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Difference Between Epee and Foil

Epee vs Foil

Epee and foil are the different types of swords used in the sport of fencing. Generally, three types of swords are used in fencing, and the sabre is the third one.

While a foil is light and flexible, an epee is a heavy. When the foil is a light-thrusting sword, the epee is a heavy-thrusting sword.
In fights using the foil sword, the main targets are the torso including the back and not the arms. But when using the epee, the target is the entire body.

When using a foil, the hits are scored when the tip part of the sword thrusts into the opponent’s body and the hits from the side of the blade are unaccounted. In the case of both fencers hitting at the same time, the “right of way” is used for determining the points in fights using a foil sword. However, the “right of way” is not applicable in fights using epee swords.

Foil swords were the first to be developed. It is said that the foils were developed as training weapons in mid 17th century. The epee swords were only developed in the 19th century when a group of French students wanted to revolutionize the foil conventions and wanted a weapon that was light.

For registering a hit using a foil, it should be thrust with at least a force of 4.90 newtons for 15 milliseconds. When using epee swords, the thrust should be with a force of 7.35 newtons for one millisecond.
When comparing the rules, the fights that use an epee come with less restrictive rules than the fights that use foil swords.

Summary:

1.While a foil is light and flexible, an epee is heavy. When the foil is a light-thrusting sword, the epee is a heavy-thrusting sword.
2.In the case of both fencers hitting at the same time, the “right of way” is used for determining the points in fights using a foil sword. However, the “right of way” is not applicable in fights using epee swords.
3.In fights using the foil sword, the main targets are the torso including the back and not the arms. But when using the epee, the target is the entire body.
4.Epee sword fights come with less restrictive rules than the fights that use foil swords.
5.Foil swords were the first to be developed. It is said that the foils were developed as training weapons in the mid 17th century.
6.The epee swords were only developed in the 19th century when a group of French students wanted to revolutionize the foil conventions and wanted a weapon that was light.


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