You are invited to celebrate Sebastiani Fencing Academy’s new state-of-the-art facility at an open house event on Sunday, November 19, from 2 to 44 p.m. Attendees will be treated to a demonstration of bouting from the school’s alumni, will enjoy light refreshments, and will be able to tour the school located at 741 Alexander Road in Princeton NJ.

The new facility is conveniently located between Princeton and West Windsor, a few minutes from Route 1. Inspired by the tradition of her French heritage, director and founder Gabrielle Roux has created a unique learning environment which includes:

* Over 5,500 air-conditioned square feet

* Eight competitive fencing strips

* Eight Olympic standard FIE (International Fencing Federation) electronic scoring machines

* Full service pro-shop

* Full service armory

* An elegant and quiet observation room with Wi-Fi for parents

* Changing rooms and shower

* Fencers’ waiting area

Founded in 2000, the academy is the only school in the area dedicated to teaching the authentic French style of fencing.

The school offers year-round training, groups and private instruction, camps, fencing parties and corporate events. The Academy’s students range in age from 5 to adult.

“Our classes are designed to meet the specific interests and goals of each fencing student, from recreational fencing to preparation for regional, national, and international competitions,” says Roux. “Fencing is great exercise, it challenges our minds and bodies, and it’s fun.”

For young kids, fencing sparks the imagination while providing a great form of physical exercise and mental concentration. High school students enjoy the fitness and competitive aspects of fencing. Many committed SFA students have achieved success on high school teams and have been recommended for and admitted to top colleges throughout the U.S., including Princeton, Penn, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Drew, Vassar, NYU and the Air Force Academy.

Adults find that fencing is a fun alternative to working out at the gym, and those recuperating from health challenges find that it can be therapeutic.

Focusing on refined weapon techniques in addition to speed, distance, timing, and foot work, the school has become known for producing accomplished fencers, including Maya Lawrence, the team bronze medalist in the 2012 London Olympic games, and Soren Thompson, Sydney and London Olympic team member and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champion for Princeton University.

The fencing academy staff is comprised of eight instructors, all of whom have been trained by Maître Michel Sebastiani, U.S. Olympic Coach and a graduate of the Ecole Superieure d’Escrime of the National Institute of Sports in France where he earned his Maîtrise d’Escrime M.A. Fencing Master degree and where he also holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Education.

Sebastiani has been teaching fencing in the U.S. since 1963. In 1982, he became the Head Fencing coach at Princeton University where he coached for 24 years. Previously, he held positions at Cornell University, Brooklyn College, and NYU. In addition to being inducted into the Fencing Hall of Fame, Sebastiani was named the U.S. Olympic Coach in 1984 for the Los Angeles games.

Gabrielle Roux, in photo above, was born in Corsica, France, and was trained in the classic French style of fencing by Sebastiani. She began studying in 1996 prior to moving to the U.S.

All of the school’s instructors have earned several fencing awards and recognition on a regional, national, or international level.

The newest instructor, Ambika Singh, a Princeton University graduate, started her fencing training with Maître Sebastiani when she was 10 years old.

Harry James has been an instructor with the academy since 2001. He has been the assistant coach at Drew University and has been the head coach of the Somerville High School team since 1991.

Paul Epply-Schmidt is a graduate of Princeton University, where he was the captain of the men’s fencing team under Maître Sebastiani in 1982 and is currently a faculty member of Princeton Day School.

Charles Brunet was a member of the 1975 U.S. Junior World Championship Team in Mexico City. Celine Demorre, a student at Rutgers University, has been fencing for over seven years. Hermanus Kreike-Martin, a student at Princeton University, started training with Maître Sebastiani at the age of 7.

Sebastiani Fencing Academy, 741 Alexander Road, Princeton. 609-734-0020.

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