Maestro Arkady Burdan began his fencing career in Europe. There, he earned prestigious distinctions, including the USSR Master of Sports and Honored Coach of the Ukrainian Republic, after coaching the winners of more than 40 gold medals in international competition. After opening Nellya Fencing in 1990, Burdan has trained his students—as well as U.S. Olympians at the Beijing and Athens games—in the traditional discipline of the Russian saber. The maestro was recently named Elite Coach of the Year and inducted into the US Fencing Hall of Fame for his ability to spear all five Olympic rings with a single thrust.
Every fencer at Nellya begins their training with extensive footwork and bladework, sharpening discipline and focus while learning the rigorous technique of the Russian saber. As they gain strength and point control, they will also learn to deflect attacks and plot strategies that will help them compete in national and intergalactic arenas. In the past, students have gone on to become collegiate fencers, and five have represented both their school and country in the Olympics, including three-time medalist Sada Jacobson.