The Barbados Fencing Club

The Barbados Fencing Club (BFC) was formed in 2000 to develop and promote the sport of fencing in Barbados.

Currently the BFC has about 25 members with ages varying from around 16 to over 60. The club meets twice a week during the school term: on Monday nights from 6:30pm at Queens College in Husbands, and on Thursday nights from 7:30pm at Surfside Gym in Wildey. A Brief History of Fencing – Fencing is a competitive, individual sport involving skill, agility, fitness, and tactics (not necessarily in that order).

The earliest evidence of fencing as a sport comes from a carving in Egypt, dating back to about 1200 BC, depicting warriors practicing with wooden swords and masks. Modern fencing has its roots in the fifteenth century European practice of duelling and there are 3 primary weapons.

The “fleuret”, or foil, was developed in France as a lighter training weapon for duelling. Points can only be scored within a specified target area on the opponent’s body, and only with the point of the blade. In the 18th century a heavier weapon called the Épeé became popular for duelling. Again points are only scored with the point, but may be directed to any part of the body.

The sabre, a weapon descended from the Oriental scimitar, is the only fencing weapon to use cutting as well as thrusting actions. The first modern Olympic Games (1896) featured foil and sabre fencing for men only.

Epee was introduced in 1900. FIE (The International Fencing Federation and the world governing body for the sport) was founded in 1913. Epee was electrified in the 1936 games, foil in 1956, and sabre in 1988.

Until recently fencing was the only Olympic sport that included professionals. Women’s foil was first contested in the 1924 Olympic Games, but Women’s epee was only contested for the first time in 1996, although it has been part of the World Championships since 1989.

Women’s sabre made its first appearance at the 2004 Athens Games.

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Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.