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Types of Fencing

The three types of modern fencing are:

  1. Foil
  2. Épée
  3. Sabre

When fencers practice and compete in multiple types of fencing, they most often do foil and épée. Those two styles have many similarities.

Most fencers choose one weapon and stick to it for as long as they fence.  This is so they can master one weapon and then don't have to switch their style as often.

Foil

Foil is the oldest and most popular of the modern forms of sport, or Olympic style, fencing. It has a target area limited to the torso and uses right of way rules. Watch foil fencing at the Olympic games in Torino, Italy.

In foil, the sword is about 3 feet 6 inches long and is fairly flexible. Competitors score points by hitting their opponents with the tip of the blade.

Close

Foil, because of the small target area and method of scoring, is widely considered the most technically challenging of the three styles.

That’s why I choose to fence foil.

Épée

Épée is similar to foil, but the target area is expanded to the entire body, including hands, head, and feet.

Épées are slightly heavier than foils because the blades are thicker, and the portion of the weapon that protects the hand is enlarged.

Watch épée fencing at the 2005 World Championships in Leipzig, Germany.

In épée, there are no right of way rules and if both fencers hit each other at the same time, it’s a double touch, and both fencers are awarded a point.

Fencers, as in foil, must make touches with the tip of the blade. Épée requires the most agility and athleticism of the three forms because of the large target area.

Sabre

When most people envision the sport of fencing, they picture the Sabre style—pirates hacking at each other with rapiers. 

In Sabre, the target area is anything from the waist up.  Fencers may hit each other with any part of the blade (slashing or stabbing).

Watch this video of 2005 men's Sabre World Championship.

Right of way rules do apply in Sabre, as in Foil. Sabre is the quickest and most physical of the three modern forms of fencing because of the aggressive element that slashing adds to the fights.

Fencing is a fun sport for people of all ages...

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What makes credit unions so great? Members like you.

Every dollar you invest in your credit union earns you money while other members borrow it.

When you're ready for a loan, other members' savings will be there to help you out at the lowest possible cost.