When it comes to “popular” sports in Texas, fencing almost certainly doesn’t come to mind. That doesn’t mean it’s not practiced.
Meet Jonathan Piskovatskov, Stratford’s fencing prodigy.
Fencing is one of the few sports to be featured in every Olympic Games since the first modern Olympics in 1896.
There are three different weapons Foil, Epee, and Sabre. Each weapon has a set of rules unique to it.
Piskovatskov fences Epee in which the entire body is a valid target area. To score a point, a fencer must hit their opponent with the tip on the end of the blade, before their opponent hits them.
Fencing isn’t one of the most popular sports, but it demands a lot of technique and strategy.
Piskovatskov travels the map battling the best fencers in the world. He fights for the United States and represents them well.
“Having the privilege of representing the United States at international competitions is a dream come true,” he said. “The Top 12 fencers from each country are taken to compete at world cups, and the Top 4 are taken to compete at the world championships. The best feeling in the world is watching your flag being raised to the National Anthem.”
Piskovatskov loves his home country, but traveling the globe is something he enjoys.
“My favorite tournaments are international world cups. World Cups are the most elite competitions where everyone around the world comes to compete for the gold,” he said. “Being able to see how you stack up against the other top fencers in the world is really cool, especially when you’re winning.
“Fencing has given me the opportunity to travel the world and see the world from the perspectives of many different countries at such a young age,” Piskovatskov added.
Piskovatskov started fencing at the age of seven, and hasn’t stopped since.
While fencing doesn’t get the spotlight, Piskovatskov still puts his work in everyday, training with his step dad.
He said his biggest influence is his brother.
“Him being four years older than me, he was always better growing up. That pushed me to work very hard in order to compete with him,” Piskovatskov said. “I was never satisfied with anything less than the best. My teammates have also been a big influence on me.
“Our club, Alliance Fencing Academy, has a lot of competitive fencers. Training with the best ranked fencers in the U.S. provides a competitive environment in which we push each other to be the best.”
While his step dad is his coach and trainer, and his brother has influence him, his biggest supporter is his mom.
“My biggest supporter is my mother. She’s always in my corner no matter my result.”
Piskovatskov is ranked first in the U.S. national points rankings for the Under 21 Men’s Epee 2017-2018 season, and he sits at No. 9 in the FIE World Rankings Under 21 Men’s Epee.
Piskovatskov has made his way to the top of fencing at a young age. At this pace, he hopefully one day will represent America in the Olympic Games.
3rd Under 17 Men’s Epee World Championships 2017 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
1st Under 17 Men’s Epee World Cup 2016 Grenoble, France
1st Senior Men’s Epee North American Cup 2017 Portland, Oregon
3rd Under 21 Men’s Epee World Cup 2017 Heraklion, Greece
2nd Under 21 Men’s Epee Junior Olympics 2018 Memphis, Tennessee
Ranked #1 in the U.S. national points rankings for Under 21 Men’s Epee 2017-2018 season
Jack Kay is a student at Stratford HS and a member of the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Ambassador at your school...
This article appears in the June Issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations starting next week!