“For every champion, we train we also have people of all ages enjoying the sport of fencing simply for exercise,” explains Geva. “The physical benefits include increased coordination, agility, balance, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular endurance.”
Oct 01, 2018
In The Woodlands at The Alliance Fencing Academy, Team USA Fencing Coach Andrey Geva is already working with athletes to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At 300 members strong, Geva’s fencing academy is one of the largest and one of the most successful épée fencing clubs in the nation.
Fencing is an elegant, prestigious combat sport that springs from a rich, historical tradition of weaponry and war. With either a foil, épée, or saber in hand, you try to score points by hitting your opponent with your weapon while moving back and forth on an area called a piste. Fencing provides exercise for both the body and mind and is often referred to as “physical chess” due to the logic and strategy aspect of the sport.
For the past 12 consecutive years, Geva’s students have lunged and parried themselves into positions of 30 international champions and medalists, 34 national champions and over 50 “A” rated fencers. Year after year, Alliance’s students nab prestigious athletic and academic scholarships at top schools like Columbia, Duke, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Stanford.
“For every champion we train, we also have people of all ages enjoying the sport of fencing simply for exercise,” explains Geva. “The physical benefits include increased coordination, agility, balance, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular endurance.”
Geva would know — he’s been fencing since he was a ten-year-old boy in his home city of St. Petersburg in Russia, where he quickly excelled in the sport and kept with it until his teens. Dejected, however, when he did not make the official USSR team and with political turmoil rising in his country, he knew it was time to leave. With only $90 in his pocket, raw talent and unbridled ambition he moved to Israel. While studying at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Geva took a myriad of odd jobs to make ends meet. At age 25, he entered and won gold in the Israeli National Fencing Championship and went on to represent his new country for four years on the international circuit. A few years later, he opened a fencing studio and helped create what is now Jerusalem’s thriving fencing community. A few years later, when he became an Israeli National Coach, he was invited to Houston to run a series of summer fencing camps. He really liked Houston and saw an opportunity to create a fencing community here as well. Finally, when he was tasked with finding coaches for a Houston fencing studio and none panned out, Geva was offered the job, accepted and he never looked back. In 2004, he opened Alliance Fencing Academy in Houston and in The Woodlands.
In 2003-2004, Geva was appointed Chairman of the Gulf Coast Division of the U.S. Fencing Association. In 2006, he was awarded The U.S. Fencing Association’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award and in 2013 was selected to be the Women’s Fencing Épée National Team Coach. In 2016, he was given the prestigious title of Team USA National & Olympic Fencing Coach.
“It was an honor to coach Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio,” says Geva. “Our team placed 5th, but we won the World Fencing Championships this year. We are laser focused on Tokyo 2020 and look forward to performing at optimum levels.”
Geva is married. He and his wife have 4 children. Not surprisingly, 3 of their 4 children are fencers. The youngest one is 4 years old and he is looking forward to joining his siblings soon.