Fencing – Arnold Sports Festival Australia
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre



Sword fighting has been the stuff of childhood games and swashbuckling movies.

But fencing is so much more and you will be able to see some of the best duel at the Arnold Sports Festival Australia.

Fencing, born from a form of military training in the 14th Century, was included in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and has remained on the program ever since. It is a sport of tactics, lightning reflexes and stamina.

The three weapons used in this Olympic sport are epee, foil, and sabre, with different target areas and rules for each weapon. Fencers compete on 14-metre long pistes in bouts lasting up to 3 minutes – but spectators may find the bouts are over much quicker than that.

Fencing is widespread across Australia among men, women, young and old. Australia has sent fencers to most Olympics and Victorian fencers are ranked internationally.

The first Arnold Sports Festival Australia Open Fencing Championships was fast, fun and highly competitive with fencers from all over the country duelling for a medal. Divisions included Open (all age groups), team events in all three weapons and the Victorian Schools League in epee only.

We would love to talk to you about fencing rules, choosing your weapon, and how to get into fencing. For more information on a club or school near you, see the Fencing Victoria website.

Amazing fencing facts

  • Fencing is one of only four sports to be included in every modern Olympic Games since 1896.
  • Fencing is the only combat sport with no weight classes.
  • The tip of the fencing weapon is the second fastest moving object in sport (the first is the marksman’s bullet).
  • Fencing is conducted on a 14x2m ‘strip’ or ‘piste’ to replicate combat in confined quarters, such as a castle hallway.
  • The 750-gram weight test used to ensure a touch is scored with sufficient force (and sets off the light, indicating a score) is based on the amount of tension required to break the skin.