Fencing as a sport.
Fencing is a fast paced sport that simulates sword duels. Bouts are between two fencers and they are restricted to a strip that is two meters wide and fourteen meters long, all movement is forward or back. The target area for valid hits depends on the specific weapon used.
Evolved from the short court sword of the 17th and 18th centuries, the foil started as a light and flexible weapon for the practice of fencing. The blade is quadrangular in shape (cross-section is square). Since only the front and back of the torso is considered a target, the bell-shaped guard is much smaller than the épée. Hits are made only with the point of the blade.
The foil is a point weapon. It has a button at the tip that registers the hit. The hit location in foil is the torso including the groin but not including the arms. Both fencers wear a lamé, a jacket that covers the hit location and is coated in wires. When the button on a foil is pressed down while touching the lamé of the other fencer it triggers the electric scoring machine to score the hit.
Considered as the original dueling sword, it was developed in the middle of the 19th century to train individuals for duels. The weapon’s blade is somewhat triangular and quite stiff to bend. Since the whole body is considered a target, the guard is large and bell-shaped to protect the hand from hits. As with foil, hits are made with the point of the blade only.
Épée is also a point weapon. It also has a button on the tip to register hits. The hit location in épée is the whole body. Fencers do not need to wear a lamé. The guard on an Épée is larger to help protect the hand.
Developed from the backsword of the Elizabethans and the heavy cavalry sabre, the blade is v-shaped with the point folded over to form a button. The weapon differs in that it is a cut-and-thrust type weapon. The target area is the head, arms and the trunk to the waist. The hand is again a target, so the guard is wrapped to the hilt to protect the fingers.
Sabre is an edge weapon. points can be scored with the entire blade. The hit location for saber is the waist and up. Sabre fencers wear a lamé covering the hit location, that connects to a mask that is covered in wire as well. The hits are scored when the blade touches the lamé or mask.