What is fencing?
Fencing is one of five sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games, the other four being Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, and Gymnastics.
Fencing is a fast, exciting, energetic, non-contact sport that is suitable for people of all ages. It is an individual and team sport which has such a strong tactical element that it has often been described as ‘physical chess’.
History of Fencing
The ancestor of modern fencing originated in Spain in the 15th Century. When Spain became the leading power of Europe, the Spanish armies carried fencing abroad and particularly into the south of Italy, one of the main battlefields between both nations.
Modern fencing originated in the 18th century, in the Italian school of fencing of the Renaissance, and, under their influence, was improved by the French school of fencing.
Dueling went into sharp decline after World War I, and went out of use in Europe after World War II except for very rare exceptions. Training for duels, once fashionable for males of aristocratic backgrounds, all but disappeared, along with the classes themselves. Fencing continued as a sport, with tournaments and championships. However, the need to actually prepare for a duel with "sharps" vanished, changing both training and technique.
Introduction of electrical scoring apparatus.
Starting with épée in 1936, side-judges were replaced by an electrical scoring apparatus, with an audible tone and a red or green light indicating when a touch landed. Foil first embraced electronic scoring in 1956, sabre in 1988. The scoring box reduced the bias in judging, and permitted more accurate scoring of faster actions, lighter touches, and more touches to the back and flank than before.
There are the three weapons, Foil, Sabre, and Épée. The weapon used determines the rules followed in the match and the differences in these rules makes each weapon almost a different sport entirely from the others. The best way I can explain this is to say that the weapons are different much in the way that badminton, tennis and squash differ – you are basically hitting something (be it ball or opponent) but in a very different way.
A light thrusting weapon that targets the torso, including the back, but not the arms. Touches are scored only with the tip; hits with the side of the blade do not count, and do not halt the action. Touches that land outside of the target area (off-target) stop the action, and are not scored. Only a single hit can be scored by either fencer at one time. If both fencers hit at the same time, the referee uses the rules of "right of way" to determine which fencer gets the point.