About Us

Our History:

The Northwest Indiana Fencing Club was founded in 2002 by a group of twelve amateur fencers who had been participating in an adult educational/recreational programm offered by the Merrillville, Indiana school system. The goal was to find a way to be able to fence year-round, as opposed to just being able to fence when school was in session. Originally know as the Merrillville Fencing Club, the fencers would gather at different members' houses, and fence in driveways or on sidewalks, weather permitting. While this was an improvement over not fencing at all during the summer months, it still left a lot of room for improvement.

Then along came Dr. Keith Pitchford, orthopedic surgeon and owner of Great Lakes Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Inc. Besides being one of the premier orthopedic surgeons of Northwest Indiana, Keith is also an avid supporter of amateur sports. After becoming acquainted with a member of the club through his medical practice, Keith became interested in the club, and even spent some time learning the sport himself.

So it came to pass, when Dr. Pitchford relocated his medical practice to a newly constructed building in St. John, Indiana, he decided to sponsor the club by offering it the use of a large, vacant storage area in the lower level of his building, thus giving the club a permanent year-round home. Changing its name to the Northwest Indiana Fencing Club and relocating to its current location in the summer of 2006, the club has since enjoyed many successful years of practicing sport fencing and has seen many of its members go on to fence on major college teams, participate in national competitions such as the Junior Olympics and the North American Cup, and spreading the enjoyment of sport fencing across Northwest Indiana and the surrounding area.

 

About Our Club:

The Northwest Indiana Fencing Club is an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)3 sports organization. We offer OPEN FENCING on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. We fence all three weapons (saber, epee, foil) during our Open Fencing nights.

The club currently has over 60 members, including individuals and family groups, recreational fencers, high school fencing team members, competitive members was participate in USA Fencing sanctioned events, and more.

NIFC has four regulation size fencing strips, each equipped with FAVERO scoring machines and floor reels, all of which meet current international timing and scoring regulations. The club has a wide variety of equipment (masks, jackets, lamés, blades, gloves, cords, etc.) available for members' use, and is continuously upgrading and improving this equipment. Also available is a FAVERO electronic five-target, ten function, foil and epee training target.

The club also regularly holds competitive events in which club members can participate. While these events and designed to be more of a friendly nature, they still give participants valuable competitive experience similar to competing in a USA Fencing sanctioned event.

 

Come and Visit Us:

We always welcome visitors to our regular Monday and Wednesday practice sessions. These sessions are held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (except holidays), with the best time to arrive being around 7pm. You can see our facility, meet some of our coaches and club members, get any questions answered, and watch some of our club members in action as they fence regulation bouts. We are always happy to introduce our sport to newcomers.

 

Please note: We do not accept members under the age of 10 years old. Fencing is an athletic sport that requires strength, training, coordination, attention to safety, and discipline... which may be lacking in younger children.