From Our Editors
Seven-time national foil champ of Bulgaria, European championship silver medalist, and former coach of the Bulgarian national women's foil team, Emilia Ivanova possesses the rare authority to help kids safely have fun with swords. Aspiring duelists as young as 4 can begin to learn the rudiments of the art though fun games that shape the proper movements, strategic thought, and suppression of the natural instinct to flee from pointy objects needed to succeed in the sport. Older-children and adult students don protective gear and take up the epee, foil, or saber to learn attacks and parries before moving on to bouts. Under soaring ceilings, wooden floors, and mirrored walls, the academy's studio houses eight full-sized fencing strips, electronic-scoring equipment, and a store to pick up personal equipment.