Terms You Should Know
Foil
Also "blunt" and epee du salle. A practice sword without sharp point or edges. The "foil" used in the sport of fencing was based on the smallsword.

Epee
French word meaning "sword."

Rapier (from the Spanish "espada ropera")
A civilian weapon designed to favor the thrust over the cut. Made its appearance by the late 1400's. Characterized by a long blade (42" was common). Often used with a dagger in the left hand.

Smallsword
The English term for the final incarnation of the rapier. Almost exclusively for thrusting.
Appeared by the mid-1600's and continued in popularity until gentlemen ceased wearing swords as a part of their everyday attire, around 1800.

Longsword Also bastard sword, hand-and-a-half sword.
Predominantly a medieval military sword, broad-bladed and made for cutting, though thrusts are possible. Made to be used with one or both hands.

"Olympic" fencing
Charitable term coined by Maître Crown in the late 70's to describe the hyper-stylized and highly unrealistic "fencing" done as a competitive sport.
We have no interest in the sport of fencing as currently practiced.

Classical fencing
The "martial art" of the sword. Sword-fighting with the highest possible degree of verisimilitude.

Stage combat
The simulation of combat for theatre or film. We occasionally work with actors or producers who need sword training. We teach them the reality of the sword so that they might be safer and more effective in their performance.

Sabre
Military weapon favored by the cavalry, characterized by a broad, "flat" curved blade to facilitate cutting. Some lighter versions were fashioned for civilian dueling.

Duel
A pre-arranged mutually-engaged ritual combat between two persons of equal social rank who are acquainted with each other, carried out in accordance with written or unwritten laws, rules, codes or conventions governing such combats.

Brawl
A spontaneous physical confrontation between two or more persons, which may be mutually-engaged, or instigated by one or more parties against one or more other parties, generally in a dispute over either love or money, and subject to no rules, codes or conventions except civil and criminal law.

Battle
A confrontation between two or more large masses of armed persons who are unacquainted with each other and have no personal grievances against one another, in which the unwilling are led by the incompetent to do the unnecessary for the ungrateful.


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