The most popular, or at least the most well known, form of fencing is fencing done with a foil. A foil is a lightweight sword with a dulled tip that used to be primarily used to train people in sword fighting technique. Over time these training exercises, and the foil itself, began to take on a life of their own as an athletic competition to the point where today foil fencing is an Olympic event and a very popular activity all over the world. In foil fencing each participant wears full body protection including a helmet and mask to protect the face and head. The object of foil fencing is to strike a blow to the chest of your opponent and gather more points for your accurate strike than your opponent does. Usually an electronic strike plate is installed in the chest area of each combatants’ gear and striking a scoring area will cause a sound to be heard. Foil fencing is becoming extremely popular as more and more competitions are springing up all over the world and more and more celebrities are taking up the sport which brings more high profile to it to more people all over the world. The diversity of celebrity involvement is also helping to bring foil fencing to audiences that it had never been exposed to previously. For example, Bruce Dickenson who is the lead singer of the heavy metal group Iron Maiden is famous for his enthusiasm for foil fencing and is helping to bring the sport to an entirely different audience.
Fencing was created, in part, to help recreate the old aristocratic activity of the sword duel. This noble sport became an art form and then an event over time and today it has become a very popular and growing sport. While foil fencing is the most recognized form of fencing there are other types of swords used. The epee is similar to a foil but not nearly as lightweight or bendable as the foil is. The epee was created because many fencers felt that the foil did not help recreate the feel of a duel and that the sword needed to be more durable. Another sword used in fencing is the sabre. The sabre is a replica of an older cutting type sword and it is one of the few forms of fencing that allows points to be scored using the edge of the blade as well as striking with the tip.
Fencing is one of the original Olympic events and its popularity continues to grow as more and more celebrities expose people to fencing. It is based on the classic concept of the sword duel and is a sport that requires great finesse along with a control of your hand-eye coordination.