Youth Program

The IFC Youth Program is athlete-centered with a holistic approach to student development. Its dual focus promotes athletic progress as well as personal growth. The club provides a fun and safe environment, so that participants can enjoy a gradual learning experience. The positive class atmosphere created by the coaches allows students to master the sport of fencing while learning self-awareness, the skills needed to appropriately navigate social interactions, life lessons about cooperation and competition, and how to handle winning and losing in a healthy manner. Our high school graduates move on to some prestigious universities such as Notre Dame, Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Duke, MIT, Northwestern, and Purdue.

The program enters its 13th year after another successful season. With its four levels (Introductory, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced), it offers opportunities for students interested in competing at the local and national level as well as fencing just for fun. The program is designed to be flexible and as such can change to better meet our young fencers' needs and interests. All three weapons are taught, with foil and epee being the main focus of the higher level classes.

For further information about our youth program or classes, email Youth Program Director Ina Harizanova at

Download a Youth-Teen class registration form.

Winter Session -- 10 weeks from December 26, 2017 to February 27, 2018

Fencing equipment (jackets, masks, gloves, and weapons) is provided. All classes are held at the Illinois Fencers Club on the lower level of the Lions Recreation Center. Meet our coaches

Students in the program are welcome to take two or more classes. All additional classes come with a 30% discount.

Introductory and Beginner Classes

Parents and visitors: Please contact Ina via phone (773) 588-6244 or email prior to stopping by at the club for a first time visit. All Youth Program classes are scheduled back to back, leaving no time for a meeting during class times. A phone call or email to Ina will help answer all your questions and concerns.

Students should wear comfortable gym clothes including long pants and gym shoes used only indoors.

Introduction to Fencing (two classes) for children 7 to 12 years old with no fencing experience. Fee is $95.

  • Seven consecutive Saturdays (2pm to 3pm) from January 13 to February 24.
  • Seven consecutive Tuesdays (5pm to 6pm) from January 16 to February 27.

Beginner Fencing (two classes) for children, 8 to 12 years old, with minimal experience. Fee is $180 and includes two private lessons.

  • Eight consecutive Mondays (5 to 6pm) from January 8 to February 26.
  • Seven Saturdays from January 6 to February 24 (call Coach Ina for details).

Intermediate Classes

Intermediate Foil(two classes) for children 10 to 14 years old who have taken more than four beginner classes anywhere and are familiar with right of way. Fee is $185 and includes 2 private lessons.

  • Nine Tuesdays (5pm to 6pm) from January 2 to February 27.
  • Seven Saturdays from (9:30am to 11am) from January 6 to February 24

Intermediate Epee for children 11-14 years old with at least 1 year of practice and tournament experience with epee:

Three days per week beginning December 28 to February 27. Tuesdays (7pm to 8:30pm), Thursdays (6pm to 7:30pm) and Saturdays (12:30pm to 2pm). Class fee is $295 and includes 4 to 5 private lessons.

Advanced Classes

Advanced Foil. Three days per week beginning December 26 to February 26. Mondays (6pm to 8pm), Thursdays (6pm to 8pm), and five Saturdays (9:30am to 11am) – 1/13, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10 and 2/14. The fee is $290 and includes 2 private lessons and a tournament fee.

Advanced Epee. Four days per week beginning December 28 to February 27. Mondays (7:30pm to 9:15pm), Tuesdays (from 7:30pm to 9pm), Thursdays (7:30pm to 9:15pm) and Saturdays (11am to 1pm). The fee is $335 and includes 7-8 private lessons. This class is run on a team basis.

Meet our coaches

Download a Youth-Teen class application form. It can be filled in on your computer and printed using free Adobe Reader. If you don't have a version of Adobe reader you can download the latest version here.