For more information on any of the topics discussed below, see the About Fencing page.

What is fencing?

Fencing is a sport where two competitors at a time use sporting swords (foils, épées or sabres) to score points, typically 5 or 15, within a set time.

Do you have to be fit to take part?

You don’t have to be particularly fit to take part, but a high level of fitness is required to compete effectively. Fencing training actually helps to improve your fitness level and stamina and typically involves general fitness training as well fencing technique.

Isn’t it a rather elite sport?

Fencing is one of the largest sports in the world in terms of participation. It is the national sport in Hungary and is very popular in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere in Europe. It is quite strong in North America and just about every country in the world has an active fencing organisation. It is relatively small in Ireland, but Irish fencers are welcome everywhere!

Isn’t it dangerous?

Fencing accidents are extremely rare and usually associated with faulty equipment. As in most sports, occasional bruises and bumps may happen, but serious accidents are much rarer than in most sports – that said, it is important that the appropriate protective items are used.

So how do I go about starting?

Contact any of the clubs to find out about training in your vicinity, or contact Fencing Ireland at

I’m joining a club to see what it’s like. What do I need to bring?

Apart from yourself, wear a tracksuit or similar clothing which allows freedom of movement. After that the club will advise you on what else is needed and will generally have a supply of equipment available until you decide you want to get your own.