What is Fencing?

Fencing: the fundamentals

Fencing is a dynamic, fast-paced sport that requires a mixture of power, speed, accuracy and intelligence in order to win. Top fencers have to be physically fit and mentally strong as fights can be won or lost in fractions of a second.

Fencing takes place on an area 14 metres long and 2 metres wide called a piste. The two opponents facing each other use 1 of 3 weapons, epée, foil or sabre. The foil and the epée are both thrusting weapons, whilst in sabre you can score using any part of the blade. The three weapons also have different rules about what constitutes a hit. Epée fencers can score anywhere on the body, and both players can score if they hit each other within a quarter of a second. In foil and sabre, if both players hit simultaneously, the point is awarded to the attacker.

With this in mind, if you've not seen it before, you might be surprised to see what fencing looks like at the very highest level. Here are three videos showcasing the best of each weapon:



Here are the highlights of the Men's foil event from Rio 2016, including a tremendous comeback at the 5:00 mark!



Sabre is a fantastic weapon to watch - take a look at this introduction video to see why!



If you thought the foil comeback was good, watch this! In the 2016 Olympic Men's Epee final, no less!