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Fencing is a group of three related combat sports. The three disciplines in modern fencing are the foil, the épée, and the sabre; winning points are made through the contact with an opponent. A fourth discipline, singlestick, appeared in the 1904 Olympics but was dropped after that, and is not a part of modern fencing. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, and the French school later refining the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each of which uses a different kind of weapon and has different rules; thus the sport itself is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and sabre. Most competitive fencers choose to specialize in one weapon only.

Competitive fencing is one of the five activities which have been featured in every modern Olympic Games, the other four being athletics, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics.

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The Fencers Club is the oldest continuously existing organization in the Western Hemisphere dedicated exclusively to teaching and promoting the sport of fencing. Established in Manhattan in 1883, the club has produced numerous National Champions and olympians. (More...)

Selected biography

Aldo Nadi (April 29, 1899-November 10, 1965) is considered among the greatest fencers of all time. Aldo was born into a fencing family in Livorno, Italy, and both Aldo and his brother Nedo Nadi were fencers from a very young age. They were both taught in the classical Italian school of fencing by their father, Beppe Nadi, and both were already winning competitions by their teenage years. Though Nedo won more gold medals (six to Aldo's three), Aldo is generally considered the better of the two. His opponents include the famous French fencer, Lucien Gaudin. He died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles, California.

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U.S. Army 1st Lt. Chad Senior (left) competes in the team modern pentathlon in the 3rd World Military Games in Catania, Sicily

Did you know...

...that since 1938 there have been eight fatalities in fencing — worldwide — making fencing one of the safest competitive sports in the world?[citation needed]


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