What is Fencing?
Fencing is an Olympic discipline introduced for the first time at the 1896 Games in Athens, and has remained on the Olympic program since then. Today, men and women compete in individual and team events, in which three types of weapons are used: foil, epee and sabre.
Among the figures who have marked this sport, Italy's Nedo Nadi is the only fencer to have won a medal in every weapon in a single edition of the Games. In fact he won five gold medals in Antwerp in 1920, a historic and unequalled record.
In fencing athletes use three different weapons. Foil, the lightest of the three and the first one to be used in Olympic fencing. Epee, the heaviest and more tactical one. Sabre, the fastest and more physically demanding one. All of them have their own set of rules who determine who has the right to hit, how to hit the opponent and how to defend from an attack.
At Eton U12 fencers practice epee. Older fencers practice all three weapons. To better understand the sport, have a look at the videos you find down below.
Sports explainer: The sabre
Sports Explainer: The precise art of the epee
Sports Explainer: The classic fencing weapon, the 'foil'
Fencing Clothing and Kit
In order to fence you must wear the appropriate basic protective clothing required for all 3 weapons.
The base kit comprises breeches, plastron (a type of one sided shoulder / chest under jacket for your fencing arm), Jacket, Glove, and for women and girls chest or breast guard protector.
Weapon specific additional protective kit will also be required. These include a mask, a lamé over-jacket, as well as the specific weapon and associated body wires.
Fencing bouts are conducted on a piste - a 14 meter long and 1.8 - 2.0 metres wide strip. Both fencers are connected via their body wires to the scoring box which records valid, and invalid (or off target) hits.
Your kit is obviously very important. If you need any help in purchasing or maintaining any of your kit please ask one of our coaches.
Please note any kit you purchase must be up to current BFA/FIE regulations for club ("recreational") and / or competitive use. See the links to those organisations on the Links page.