A weapon and type of modern fencing

Shown is an épée fencer, with the valid target area (the entire body) in red.



( or ,
French pronunciation: ​
[epe]), sometimes spelled
in English, is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing. The mod


derives from the 19th-century

épée de combat
a weapon which itself derives from the French small sword.[ii]

Every bit a thrusting weapon, the


is similar to a foil (contrasted with a sabre, which is designed for slashing). It has a stiffer blade than a foil. It is triangular in cross-section with a V-shaped groove chosen a fuller. The


also has a larger bell guard and weighs more. The techniques of their use differ, equally at that place are no rules regarding priority and right of way. Thus, firsthand counterattacks are a common feature of


fencing. In addition, the unabridged body is a valid target area.



While modern sport of fencing has three weapons — foil,

, and sabre, each a separate outcome — the


is the only one in which the unabridged body is the valid target area (the others are restricted to varying areas above the waist). The


is the heaviest of the three modern fencing weapons. Equally with all fencing disciplines, fencing matches with the


crave concentration, accuracy, and speed. Since the entire body is a target, a successful


fencer must exist able to anticipate their opponent’south moves and strike their opponent at the correct time.

In near higher-level competitions, a grounded piste is used to preclude floor hits from registering as touches. In


fencing, unlike in the other 2 disciplines, at that place are no correct-of-way rules regarding attacks, other than the aforementioned rule regarding touches with just the point of the weapon. Touches are awarded solely on the basis of which fencer makes a bear upon outset, according to the electronic scoring machines. Besides, double-touches are allowed in

, although the touches must occur within forty milliseconds (ane/25
of a 2nd) of each other.

A special aspect to the


discipline is the counterattack, a tactic employed in response to an set on. Some specifications include two varieties, the stop-thrust and the fourth dimension thrust, which are (respectively) a simple counterattack and a counterattack on the opposition. With the absence of right-of-fashion, following an attack and landing a counterattack correctly can be a highly efficient way to score a bear on, thus the counterattack’south ubiquity in





A modern

, of size v, for apply by adult fencers has a blade that measures ninety cm (35 in) from the guard to the tip. The full weight of the weapon set up for use is less than 770 g (27 oz),[3]
with nigh competition weapons being much lighter, weighing 300–450 1000 (11–16 oz).


for use by children under 13 are shorter and lighter (e.g. size 2), making information technology easier for them to use.

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The blade of an


is triangular in section, whereas that of a foil is rectangular, and neither blade has a cutting edge. Wires may run downward a groove in


blades fitted for electric scoring, with a depressible button capping the betoken. In competitive fencing, the width of any of the three sides of an

‘s bract is limited to 24 mm (0.94 in).[3]

The baby-sit has numerous forms, only all are substantially a hemispherical shield, the section of which fits in a x–13.five cm (3.9–5.3 in) cylinder.[4]
This is frequently called a bell guard. Equally the paw is a valid target in competitive fencing, the guard is much larger and more protective than that of a foil, having a depth of iii–v.5 cm (i.2–2.2 in) and a diameter more probable to be toward the maximum of 13.5 cm (5.three in).[3]

As with a foil, the grip of an


can exist exchanged for another if it has a screw-on pommel. Grip options primarily include the French grip and the pistol grip.

In competitions, a valid touch is scored if a fencer’southward weapon touches the opponent with plenty force to depress the tip; by rule, this is a minimum of 750 gf
(7.iv N). The tip is wired to a connector in the guard, then to an electronic scoring device or “box”. The baby-sit, blade, and handle of the


are all grounded to the scoring box to prevent hits to the weapon from registering as touches.

The referee checks Kristina Kuusk’south weapon in the Challenge International de Saint-Maur

In the groove formed past the 5-shaped blade, in that location are two sparse wires leading from the far cease of the blade to a connector in the baby-sit. These wires are held in place with a stiff glue. The amount of mucilage is kept to a minimum as in the unlikely (simply possible) case that a fencer manages a bear upon in that glue, the touch would be registered on the electrical equipment, as the glue is non conductive (the blade is grounded). In the event of tip to tip hits, a point should not exist awarded. A “body string” with a three-pronged plug at each stop is placed underneath the fencer’due south habiliment and fastened to the connector in the guard, so to a wire leading to the scoring box. The scoring box signals with lights (one for each fencer) and a tone each fourth dimension the tip is depressed.

The tip of an electric

, called the “button”, comprises several parts: the mushroom-shaped, movable

pointe d’arrêt

(‘indicate of arrest’) at the stop; its housing or “barrel” which is threaded onto the blade; a contact jump; and a render spring. The tips are generally held in place by two small grub screws, which thread into the sides of the tip through elongated openings on either side of the barrel. The screws hold the tip within the barrel simply are immune to travel freely in the openings. While this is the most common organisation, screwless variations do be. The return bound must permit the tip to support a force of 750 gf
(vii.4 N) without registering a touch. Finally, an épée tip must permit a shim of 1.5 mm to be inserted between the

pointe d’arrêt

and the barrel, and when a 0.5 mm shim is inserted and the tip depressed, it should not register a touch.[5]
The contact bound is threaded in or out of the tip to adjust for this distance. These specifications are tested at the start of each bout during competitions. During competitions, fencers are required to have a minimum of two weapons and ii body wires in case of failure or breakage.

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Bouts with the unlike fencing weapons have a different tempo; as with foil fencing, the tempo for an


bout is rather slow with sudden bursts of speed, just these are more than common in


due to counterattacks.



Dueling sword


The French discussion


ultimately derives from Latin

. The term was introduced into English in the 1880s for the sportive fencing weapon.

Like the foil (French:
fleuret), the


evolved from light civilian weapons such as the small sword, which, since the late 17th century, had been the most commonly used dueling sword, replacing the rapier.

The dueling sword developed in the 19th century when, under pressure from the regime, duels were more frequently fought until “first blood” only, instead of to the decease.[
commendation needed

Under this provision, it became sufficient to inflict a small nick on the wrist or other exposed area on the opponent in order to win the duel. This resulted in emphasis on light touches to the arm and hand, while downplaying hits to the torso (chest, back, groin). Rapiers with full-loving cup guards had been made since the mid 17th century, simply were not widespread before the 19th century.





fencing somewhat resembles 19th-century dueling. An


fencer must hit the target with the tip of the weapon. A deviation between


and foil versus sabre is that


(body-to-body) contact between fencers is not necessarily an offense, unless it is done with “brutality or violence”.

In the pre-electrical era,


fencers used a different kind of

point d’arrêt
, a iii-pronged point with modest protruding spikes, which would snag on the opponent’s habiliment or mask, helping the referee to see the hits. The spikes caused


fencing to be a notoriously painful affair, and


fencers could be easily recognized by the tears in their jacket sleeves. A later evolution of the sport used a point that was dipped in a dye, which showed the location of touches on a white uniform; the dye was soluble in weak acid (due east.g., acetic acrid) to remove onetime marks.[6]
Today, contest is done with electrical weapons, where a circuit is closed when the touch is made. Non-electrical weapons are now typically used simply for practice, generally fitted with plastic buttons or solid “dummy points”.

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fencing underwent a prototype shift from classical fencing in the 1970s and 1980s. The shift was pioneered by Eric Sollee, fencing coach at MIT, and his student, Johan Harmenberg, who afterwards won the Earth Fencing Championships and the Olympic gold medal. This new strategic arroyo is based on the “Sollee conjectures” or the “three conjectures”:[7]

  1. Is it possible for the fencer with the lower technical ability to decide the technical level at which a bout will be fought?
  2. Tin can the fencer with the shorter fencing distance control the distance in a tour?
  3. Is information technology possible to force one’s opponent into your one’s ain area of greatest strength?

This new training arrangement (which answered those questions with
yeah) resulted in Harmenberg endmost the fencing altitude, using absenteeism of blade with destructive parries to prevent opponents using their own strongest moves, and pushing them into attacking loftier which was a prerequisite for Harmenberg using his own strongest movement. Harmenberg used this approach to win eight private and team gold medals at Olympics, World Fencing Championships, and Fencing Earth Loving cup competitions. As a result, many if not most of the peak fencers have used the new paradigm or at to the lowest degree adjusted to argue against those who practice.[8]
folio needed

See also


  • Colichemarde



  1. ^

    Evangelista, Nick (1995).
    The Encyclopedia of the Sword. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Printing. p. 208.

  2. ^

    Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911).
    Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 667–669.

    This contains a detailed contempraneous description of the history and form of the sport.
  3. ^




    Book 3: Material Rules
    (PDF). Rules for Competitions. FIE International Fencing Federation. Dec 2018. pp. 15–21.

  4. ^

    le Marche, Claude [a.k.a. Félizet, Georges-Marie] (1898). “L’Épée”. Paris: Marpon & Flammarion. Retrieved
    12 Feb

    – via
    BenjaminArms.com, “French Epee Specifications”.
    Les formes en sont assez nombreuses, mais toutes se ramenent a un segment de sphere dont la section couvrirait une surface arrondie de x a 14 centimetres de diametre; la profondeur est generalement de 3 a 5 centimetres.

    {{cite spider web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

    amend source needed

  5. ^

    Garret, Maxwell R.; Kaidanov, Emmanuil G.; Pezza, Gil A. (1994).
    Foil, Saber, and Épée Fencing: Skills, Safe, Operations, and Responsibilities. Penn Land Academy Press. p. 178. ISBN0271010193
    . Retrieved
    26 November

  6. ^

    Cohen, Richard (2002).
    By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions. Random House. ISBN978-0-375-50417-4.

    Re-issued from original Modern Library Paperbacks edition.

  7. ^

    Pingree, Geoff; Harmenberg, Johan (October 2014). “Eric Sollee and the Three Conjectures / Johan: The Three Conjectures”. In Harmenberg, Johan (ed.).
    Épée two.5: The New Paradigm Revised and Augmented. SKA SwordPlay Books. pp. 29–33. ISBN978-0985444181
    – via Amazon.com.

    Most of relevant material is freely readable online via Amazon’south “Look Inside” feature; see particularly p. 33.

  8. ^

    Harmenberg, et al. (2014),
    Epee 2.5.

External links


  • Épée introduction and strategy basics
    dead link

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89p%C3%A9e