FENCING: Where History meets Modernization

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In the earlier past, hard sports like Swordplay require a lot of training and skills before having the game of Duel to be played in the field. Practice is an On-going process which, as a result, makes the practice perfect. Swordplay was not considered as a sport before, but supposed as a symbol of highly-renowned skill that lies only in warriors and soldiers. In the earlier times, giving challenges for duels and combats were a sign of showing bravery. The weapons include backswords and quarterstaffs. These fights were bloody and sometimes proved to be fatal.

Emergence of a new Sport:

In between 14th and 15th century, the swordplay has become a military training and after a short passage of time, this training is emerged as a sport.

Fencing is emerged out as a sport in the latest 15th century. It is played when two competitors fight by using a sword as a weapon. The winning points are made by observing that how many times the player had made touch sword contacts with the opponent.

The Italians introduced new techniques for the learning of skills. Moreover, the Italians also made the sport effective by moulding the heavier material of sword into a lighter material. They proposed the rapier style of the swords so the fighter can have a control over the fencing as well. The Italians also put an emphasis upon the skills making it faster in speed as compared to more use of force.

With the emergence of this new sport, some rules and various styles of weapons have been set. The swordsmanship is an old traditional skill on which the modern fencing is established. After the skill is transformed into a sport, the modern fencing is categorized into three forms. Each of the form has a different style of weapon. The competitors usually get the specialization only in one style of weapon; developing and leading the sport towards an art.

Types of weapons:

Three major innovations in the weapon led the sport towards popularity. These three styles have their own rules and strategies:


Foil is a lighter weapon weighing about 500 grams. The rules associated to the weapon states that the foil can target the back, front, neck and groin; but targeting the arms and legs are not allowed. The foil also has a circular element that is used as a hand guard in order to protect the opponent from direct prick. Making contact with the tip is acceptable and will be scored. If the fencer attack outside the targeted area then the step is called an “off-target touch”, the action is halt and restarted while no points will be rewarded to the fencer.


Epee is also a weapon but lighter in weight than foil weighing about 775 grams. In this style, the strategy states that targeting the whole body is acceptable and scored. However, the circular element of the hand guard is larger in diameter have an extended pommel covering the whole hand in an effective manner. Like foil, only the tip touch is valid.


Sabre is also a lighter material weighing exactly like foil that is 500 grams. Sabre is similar to foil except the hand guard. The hand guard is similar in style like epee. The upper part of the body that is above the waist is the targeted area for the opponent. Touching with the blade and tip both are acceptable.


There is a suitable set of protective clothing for the sport, including a jacket, plastron, gloves, breeches, socks, shoes, masks, chest protectors, lame and sleeves.

Governing Body:

The modern fencing is accepted by the Olympics Society. The governing body of the sport is known as Federation International d’Escrime, Switzerland. The Federation has a combination of 145 other national federations; all of them are recognized by the Olympic Committee of the respective country.


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