Testimonials – Fencing Masters Singapore
October 15, 2015

Testimonials


Testimonials from Parents of Fencers

“Fencing Masters (FM) coaches are professional, committed, caring and have a great passion in teaching & grooming young fencers towards the road to success. 😇 The biggest fear is the hidden cost that commonly happen in most clubs but happy to find that FM is rather transparent in their cost. 😅 Steady support & encouragement from Coach Jeff helps Jian Tong to be more confident n calm in every competition. 😎 FM helps Jian Tong to be a learned sportsman. 👽 Never regret sending Jian Tong to FM. 😄

– Mrs Wilda Sito (Mother of Sito Jian Tong, Written September 2015, Joined 2011)


 “Ryan joined Fencing Masters (FM) when he was 8 years old, and it was there that he started to enjoy and understand the sport of fencing. Armed with tales from his highly experienced career, Coach Jeff made every lesson fun and interesting. He has always taken the time to explain Ryan’s lessons to us, and this has allowed us to understand the sport and share Ryan’s fencing journey in fencing competitions around the world as a Singapore national fencer. Everyone at FM has always displayed a genuine concern for Ryan’s fencing and personal development. We will always be grateful for your positive influence on our son. What a blessing it was for us to have found Fencing Masters!”

– Mr Roy & Pat Ong (Parents of Ryan Ong, Foil National Team Member, Written September 2015, Joined 2007)


 “Fencing Masters fencing club has a unique culture that makes it family-like. While training is organized as groups or individual sessions, members are also encouraged to initiate sparring sessions to hone skills learnt during training. Such sparring sessions pit members across a wide spectrum of skill levels, allowing both new and old to benefit from the experience. I think FM provides a place to learn and grow in fencing skill sets. New members quickly realize that FM does not just train the physical skills, but the sparring sessions hone the fencer’s mind to engage with nimbleness and tenacious stamina. My children have all been fencing at FM and they have enjoyed their training at FM.”

– Mr Alex & Julie Tay (Parents of Michael Tay, Gabriel Tay and Ezekiel Tay, Written November 2015, Joined 2010)ezekiel-Tay-family


“Coach Jeff has been my son’s, Gabriel Broughton, coach for the past 2 years. Under his guidance, Gabriel has developed from a “gawky” kid with challenges with his motor skills to a competitive confident fencer. Gabriel won the gold medal for the Singapore Minime fencing championship 2011 U12 Boys Epee Individual. To a large extent, I attribute his success to Coach Jeff’s ability to recognize and harness the best potential in a fencer.

Coach Jeff is not the kind of coach that only develops the physical side of the sport. He is not afraid to correct unsporting behavioral traits of a student. That, I believe, makes him stands out from other coaches. Coach Jeff doesn’t just look out to develop the abilities of outstanding fencers but also looks into nurturing any student who comes under his charge. Through fencing, the boys learn to think on their feet and persevere in challenging times. Coach Jeff also imparts many life lessons and helps them to develop into young gentlemen. And, he makes his lessons fun as well. I have personally witnessed some other coaches who may be competent in training but in their interaction with the boys, do not instill the right Christian Brothers’ school values. Coach Jeff combines the best of both technical competence and holistic values.

I strongly recommend Coach Jeff to any parent who would like to engage their children in a competitive and fun sport.”

– Mrs Celeste Broughton (Mother of Gabriel Broughton, Primary 6, St. Joseph’s Institution Junior, Written January 2012, Joined 2010)



Testimonials from Our Fencers

“Thank you Coach Jeff for all your interesting lessons and stories about fencing! It has made me the fencer I am today. When I am fencing in international competitions and facing a tough opponent, I still remember your teachings and it helps me focus and know what I have to do to pull through to win. I always look forward to the times I can visit you and fence at FM.”

 – Mr Ryan Ong (National Team Member, Foil, Written September 2015, Joined 2007)ryan-headshot


 “Being from a neighborhood school, I was involved in sports like basketball, swimming and athletics. Frankly speaking, fencing was one of the last sports that I thought of being involved in. In my pursuit of receiving the National Youth Achievement Award (Gold), I was required to undertake a new sport for a year. I was introduced to fencing in 1999 and subsequently, I fulfilled all my award requirements and received the award from the President of Singapore in 2000. I was even one of the three awardees selected by the award council to share my award experience on the stage.

Compared to the other sports that I had been involved with, fencing is much more individualistic and requires more personal mental strength and determination. Prior to learning fencing, I often lack the confidence that I will be able to succeed in an individual sport. I often relied on my team mates hoping that I will be able to gain some sporting glory from their success. However, fencing has taught me that with sheer determination and a willingness to learn, one can excel in the sport. Eventually, I was able to become the Novice Champion in Individual Epee in 2001.

Learning fencing is never all about winning. During my time in Fencing Masters, my coach, Mr Jeffrey Lopez had shared with me his personal life experience, which has assist me in making various important decisions. He has instilled a great level of confidence in not only my fencing, but my personal life as well. I have also made a lot of friends from different walks of life.

My fencing experience has cleared my typical stereotype that the sport is only available for the rich and elite. Currently, fencing is undertaken by people from all walks of life, schools, polytechnics, universities and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE). Personally, I find that ITE students have shown me the greatest level of determination and this explains their continual dominance in the sport for the past few years. My advice for all people who are interested in fencing, please do take the first step by enrolling in a fencing class. Everyone will have a different experience but the most important thing is to have an open mind and maximise your learning experience in Fencing Masters.”

 – Mr Danny Ong (Written December 2007, Joined 1999)DannyOngAndFamily


“A lifelong learning journey at Fencing Masters……

It was a chance discovery that I take up this sport as I have always wanted to acquire a martial arts skill in self defense. My personal coach, Jeffrey Lopez, is very methodical and professional in his approach to introduce me to this pulsating and intriguing sports. He suggested that I try out a short introductory lessons in three weapons and assess the suitability of the weapon that best matches my natural abilities. To be honest, although my heart is with foil but Jeffrey knows best that my physique is more suited and wired for epee. Since then, I have been enjoying this sports both for leisure and social development.

One unique feature that I come to realize about the way FM conduct of the business is that it goes beyond just commercial horizon. The management takes effort to connect with all level of fencers and socialize with them and their parents as well. We discuss candidly about many matters beyond fencing confine and in the process, we have become a closely knitted little social community. To me FM has gone, in a sense, beyond its call of duties and seeks to value-add the fencers in many other ways and help us in wholesome total character development.

Indeed I am glad to have joined a fencing club that has not only assisted me to enhance my fencing skills but also helps me to develop important life skills such as character of patience, perseverance, tenacity and team spirit.”

– Mr Stephen Tan (Written November 2015, Joined 2011)stephenCVFC2012


“I joined Fencing Masters (FM) as a teenager back in Victoria Junior College (VJC) when there was still a fencing team at VJC. Back then, I chose fencing as a CCA because it seemed like so much fun and we got to play with swords–something I grew up always wanting to do after watching all that swordfighting action in shows such as Zorro and, as well as, the Three Musketeers. I was right, fencing was a ton of fun. And now, a decade down the road, I can look back and safely say that learning how to fence at FM has definitely changed my life for the better.
Coach Jeffrey doesn’t just train us in the techniques and tactics in a fencing bout. Those are undoubtedly important, but he also tries to teach us about how we can apply the same methodology in our daily lives. It’s almost as if fencing was not just a sport, but rather a different kind of lifestyle. Fencing at FM taught me important life skills such as coping with pressure, setting realistic goals, and dealing with setbacks. Of course, these skills can be learned with quite a number of other sports, but learning these skills while confidently handling a sword is so much fun!
One of my best memories at FM was definitely the fencing bouts with my buddies. No matter who I fence, no matter how old they are, or what they do in their day-job, it was always an experience when I fence every single one of them on the fencing strip. I still try to go back and fence with my old buddies every once in a while. While we aren’t as agile or flexible as we were in our teens, it’s still a lot of great fun fencing each other again at FM!”

– Mr Maurice Lee (Written December 2015, Joined 2005)

VJCFencingTeam2005-2006_withCoachLeft to right: Mr Maurice Lee, Dr Jonathan Chan, Mr Daniel Tan and Coach Jeffrey Lopez


“I joined FM at the end of 2004 when my family first came to Coach Jeff for a fencing introductory session. Subsequently, I joined and captained the Victoria Junior College (VJC) Fencing Team that was very much in its infancy in 2005 to 2006. That started what would be an exciting journey down the path of being a fencer. Under Coach Jeff, we have learnt that being a fencer is not just about medals and success but also about discipline, honour and sportsmanship. Coach always emphasised that we had to overcome our own excuses in order to excel at our bouts as well as to excel in life, a code that I continue to live by today. For example, as a relatively short epee fencer, I learnt that I could not dwell on my physical disadvantage, but had to concentrate on out-thinking my opponent.

We learnt to take every bout as a learning opportunity, to not be afraid of being thrashed by old hands but to draw lessons from them, as well as not to be complacent when duelling with newer fencers but to concentrate on making sure we did not neglect our basics. We learnt to handle success and disappointment in equal measure, not to mention physical resilience as we went home day after day with the classical pattern of bruising down the dominant forearm and up the dominant shoulder, a sure mark of an epee fencer.

Finally, FM is where many friends have been made from all walks of life. There are my VJC sparring partners who came back to fence on the afternoon just before our Prom Night (after which we went to our prom with bruises neatly hidden under long-sleeved shirts). But I also treasure the times during tournaments when a FM fencer was on the piste and all other FM members from different schools and institutions would come together to cheer for the fencer in action in a sea of VJ yellow, CJ blue, ITE white and beyond. This just about sums up the FM family!”

– Dr Jonathan Chan (Written December 2015, Joined 2005)



Testimonials from Companies

 “We took part in the fencing clinic ran by Fencing Masters on 15th February, 2012. Our participants found it very enjoyable and relished the opportunity of trying out a sport that is very uncommon. It was evident from the start of the clinic that it was going to be an enjoyable one, judging by the enthusiasm from the participants.
 
We wish to thank Mr Jeffrey Lopez, and his team of coaches, who were friendly, funny, enthusiastic and most of all, patient with folks like us who mostly have not even seen a fencing sword before. Mr Jeffrey Lopez was a good coach and teacher and gave us much insight into the world of fencing. His team of coaches were always there and ready to assist whenever we have any questions or problems with executing some of the moves that we had learned. Mr Jeffrey Lopez also created opportunities for team building and bonding, by creating team-based activities that made the clinic even livelier and fun.

We would definitely recommend anyone who would like a challenging yet fun team bonding experience that is out of the ordinary. Well done, Fencing Masters.”

 – Mr Jonah Wong (Manager, Healthcare, Retail & Business Services Division, WDA, Written February 2012)     wda_footet_logo


Testimonials from Our Schools

“This is to certify that Mr Jeffrey Lopez has been a coach for Victoria Junior College’s Fencing Club since its inception in July 2004.

Mr Lopez has been a very dedicated coach in his coaching of the VJC students under his charge. His devotion was rewarded with the VJC Fencing Club’s excellent achievements in fencing competitions. The Boys Epee Team had won SIlver and Gold respectively in the team event at the National Inter-Schools Fencing Championships in 2006 and 2007. The Individual Boys Epee Gold for 2006 and 2007 were also won by a member of the VJC Fencing Club – a clear testimony to his excellent coaching.

Mr Lopez has been an understanding and helpful coach who is approachable to his students and is held in high regard by them.”

– Mrs Chan Yang Leng (Teacher-in-charge, Victoria Junior College Fencing Club, Written May 2007)vjc fencers

“As the teacher coordinator of Fencing in Catholic Junior College (CJC), I had much experiences working with Mr. Jeffrey Lopez. Jeffrey has been coaching in CJC since the year 2002 when fencing was first introduced to our college. Over the past 10 years, teachers in CJC Fencing have enjoyed working with Jeffrey, some of whom are still teaching in the college, and we see Jeffrey as part of our CJC family. Jeffrey’s passion for fencing and spirit of professionalism are evident in the amount of effort he places in crafting and designing his lessons to suit the needs of our students and to develop them into independent thinkers.

Over the past two years of my experience as a teacher coordinator in fencing, I had the opportunity to see the dynamism displayed by Jeffrey as he constantly reflects and makes improvements on his pedagogies upon his observation of the changing trend of each incoming batch of students. Though the Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) teachers have no fencing background, Jeffrey still makes an effort to engage the teachers in the improvising of his lessons as he believes that a close collaboration with CCA teachers plays a crucial part in developing the students.

One factor that distinguishes Jeffrey from some coaches is the fact that Jeffrey sees the importance of teaching life skills, upholding and inculcating moral values in the younger generation and not just the imparting of fencing skills and knowledge during coaching lessons. He upholds the belief that a coach should be a good role-model for the students, in words and in actions. Too often a time, we find to our dismay, coaches losing control of  emotions and swearing at the competition venue as they rebuke their students for performing badly. And occasionally, we find coaches smoking outside competition venue, which not only goes against the expectation of an athlete, but also having a negative influence on the students they coach. On these, we can vouch for Jeffrey’s competence in being a good role-model for his students. I believe, as an educator, that you and I share a common consensus in the importance of this aspect.

Jeffrey has the ability to connect with young people and certainly knows how to inject an element of fun into his lessons. During post-training debriefs, students often comment on how much they have enjoyed the lessons conducted. We owe to Jeffrey for the passion and drive we see in our students, and truly appreciate the efforts he has placed in encouraging the graduated students to come back and fence as an alumni. In the attempt to  increase exposure in fencing for our students, Jeffrey goes the extra mile of arranging sparring sessions with students from other institutions.

With an amiable and helpful nature, one can always count on Jeffrey for advice or help. Besides my experience working with Jeffrey in CCA matters, I had another opportunity to work with Jeffrey last year for a WITS project that I was embarking on. Jeffrey kindly and spontaneously agreed to help contribute his expertise as the WITS project was on mental training for athletes. We can never thank Jeffrey for these years’ contributions and CJC Fencing has come a long way with Jeffrey’s help to the mark in our recent fencing achievements: Overall Men’s Champion in 2009, Overall Women’s Champion in 2010. On behalf of the college, we certainly wish him success in all his future endeavors.”

– Ms.Yang Yunhui (Teacher Coordinator of Catholic Junior College Fencing, Written 2010)Ablaze12-Fencing

“Thank you Coach Jeffrey for the tireless effort you have put in to coach the team to where they are today. In the last 11 years (2004 – 2015), the team has consistently achieved outstanding results – 3 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze in HKUST International Invitation Tournament (IFIT), top 3 placings at the National Taiwan College of Physical Education (NTCPE) competition, and International Fencing Invitation Tournament in Taichung. Locally, SMU Fencing also achieved top 3 placings at the Asean Varsity Fencing Championship, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Fencing Invites, National Novices Championships and Raffles Invite.

Your commitment to the team went far and beyond the hours that you spent on the studio with the team. The many occasions when you called me to discuss matters of the team are a reflection of the significance that the team has in your life. In addition to the effective and professional training on the fencing field, your mannerisms off the field also served to inspire the team to play tenaciously in the true spirit of sportsmanship rather than play merely to win.

The many times when you took fencers aside for counselling after training – to set the team straight, has taught the team the true value of discipline. The rigorous training has also instilled in the team a genuine sense of camaraderie that goes beyond the confines of the fencing field. On behalf of the students involved in one way or another in the SMU Fencing Team, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude for the invaluable contribution that you have made to the institution.”

– Mr Fred How (Manager, Sports & Adventure, Office of Student Life, Singapore Management University, Written November 2015)smu fencing