This page gives you information about modern fencing, what it is all about and what it can do for you. If you are interested in the history of fencing then there are a number of references on our Links page that give more details.

Sport fencing, also known as Olympic fencing, is the sort of fencing seen in most competitions (including the Olympic Games). You may occasionally catch glimpses of it on Eurosport. It is conducted according to the rules laid down by the FIE (the international governing body), which are roughly based on a set of conventions developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to govern the practice of fencing as a martial art and a gentlemanly accomplishment.

The weapons

In both its modern and its classical guise, fencing consists of three different weapons: foil, epée and sabre. These three weapons had become standard by the late nineteenth century and all are represented at Olympic-level competition.


The modern foil is a light weapon, with a tapered, flexible, quadrangular blade, that scores only with the point. “Electric” foils, used in modern sport fencing, have a button on the end which much be depressed to register a hit.

The practice of fencing
Protective clothing
Benefits of Fencing