Different Types of Fencing

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Fencing is an exciting sport which first originated in the 12th century and since then has become a very popular sport. In the ancient times, fencing was mostly played by warriors and used for self defense, however over the years it has modified a lot and changed into a recreational sport which requires immense mind and body coordination. The birth of the modern fencing took place in the 19th century and was preceded by the French school of fencing of the 18th century. The latter was influenced by the Italian school of fencing which was in existence during the renaissance period.

Fencing was played using a sword in the past days but ever since its emergence as an Olympic sport it has three different kinds of weapons being used in the game. The first weapon is “foil” which is a light weighted weapon and is used for thrusting. In foil fencing, the target is constrained to the back, torso, shoulders and chest. In this type of fencing double touching is considered as an illegal move. Developed in France, foil fencing was initially named ‘fleuret’ .Epee is another weapon used in fencing which is again used for thrusting but is heavy in weight. Its target area unlike foil fencing is not confined and includes the entire body. Also in this type of fencing double touching is legally allowed. It lacks the ‘right of way’ and therefore every touch on any body part counts. The third and the last type of weapon used in fencing is the saber and it is used not only for thrusting but also for cutting. The target area is again confined, this time it’s till the saddle line which includes the part of the player’s body above the hip. The target area includes the head but not the hands. It has an advantage over other weapons because it follows the ‘right of way ‘and is light weighted so can be easily used during the training period.

Fencing is of three types -classical, theatrical and sport fencing respectively. The sports fencing is also an Olympics sport and is an official Olympics sport. The rules of the game include maintaining proper and appropriate distance from the other player, warming up before the game to avoid muscular stress and holding the fencing weapon with a moderate grip. The various international fencing tournaments and competitions are held in accordance with the FIE which is an acronym for Federation Internationale d’Escrime. As the sport is a little risky in nature, to prevent any injury or mishap the players are supposed to wear protective gears like breeches, gloves, chest protectors, jackets, mask and plastron.

A special type of fencing known as the wheelchair fencing was developed after the Second World War in England. It was especially designed for the Paralympics which is the Olympic game for the handicapped. This modified version of fencing has arm or torso movements in place of foot movements and the players sit on a wheelchair instead of standing at some distance. The weapons used are the same as in normal Olympic fencing.

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