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Friends of CCNY Fencing

Updated on May 9, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

I am retired and a former epee fencer at CCNY Varsity and USFA. I have achieved the rank of A and have competed in National tournament.

Copyright 2018 Jerry Moy
Copyright 2018 Jerry Moy | Source

Introduction

This group was established by a small number of CCNY (City College of New York) fencing alumni in the Spring of 2017.

Their mission is to help the CCNY Women's Fencing team improve its standing in collegiate athletics, among Division III schools. Unfortunately, there is no longer a Men's Fencing team at CCNY.

The founding members are Jack Lee, Arnold Messing, Jerry Moy and Joseph Wu.

- Aug. 2017

Updated: 12/3/2017

Anna Kornak - Epee

Copyright 2018
Copyright 2018 | Source

Latest News...

Congratulations to Anna Kornak who finished 16th at the NCAA Regional epee tournament on Mar. 11, 2018. She is a senior this year and will be graduating in June. We wish her success in the future. She has brought honor to our school in a very competitive environment under challenging conditions. We are very proud of her achievements.

There is a new Athletic Director for CCNY. Her name is Lydia Travis and she comes from Queens College. Here is her official appointment notice. We wish her the best and hope to work with her in the coming months to help the Women’s Fencing team.

We are planning an end of year team dinner. It will be on May 25, from 4:30-6:30 pm. Please hold this date. It will be a simple pizza dinner at a place near the College. We are also using this opportunity to honor one of the volunteer coach, Arnie Messing.

Summer BBQ - Westchester NY 2017

Background

CCNY has a long prestigious history in the world of Collegiate Fencing going back to the 1920s. There were many distinguished coaches and athletes over a span of 50 years. Unfortunately, with the adoption of open admissions and later Title IX regulations, the fencing team has suffered. There is no Men's team in fencing anymore. In addition, due to NCAA changes, there are no freshmen teams, only Varsity. People may wonder why only a bunch of old men are part of our group to support the Womens team. We are ahead of our times...We are looking ahead to a future time where the Men's fencing team may be revived at CCNY. The only path to get there is to help the women's team succeed.

Because the mandatory physical education classes have been eliminated at CCNY, there is no pool of potential team members to draw recruits from. This has lead to a waning interest in the sport of fencing at CCNY. In other schools, there is a resurgence in this sport due to the popularity of fencing in the Olympics. The US Olympic team has done very well in this sport in recent years.

We former members and alumni would like to help CCNY reclaim some of the past glory.

Additional Members

If you would like to join our group, send me a note and I will add your name to the list. You will be put on a distribution list for news and information and events.

  • Wang Yung
  • John Karousos
  • Dave Cypel
  • Joel Breshin
  • Teddy Pavlokos
  • Milton Mui
  • Eugene Leung
  • Oleh Ilnytzkyj
  • Dave Kiung
  • Bill Warren

History of Activities...

  • Organized a reunion dinner - Feb. 2017
  • Creation of a website - Feb. 2017
  • Initial proposal presented to CCNY officials in a conference call - May 2017
  • Held a Family BBQ - July 2017
  • Meeting with the CCNY Athletic Department - Sept. 2017
  • donated 4 scoring machines to the school - Sept. 2017

Reunion Dinner - Chinatown NYC Feb. 2017

Additional Activities

  • Contact The Campus News to offer submission of articles to promote the fencing team on a regular basis. This was common practice back in the 1970s and many articles exist today in the CCNY digital archives. It is a rich source of CCNY fencing history.
  • Some of our members are volunteers P/T coaches, Arnie in epee, Joe in Saber. Additional help is welcomed.
  • Some have created lectures to help the students learn about fencing techniques. I have produced 14 mini lectures so far.
  • We are also promoting the team in social media - FaceBook, where photos and stories and links relating to the team and members are posted. Joe Wu is the person to contact.

Honoring Past Coaches

In late 2016, it came to our attention that one of our past coaches, Frank Seeley has passed away. In an effort to pay our respect to Mr. Seeley, a group of us decided to contact the Seeley family and send them a gift basket, a letter of condolence along with a binder of old photographs and news clippings from the Campus. This gesture was well received by his widow and three adult children.

Many years ago, I wrote an article in the CCNY Alumnus magazine paying tribute to my coach Professor Edward Lucia. You can download the PDF file, Winter 2009 issue, scroll down to page 8. It contains many quotes from his former students who have been greatly impacted by his teachings. We shall be forever grateful for his guidance.

Coach Frank Seeley

Coach Edward Lucia

Coach Roi Green

Coach Neil Lazar

Details of the Coaches...


Tribute to the Coaches of CCNY Fencing


Edward Lucia (1914-1984)

Professor Lucia had a long successful career as Varsity fencing coach at CCNY from 1954-1975. He produced a large number of All-Americans and was inducted into the US Fencing Association Hall of Fame in 1974. He was also inducted to the CCNY Hall of Fame in 1971. He was selected to be one of the US Olympic coach in the1964 Olympiad. He is also an excellent marksman. His long career brought respect and excellence to CCNY fencing. We valued his coaching and his guidance in life lessons. This plaque is an acknowledgement of his dedication to the school he loved and the sport of fencing he cherished.

Frank Seeley (1930-2014)

Professor Seeley was a freshmen-fencing coach at CCNY and later elevated to Head Coach of the Varsity team. Frank is an Alumni of CCNY with a Masters Degree in Physical Education. In addition to coaching the fencing team, he also coached the baseball team. He had a particular passion for fencing and during his tenure as fencing coach he had the pleasure of coaching two CCNY fencers to become All-Americans-the highest achievement of any collegiate athlete. Frank was well respected and liked by all his students and we honor him with this plaque for his many years of dedicated service.

Roi Green (1928-2006)

Coach Green, a mighty powerhouse was a man of many creative talents. After graduating from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, he pursued his Masters in Education from the City College of New York in Guidance Counseling. He worked as a social worker for many years in NYC. Roi Green was much more than a coach to his players; he was a teacher too. Every moment for him was a chance to share a life lesson. He did this with a smile, hug and pat on the back. He was such a gentle soul and passionate man.

We appreciated his loyalty to the game and to his many students from all walks of life. We are all-indebted to Coach Green and will remember him forever.

Neil Lazar (1920-2012)

Neil graduated from New York City College with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. He taught biology, was an equestrian, and always had a passion for fencing. Neil was involved in fencing since 1937. He was well known in the sport of fencing and was a fencing master. Neil had a tremendous influence on fencing in New York, both in the city, where he was years ahead of everyone else in the colored uniform trend, and later upstate in the Binghamton and Owego area. He was nationally ranked in the top six in foil, epee and saber. Neil was inducted into the National Fencing Hall of Fame in 2001. Up until about two years ago, he was still giving fencing lessons from a wheelchair, as well as giving impromptu lessons at Binghamton University tournaments.

The Brass Tags on the Four Scoring Machines

The Whole Donation

Lewisohn Stadium - A touch of history...torn down in 1973 to make room for North Academic Center

Future Activities...

It is our intent to work closely with CCNY Athletics Department to help the team. We will be meeting with the officials to discuss some activities that we think will help with recruitment of new members, and improve the team standing among division III schools. In addition, we intend to support the Development Office of CCNY to help raise funds to supplement the teams financial needs. We believe there is a need for a targeted fund specific to helping the sport teams at CCNY.


A Word From the Interim Athletic Director - Karina Jorge

Thank you and all friends of CCNY Fencing! Our student-athletes also enjoyed the event, especially speaking and competing with former CCNY fencers, and getting tips from Ellen, Jane and Wang. We look forward to growing this event and continue our engagement of your group and other CCNY alumni.
Have a wonderful day!

Update On Activities - November 29, 2017

We donated some used equipment salvaged from an old friend who used to teach fencing to some local high school girls. He donated misc. items to help our school.

Thanks to Mr. Marcel Miernik for his generocity.

Here is a summary of the items...

1. 4- right handed pistol grip handle only.
2. 2 - long extension cords for connecting scoring machine to reels.
3. 7 - foil body cords of questionable condition...needs to be tested.
4. A first aid kit.
5. Size 11 men's nike fencing shoe, almost new.
6. Right handed fencing glove - size 9.
7. 3 - pairs of long fencing socks - bright green color.
8. 4 - plastic women's chest protector.
9. 6 - plastron protector.
10. 5 - fencing jackets of various sizes.
11. 1 - fencing pant.

In addition, we are giving each girl a moleskin notebook to assist with taking notes on lessons and reminder on their opponents...


Some Ideas to Help the Team...

Sept. 26, 2017 - I suggest hiring a team manager who can be a voluntary student position. He or she can act as both equipment manager to keep all gear working properly and also assist the coach with some scheduling functions. He or she will be treated as a member of the team. He will attend all meets and assist with carrying equipment and also keeping scores and posting results asap...
The current coach is a P/T position and does not have a lot of time to handle scheduling issues and the like. His main duty should be providing instructions to the teammates. A team manager can off load some of his tasks.

Future Activities...

We are looking to donate a portible glassless mirror to help the team check their forms. This is a standard equipment in all Fencing rooms.

Save This Date - Alumni Meet 1/13/2018

A new Alumni Meet is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2018, 4 pm - 6 pm, Nat Holman Gymnasium. Spread the word and invite your teammates. This meet was put back on the calendar this season. It should be interesting to see how the current team compete against former graduates of Women’s Fencing. Also, it would be a good opportunity to engage some graduates to get involved with helping the team, both in fund raising and in training...

A Great Success - Alumni Meet 2018

November 2017 Reunion at Infinity Fencing Alliance

Dave Cypel, Jack Lee, Jerry Moi, Milton Mui, Wang Yung, Dave Kiung, Joe Wu

Asian Alumni Annual New Year Dinner - 3/2/2018

For detail information, here is link to the event. Many of our members will be attending. If you decide to join us, just send in reservation along with check $50 and specify you will be seating with the Fencers table.

Summary

Our group is an ad hoc organization that try to emulate other Friends organization with the intent of helping the team in any way possible.

Please consider volunteering your time to help. We have many openings and various area of opportunity including photography, publicity, writers, and assistant coaching...

You can contact us via the "contact the Author" above. Include your name and email contact and we will be in touch shortly. Your privacy is important to us. You are free to make comment and suggestions on how to help the team below.

Personal Updates...

On a personal note, I joined the Fencers Club in Sept. 2017 and started practicing once a week. Thanks to Arnie for getting me settled and acquainted with all. I also reconnected with a few fencers I knew from FAW 10 years earlier.

In addition, I was able to convince two of our teammates to take up fencing again. So far so good. They are considering switching from sabre to epee. It is a weapon more suitable for seniors...in my humble opinion.

CCNY Women's Varsity Fencing Team 2017

A Statement from the Founders (Disclaimer)

We are a private group of individuals. We are not connected in any way to the CCNY school or administration or the CUNY system.

We are just trying to promote and assist the fencing team in any way possible. We abide by all NCAA rules with regard to Division III schools. We do work closely with the Athletic Department of CCNY to provide any assistance.

Donations to Support Fencing at CCNY

We encourage all to visit the CCNY Donate page and donate as your finances would allow. The way to do it is to designate the funds to go to "Athletics" and then add a note in the "comment" section stipulating that it is to go specifically to the Women's Fencing Team. We are assured by CCNY Development office that the funds would be distributed accordingly and that a quarterly report will be published for full transparency.

Donation of Earnings on HubPages

I have decided to pledge all my earnings here on HubPages to CCNY Fencing. I average about 4-5 dollars per month. Payouts are made at a minimum of $50.

© 2017 Jack Lee

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    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 8 months ago from Yorktown NY

      On Sept. 30, 2017, a donation of $70 was made to the CCNY fund towards Athletics - Women's Fencing. It is the amount I earned so far publishing here on HubPages.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      One more while I am on a roll. One of the attraction of the sport of fencing is the finesse of the actions. It is not a rough and tough sport like football or basketball. It is not a contact sport. On one occasion, in my early career, I saw coach Lucia perform a simple disengage and landed a touch. He stopped to tell us that it is called "la belle" which in french means beautiful. A clean touch. That impressed me so much. Since that time, I have tried to conduct my fencing bouts trying to achieve the perfect touch. It makes me feel good not just winning but winning with a clean touch. La belle. Or the deciding touch in a 4-4 tie.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      An explanation about the photo of Lewisohn stadium above. I am a sentimentalist. This photo brings back wonderful memories of our training days. One of the regiment Lucia had us do was to run the huge steps up and down. It help build up our leg muscles which was very important for fencing and for lunges.

      I was sad to learn that the stadium was torn down without fanfare. It was an iconic and historic building. Our fencing room was located in one of its rooms. It should have been preserved for so many reasons. - A historic landmark. This stadium was used by some of the top artists in the 1940s and 1950s to perform summer concerts for free including Frank Sinatra...

      There should have been something set aside to preserve this piece of Americana and CCNY - IMHO.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      My story on Professor Lucia happened in my senior year. He had been a big influence in my life since I joined the Varsity 3 years earlier. His confidence and no non sense approach to fencing and to life had an impact on me till this day. It was during one of our regular practice session. I just lost a bout to one of the other team member who was up and coming star. He later went on to win an All American title. Lucia stop the practice for a moment and made a comment to me and to the team. He said that my style of fencing did not match my opponent. Even though I was a more experienced fencer, I lost because of a clash in style and I have nothing to be regretful about. He made me feel better and I will always remember him to be supportive not only when I won but when I lost. It is that way in life. Sometimes, things just don't go the way we want but we learn to deal with it. It was a great lesson in humility.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      One of my foundest memory while a member of the fencing team is in my freshman year. I signed up to take an introduction to fencing course as one of my two requirements of PE class. The instructor was coach Seeley. After a few classes, he pulled me aside and ask if I would be interested in trying out for the team. I was flattered having no experience at all. He encouraged me by saying you seem to have a natural talent...

      I was new to the college experience. I wanted to participate in some extra curicular activity. This was an ideal opportunity to make some friends...so I did. The rest is history. I will always be grateful for coach Lucia for introducing me to the world of fencing.

    • pen promulgates profile image

      Imran Khan 10 months ago from Mumbai, India

      Your article offers good help in creating fencing awareness in collegiate affairs.

    • jackclee lm profile image
      Author

      Jack Lee 10 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Marie,

      Actually, the ideal number of team members is 12-15.

      There is a requirement of 9, 3 from each weapon to make a full team for competition.

      However, it is a good idea to have 2 subs from each weapon. This will create a competition among members to improve and win the starting spot.

      Fencing is a great sport. It is been compared to playing chess on your feet. You need to strategize and plan ahead two or three moves...

      It is one of the few sports that can be practiced till your 70's. They have veterans events for ever age group, every ten years past 40.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 10 months ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      Parry - thrust! That's the extent of my knowledge of fencing.

      Ten members for the ladies' team is a nice number.

      I never had the opportunity to learn fencing, but I understand that, as one develops, a fencer can sense the opponent's move through direct eye contact.

      Touché!

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