Port Washington Says En Garde

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The red ribbon is cut at the newly opened New York Fencing Academy.

The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce welcomed New York Fencing Academy, the number one ranked fencing club in youth épée by National Fencing Club Rankings, to the town with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The fencing club’s second location on Haven Avenue, with its first in Brooklyn, was opened to offer its successful training programs for ages six and up to the Long Island fencing community.

“I’ve been looking for this space for a long time and we have a good amount of students coming from Long Island on a weekly basis,” said owner Michael Mokretsov. “It’s hard for them to go during the week days, so training only on the weekends you cannot achieve too much. Even though they were getting good results, we wanted to help them boost it a little and provide the service closer so they can train more on a weekly basis and not just on the weekends coming to Brooklyn.”

Town Clerk Wayne Wink, Owner and Head Coach Misha Mokretsov, Owner Michael Mokretsov, Nassau County Legislator Delia Deriggi-Whitton, Fred Pollock representing Tony Durso, and President of the Chamber Mitch Schwartz

New York Fencing Academy offers introductory packages, private lessons, group classes, after-school programs, membership benefits, parties, day camps, and summer épée camps. Mokretsov explained many high schools around the area including Great Neck North and South, Manhasset and Jericho offer fencing for students, and he hopes students will be able to use the new facility for training as well.

“There is no fencing club here in Port Washington,” said Mokretsov. “We’re opening a club that never existed here. Second, we will try to work with all the high schools around so that off-season they can train. We’ll also be conducting competitions and summer camps. It’s actually the biggest épée camp in the country. It’s a great program we’re running and we hope it will be a good boost for the kids.”

Many may think that because fencing utilizes weapons, or épées, it could be harmful; however, Mokretsov explained that it is one of the safest sports because the equipment is made so that students cannot obtain weapon-related injuries. Another safe factor of fencing is that it is not a contact sport.

While fencing offers physical benefits like improving strength, coordination and agility, Mokretsov also explained that there are many mental benefits to fencing.

“It’s a strategic sport,” said Mokretsov. “It’s like a physical chess because there are so many combinations and you have to figure it out, predict their moves and figure out your strategy two, three or four moves ahead of them. It’s also working under pressure. It teaches you discipline, the same as any other sport, teaches you how to achieve goals under pressure, which is a very valuable skill when you get older. This teaches you a lot and it’s a great way of getting into a college program as well.”

New York Fencing Academy is located at 8 Haven Ave., Suite LL3, Port Washington and is open Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment. For more information about New York Fencing Academy, visit www.fencenyfa.com or call 718-996-0426.

What did you think of this article? Share your thoughts with me by email at cclaus@antonmediagroup.com.

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Christina Claus is the editor of Port Washington News.

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