The foundational fencing weapon, foil is the most common form of fencing and the recommended way to be introduced to the sport. In foil, only the point is used to score touches and the target is restricted to the torso and groin. Foil has rules to simulate the logical flow of a fight called “right of way,” as does sabre.
A derivative of the curved cavalry sword, sabre has rules similar to foil but allows for more target area and uses the blade’s edge as well as the point as means of scoring a touch. The target is restricted to the arms, torso, and head.
A heavier weapon that scores only with the point (like foil) and has the look and feel of a 19th century dueling sword. The sport of épée has far fewer rules than foil or sabre and allows the entire body as target area.
All three forms of fencing offer unique challenges and fun. A serious fencer should have at least a base proficiency in all three weapons. Starting with foil is an ideal way to develop basic skills and a perspective as to which form of fencing may be the most attractive to an individual.