The Way of the Brush & the Sword Sacred Fist Karate International Ken To Fude No Ryu Kenshu Kai Karate Solly Said's Solly Said's Karate,Kickboxing & Gym
Ken To Fude No Ryu Kenshu Kai Karate International Karate, Kickboxing & Gym
The Way of the Brush & the Sword Sacred Fist Karate International Embracing the spirit of never quitting

Ken To Fude No Karate Ryu Home
The Organisation
Martial Arts
India & South Asia
China & East Asia
Japan & Okinawa
South East Asia
Central Asia
Africa & Middle East
Healthy Living
Kendo And Iaido
Bataireacht Bartitsu Baton Français Boxing Buza Combat 56
Cornish Wrestling Defendu Deutsche Fechtschule Deutscher Jujutsu Fencing Glima
Gouren Greco-Roman Wrestling Han Moo Do Jieishudan Jogo Do Pau Jousting
Juego Del Palo Kampfringen Khridoli Kinomichi Kurash Lancashire Wrestling
La Scuola della Spada Italiana Liu-bo Lucha Canaria Lutta Corsa Pankration Parkour
Quarterstaff Realnog Aikidoa ROSS Sambo Savate Sayokan
Schwingen Scottish Back Hold Stav Svebor Systema Warrior Wing Chun
Western Archery Yagh Gures Zipota      

The word fence was originally a shortening of the Middle English defens, which came from an Italian word, defensio, in origin a Latin word.Fencing is one of the four sports which has been featured at every modern Olympic Games.

Currently, three types of weapon are used in Olympic fencing:
Foil — a light thrusting weapon; the valid target is restricted to the torso, the chest, shoulders, and back; double touches are not allowed (see priority rules below). This weapon follows the rule of "right of way"
Épée — a heavy thrusting weapon; the valid target area covers the entire body; double touches are allowed. There is no "right of way"
Sabre — a light cutting and thrusting weapon; the valid target area is the saddle line, which is from one side of your hip to the other and up, this also includes the head. The target area does not include the hands. This weapon follows "right of way"
Some practitioners of fencing approach it as a Western martial art, with the goal being to train for a theoretical duel. The element of sport is absent (or nearly so) from these forms of fencing, but they all share a common origin with each other and with competitive fencing.

Classical fencing is differentiated from competitive fencing as being theoretically closer to swordplay as a martial art. Those who call themselves classical fencers may advocate the use of what they see as more authentic practices, including little or no emphasis on sport competition. There is strong interest within the classical fencing community in reviving the European fencing practices of the 19th and early 20th century, when fencers were expected to be able to fight a duel using their training. Weapons used are the standard (non-electric) foil, standard épée (often equipped with pointe d'arret), and the blunted dueling sabre. AFL fencing is often referred to as classical fencing, but this is a misnomer.
Historical fencing is a type of historical martial arts reconstruction based on surviving texts and traditions. Predictably, historical fencers study an extremely wide array of weapons from different regions and periods. They may work with bucklers, daggers, polearms, navajas, bludgeoning weapons, etc. One main preoccupation of historical fencers is with weapons of realistic weight, which demand a different way of manipulating them from what is the norm in modern Fencing. For example, light weapons can be manipulated through the use of the fingers (more flexibility), but more realistically-weighted weapons must be controlled more through the wrist and elbow. This difference is great and can lead to drastic changes even in the carriage of the body and footwork in combat. There is considerable overlap between classical and historical fencing, especially with regard to 19th-century fencing practices.

Competitive fencing
There are numerous inter-related forms of competitive fencing in practice, all of which approach the activity as a sport, with varying degrees of connectedness to its historic past.

Olympic fencing (or simply "fencing") refers to the fencing seen in most competitions, including the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Competitions are conducted according to rules laid down by the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international governing body. These rules evolved from a set of conventions developed in Europe between mid 17th and early 20th century with the specific purpose of regulating competitive activity. The three weapons used in Olympic fencing are foil, épée, and sabre. In competition, the validity of touches is determined by the electronic scoring apparatus, so as to minimize human error and bias in refereeing.

Wheelchair fencing, also known as jousting, an original Paralympic sport, was developed in post-World War II England. Minor modifications to the FIE rules allow disabled fencers to fence all three weapons. The most apparent change is that each fencer sits in a wheelchair fastened to a frame. Footwork is replaced by torso or arm movement, depending on the fencer's disability. The proximity of the two fencers tends to increase the pace of bouts, which require considerable skill. The weapons are identical to those used in Olympic fencing.

Other variants include one-hit épée (one of the five events which constitute modern pentathlon) and the various types of competitive fencing, whose rules are similar but not identical to the FIE rules. One example of this is the American Fencing League (distinct from the United States Fencing Association): the format of competitions is different, there is no electronic scoring, and the priority rules are interpreted in a different way. In a number of countries, the accepted practice at school and university level deviates slightly from the FIE format.
The foil is a light and flexible weapon, originally developed in the mid 17th century as a training weapon for the small sword, a light one-handed sword designed almost exclusively for thrusting.

In modern competitive fencing, 'electric' weapons are used. These have a push-button on the point of the blade, which allows hits to be registered by the electronic scoring apparatus. In order to register, the button must be depressed with a force of at least 4.90 newtons (500 grams-force) for at least 15 milliseconds. Foil fencers wear conductive (lamé) jackets covering their target area, which allow the scoring apparatus to differentiate between on- and off-target hits.

The target area is restricted to the torso, including the front and back. When fencing with electrical equipment, there is an area around each armpit that is not covered by the lamé, and is thus effectively not legal target as well.

A modification in FIE rules from 1 January 2009 onwards means that the valid target area includes that part of the bib below a straight line drawn between the shoulders; prior to this, the bib of the mask was not a valid target. This rule has not been implemented uniformly in all National fencing organizations. For instance, the USFA has not decided on a timetable for adopting the rule, while the European nations have generally decided on September 1 2009 as the date for all competitions to use the new rule. The wisdom of this rule is currently widely disputed; the prevailing attitude in the US is that the rule will lead to a great increase in equipment failures and costs, while European opinion is that this will help prevent fencers from covering target.
The target must be hit with the tip of the foil; a touch with any other part of the foil it has no effect whatsoever and fencing continues uninterrupted. A touch on an off-target area stops the bout but does not score a point. Foil fencing also features rules of right of way or priority, which determine which fencer's hit will prevail when both fencers have hit. The basic principle of priority is that the hit of the fencer who begins an offensive action first will prevail over his/her opponent's hit, unless the action of the former fails.
A fencer's action fails when it falls short of his/her opponent, when it misses, or when it is parried. When one fencer's action fails, the other's current or next offensive action gains priority, unless they delay too long (longer than one period of "fencing time", the time taken to perform one action at the current tempo of the exchange), in which case the previously defending fencer loses priority. If priority cannot be determined when both fencers have hit each other, no point is awarded. The original idea behind the rules of foil fencing was to encourage fencers to defend and attack vital areas, and to fight in a methodical way with initiative passing back and forth between the combatants, thus minimizing the risk of a double death.

When an exchange ends in a hit, the referee will call "halt", and fencing will cease. The referee will then analyse the exchange and phrase it in official terminology. The first offensive action is called the attack. All defensive actions successfully deflecting an opponent's blade are called parries. An offensive action of a parrying fencer directly following the parry is called a riposte. An offensive action of a fencer, who attacks without first withdrawing the arm directly after being parried, is called a remise. An offensive action of a fencer from the on-guard position, after being parried and then returning to the on-guard position, is called a reprise. An offensive action of a fencer after his/her opponent has lost the right to riposte via inaction is called a redouble. An offensive action begun by a fencer who is being attacked by his/her opponent is called a counter-attack.
Épée, as the sporting weapon known today, was invented in the second half of the 19th century by a group of French students, who felt that the conventions of foil were too restrictive, and the weapon itself too light; they wanted an experience closer to that of an actual duel. At the point of its conception, the épée was, essentially, an exact copy of a small sword but without the needle-sharp point. Instead, the blade terminated in a point d'arrêt, a three-pronged tip which would snag on the clothing without penetrating the flesh.

Like the foil, the épée is a thrusting weapon: to score a valid hit, the fencer must fix the point of his weapon on his opponent's target. However, the target area covers the entire body, and there are no rules regarding who can hit when (unlike in foil and sabre, where there are priority rules). In the event of both fencers making a touch within 40 milliseconds of each other, both are awarded a point (a double hit), except when the score is equal and the point would mean the win for both, such as in modern pentathlon's one-hit épée, where neither fencer receives a point.

Otherwise, the first to hit always receives the point, regardless of what happened earlier in the phrase. Also épées are the heaviest of the weapons. However, with today's techniques, we see some épée blades as light as 150g. An épée is composed of a blade, a point, a bell guard, and a handle or grip (french or pistol grip).

The 'electric' épée, used in modern competitive fencing, terminates in a push-button, similar to the one on the 'electric' foil. In order for the scoring apparatus to register a hit, it must arrive with a force of at least 7.35 newtons (750 grams-force) (a higher threshold than the foil's 4.9 newtons), and the push-button must remain fully depressed for 1 millisecond. All hits register as valid, unless they land on a grounded metal surface, such as a part of the opponent's weapon, in which case they do not register at all. At large events, grounded conductive pistes are often used in order to prevent the registration of hits against the floor. At smaller events and in club fencing, it is generally the responsibility of the referee to watch out for floor hits. These often happen by accident, when an épéeist tries to hit the opponent's foot and misses. This results in a pause in the action but no points. However, deliberate hits against the floor are treated as "dishonest fencing," and penalized accordingly.
Épée has less restrictive rules for footwork and physical contact than the other two weapons. In Épée, a corps-à-corps (collision between fencers) is not penalized unless initialized with intent to harm or if it is excessively violent. There are no restrictions on crossing of the feet or use of the flèche attack in épée; if the fencers pass each other, the attacking fencer may score until he passes his opponent. The defending fencer has the right to one continuous riposte, and may still score after the attacker has passed.
The counterattack is very important in épée; direct, unprepared attacks are vulnerable to counterattacks to the hand or arm, or to the body if the attacker is shorter than his opponent. High level épée is often a game of provocation, with each player trying to lure the other into an attack. Distance in épée is even more important than in the conventional weapons.
Sabre is the 'cutting' weapon: points may be scored with edges and surfaces of the blade, as well as the point. Although the current design with a light and flexible blade (marginally stiffer than a foil blade which bends easily up and down while a sabre blade bends easier side to side) appeared around the turn of the 19th and 20th century, similar sporting weapons with more substantial blades had been used throughout the Victorian era.

There is some debate as to whether the modern fencing sabre is descended from the cavalry sabres of Turkic origin, which became popular in Central and Western Europe around the time of Napoleonic Wars, or one of Europe's indigenous edged duelling weapons, such as the cutting rapier. In practice, it is likely to be a hybrid of the two. Most of the conventions and vocabulary of modern sabre fencing were developed by late 19th and early 20th century masters from Italy and Hungary, perhaps most notable among them being Italo Santelli (1866–1945).

Like foil, sabre is subject to right of way rules, but there are differences in the definition of a correctly executed attack and parry. These differences, together with a much greater scoring surface (the whole of the blade, rather than the point alone), make sabre parries more difficult to execute effectively. As a result, sabre tactics rely much more heavily on footwork with blade contact kept to a minimum. Also, play is not halted by an off-target (below the waist) hit in sabre. To prevent both fencers from immediately charging each other at the beginning of fencing action, crossing of the feet is not allowed, which also prohibits use of the flèche. This results in a penalty against the offending fencer (a warning, followed by awarding a penalty touch if the offense is repeated). A maneuver called a 'Flunge' is sometimes used as a replacement for the outlawed flèche: the fencer leaps at the opponent, being sure to keep his rear foot behind his front as long as possible. Safely landing following this move requires crossing the feet, thus the hit must be scored while airborne. Sabre matches are often decided very quickly compared to the other weapons.
The sabre target covers everything above the waist, except the hands (wrists are included) and the back of the head. Today, any contact between any part of the blade and any part of the target counts as a valid touch. This was not always the case, and earlier conventions stipulated that a valid touch must be made with the point or either the front or back cutting edge, and that a point attack must not merely graze the target and slip along (pass) the opponent's body. These requirements had to be abandoned, because of technical difficulties, shortly after electronic scoring was introduced into sabre fencing in late 1980s.
The clothing which is worn in modern fencing is made of tough cotton or nylon. Kevlar was added to top level uniform pieces (jacket, breeches, underarm protector, lamé, and the bib of the mask) following the Smirnov incident at the 1982 World Championships in Rome. However, kevlar breaks down in chlorine and UV light, so the act of washing one's uniform and/or hanging it up in the sun to dry actually damaged the kevlar's ability to do the job.
In recent years other ballistic fabrics such as Dyneema have been developed that perform the puncture resistance function and which do not have kevlar's weakness. In fact, the FIE rules state that the entirety of the uniform (meaning FIE level clothing, as the rules are written for FIE tournaments) must be made of fabric that resists a force of 800 newtons (1600N in the mask bib).

The complete fencing kit includes the following items of clothing:
jacket covering groin and with strap (croissard) which goes between the legs (note that in sabre fencing, jackets that are cut along the waist and exclude the groin padding are also sometimes used), a small gorget of folded fabric is also sewn in around the collar to prevent a blade from slipping upwards towards the neck.

Under-arm protector (plastron) which goes underneath the jacket and provides double protection on the sword arm side and upper arm. It is required to not have a seam in the armpit, which would line up with the jacket seam and provide a weak spot.

One glove for the sword arm with a gauntlet that prevents blades from going up the sleeve and causing injury, as well as protecting the hand and providing a good grip

Breeches or knickers which are a pair of short trousers. The legs are supposed to hold just below the knee.

Shoes with flat soles and reinforcement on the inside of the back foot and heel of front foot, to prevent wear from lunging.

Mask, including a bib which protects the neck. The mask can usually support 350 Newtons, however FIE regulation masks must withstand much more, 1600 Newtons. Some modern masks have a see-through visor in the front of the mask. These can be used at high level competitions (World Championships etc.).

Plastic chest protector, mandatory for female fencers. While male versions of the chest protector are also available, they were, until recently, primarily worn by instructors, who are hit far more often during training than their students. Since the change of the depression timing (see above), these are increasingly popular in foil, as the hard surface increases the likelihood of point bounce and thus a failure for a hit to register. Plastrons are still mandatory, though the chest protector must be worn next to the skin.
Knee-length or Thigh high socks which should cover knee and thighs.

Fencing Masters will often wear a heavier protective jacket, usually reinforced by plastic foam to cushion the numerous hits an instructor has to endure. Sometimes in practice, masters wear a protective sleeve or a leg leather for protection of their fencing arm or leg.
Electric Fencing-In electric foil and sabre there is a layer of electrically conductive material (called a lamé) worn over the fencing jacket, and entirely covers the valid target area. In foil the lamé is sleeveless, and in sabre the lamé has sleeves and ends in a straight line across the waist. In all weapons, a body cord is also necessary to register scoring: it attaches to the weapon and is worn inside the sleeve of the normal jacket, down the fencer's back and is then attached to the scoring box. In sabre and foil, the body cord is connected to the lamé in order to create a circuit to the scoring box, where another part of the body cord attaches, can record where one has been hit.



Small Business Awards Talk Radio 702 & Softline Pastel Finalist

Web site designed and maintained by Ejaz Latib