The fencing is a very organized sport which includes the use of a sword , foil or saber , for a series of attacks and defense in accordance with established rules and movements. Although the use and handling of swords dates from very ancient times, the organized sport of fencing began in the late 19th century.



Fencing is a sport that is practiced individually and whose objective is to touch with a weapon that is a sword, foil or saber the body of the opponent without hurting him.


What is fencing?

Fencing is a sport in which three types of weapons are used: foil , saber and sword . These weapons are made of tempered steel and it is a sporting attack sport. It consists of touching the opponent with the tip of the weapon on the opponent’s trunk.



The first representation in the history of the sword is represented in a relief in the temple of Medīnat Habu , near Luxor in Egypt , a place that was built by Ramses III around 1190 BC The skill of the sword, as a hobby and in combat It was also practiced by the ancient Persians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, as well as by the Germanic tribes.

The Romans transformed combat into a highly systematic art and gladiators were trained in schools. Beginners practiced with a wooden sword called a rudis and more advanced training was carried out with weapons heavier than those used in actual combat.

From the fall of Rome until the Middle Ages , the practice of sword fighting continued, although sword training became less uniform. By the 15th century, guilds of fencing masters had been formed in Europe , the most notable of which was Marxbrüder who received permission of the letters from the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III in 1480.

The Italians discovered the effectiveness of dexterous use of the point rather than the edge of the sword. By the end of the 16th century , their lighter weapon and simple, agile and controlled fencing style had spread throughout Europe. Most fighting tricks were abandoned, the lunge was developed and adopted, and fencing established itself as an art.


The rules of the fencing sport are as follows:

  • Objective : the attackers must try to touch the opponent in the established contact zones.
  • The men use sword, foil and saber; and the women use sword and foil.
  • For initial, the judge must give the order ” on guard ” and the participants must stand in the guard line.
  • At the moment of the attack, one must have a position with one foot in front of the other, one free arm behind the other and the pointer at the weapon facing the opponent.
  • They are performed three periods of three minutes each with a 1 minute break.
  • The winner is the player who manages to touch the other fencing 15 times .
  • An extra minute is given in the event of a tie.
  • Points are represented by means of lights .

Types of swords

The types of epee used in fencing are the following:

  • Foil : the word is derived from the French word ” refoulement “, which means “to turn back “ . Its blade is very flexible , measuring approximately 35 inches in length, it is lighter in weight than the sword and saber from the hilt to the tip.
  • Sword : it is the same length as the foil, but its blade is heavier. It has a triangular cross section and grooves on the sides of the blade. It has its origin in the rapier , an ancient dueling sword. It is also a rapier weapon and when used, points are scored by tapping anywhere on the body.
  • Saber : used both to graze and to push . The history of the saber indicates that it was used as a military weapon, mainly in cavalry . It is currently a light, flat blade with a front impact edge and a flat spine . Its guard is congruently large and cup- shaped with a curved guard around the hand to the hilt at the end of the handle. Points are scored by striking an opponent with the front of the sword.

Fencing techniques and movements

The technique is based on the following aspects:

  • First of all, we have the guard which is the simple position from which all attacks start. Separate the legs so that the right foot is turned creating a 90º angle with the left foot.
  • Bend your knees.
  • Raise the forearm at a right angle to the arm and at the same time separate the arm from the abdomen .
  • The sword and foil should be parallel to the ground and pointing straight ahead. If the sword is used, it should be pointed upwards and leaned slightly to the left. The arm that is not armed must be raised.
  • To make the movement , the right foot is raised and the heel is placed on the ground, the right leg is moved and not the left. Then the right foot is supported and the left is moved.
  • All movements must be performed without lowering the guard position .

Some of the fencing movements are: the lunge, flying lunge, passata sotto, blocking, counterattack, lunge, remittance, blow, feints, second intention


The track should be 14 meters long and 1.5 or 2 meters wide . The assault begins at the guard line, where the salute is also made. Each time the player is touched, they must return to the guard line. It must have a warning line and the last two meters must be marked differently than the rest of the track, with stripes or a different color.

Fencing equipment

The equipment to practice the sport of fencing is as follows:

  • Mask
  • Protective grid
  • Gloves
  • Bowl
  • Jacket
  • Trousers
  • Fencing shoes
  • Tights

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