Maestro Arkady Burdan
The coaches of Nellya Fencers maintain a high standard of commitment and achievement. The student learns bladework and footwork while developing the physical athleticism, strength of character, and mental focus needed for success on the fencing strip -and beyond.
Under the personal direction of Head Coach Arkady Burdan, the rigorous discipline of Russian sabre instruction thrives in Atlanta. Young American coaches, David Douville and Terrence Lasker (tutored respectively by Maestro Burdan and Vladimir Naslimov) combine this successful Old World regimen with American free spirit to create a new school of fencing excellence for an upcoming generation.
In addition to sabre, Nellya has developed new strength in point weapons - foil and epee - with the arrival of the accomplishedMaster Yool Nam. In epee, he has the support of Olympian Nhi "Nikita" Le.
Maestro Burdan, US Olympic Coach (Beijing 2008; Athens 2004), is one of the most highly qualified fencing coaches in the world. He has coached celebrated fencers for more than thirty years.
His early distinctions include the USSR Master of Sports and Honored Coach of the Ukrainian Republic. He was principal fencing coach of the Ukrainian Olympic Training Center. His students earned more than 40 gold medals in Soviet National Championships and in international competitions. In 1994, Maestro Burdan moved to Atlanta and founded Nellya Fencers. Since then, he has trained many successful fencers, including
- US National Champions at every age group and competitive level
- Junior Olympic Champions
- NCAA Champions
- Junior and Senior Pan American Champions
- Junior and Senior World Champions
- Three Olympians including a three-time Olympic Medalist.
The United States Fencing Association named Maestro Burdan Elite Coach of the Year (2002) and will induct him into its Hall of Fame (2009)
Maestro's college-bound fencers are avidly recruited for varsity teams such as Columbia, Ohio State, Penn State, St. John's, Stanford, and Yale.
Assistant Coach Terrence Lasker
Assistant Coach David Douville
Terrence Lasker is a familiar face on competitive fencing strips around the world. He is a sought-after director in USFA competition. As a coach, he has spent ten years creating effective curricula for competitive fencers. In 2008, Coach Lasker joined Nellya Fencers.
- '93, '94 Cadet National Champion
- '94 Cadet World Championship bronze medalist
- '94, '95 Junior National Champion
- '96 1st alternate US Olympic Fencing team
- '97 Div. I National Champion
- '99 Pan American Games bronze medalist
- 4 time member of US National Team
- 2003-2008 Assistant Coach at the NCAA Champion Ohio State Univ. Varsity Fencing team
- 2001-2007 Coach: The Ohio Fencing Alliance
Coach Lasker brings innovative training techniques, fresh drill ideas and a sporting attitude that have amplified the already energetic routine at Nelly Fencer's Club.
Coach David Douville, a native of Atlanta, started fencing under the instruction of Maestro Arkady Burdan at the age of seven.
David was one of the most successful U.S. youth, cadet, and junior fencers.
With two national titles in his competitive years and more than 15 years of experience in the sport, David is now coaching the next generation of Nellya Fencers.
In the 90's, legendary Maestros Arkady Burdan and Vladimir Naslimov led a wave of great emigre fencing coaches who brought the successful Soviet training style to the United States. Now Lasker and Douville face the challenge of carrying forward this winning tradition into a new generation of American fencers
Master Yool Nam
The high-level fencing experience of Master Yool Nam now fuels the foil and epee program at Nellya.
Coach Nam competed in the 1980 Olympic Games, where he represented South Korea at the Moscow Olympics.
For five years, Yool was a member of the South Korean National Team (Foil)
Yool was a member of the 1978 Asian Games Champion Team, and he took 4th place in the individual. In the same year he won the Presidents Cup of South Korea in both Foil & Sabre.
After finishing his competitive career in 1981 Yool began to study coaching.
From 1984 to 2004 Yool held a coaching position for the Tokyo Fencing Association and later received his Fencing Master Certification from the Japanese Fencing Association.
Throughout his coaching career Yool has coached members of the South Korean and Japanese National Teams.
He now brings his thirty six years of experience to Nellya.