With War as a Backdrop, a Russian Fencing Drama Plays Out in the U.S.

The departure of Russian fencers who object to their country’s invasion of Ukraine has created a stir at home and left their sporting futures in question.

Jeré Longman
The New York Times

Fencing is usually among the least visible Olympic events, but a year out from the Paris Games it is providing political, sporting and familial drama related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Three Russian fencers who renounced the 2022 invasion in written declarations and now live in the United States were granted eligibility to compete as neutral athletes, representing no country, in the American summer national championships that conclude Sunday in Phoenix.

And that’s just the beginning of the drama. A top Russian coach has been fired after a star épée couple left three weeks ago for the United States. And a high-profile fencing divorce has touched the upper reaches of the Russian Olympic Committee and even led to the entry of “raspberry frappé” into the lexicon as a sword-fighting put-down.

One of the Russian fencers now training and coaching in San Diego, Konstantin Lokhanov, 24, is a former son-in-law of the president of Russia’s Olympic Committee and the ex-husband of a two-time Russian Olympic fencing gold medalist. He won the men’s saber competition at the American summer championships after having competed for Russia at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

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Exploring Life & Business with Dmitriy Guy of La Jolla Fencing Academy

We welcome students of all ages, skills and interests to learn this incredible sport and develop self-confidence, physical ability, discipline, sportsmanship, and lifelong friendships along the way.


Today we’d like to introduce you to Dmitriy Guy. Them and their team share their story with us below:

La Jolla Fencing Academy, Southern California’s premier, state of the art fencing club, is dedicated to the Olympic sport of fencing and offers competitive and recreational programs.

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Local's La Jolla Fencing leads to championships, college success

...another name for fencing is “physical chess”— athletes must use strategies and think about how to outsmart your opponent in a condensed amount of time.

Karen Billing
Del Mar Times

For the last 26 years, Carmel Valley’s Dmitriy Guy has worked to grow the sport of fencing in San Diego. With his newly opened La Jolla Fencing Academy, the former fencing champion’s studio offers “world class” instruction in beginning and advanced classes, private lesson for students as young as five to adults.

The sport requires both athleticism and discipline, as fencers use replica swords to score points by hitting one another while moving back and forth on an area called a piste.

“In our experience, fencing is a great sport for kids to become better people, better students, better citizens and to go to better colleges,” Guy said.

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A Physical Game of Chess: La Jolla Fencing Academy opens to teach swordsmanship

In mid-February, La Jolla Fencing Academy opened at 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive to bring the classic sport to anyone who has ever wanted to shout, “en garde!”

Ashley Mackin
La Jolla Light

Touted as “a physical game of chess,” fencing enhances one’s abilities to concentrate and to strategize, which founder, head coach and international champion Dmitriy Guy, said are among some of the most important traits of a good fencer.

“Fencing teaches you how to be focused and make quick decisions. It also works the other way around; if you are already able to make fast decisions and focus, you could be a good fencer,” he explained. “You have to lure your opponent into the chain of your actions or change your actions based on what they do — so you have brain work, foot work and blade work at the same time, which is not easy.” Other qualities include quick reaction time, agility, leg strength and fast footing.

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Jaden Callahan: Sabre All-American 2020

Carlsbad teen earns All-American fencing honors

Jaden Callahan, 16, of Carlsbad, was recently named a first-team All-American and Academic All-American in the Cadet Men’s Sabre division (under 17) by USA Fencing.

Steve Puterski
The Coast News

CARLSBAD — Fencing is a sport built on fast reflexes, timing and strategy all in the blink of an eye. And one Carlsbad teen has taken his passion and built a pathway for future in the centuries-old sport.

Jaden Callahan, 16, of Carlsbad, was recently named a first-team All-American and Academic All-American in the Cadet Men’s Sabre division (under 17) by USA Fencing.

But Callahan’s passion for the sport is driving him to new heights — the Olympics and World Cup.

“Fencing really is, unparallelled, my biggest passion I’ve ever had, and I want to keep going,” Callahan said. “You have to invest in it a lot, and I’m very fortunate I can do that.”

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Fencing is serious business at UCSD

To be a top college fencer doesn’t just take mad skills with a weapon. It also requires a sense of humor.

Tod Leonard
The San Diego Union-Tribune

The star quarterback doesn’t walk around campus with people shouting “hike!” at him. But as soon as UC San Diego’s David Hadler and Taly Yukelson reveal to any acquaintance that they compete in fencing, the person usually jumps into a goofy stance and yells, “On guard!”

Blame it on the Three Musketeers.

“As if they know what an on-guard positions looks like,” Yukelson said dryly. “There’s no use in trying to fix it.”

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Fencing is a very detailed and complicated sport with its own terminology. To help our fencers, families, and enthusiasts learn these terms we have compiled a list of terms commonly used on the fencing strip. Fencing vocabulary