World-renowned fencing academy in Redmond seeing the sport rise in popularity

The Academy has seen steady growth over the past three years, but the latest popular Netflix series, “Wednesday,” has added some pop culture relevance.

Redmond, Wash. — Kaizen Fencing Academy in Redmond is on the lookout for more students as the sport continues to grow in popularity.

Kaizen Academy’s Kevin Marr says this week’s fencing camp is a good example of how far the sport has come.

“We have medalists here from countries like Italy and students who have come from all over the country to train together this week.” Mar said.

One student came to Kaizen Academy after fleeing Ukraine with his family last year. The highly experienced coaching staff even features a former Olympian with many students hoping to follow the same path.

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The fencing academy is a national award winner for diversity, equality and inclusion, and Marr says it bucks the trend of a traditionally male-dominated sport.

“Most clubs are 80/20 male to female but here we’re like 50/50, so it’s a great mix and out of about 180 students we have 30 languages,” she said. said

Kitki Kitkar is a former Skyline High School student who became involved in fencing after seeing a demo at school.

“I had no idea it would become such a big part of my life,” Ketkar said.

At just 16 years old, she became the first athlete from Washington state in 25 years to compete in the World Fencing Championships. She is now a three-time world medalist and Olympic hopeful.

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Both Kateki and her sister were recruited to fence at Cornell. The sisters are freshmen at Cornell College in Iowa and returned to Redmond this week for training.

Frederico Vismara is a world champion silver medalist from Italy and trains with teammate Carola Maccagno, a European Cadet World Champion.

Macagno says his childhood hobby has turned into his job.

“I started fencing at the age of 8 for fun with my brother,” he said.

The pair have Olympic goals and will host the 2023 edition of the World Fencing Championships in Milan. This will be the last chance for the Italian team to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Kaizen Fencing Academy has seen steady growth over the past three years but the latest popular Netflix series, “Wednesday,” has added some pop culture relevance.

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The series based on The Addams Family featured a great fencing match and suddenly the sport skyrocketed in search engines.

“People call and want to do what Wednesday does…we can do it!” Mar laughs

He says his students range from children to young athletes with Olympic dreams.

“We also have a mom class that started during the pandemic. Moms love to come and fence!” Say hit.

The Academy says the “Wednesday Effect” has generated a lot of buzz and is excited to introduce more people to the game.

“We have a trial class so just have fun and try something new,” Marr said.


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