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About Fencing

Fencing is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. In the age of chivalry dulling was favoured as a method of settling matters of honour, because of its grace and simplicity.   These remain the most attractive aspects of modern sports fencing today.  It's very rewarding; develops all-around fitness, suppleness and flexibility of movement, stamina, mental sharpness and agility, coordination, balance, and self-confidence. Above all ... it's great fun!!!!

Types of Sword (Weapons): 

There are three types of weapons used in modern fencing - the Foil (pronounced foyl), Epee (pronounced ep-pay), and the Sabre (pronounced say-ber).  None of the weapons, by the way, have pointed tips or sharpened edges any more - as might be believed. There are also two varieties of each weapon, electrical and non-electrical.

In electrical fencing fencers and their weapons are wired to a low voltage (normally battery) electronic scoring apparatus. This enables a hit on an opponent to be registered ('picked up') immediately by the apparatus.  In non-electrical fencing, often referred to as 'steam fencing', hits are pointed out by judges, normally four.  All club, and all competition fencing, now uses electrical fencing equipment, steam fencing is just for training and fun at the club!
Read more or come along for a chat on a club night, we also offer school visits to teach children about swords and fencing - again just ask!

The Foil:

This was initially used as a training weapon for teaching and training fencers who would use a Rapier (real fencing) but has now been adopted as a weapon in its own right. Foils are fairly light (500g) and have flexible narrow blades. Hits are made with the tip of the sword only, not its edges. The valid target area of an opponent is the torso only, including the back, but not the arms, legs, neck or head. Any hit landing on an invalid target area will be registered as being 'off-target'.

In electrical foil fencers are required to wear an electrically "earthed" conductive 'lame' (pronounced lar-may) jacket that covers the torso area, so enabling valid hits to be registered by the scoring apparatus.

The Epee:

This is like a  heavier foil (750g), with a less flexible and thicker blade, it is a modern version of the Rapier. In a similar manner, hits are made with the tip of the sword only. The valid target area though is any part of the body, from head to toe. As the whole body is a target area, not just the torso as with foil, electrical epee fencing does not require the wearing of lame jackets.


The Sabre:

The sabre used in sports fencing is like a thinner and more flexible version of the original cavalry sword, which was an effective cut (slashing) and thrust (piercing) weapon. As such, the sports sabre also scores hits with both its tip and edges - both blunt by the way, to put your mind at ease! 


The valid target area in sabre fencing is the whole upper body from the waist up (everything which would have been above the horse), but not the hands. As with foil, electrical sabre fencing requires the wearing of a lame jacket, which covers from the waist up, including the arms, so enabling hits to be registered.  As the head is also a valid target area, sabre fencing masks must also be electrically earthed. 

Fencing at School
Foil Match
Epee Fencers in Combat
Sabre Fencing Match
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