A fencer in the London Olympics
Country of origin France
Descendant arts Canne de Combat
Focus Swordsmanship

Fencing is the sport of fighting with swords. The most common version of fencing today, also called olympic fencing or competitive fencing, is divided into three weapon categories: foil, sabre and épée. Classical fencing uses the same three weapons, but approaches fencing as a martial art.

The term for Fencing dates back to antiquity, being used by ancient Romans and Egyptians.  Like most styles of fencing, Roman fencing used one hand, however, it differentiates from modern fencing because the hand which would not be used would hold a shield.  There were three types of swords in Roman fencing, a gladius (a sword without a guard, much like a long knife), longsword, and short sword.  In modern times,there have been fencing schools as early as 1610, but fencing was also taught for military purposes.  Modern fencing is mostly used for sport, rather than self defense or military purposes.

In modern fencing, your sabre or epee can have a grip called an orthopaedic grip, also called pistol grip.  This type of sword grip was made so that people who had lost fingers in a war, could still practice their fencing.