Fencing Basics

What are the basics of Fencing? What are the most important things to understand about Fencing? Get ready to learn the basic rules of Fencing.

Fencing Basics

Fencing is a combat sport in which athletes use sword like weapons to touch each other and score points. To put into a simple way, fencing is basically modern sword fighting! There are three different disciplines in fencing: foil, saber, and epee. Those are different in equipment needed, rules, and weapon used, but the essence is the same between all three weapons, the goal is to touch the opponent with the weapon, while also using it to defend yourself from being touched. While the basic goal of the sport is simple to understand, fencing is full of small rules and regulations that can make it a hard sport understand, especially for people watching who do not practice.

Most Important

Fencing is a sport widely based on attack and defense, that is, attacking your opponent and defending yourself. Your strategy can be based on either attack or defense, and the way points are awarded is based on attacking and defending (in foil and saber). That way, the most important things to know are defensive and attacking concepts, and also how to touch your opponent, while not being touched. Take a look at some of the important fencing concepts:

  1. Attack
  2. Parry
  3. Riposte
  4. Counterriposte
  5. Counterattack
  6. Advance
  7. Retreat
  8. Lunge

List of Fencing Basic Rules

In fencing, rules are more complex  for two of the three disciplines, saber and foil. That is because they use rules of priority. Trying to simplify it, in saber and foil, not every time a fencer touches the opponent, he or she will score a point. The referee will decide who gets the point, if anyone, based on the actions the two fencers did. Other than that, is really important to learn the "do nots" of fencing, that is what fencers can't do during a bout, and what happens if they do.

  • Priority Rules
  • Penalties and cards


You already know the basics of fencing! Although there are common characteristics between all three disciplines, they are very different from each other, with different rules, different techniques, and fencers with different personalities. The next step to learning fencing is learning more about each weapon, and picking your favorite (or favorites)!