Manhattan Fencing Center In NJ: A Leader In Fencing For Beginners To Olympians


Whether you have a child who’s dipping their toes in the sport of fencing or one who’s ready to get to the next level, Manhattan Fencing Center in Englewood, NJ, is the place where they will grow and thrive in the sport. Started in 2007 by U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame Maestro and seven-time Olympic Coach Yury Gelman, Manhattan Fencing Center is the highest-rated saber club in the country and serves beginners to Olympians (currently 5 students are competing in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this summer) in classes, camps, and private lessons. If you’re considering fencing for your child, the skills they learn through fencing can help build coordination, agility, speed, strength, endurance, and hand-eye coordination. Read on for more about this fascinating sport and how Manhattan Fencing Center is leading the forefront in skills and competitiveness for all its students. (featured photo credit: Manhattan Fencing)
Manhattan Fencing kid mask

Fencing creates better focus, problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. Photo Credit: Manhattan Fencing Center

How fencing can benefit your child

Thinking about fencing for your child? Kids as young as 5 can start and will grow with the sport to reap a myriad of benefits, including hand-eye coordination, better focus, problem-solving skills, and how to remain calm under pressure. The sport, which can be likened to physical chess, provides a sense of community and instills skills that extend well beyond the fencing arena. For young athletes, it offers comprehensive benefits: it sharpens agility, balance, coordination, and cardiovascular health. Mentally, it strengthens focus, enhances problem-solving skills, and teaches calmness under pressure. Fencing also fosters sportsmanship, respect, and integrity—values that contribute positively to personal development. It’s best to start young to get a competitive edge and potentially pave the way for opportunities in collegiate fencing at Division 1 or 2 universities, a goal for many who come to Manhattan Fencing Center. 
Manhattan Fencing sword

Pascual Di Tella from Manhattan Fencing Center will attend the Paris Olympics 2024. Photo Credit: Manhattan Fencing Center

Young talent turned Olympians

Hoping to get your child on a fast track to becoming an elite athlete (or just a highly competitive one on a high school or college team)? Manhattan Fencing Center boasts an impressive track record in producing Olympic medalists, helping to obtain Olympic qualifications, supporting world champions, and creating national teams that have earned their students’ world, national, and NCAA medals. This year alone, the center is sending five Olympians to Paris, including Maia Chamberlain, Elizabeth Tartakovsky, Feres Ferjani, Pascual Di Tella, and Colin Heathcock. Most of the current Olympians started fencing between the ages of 7-10, a testament to the center’s commitment to developing young talent. 
Top coaching and a family environment 

What makes Manhattan Fencing Center stand out is the elite coaching led by U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame inductee and seven-time Olympic coach Yury Gelman. Known for its inclusive programs and national results, the Center is celebrated as the #1 feeder club for highly selective colleges, consistently nurturing top-tier fencers. Add in a state-of-the-art facility, and each fencing student who trains will be set up for success. “As a family-owned club, we pride ourselves on creating a warm, inclusive environment where every student is treated like family. Our overarching goal is to ignite a passion for fencing in everyone who walks through our doors, helping them to fall in love with the sport,” says Julie Gelman, Executive Director of Manhattan Fencing Center. Moreover, the Manhattan Fencing Center is also a top-notch training club that was selected by the US Olympic Committee. It provides a learning hub for other coaches to develop their coaching skills and help young athletes realize their dreams of becoming Olympic champions.

Manhattan Fencing Center boys

Manhattan Fencing Center offers everything from private lessons to sleep-away camps. Photo Credit: Manhattan Fencing Center

What you need to know about fencing at Manhattan Fencing Center

Their New Jersey location provides private lessons, group classes, day camps, sleepaway camps, and both recreational and competitive saber programs. They also host tournaments ranging from local to international levels in addition to after-school programs. Students have dual membership, allowing them to access the New Jersey and New York City clubs. Classes are structured by age and USFA rating to ensure personalized attention, and they are available for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced competitors. Programs include the musketeer club (4-6), youth club (7-11), teen club (12-16) and adult fencing. Gelman said, “The center also offers comprehensive camps, incorporating chess to enhance strategic thinking and annual sleepaway camps, promoting intensive training and camaraderie among fencers.” When taking a class, fencing equipment includes a protective mask, padded jacket, glove, specific weapons (foil, épée, saber), and electric scoring gear like lames and body cords. Padded pants, specialized shoes for agility, and chest protectors are also necessary. Beginner students at the Manhattan Fencing Center receive full equipment sets. Additionally, the Yury Gelman Foundation provides financial aid to students aged 7-13 who need assistance to enroll in programs at both our locations and receive competitive grants to train. 

Manhattan Fencing – New Jersey location
84 Honeck Street
Englewood, NJ 07631

For more information on Manhattan Fencing, please see their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.