about fencing weapons



"These swords do not discriminate against age, gender, race, religion or social economic status."


Out of Nowhere Fencing, LLC, offers Foil and Epee instruction. We welcome both newcomers to the sport and experienced competitors.


Three weapons -- the foil, the sabre, and the épée -- are used in fencing, and there are individual and team competitions for each. Foil and épée are "point thrusting" weapons, while the sabre can both thrust and slash with its blade edge. All three weapons have been modified to allow for electronic scoring. All fencers wear protective masks and clothes.


Foil

The foil has a flexible rectangular blade, approximately 35 inches long. Points are scored with the tip of the blade and must land within the torso of the body. The valid target area in foil is the torso, from the shoulders to the groin, front and back (or chest and stomach cavity). It does not include the arms, head or legs.


The foil fencer's uniform includes a metallic vest (called a lamé) which covers the valid target area, so that a valid touch will register as a colored light. A tip is attached to the point of the foil and is connected to a wire inside the blade. The fencer wears a cord inside his uniform which connects the foil to a wire, connected to the scoring machine.


There are two scoring lights on the machine. One shows a green light when a fencer is hit the other shows a red light when their opponent is hit. A touch landing off 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 as a point, but they do stop the fencing action.


One of the most difficult things to understand in foil is the rule of right-of-way. This rule was established to teach swordsmen how to stay alive in a duel. "Right-of-way" is the differentiation of offense and defense, made by the referee. The difference is important only when two lights go on at the same time in foil. When this happens, the winner of the point is the one who the referee determined had the right to the attack at the time the lights lit. This is determined in two ways either the first two attack or the last to fail. If one person fails the other takes over as the attacker.


Epee


The epee (pronounced "EPP-pay"), is similar in length to the foil, but is heavier, weighing approximately 27 ounces, with a larger guard (to protect the hand from a valid hit) and a much stiffer blade. Touches are scored only with the point of the blade. The entire body is the valid target area.


Epee does not use the right-of-way instead it is the weapon of timing control, the first person to get the touch earns the point. Or, if both fencers hit within 1/25th of a second of each other, both earn a point. The blade is wired with a tip at the end that completes an electrical circuit when it is depressed beyond a pressure of 750 grams. This causes the colored bulb on the scoring machine to light.


Sabre


The sabre is the modern version of the slashing cavalry sword, and is similar in length and weight to the foil. The major difference is that the sabre is a thrusting weapon as well as a cutting weapon (use of the blade). The target area is from the bend of the hips (both front and back), to the top of the head, simulating the cavalry rider on a horse.


The sabre fencer's uniform includes a metallic mask, metallic jacket (lamé) and lame glove, which covers the target area to register a valid touch on the scoring machine. Just as in foil, there are two scoring lights on the machine. One shows a green light when a fencer is hit the other shows a red light when their opponent is hit. There is no off target in saber.


As with foil, one of the most difficult things to understand in saber is the rule of right-of-way. "Right-of-way" is the differentiation of offense and defense, made by the referee. The difference is important only when two lights go on at the same time in foil. When this happens, the winner of the point is the one who the referee determined had the right to the attack at the time the lights lit. This is determined in two ways either the first two attack or the last to fail. If one person fails the other takes over as the attacker.