If your little Jedi masters have a penchant for sword fighting that’s not quenched with sticks or pool noodles, consider enrolling them in a fencing class. Whether your little fighter’s goal is weekend fencing or training for the Olympics, check out these four studios around Portland.
photo: Aimee Rivers via Flickr
Northwest Fencing Center
Looking for training for this classic sport in a modernized setting? At this studio, through age-appropriate games and drills, young fencers will progress at their own rate, with classes beginning at age six. A highlight for parents is their Family-Friendly Space, with free Wi-fi, a children’s playroom, and space to observe classes and relax. Sign up for a class or a camp, or bring your swashbucklers to NFC for a musketeer-themed birthday they won’t forget.
4905 SW Western Ave.
Oregon Fencing Alliance
This fencing center is home to Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis and US Women’s Olympic Sabre Coach Ed Korfanty. Whether you are going for fun, or to train your way to the Olympics or a college scholarship one day, OFA has you covered. Take a summer camp or plan your next birthday party here to test it out. If you can’t attend a Learn to Fence camp, you can sign up for an individualized Learn to Fence package. They start fencers as young as six years old.
6699 SW Oleson Rd.
photo: PDX Fencing by Mrs. Yoko Oishi via Facebook
Home of the 2013 World Champion and the 2014 Jr. World Cup Bronze Medalist, PDX Fencing was founded in 2008 by Olympic Coach Charles Randall and his wife Claire. Specializing in saber fencing, they have created a strong fencing community with several options for classes and Learn-to-Fence Summer camps, starting at age seven. Plan a birthday celebration (or corporate teambuilding for mom or dad!) to explore fencing. They also have a coach on hand who is a native speaker if you’d like a party hosted in Spanish. Another fantastic feature – they teach wheelchair fencing beginning at age eight.
Arctic Business Park Bldg. E
5645 SW Arctic Dr.
Studio of American Fencing
Founded in 1985 by Fencing Master Len Carnighan, the Studio of American Fencing strives for a positive environment for all their fencing students. They feature raised fencing strips, electrical scoring equipment, individual and group instruction, and an armory. A small studio, what they lack in space and features they make up for in heart. They have open floor time available almost every day. Classes begin at age 7.
4048 NE 42nd Ave.
Insider info: Classes generally start at 6-7 years old. They’ll jump into a fencing class and begin with a foil, which is the lightest weight sword and will practice aiming with the point and for the torso. After mastering this, they move up to the saber, which aims for parts from the waist up, and is a thrusting weapon so they can bring all their Jedi aspirations to life.
Are you considering fencing classes for your little ones? Let us know in the comments below!