East Coast Fencing Club, located in Roslyn, held its grand opening on Aug. 17. Gidon Retzkin, head coach and owner of the fencing club, was inspired to open his own business following a 30-year career in professional fencing.
Fencing was one of the earliest Olympic sports and was played for the first time in 1896. “Modern fencing has three branches the foil, sabre and epée. The object of the game is to use your weapon to strike your opponent whilst avoiding being hit yourself,” www.rulesofsport.com states.
Retzkin stressed how fencing is a great sport which really challenges your whole body, but the sport is more mind over body. Retzkin spoke about how the sport is often referred to as physical chess because it’s more about using your mind to try to out-wit your opponent.
Retzkin was born in America, but was raised in Israel. He began fencing at a very young age after a fencing coach visited his elementary school; Retzkin became “hooked,” on the sport. As a professional fencer, Retzkin is most noted for his accomplishments as a seven-year Israeli national solo champion and a 10-year Israeli national champion in the team performance category. Retzkin has been coaching in the United States since 2005.
After a few years of coaching, he knew he wanted to open his own fencing club. “Fourteen years later, my dream came true,” Retzkin said.
Roslyn was the prime location for the club, Retzkin was introduced to the area by a friend and describes falling in love with the village’s charm and its people.
“I always knew if I was going to open a fencing club it would be in Roslyn,” he said.
Retzin was able to transform the space from a run-down guitar shop into a two-floor fencing studio which overlooks the waterfront.
As a coach, Retzkin stated his main goal is for the kids to have fun, for them to become better people and for his students to achieve national and international results.
“It’s our passion that sets us apart from others. It’s the community we established that differentiates us from our competition. It’s the method we developed after so many years of doing one thing and one thing only, Fencing, that pushes us forward. But what it is mostly about is people, our team and the people we welcome onboard to join us in this journey for excellency,” states the club’s Facebook page.
Currently, Retzkin has about 20 to 30 students, who followed him from other fencing clubs in the area. The athletes practice their skills at least five to six days a week for two to three hours at a time.
The club is open for children and adults for ages six and up and will soon be offering beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. The East Coast Fencing Club is located at 55 Lumber Rd., Roslyn. For more information, call 516-888-7792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org