Dear Rob and Connie, I am writing this letter as a thank you for the many years of fun, fencing, and friendship of which I have been fortunate enough to enjoy at the Halberstadt Sabre program. When I first came to the sabre program I was a small scrawny kid with little disciple. Fencing with you played a significant role in changing me into the Stanford student I am today. From the physical rigor on the fencing strip, to the mental focus on strategy even when completely exhausted, to the technical precision required in every touch; Fencing taught me skills of persistence and grit in ways that no other activity could. Today, I am a changed person and am ever grateful for the transformation that your leadership has inspired in me. With much love and respect, NK 9/25/2021
Student going to University
Great Fencing Program for Children Prior to joining this program, our son fenced a week at another club but did not show much interest in the sport. We stumbled across this program while surfing the net and thought we’ll let him try fencing again at this program. We are so glad to have found Rob and Connie, who are great coaches and are very enthusiastic about the sport. They work well with children and helped my son fit in with the rest of the group through games and activities. Their organized program along with the nurturing sparked my son’s interest, and now, he looks forward to the program each week. We’d also like to add that the other children helped my son feel “at home” when he first joined the program. After over a year of fencing, we have noticed how fencing has brought out the assertiveness in our son both in school and other parts of his life.
Best Fencing Coaches For Kids My son Ethan has been attending Rob and Connie’s fencing classes. He started when he turned 7 and loved the class from day one. Both Rob and Connie strike a great balance between being serious coaches yet also allowing the kids to learn at their own pace and most importantly have fun. They treat each child as an individual, honing their strengths, and helping to build skills where needed. Ethan has gained both a love of fencing as well as coordination and muscles by being a part of this wonderful club.
Brett Glickman
Wonderful Fencing Coaches! Rob and Connie have been coaching my children in the art of fencing. However, they’ve taught them more than footwork and strategy. Indeed, Rob and Connie have taught them how to frame realistic goals and achieve them. This important lesson and many others have helped my children succeed in academics as well.
Eleanor G

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Submitted by, Steve F.

I cannot say about Rob and Connie’s youth fencing program. Our daughter fenced with them for over three years and I firmly believed she learned critical life-long lessons training and competing with SF Youth Fencing.

These lessons have served her well dealing with new environments (we moved to Italy), her school performance, and her determination on the soccer field. Among other things, my daughter learned:

1. Discipline and Commitment. My daughter is very social and she missed events she dearly wanted to go to but couldn’t because of tournaments and practice. Connie and Rob expect the same level of commitment of their kids that compete (and their parents) as they put into it (actually less…Connie and Rob have put their lives into this program!). When my daughter commits to a team or any other endeavor, she understands what it means.

2. Resilience. It’s painful to see your kid lose and get upset, but seeing them grow and get tougher bit by bit is so gratifying. Particularly for girls, it’s great having a role model and professional like Connie who can help the kids so much in this area. Putting kids in an environment where they will inevitably lose, but provides the support to help them pull themselves back and win is invaluable.

3. Self-control. Rob always sets the right expectations for the kids. As they get older and more experienced, he is always pushing the bar higher and higher, as I would expect a coach to do. As a more experienced fencer, my daughter was put on probation by Rob for not shaking hands with her competitor after losing (the match and her self-control). She vividly remembers this important lesson, which I believe will stick with her for the rest of her life.

4. Physical Fitness. My daughter is drawn to athletics now and I believe fitness will be important to her for the rest of her life. She is happy to have sports part of her daily routine.

5. Persistence and effort. Fencing is not easy and requires an enormous amount of training and competition to achieve a high skill level. My daughter learned there is no shortcut to success, only hard work. Her soccer coach in Italy often noted how much more effort she put into drills and training than some of the other kids, and I attribute that to Rob and Connie’s coaching.

Coaching excellence is difficult. You are in the fishbowl being observed by parents and young athletes alike. Rob and Connie are masters at teaching kids not only mastery of fencing, but valuable lessons that will serve them throughout their lives.