FENCING ACADEMY

Joseph Labolito

Auset Muhammad is the recipient of many academic and athletic awards/medals and a Science major attending Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She is also a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-I recruit and student-athlete in the Olympic sport of Fencing.  During the off-season, she is a resident of the historic Bronzeville community on the South Side of Chicago and as an Assistant Coach at the Bronzeville Fencing Academy, teaches the Olympic Sport of Fencing to students of all ages and skill levels. 

A highly qualified student-athlete, strategic thinker, leader and Environmental Sciences major, whose future endeavors include specialized research into the chemical properties of food; improving the quality, safety and reliability of food products for consumer uses.  Her internships and work-study opportunities offered first-hand collaborations in the development of brand initiatives and communications strategies for several local non-profits.  

Auset is a member of the nationally ranked #10 Temple University Lady Owls Fencing Team; 2017 - 2018 Foil Squad leader and a competitive member of the United States Fencing Association currently holding classifications in two weapons, Foil C2016 and Saber D2014.  In addition to the regular NCAA season dual/multiple meets, she is a frequent qualifier and competitor in the North American Cup and Junior Olympic Championships and as a rising high school senior, received academic and recruitment offers from several Ivy League, Private, Public and Division I institutions in the nation. 

While life for a Division-I athlete is a balancing act; ensuring that all class and homework is completed, study time, attending team meetings, traveling cross-country weekly to competitions and tournaments, training and practice, five or more hours a day, Auset also volunteers with community-based organizations around Philadelphia and enjoys teaching her artistically, inclined Opera-singer brother, the fine art of fencing.

Malcolm Muhammad began coaching by default immediately upon his daughter entering the fencing arena in 2005 at age eight (8) and subsequently, developed a love for the sport.  He quickly learned the mechanics of the weapons and founded the Bronzeville Fencing Academy with the goal of providing high-quality fencing instruction in the Black Metropolis – Bronzeville community thus introducing the Olympic sport of Fencing to the underserved and underrepresented youth in the community. 

Coach Malcolm’s primary objective is to promote a life-long interest in the community youth for the sport through which participants can literally explore the world.  By providing expert instruction from coaches, athletes, officials and other professionals in the sport of Fencing, these lessons empower the student-athlete to compete at the local, regional and national level of the United States Fencing Association and most importantly, help to cultivate a pathway to post-secondary education.  Eighty (80+) private high schools offer fencing as an interscholastic sport and forty (40+) colleges and universities have National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sanctioned Division I – II – III fencing programs.  These programs offer financial assistance, up to and including full scholarships.

The Academy's program was largely developed during his daughter's middle and high school fencing career.  The rigorous, disciplined-focused regimen was created in response to the lack of available resources and programming in the sport of Fencing to student-athletes living in underprivileged and underserved communities like his daughter.  This regimen includes academic programming and athletic performance plans including but not limited to Olympic-style weightlifting variations, isometric and plyometric agility and physical velocity exercises.  

Coach Malcolm enjoys teaching and promoting the Olympic sport to students of all ages and skill levels. He teaches beginning to intermediate level Foil, Epee and Saber. As a professional member of the United States Fencing Association and the United States Fencing Coaches Association, he fences competitively to enhance his own skills and teaches classes at the Academy and in other after-school programs at schools in the Chicago-land area.  


When he’s not traveling to watch his daughter’s Fencing competitions and son’s Opera performances, Coach Muhammad is a member of the Engagement Council at Interlochen Arts Academy, where he serves on the off-Campus committee facilitating student engagement, developing programs responsive to the Alumni experience, and training ambassadors for the arts education institution.  He also volunteers with community organizations, working to revitalize and preserve the authenticity of the African-American heritage and architectural history of Bronzeville. 

Camille Simmons