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.

Anika Kale

Anika Kale started at NWFC at about eleven when her world was consumed by soccer, music, and robotics. A kid’s mention of fencing at a theater camp captured Anika’s imagination so completely, she could think of little else. One trial lesson later, she was hooked. Not only did she discover her sport but she found her other home, her other family, and her tribe.

Wendy Du

Wendy Du has been fencing for four years and trains competitively in epee. She really enjoys the mental and physical aspects of the sport and it has really allowed her to grow as a person. She hopes to continue fencing lifelong and support younger generations in the fencing community. Wendy also enjoys volunteering activities and has co-founded her own non-profit organization, Beats of Bethany, to empower youth to serve the community through varying art forms.

Michael Stavreff

After trying soccer and basketball, Michael Stavreff finally found the sport that he is passionate about. He has been training at NWFC since 6th grade and embraced and enjoyed every moment on the strip. Michael plans to continue practicing the sport during his college years, applying all the knowledge, discipline, hard work, and dedication he learned at NWFC.

Amelia Nason

Amelia Nason found fencing in sixth grade after trying nearly every other sport and finding she didn’t care for catching, throwing, or running. Instead, the fencing center in Beaverton with a curiously named “Pit of Despair,” which demanded an entirely different skill set, captivated her for all of middle and high school.

Callan McLoudrey

While watching the 2012 Olympics, Callan McLoudrey​ first saw fencing and was instantly hooked and knew epee was his weapon! That fall, he started in a Park District class and, by December of that year, had joined a local club – Metro Chicago Fencing. In the Fall of 2013, he committed to commuting from the suburbs to downtown Chicago to be a member at Windy City Fencing.

Diego Brown

Diego Brown grew up in Bend, Oregon where he joined the High Desert Fencing Club when he was 11 years old. In 2019 his family moved to Portland and Diego joined Northwest Fencing Center in 2021. He plans to continue fencing epee after he graduates from Westview High School.

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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