though technically a teaching tool and not a weapon, owes its style
to its use as the practice weapon for the small sword. The advent of
the fencing mask and the decline of the sword as an item of dress led
to foil becoming a discipline of its own, and a key part of the golden
age of classical fencing. During this period the use of the foil rose to that of an art, an art however that was tempered by the realities of single combat in duels.
The target area
is the torso, to encourage defence of the vitals. The study of the foil
provides an excellent understanding of the fundamentals of fencing.
The Epee du Combat was the weapon of the duel once swords were no longer an item of dress. Original usage was based on foil teaching but it gradually developed its own methodology and teachings based of the fact that the entire body is the target area, concurrent with the duel. This leads to rather conservative actions focusing mainly on the sword arm due to the fact that an attack to the torso places your arm within easy reach of his point.
The Italian duelling sabre, a
33in razor blade, with which actions using the true edge, false edge
(upper third of the back of the blade)and point are allowed. The target
area is the body above the hips, including the arms and head, and
the front leg above the knee.
La Canne Italiana
The Italian cane. More for
the rencontre than the duel, Italian canne fencing is a system
of defence using the walking stick, which sprang up once the
sword was no longer an item of dress.
is a single handed cutting weapon with a basket hilt and one cutting
edge, the other side being thick to give the weapon strength. Long used
as both a military and civilian weapon throughout the islands of Ireland
and Britain. The weapon is practised using singlesticks