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.

Kent Iyoki

Kent Iyoki joined NWFC at the age of 7 and enjoyed learning foil for the first two years. After moving to Texas with his family, he also started learning epee. He had actively participated in competitions for both epee and foil, but he got to focus more on epee.

Sophia Burden

Sophia Burden started fencing about a year and a half ago. She always wanted to fence and is so excited that she got the chance to. Fencing has brought her enormous amounts of joy and Sophia is grateful for the experience.

Isaac Choi

Isaac Choi began fencing at NWFC in 2017 after watching the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV. After completing the youth programs, he started competing as an epeeist and also competed in foil for one year. Over 7 years, Isaac has earned national points from the youth to the junior categories.

Melody Subotnick

Melody Subotnick began fencing 2 years ago and quickly found the sport she had been looking for! She connected with the sport, the coaches, and fellow athletes. She looks forward to advancing her skills further and participating in some competitions.

Cecilie Bergren-Dizon

Cecilie Bergren-Dizon has been fencing for two years. She had been interested in starting long before, and she was right! She loves it.

Marcus Strugar

Marcus Strugar has a deep-seated passion for wellness, bodybuilding, and fencing, and enjoys wrestling. He began his fencing journey at the age of 8, inspiring his sister Steliana to take up the sport as well. Together, they share a love for sports and enjoy traveling, exploring new places and competitions.

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.

Want to learn more about fencing?