Quick Facts and Did You Knows


It is said that the tip of the fencing weapon is the second fastest moving object in sport; the first is the marksman’s bullet.

Check out this very cool video showing how quick fencing is compared to a rally car by breaking down the speed of an advanced lunge!

Try out these questions on some of your fencing friends:

  1. What is the oldest known fencing manual? It is a late 13th century Latin manuscript found in a German monastery and now in the Royal Armouries.  It has over 100 ink and watercolour drawings of a priest and a student armed with sword and buckler.
  2. Why does fencing happen on a piste? Castle battles took place in narrow spaces so Fencing is conducted on a 14m x 2m “strip” or “piste” to replicate combat in confined space.
  3. How long has fencing been around for in the Olympics? Competitive fencing is one of five activities which have been featured in every one of the modern Olympic Games, the other four being Athletics, Cycling, Swimming, and Gymnastics.
  4. Where is the oldest fencing club?  Confrérie de Saint-Michel, which was established in 1613 in Ghent, Belgium, where it still meets twice a week in the 17th century tower that has been its home for nearly 400 years.
  5. Why do we actually drive on the  left? We drive on the left and men button their clothes left over right from the tradition of keeping the right hand free to draw one’s sword, which was worn on the left.  Napoleon, being a revolutionary, changed the custom, so that countries coming under French influence, including the USA, drive on the right.
  6. Can you do this old trick? A favourite trick of the 19th century fencing master Justin Lafaugère’s was to hold a coin against a wall with the point of his foil, withdraw his arm and then pin the coin to the wall again before it could fall to the ground.  Try it!
  7. Which Prime Minister won the Public Schools Foil Championships in 1892? Sir Winston Churchill.
  8. Why is the Sabre target from the top of the hips? because it is contrary to the rules of chivalry to injure an opponent’s horse.
  9. Do you think you can get style points in fencing? Not now, but in the early years of the 20th century the quality of the fencing was taken into account, as well as the hits scored, when deciding who had won a bout.  At the end of the final bout of the 1905 foil championship between Robert Montgomerie and Edgar Seligman, both previously unbeaten, the score in hits was 5-4 to Seligman, but Montgomerie was declared the winner because of his superior style.
  10. Was there ever an Epee tournament outside? Until electric epee was introduced in the 1930s, epee tournaments were always held outside on gravel paths, weather permitting, to reproduce as closely as possible the conditions of a duel.

Free Intro Membership

Activate your free, 90 day membership to British Fencing today. Membership insures you to fence at any British Fencing club.


Core Coach Offer

Does your organisation want to bring fencing to your community? Explore our core coach course, no experience required.


Calling All Teachers

Start your journey to becoming a community fencing coach. Introduce fencing to pupils for as little as £25. Find out more today.

Join the conversation. Share your stories using #BritishFencing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Our Partners

  • Our Partners