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April 07, 2022

En-garde: The three weapons of fencing

(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Foil - photo by SWSCD)


Initially created to serve as a form of military training, the sport of fencing is essentially a combat sport.  Its played throughout the world and has historical roots that run deep.  The modern version of fencing involves three different types: Épée Fencing, Foil Fencing and Sabre Fencing.   

Although each of these three versions have derived from the same essential basics of fencing, each particular type does involve specfic differences in the type of weapon used; the particular electronic equipment (lamé) worn and not worn; and the specific match rules applied which affect the speed, duration and style of a fencing bout. 


Three Types of Fencing Weapons


(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Épée - photo by SWSCD)


Épée Fencing

"The épée is considered the original dueling sword. It was developed in the middle of the 19th century to train individuals for duels. If you’ve seen any movie with a lot of swordplay in it chances are you are watching epee. The weapon’s blade is somewhat triangular in shape and quite stiff to bend. Since the whole body is considered target, the guard is large and bell-shaped to protect the hand from hits. Hits to target are made with the point of the blade only." 

(Source: Alberta Fencing Association)


(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Épée - photo by SWSCD)



(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Foil - photo by SWSCD)


Foil Fencing

"The foil evolved from the short court sword of the 17th and 18th centuries, and started as a lighter and more flexible weapon for the practice of fencing. The blade is quadrangular in shape and since only the front and back of the torsos are considered target, the bell-shaped guard is much smaller than the epee. As with epee, hits are made only with the point of the blade."

(Source: Alberta Fencing Association)


(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Foil - photo by SWSCD)



(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Sabre - photo by SWSCD)


Sabre (Saber) Fencing

"The sabre is the weapon developed from the backsword of the Elizabethans and the heavy cavalry sabre. The sabre blade is V- shaped with the point folded over to form a button. This weapon differs in that it is a cut and thrust type weapon. Target includes the head, arms, and trunk to the waist. Because the hand is again considered target, the guard is half rounded to protect the fingers. Due to the fact that saber is a cutting weapon it is the fastest out of the three weapons."

(Source: Alberta Fencing Association)


(Canadian Fencing Federation competition, Markham ON - Sabre - photo by SWSCD)


Learn more with SWSCD

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Rugby: Rugby 101: A quick start guide – Part 1Rugby 101: A quick start guide – Part 2 and A few reasons why your daughter should give rugby a try

Softball: It's all about the pitching: The three types of softball

Synchronized Swimming: Synchronized Swimming: From Tryouts to Competition Day



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