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Fencing Details

Fencing Intro


Find a Fencing Club Kids Fencing Fencing Equipment Fencing Terms
Referee Signals Fencing Penalties Three essential skills of fencing Tips for Selecting a Fencing  Teacher Tips and Advice on Fencing Competitions
Equipment Care

Fencing is a sport where your child must rely entirely on their individual skills, talent and abilities to be successful.  However, he/she will be working together as a team to win the day's match.   So you have the benefits of individual successes as well as team participation.

What does my child learn from Fencing?

  • It allows them to develop a sense of responsibility to themselves and others.
  • It will build self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • They will learn fair play and good sportsmanship.
  • Fencers learn to set and meet long term goals.
  • Fencing improves eye-hand coordination and increases reaction time.
  • Fencing is one of the few sports in which boys and girls compete on equal terms against each other.
  • Fencing develops friendships.
  • Fencing is a life-long sport that helps to keep you fit.
  • Fencing is a all year long activity.
  • Fencing helps to develop decision making abilities .

Are there different types of fencing styles?


Fencing features three levels that are categorized by the type of weapon used:  Foil, Epee and Sabre.  Each weapon has its own character.  The Sabre is the fastest and most aggressive while the Epee is slowest and requires most patience.  Whereas, the foil is in between the other two and attracts the fencer who likes to use both aggression and patience.

Epee Fencing (A)

The epée is about three feet long and weighs around one and a half pounds. This sword is the heaviest of the three weapons.  It has a stiff, v-shaped blade and a
large bell guard for protecting the hand.

In epee, points are also scored with the tip of the blade but the difference is any part of the body, head, torso, arms, legs, or feet, become the target.

Saber Fencing (B)

Saber fencing is the most physical type of fencing. People who practice this type of fencing tend to be extremely agile and have very creative moves.  The target, in this form of fencing, is anywhere above the opponent's waist.  Points can be scored with the tip or the sides of the blade.  Sabers have a light, flat blade as well as a knuckle guard.
Foil Fencing (C)

A foil is the most common weapon in terms of usage in competition, and it is what is usually used for basic classes. Traditionally, the foil is a beginners teaching weapon because it incorporates all the basic elements of fencing; it is the most technical form of fencing; and it requires the most legwork.  The foil is a light, flexible weapon with a blunted point. It weighs around a pound and most blades are about 36 inches long. Foils do come in shorter lengths for children. In foil fencing, scoring is done with only the tip of the blade. The target is restricted to the torso of the opponent.

This is all regulated by the United States Fencing Association (USFA) which governs the physical characteristics of the weapon as well as the legal techniques that may be used.

A USFA-style fencing match is called a bout and it takes place on a 6 foot by 40 foot strip.  The fencers may not step off and touches are recorded by an electronic scoring device.  Fencers wear protective gear on their bodies and faces at all times. The object of the sport is to earn points by scoring touches within the target area.  Each bout consist of three rounds of three minutes each, with one minute between rounds. The winner is the fencer who has scored 15 points.  If the time runs out before someone has 15 points then the fencer with the most points wins.  If they reach nine minutes and the score is tied, then a minute of sudden-death is added. Prior to the sudden-death, lots are drawn to decide who will be the winner if nobody scores  Individual fencers add up their points to get an overall team score.