Sport fencing has a long and colorful history. Something that many don’t know is that fencing is one of the original Olympic Games, having been a competition since the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. This is a very versatile sport that features different categories within the Olympic parameters and many others outside the Olympics.

Silversword Fencing Academy – Fencing Olympics 1896

Olympic Fencing

During the Olympics fans will see three forms of sport fencing as well as different categories. The three forms include:
Foil – torso target with a light thrusting weapon
Epee- entire body target with a heavy thrusting weapon
Sabre- above the waist target except hands and back of the head with a light cutting and thrusting weapon

Each of these forms are contested in both men’s and women’s categories for individual and team competitions at the Summer Olympic Games.


In the Olympic competitions and when competing in other level challenges, fencers wear specific protect equipment including:

  • Jacket
  • Plastron
  • Glove
  • Breeches
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Mask
  • Chest Protector
  • Lame
  • Sleeve

Each of these items has a specific purpose for keeping the opponents safe but also for scoring aspects. It is not a simple game of thrust and parry when fencers compete for Olympic medals. The scoring, rules and traditions of sport fencing are very intricate and fencers are taught from the very beginning the different ways to earn and lose points. Olympic fencing matches may be confusing for a bystander who knows nothing of the sport. But that doesn’t stop it from being a very entertaining sport to watch!

People of all ages are interested in sport fencing and there is ample opportunity for everyone to get involved in learning the sport. Children as young as 5 can begin training and working toward an Olympic goal in this specialized sport that builds endurance, flexibility and discipline.