Who Invented Fencing?

One of the most favored sports of sport enthusiasts is fencing. There seems to be an abundance of movies, TV shows, and sport events that actually feature and use this sport. Although that is the case, it seems that not a lot of those who like playing or watching this type of sport ever knew who invented fencing.

So who invented fencing? Let’s check what history says.

Earliest Points in History

About 1200 B.C., there is evidence that fencing has been used before. This is supported by carving in the country of Egypt where a couple of masks, weapon protection tips, and judges were known to have existed.

Also, during the early times of the Early Greeks and Romans, there are also some evidences that came up. These people were known to have a love for spears and short swords during their time. Also, it was said that during this civilization, chosen warriors learn their skills in schools that were called as ludi.

Beginnings of Modern Fencing

History says that it was during the fifteenth century when the origins of the modern fencing sport that we know now started to come into being. During the years 1471 and 1474, there were two of the first fencing materials that were published and distributed in Spain to those who are interested to know how to play this sport. During those times, there were also swordplay guilds spreading throughout Europe.

In the 1500s, the use of the Rapier became more extensive and widely used by the Italians. The position involved using both hands with different weapons. As such, the person would be seen holding a particular weapon on the right and a small shield (also known as the buckler) on the left. Sometimes, in place of the small shield, the person would use a Main Gauche (or, more commonly known, as the dagger).

There also were well-known Italian fencing masters during that era. Master Agrippa was one of them. Agrippa became famous because of the creation of the four crucial positions in fencing which involved the prime, seconde, tierce, and quarter. Other masters like Grassi and Vigiani were also famous throughout the land because of their creation of the lunge position for fencing.

This popularity of the sport continued and increased in the next century.

It is also noteworthy to mention that even the Queen of France, Queen Catherine de Médicis, encouraged a lot of masters of the sport to stay in France and help develop the sport in the country.

Since this became a stunning success, the Queen’s son, King Charles IX, awarded titles to the new fencing masters and had officially recognized the academy of this sport known as the French Fencing Academy in France.

Fencing in the US

In the 1860s to the 1870s, this sport finally came to the United States of America. This was brought by the French and Italian masters of the sport who became immigrants of the country. In the year 1874, the very first US fencing school was established.

Unlike earlier versions of the sport, fencing was used more as a non-harmful and non-violent sport in America.

Through the years, so many masters have contributed to the sport, and had helped in its further promulgation not only in the US but in other European countries as well. The weapons, tips, and procedures in playing the sport may have changed and evolved with the many masters who gave their time to teach and assist. But up to now, there is really no known answer on the person or group of people who invented fencing.

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