It’s not easy to choose the right fencing weapon, just because they all have their own appeal. But, choosing your fencing weapon also means choosing your fighting style to some extent, so it’s not just the weapon that should be taken into consideration, but the physique, thought process, and general abilities as well.
The epee can score on any part of the body, so it takes a cautious fencer to use. While making a point might seem easier because it can involve contact with any part of the body, that also means you have to be aware of each part of your own body. Reach becomes overly important with this weapon, which is why many epee fencers are taller, with longer arms to enable them to reach their opponent while also staying out of reach of them.
The foil only scores when it comes into contact with the torso. But, the torso can be swiftly blocked with choreographed turns and twists. This method of fighting makes it easier for those who are a bit shorter, but have a wealth of endurance and the ability to think fast and predict their opponent’s next move.
The sabre can point by contact with any part of the body above the waist, but that doesn’t mean footwork should be taken for granted. Even the edge of the sabre can yield points. Because of the unique options and limitation of this weapon, those of average height fare well. However this weapon is definitely made for the strategist who can plan their moves based on opponent’s actions and their own skills, far in advance of the actual match.
Remember, the really is no one-size-fits-a methodology to choosing your best fencing weapon. These guidelines can help you get started, but you may find that your own unique skills lead you to a fencing weapon that isn’t necessarily what you thought it would be. Try more than one in order to get the feel for what really works for you.