History

Browse the archives of NWFC milestones, moves, and much more

History at NWFC has always been an important part of the club’s atmosphere since the club first opened its doors in 1971. Through a few changes and many accomplishments by its athletes, NWFC has managed to become quite acknowledged.

Northwest Fencing Center’s history spans nearly five decades, becoming the premier training and competition facility it is today because of the dedication and faith of many. With such deep roots, we are proud to be part of the legacy of fencing in Oregon.

Read on to learn how our story began, how we’ve grown throughout the years, and what the future could hold.

Julia Espinosa

Julia began fencing at age 8 when a class was offered by NWFC at her elementary school. She came home after her first “Be a Musketeer” class excited and energized and ready to go back and do it again.

Aryana Abtin

Aryana Abtin has been fencing foil since she was six years old and says, “I have been fencing foil since I was six years old and could not imagine myself doing anything else! I began fencing because Sebastien Dos Santos offered a pentathlon camp at French American International School, my elementary and middle school.”

Joe Choo

Joe Choo started fencing at the age of 11 at a recreation center that had a fencing class. Seven years later, he joined to fence for Northwest Fencing Center.

Rose Parker

After watching my older brother fence for a year, I could not resist trying the same sport at age seven. I was immediately in love with the excitement, strategy, and empowerment of fencing, and this passion immensely grew when I began competing nationally at age ten.

Henry Lange

When Henry was 14, he wandered into a small club in Albuquerque, Duke City Fencing, where a visiting coach named Cody Mattern offered him a free lesson. Henry jumped at the chance, and was instantly hooked on the sport.

Dolly Lampson

I was 11 when I started fencing at MTFC and it quickly became my passion.  My coach, Chris Winslow was a huge inspiration in my early fencing years.

The Future

The Future at Northwest Fencing Center has a bright outlook, at our new location! In the Spring of 2022, we officially moved into our new facility. After expanding our past location on SW Western rd by 7,000 square feet, the owner of the property decided to sell the land. Although unideal, our new location space is being built specifically to our needs. As fencers, we know how rare that is!

The 2000s

The 2000s was when the official inauguration of Northwest Fencing Center (“NWFC”) took place. Our training had expanded rapidly, calling for some changes and additions. Beginning in 2001, NWFC began to expand and refine what we offered our athletes.  We added group classes built around age and aptitude, classes for homeschool groups, and adult instruction. NWFC continues to offer these course options today.

The Nineties

The Nineties were an exciting time for the club. With its reputation well established in the world of fencing, the SAFC worked with Une Touché de Portland (UTDP), a benefit corporation and qualified amateur sports organization. The goal of UTDP was to continue the work Yves Auriol’s Portland Project began by supporting fencing athletes and organizations, allowing them to train with SAFC’s best and make use of the facilities the SAFC could provide.

The Eighties

The Eighties at NWFC is when the club settled into its first long-term residency at what is now known as the Sunset Athletic Club. It is here that the school’s fruitful relationships with Chuck Richards, the Oregon Sports Authority, and the Oregon Sports Trust began.

The Seventies

The Seventies was when momentum started building, and more athletes knew of the training center. After commuting regularly from Seattle to Portland to teach fencing, Leon was in need of some assistance. Although Colleen was hoping to convince Leon to move to Portland permanently, he decided to stay in Seattle.

The Sixties

The Sixties at Northwest Fencing Center was when the club first started, sort of. Although it wasn’t quite a fencing club yet, it was gaining the attention of athletes in the Pacific Northwest. In the 1960s, Portland native Colleen Olney was recovering from a car accident, and looking for a sport to help her with the rehabilitation of her injured wrist. She stumbled on fencing, and after a few short sessions, she was enamored. Colleen is the matriarch of the NWFC community.

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