Sticks and Swords: The Art and Sport of Fencing

On guard! Slash! Slash! Sword fighting in the movies looks fast. Sword fighting in the movies looks fun--especially if the swordsmen swing from chandeliers. Sword fighting, or fencing, in real life is still fun but takes lots of practice.

People have been doing some kind of fighting with swords for a long time. The ancient Egyptians did stick fencing. They did it for their leader. Their leader was the pharaoh. Egyptian soldiers practiced stick fencing. It made them strong. It made them quick. Even the royal family learned this sport. They wanted to protect themselves.

Later, in the Middle Ages, knights fought with swords. These contests were called jousts. They fought at tournaments. They fought for the honor of their ladies. Before becoming a knight, young boys trained as squires. They fought with small, blunt swords.

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