Manhattan Fencing Center
The Manhattan Fencing Center is one of the premier training facilities in the country. The Club features top shelf coaches, and some of the best athletes in the world. It also is located smack dab in the middle of 42nd street, making it a convenient location to get to.
The Manhattan Fencing Center features numerous coaches. All have great experiences in fencing as both athletes and coaches. Yury Gelman, the club’s head coach, has been the US Olympic Team Coach since 2000. He has coached numerous athletes to medals at the World Championships, has 1 Olympic medal, and multiple National Champions. Coach Gelman is also the former head coach of the Ukrainian National Team. Sergey Isayenko is following in Mr. Gelman’s footsteps. Sergey is the 2004 Ukrainian National Champion, and made numerous national teams in his native country of Ukraine. He is an NCAA Champion, and also a St. John’s University graduate. Sergey has coached Junior National Champions, Junior World Team Members, and is the Junior National Coach. Andrew Lamianski is also a coach at the Manhattan fencing Center. He is from Belarus, and has created numerous athletes there. The best of them being 2000 Olympic 4thplace finisher Dmitri Lapkes. Andrew is the funniest of the coaches, and your guaranteed to get a good laugh if you sit down and speak to him!
As far as athletes, the whole Senior National Team attends Manhattan Fencing Center. Daryl Homer, Tim Morehouse, James Williams, and Dagmara Wozniak are some of the best athletes in the country, soon to be the world, and all count the club as their home. The club succeeds because of a challenging curriculum, and a strong motivation from the athletes and coaches.
Location: 225 W 39th Street 2nd floor New York, NY 10018
Contact: Julia Gelman – Executive Director
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Sunday Practice at the Manhattan Fencing Club
I shot my photo shoot at the Manhattan Fencing Center on October 29th, 2011. The photo shoot features a typical Saturday Afternoon practice at the Manhattan Fencing Center. The practices are primarily attended by younger athletes, who are using their Saturday mornings to do something productive. There are two coaches featured in the photo shoots. The first is Sergey Isayenko, who we discussed earlier on. The second coach is Senior National Team and Olympic Coach Yury Gelman. Yury Gelman also hails from Ukraine and has achieved noteworthy success as National Coach. On Saturday Mornings he attempts to create the next generation of strong American Athletes.
The hardest thing about the photo shoot was taking the action shots. Actions shots are difficult in every sport, but they are near impossible in fencing because of how fast everything happens. The movements in fencing are also completely unpredictable which presents another problem. The fencing club is quite small, meaning that I was in danger every time I tried to get an action shot. Fortunately I was able to get a few. I played with the angles in which I took the shots; sometimes I took them from a low angle, while other times I took them at Standing height. I have a new found appreciation for people who are able to photograph fencing well, because I had to do many re dos.
While the Manhattan Fencing Center is home to most of the Men’s Sabre National Team, the New York Fencer’s Club on 28th is home to most of the Women’s Foil National Team. The New York Fencer’s Club is the oldest professional fencing club in the United States. It has had numerous locations up and down the Upper West Side, and even use to own it’s own building. The Fencer’s Club is also home to the Peter Westbrook Foundation, a program for inner city youth, which allows them to get into the sport of fencing.
The fencer’s club features numerous talented coaches, but I will deal with those who train the foil fencers. Simon and Irene Gershon are a married couple from Ukraine. They are known because of the shear number of their students, and the high level of so many of their athletes. Simon was the coach of the 2004 Men’s Foil Team. He has done great work with young athletes Nicole Ross, Miles Chamley Watson, and Sarah Taffel. These three athletes all compete on the high international level, and are yearning for spots at the Olympic Games.
Mikhail Petin has also coached numerous athletes. His students have won medals at the Cadet and Junior Worlds, and made the Olympics in 2008. Michael is perhaps the quietest man you will ever meet, yet he is unbelievably generous. All of his students adore him, because of the individualized attention he is able to provide all of them. Next up we have Seong Woo Lee. Seong Woo is from Korea, and is the newly appointed Columbia University head coach. Not only does Seong Woo bring extensive international knowledge of fencing, but he is doing great things in the states as well. It’s easy to see why the Fencer’s club holds such a dominant position in foil, when you see the prowess of all of their coaches.