Contents 1. Whats fencing? Whats fencing? 2. History of fencing. History of fencing. 3. Historical fencing. Historical fencing. 4. Fencing as sport: a) Weapons Weapons b) Uniform Uniform c) Rules Rules d) Scoring machine Scoring machine 5. What does fencing give people? What does fencing give people?
Whats fencing? Fencing is a kind of sport. It is an art of hitting your opponent and not to be hit. You dont use your legs or arms to touch the opponent, you use only your weapon. So, this sport is a skill of using a weapon. It differs from the other sports in its aesthetic, romanticism and great past.
History of fencing Fencing is a very old kind of sport. In fact, the first fencing duel was done when a man took a stick in his hand and attacked his opponent. The competitions of fencing were held 4 hundred years before the Olympic Games. In old times, years before Christs birth there was a holy book about possession of weapon in India. In Japan and China there were lessons of fencing with bamboo sticks.
In the fresco of Egypt you can see the sport competition in honor of Pharaoh. The weapon is a stick with an arm defence. There are special masks on the faces of the fencers.
Many years fencing was used for a war. In our minds it is associated with the Middle Ages, the romantic time. There were knights who fought for the lady. A lot of wars were done with a sword. Thats why we know fencing to be a romantic and elegant sport. But in the 17 th century the human invented a gun. The sword wasnt used in wars any more. However, it began to develop as a sport.
Here is a picture from the medieval manual. It shows one of the methods of fencing. It is a defence. The most active development was in France. A Fencing Academy was built there.
In the 19 th century fencing became a kind of sport. It was developed in France, Germany and Italy. Fencing was included into the programme of the first Olympic Games in Since that time it has been an official sport. Nowadays a lot of people go in for fencing. It is considered to be an elegant sport for privileged.
Historical fencing It is a fencing performance. It is just a game. People are wearing costumes. They fight and perform historical wars. The actors use the historical weapons and costumes. Such people perform for the others.
Weapons for fencing There are three kinds of weapons for fencing: 1. foil 2. épée 3. sabre They differ in the construction, the rules of fighting and the target areas, though all three are scored electrically.
Foil Foil is a point-thrusting weapon. The valid target area in foil is the torso, from the shoulders to the groin, front and back. It does not include the arms, neck, head and legs.
Épée Épée is a point-thrusting weapon, too. The entire body is a valid target area. This weapon is heavier than the foil.
Sabre Sabre is a point-thrusting as well as a cutting weapon. It is the modern version of the weapon. The target area is from the small of the back (both front and back), to the top of the head.
Uniform The foil fencer's uniform includes a metallic vest (called a lamé) which covers the valid target area, so that a valid touch will be registered on the scoring machine. A touch landing outside the valid target area (that which is not covered by the lamé) is indicated by a white light. These "off target" hits do not count in the scoring, but they do stop the fencing action temporarily.
The sabre fencer's uniform also includes a metallic jacket (lamé). The points are registered the same way as for the foil. The épée fencer's uniform does not include a lamé. The entire body is the valid target area. The machine doesnt register the off-target hits.
Rules One of the most difficult rules in foil and sabre fencing is the rule of right-of-way. Right-of-way is the differentiation of offence and defence. The difference is important only when both hit each other at the same time in foil and sabre. When this happens, the winner of the point is the one who attacked and wasnt caught by defence. The épée fencers dont use this rule. The one, who first touches, earns the point or, if both fencers hit each other, both earn a point. However, it is important to have a defence for épée to be protected from a touch.
Scoring machine It is a scoring machine. It matches and counts points. There are a lot of different kinds of such machines.
There are two scoring lights on the machine. One shows a green light when a fencer is hit, and one shows a red light when her opponent is hit. A touch landing outside the valid target area is indicated by a white light.
What does fencing give people? There are a lot of reasons why people do fencing. I asked some of my friends about it. I found out that some of then want to be strong, some want to find new friends, some do it for their health… We are different and have different aims, but something brings us together. This something is fencing. Fencing is a world of wonder. Once you discover it and it leads you all your life.