Tom Bacha’s fist and feet are like a force field made of whip-quick cobras. The martial artist holds a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do, an Expert Series instructor certification from Krav Maga Worldwide, and a Brazilian jujitsu teaching certification from Best Way Jiu-Jitsu. At Connecticut Krav Maga, he and five other certified instructors draw on their kick-punching prowess to pass on Imi Lichtenfeld’s legendary martial art, krav maga, used by the Israeli Defense Force and the US Marines. Designed around the instinctual ways people defend themselves, the method gets quick-learned into students’ muscle memory, teaching students to fend off surprise attacks or disarm opponents carrying knives, guns, or prosthetic limbs.
Candlewood Fencing Center's 6,000-square-foot facility gives fledgling fencers and seasoned pros the tools they need to develop their skill with sabers, foils, and épées. Seventeen lunge workout stations allow students to hone attacks, and three electronic speed stations train reflexes to parry an incoming thrust or jury summons. The center is equipped with solid wood floors that are built with bounce, making lessons and sparring practice easy on students' joints.
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The coaches at Peekskill Fencing Center are living evidence fencing involves far more than lucky lunges. Some have competed at the national level, and two have spent years coaching teams—Cal Schlick, for example, taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, and has medaled in several tournaments. Applying their skills and experience, the instructors lead lessons for all ages and experience levels.
Classes cover beginner and intermediate techniques with the foil, as well as the Japanese art of Kendo and sessions on competitive play. Peekskill Fencing Center delivers personal attention to all of its students and ensures that no one's sword has the same nickname. Pupils can also schedule private classes to receive even more thorough feedback on their technique. Students of all skill levels strive to sharpen their focus, footwork, agility, and balance with each practice. And, for the opportunity to see a professional sparring demonstration, they can even plan a birthday party through the center.
Among the three of them, the coaches at Stamford Fencing Center possess 10 Ukrainian national fencing championships, more than 50 years of training, and one stint as head coach of the Ukrainian saber team at the 2000 Olympics. The team uses this expertise to advocate for the growth of fencing and develop budding fencers into superstars. Beginners focus on footwork and blade work, developing noticeable improvements in hand-eye coordination, balance, quickness, and ability to fend off everyday attacks from aggressive knitters. Additionally, the sport provides excellent cardiovascular exercise, helping to increase stamina and improve overall health.