Do you know a sport which has featured in each of the Modern Olympics since the beginning in 1896? It is Fencing, a type of martial arts and combat sporting activity that involves the use of sword as the primary weapon
What is fencing?
Fencing is a type of combat sport in which weapons such as swords, clubs, bayonets, knives or batons for inflicting damage to the opponent either in the form of cutting, bludgeoning or stabbing, using the hand primarily to manipulate the weapon.
Though usage of any of the above mentioned weapons falls under the category of fencing, as far as Olympics and other professional sports are concerned, it is the swords that are used as the primary weapon.
- Fencing is not a new sport played in recent times. It has a long history, which dates back to as early as 1200 A.D. It is considered to be one of the martial arts at that time, patronized by the kings and rules of the countries.
- Not only did the Kings patronized the sport in those times, but also engaged experts in the field of fencing to write in detail about the game, its techniques of defense and offense and the various styles. Huge sums were paid in those days for writing about this art and such writings were preserved as treatises.
- What we know about fencing is only through these treatises. The oldest of these treatises was in 12th century in the U.K. Slowly it spread to other countries in Europe, and many treatises were created from Germany and Italy.
- Many variations such as Thrust fencing, cut fencing, and classical fencing emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sword-fighting or fencing was considered a part of the warfare.
- Subsequently, fencing has been developed more as a martial arts and competitive sports were conducted at periodical intervals. In Modern Olympics, Fencing made its entry as Olympic Fencing guided by the strict rules and regulations framed by FIE, or the Federation Internationale d’Escrime, the international governing body for this martial art or sport.
- The categories of fencing under the Olympic Games include Foil, Epee, and Sabre.