Fencers utilize three different weapons... Sabre, Epee, and Foil. All three weapons have different rules regarding where an opponent can strike, or the "target area". Sabre and Foil rules also involve "Right of Way", which means even if both fencers hit each other "on target" only one will get the point due to details regarding in what order they performed their blade-work and foot-work. All fencers at the Warner Robins Fencing Society start with foil. James Taylor helped me demonstrate some basic attacks.
After warm-ups and basic drills are completed, fencers will put on their protective equipment and fence each other... or "bout". One common misconception about this sport is that with all the protective gear the athletes wear, the ends of the weapons must be sharp. They, in fact, are not. The tip of the weapon is flat and can compress in, so that during competition, hits can be registered electronically.
James Taylor admits fencing is very quick and may be difficult to follow, so he has some advice for anyone watching a fencing event during the Olympics...
If you are interested in giving fencing a try, you can email the Warner Robins Fencing Society at email@example.com.