Fencing, one of the most complete sports in terms of physical exercise refers to the pair of one of the most attractive for intellectual development. Hence the key to its success: the balance derived from its practice between mental and physical qualities.

It is a sport full of emotion, in which concentration, speed, balance and coordination are especially enhanced. It is a practice of evasion that speeds the reflexes and sharpens the intelligence.

On the physical plane, his practice increases speed, dexterity and strength, we speak of a sport where the whole body acquires prominence. The legs are used to move and the arms to execute the movements with the weapon. All the physical qualities are worked: resistance (the duration of a combat must be endured efficiently), strength (arms and legs are strengthened, as well as the trunk, to be able to support the weight of the weapon and the technical positions that are required in fencing), speed (faster in the execution of actions, greater success in getting hits) and flexibility (the greater the amplitude it can perform with the corporal segments, the greater mobility to be able to get touches).

In the Intellectual plane the most important psychic qualities are educated : will, self-control, initiative, security, intelligence and the formation of habits and qualities necessary in the multifaceted activity of the individual.


The origins of fencing are closely linked to the evolution of man. Hunting or defense against the attacks of animals, were the reasons that drove prehistoric man to build different types of weapons. Later its use extended for the attack or the defense between the same men. The sword was born to wound or kill the enemy in war and drift into. Non-military discipline with the appearance of firearms, so it began to be practiced as a training parallel to the battlefield for the upper classes who considered an art and a sign of distinction, as early as the late Middle Ages.

The study of the weapons of the first civilizations, estimates that the first scabbards appeared between 1500 and 1100 BC, while the first visual representation of a fencing match is a relief in Egyptian temple ofMedinet Habu , erected by Ramses III, near Luxor .

The sword as war found a place in all civilizations. It is said that the king of Assyria was a pioneer in using professional fencing masters to improve the performance of his troops, although skillful swordsmen also existed in China, Persia, Babylon and Rome.

In this last one his famous gladiators, whose combats, initiated towards the year 250 a. They lived as mass spectacles, although those who fought on the sand would live their lives in it. Curiously, the Greeks never valued fencing as the Romans, great figures of history, made the sword their companion-the Charlemagne, for example, always went one with one, educated their three sons in the art of their use and bequeathed one to each one to each of them. The knights and the figure of the Cid emerged in Spain brandishing a sword, while the Japanese samurai raised its use to sacred ritual and the French musketeers turned it into art through the application of sophisticated techniques. The swords had until name: Excalibur is one of the most legendary expressions.

The sword led to sports activity as firearms began to replace knives on the battlefield. The first treaties in this sense date from the fifteenth century. The last vestige of the sword as a deadly weapon

they were duels to death for cause of honor, the maximum expression of the romantic movement, made until the end of the 19th century. Italy and especially France with its renowned teachers and academies, took the control of fencing as a sporting exercise and, at the end of the 18th century. It began to impose the use of the mask, jacket and gloves and the foil was born. It was then that the specific characteristics of each weapon were established and the way to fight with a new vocabulary was codified.

Disciplines and modalities

There are three weapons and therefore three modalities:

The foil is light and flexible, its blade is rectangular and its tip, blunt. Its maximum weight is 500 grams and its length cannot exceed 110 centimeters.

The sword, cataloged like weapon of end like the foil, has a maximum weight of 770 grams and a length of 110 centimeters. The blade is made of steel and the length is 90 centimeters.

The Saber is a tip and cut weapon, so that “headdresses” can be made with both the tip and the blade. It measures 105 centimeters and weighs 500 grams.

In foil and sword, the “hits” valid on the opponent must be made with the tip of the weapon and in a clear and clean. In the saber the headdress can also be made with the blade. In foil, the correct target occurs when the front and rear trunk, not head, arms and legs touched. In the Sword, however, the scoring surface includes the whole body, that is trunk, head, arms and legs. In Saber, is recorded as a contact gun-touched on the head, arms and trunk clear fencer legs being released.

In fencing it is competed in individual or by teams and before and after all assault the fencer must salute his opponent in an act of courtesy.


Sword, saber and foil are different weapons but they have in common that they are composed of a flexible steel blade, a grip that allows you to grab the weapon and a metal cup, which serves to protect the hand. The clothing of a striker , all in white, is as follows:

A jacket of a strong fabric to protect against attacks from the opponent. A glove to cover the hand used by the fencer to hold the weapon. It is usually leather and slightly padded on the outside.

A mask that has the function of protecting the head that consists of three parts: the mesh of the wire at the front. The arch that passes through the upper area and behind the head, and the barb, designed to safeguard the throat. The rest of the costume consists of pants with knee-high stockings and sports shoes with good grip.

The playing field of a fencing assault is called a track and is flat. Normally the fencing tracks are metallic, since they must be made with electrically conductive material, which allows to incorporate the mass system, by which the hits made on the floor are not recorded by the signaling device. The dimensions of the runway can range between 1.5 to 2 meters wide and 14 meters long, this length being extended by another two meters at each end to allow the exit of the fencer as he recoils down the track. Departed by a line in the middle, each fencer has an area for his guard position and another that marks the limit of the track.

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