael Marx come out again to our area and work with our athletes. Michael, a 5 time Olympian, is one of the top coaches in the country. He worked with our students on “The Drill”, taught us how to use preparations in epee and showed us a great drill for problem solving! After that he watched all of our kids fence, analyzed them and offer them advice to improve their fencing. If that wasn’t enough, he also got up and fenced some of our fencers and then the folks who stuck around got to go through a line drill with him. Everyone who attended had a great time and Michael told us that this was a great area for fencing! He really liked everyone who was here and he told us that we had a great group that we were working with. Great job to everyone who attended the clinic!

Michael Marx at The Phoenix Center

Competition Equipment

Please make sure your name is stenciled on your Lame or Knickers if you fencer foil or saber.  Epee fencers should have their name stenciled on their jacket or knickers.  The name is required for SYC, NAC’s, and Summer Nationals.

For foil competitions:

Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Foil Mask – NO Lame on the bib unless you are fencing nationally (Includes Qualifiers, ROC’s, NAC’s, and SYC’s)
Long Socks
Foil Lame
At least 2 Body Cords (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
At least 2 Electric Foil with a 2 prong socket – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger. We recommend you use Viscounti grips or something similar.

For saber competition:

Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Long Socks
Saber Mask
2 Head Cords
Glove with electric cuff
(Electric over glove if your glove does not have an electric cuff)
Saber Lame
At least 2 body cords (We recommend 2 prong as they are easier to fix)
At least 2 sabers – Size 2 or size 0 blade for Y10 fencers.

For epee competition:

Chest protector (optional for men, required for women)
Epee Mask (NO Lame on the bib unless you are fencing internationally)
Long Socks
At least 2 Body Cords
At least 2 Electric Epees – Size 2 or 0 blades for Y10 and younger.

When fencing in competition you may choose to have more than 2 weapons and body cords. I frequently will bring 4 weapons with me to North American Cup events. Having extra weapons allows a stress free environment in case a wire breaks or the tip malfunctions. Competitive fencers will also frequently have spare wires, screws, tips, etc. This lets them do any necessary on-site repair.

Ian Shultis in Dallas!

Ian has arrived safely in Dallas and is checking in to fence his event!  Junior Men’s Saber is one of the first events of the day.  Ian will be competing against our nation’s top Junior fencers and although it will be challenging he certainly has the skills to go far today.  Good Luck Ian!

Vassar Claims Number 1!

Vassar College’s Women’s Team takes the number 1 slot of the Northeast Conference for the first time in Vassar history!  The Men’s Team took 2nd, also a Vassar first.  The Combined results for Men’s and Women’s teams also put Vassar in first place in the conference!

Vassar College’s Head Coach, Bruce Gillman, has done a great job putting together a coaching team to help lead Vassar to this success.  This team includes 4 Phoenix Center members:  Eric Soyka, John Satterfield, Becca Kwiatoski, and Will Barnhart.

USA Fencing Parent Guide

If you’ve stopped in lately you may have seen the Parent/Spectator Information Packet. If you didn’t pick one up, we still have some, or you can download it from USA Fencing’s website at

This is an excellent resource for parents and friends. Inside you will find information on the basics of competitions, Interesting facts about fencing, a Glossary of terms, and much, much more. Check it out, you’ll be glad you did!

Youth Notebook Information

The Notebook

Every youth student must have a notebook (composition is recommended) that they will bring to every class, lesson and competition. The notebook contains information necessary to learn new techniques and actions.  Every topic gets it’s own page front and back.

Topic 1

This is where students write down their goals. These can be as simple as having fun to getting gold at a competition. We ask that the parents be supportive of their child’s goals. Everyone starts with two goals already (They are listed below). If you worry that the goals your child sets are too high, please come talk to us, we will work with your child to help create realistic goals.

Pre-Set Goals

  1. Have Fun
  2. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect. Always practice perfect. (Perfect example of a pipe dream).

Topic 2


Draw a line across the middle of the page.  List every footwork step you know. These should be practiced every day.

Topic 3


Attack Rules:

  1. You must move forward first.
  2. You have to move continuously. You may not stop moving forward.
  3. You have to try to hit
  4. The other fencer cannot hit your blade during the attack.
  5. You have to stay in a threatening distance.
  6. You must hit before the end of your lunge (saber only).


Straight Attack: An attack that starts towards one target and finishes to the same target.