What is Olympic Fencing?

There are 3 events in Olympic sport fencing: Saber, Epee, and Foil. Typical bouts are scored to 5 touches, with the first fencer to reach 5 wins the bout. NIFC also has 2 Blade Dagger Fencing, which is not an Olympic Sport. NIFC does not accept students or members under the age of 10 years old.  



Saber is a very fast-paced weapon, with bouts characterized by quick footwork and cutting with the edge of the blade.

Saber is modeled after a cavalry saber which was used when fighting upon horseback (the allowed target area is only from the waist up, the region a mounted man could reach on a foe on the ground), however others believe the saber was modeled after the Italian dueling saber.

Saber is a "weapon of convention" or "right-of-way" sport, which means that the fencer must take certain actions to establish priority, which gives that fencer the right to score a point.

A typical 5 touch bout can take about 90 seconds to complete.



Foil was invented in France as a training weapon in the middle of the 18th century in order to practice fast and elegant thrust fencing.

Fencers blunted the point by wrapping a foil around the blade or fastening a knob on the point ("blossom", French fleuret). Modern Foils have a button on the tip of the blade that is connected to an electronic scoring box. Target area for Foil fencing is the smallest of any of the disciplines and is limited to the TORSO of the body.

A typical 5 touch bout takes several minutes to complete since action can be slow and deliberate.



Epee is the modern derivative of the dueling sword, the smallsword (itself descended from the rapier, used in sport fencing). Épée is French for "sword". As a thrusting weapon, the épée is similar to a foil, but has a stiffer blade that is V-shaped in cross-section, has a larger bell guard, and is heavier.

While a point weapon like Foil, the Epee technique is somewhat difference, as there are no rules regarding priority and right of way. In addition, the entire body is a valid target area from the tip of the toe, to the top of the head.

Unlike either Saber or Foil, in Epee both fencers may score touches simultaneously.

A typical 5 touch bout can take several minutes to complete.



2 Blade Dagger Fencing is styled after the type of military combat that was used during the late period of the Middle Ages and the early period of the Renaissance. Each fencer utilitzes a traditional Epee, in addition to a specialized "Dagger" which is a short blade with a traditional Saber grip, but with an Epee button at the end of the blade.