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Fencing as entertainment art has received a wide circulation in the Ancient Greece and Roman empire. Greeks have created schools of training to possession of a cold steel. In Roman empire teachers, who named «doctors of the weapon», trained the soldier in army.

In the Middle Ages fencing had strongly pronounced class character: representatives of aristocracy of feudal princedoms and the states were mainly engaged in it. Simple people - the townspeople and peasants - fenced on sticks, upholstered by iron, and on halberds.

Fencing as art of possession by a sword and a rapier arisen in Spain in the XV century. The productions of the Spanish teachers on history of fencing which appeared in 1474 are considered as the first books. Approximately during the same time the corporation of teachers of fencing has been created in Germany, and in England - association of fencers.

The principles of fencing were firstly defined in Italy in the XVI century, expressed in the classification of receptions and actions. The Italian teachers created a course of studying of fencing and theoretically proved its principles.

To the first quarter of the XVI century a wide circulation got those kinds of the weapon, with which it was more convenient to put an injection, having got an edge of blade in an aperture and cracks between plates armour. This circumstance forced to narrow blade of a sword to an edge and, finally, led to occurrence of a rapier, which had finally superseded a sword. Spain became the native land of a rapier with classical type handle, having cup-shaped bow.

In the XVII century in France bases of a new direction in art of possession by a cold steel are pawned. A wide circulation received the school of fencing cultivating only pricking sword, unlike the Italian school, where the sword was used as the cutting and pricking weapon.

In the XIX century fencing is formed as a kind of sports. Most actively sport fencing develops in France, Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany.

For the first time, competitions on fencing, in their modern treatment, were lead in the end of the XIX century. In 1886 on the occasion of a millenium of the basis of the Hungarian state large international tournament on fencing was lead in Budapest.

On November, 9th, 1913 in Paris representatives of national federations of Belgium, the Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland and Czech fencing club «Rigel» had been proclaimed creation of the International federation of fencing (IFF).

Firstly international rules IFF were accepted in June, 1914. The first edition of «Rules of competitions IFF» appeared in 1919.

Fencing as a kind of sports was included in the program of the first Olympic Games of the Present in 1896. The first kinds of competitions on Games in Athenes were personal superiority on rapiers and sabres among men. Command superiority by these kinds of the sports began to be spent since Games of the III Olympiad (1904). Personal competitions on swords in the program of Olympiads for the first time have been lead in1900, and command for the first time took place on Olympic Games in London in 1908. Personal competitions among women for the first time were spent in 1924 on Olympic Games in Paris, and command competitions - on XVII Olympiad in Rome (1960). In Atlanta in 1996 woman for the first time in history of Olympiads crossed swords in personal and command competitions, before the woman competed only on rapiers.

From the textbook of fencing by Rudolf Kapoferro (1652)

From the textbook of fencing by Rudolf Kapoferro (1652)

The Ancient card (the end of XIX century, France)

The Ancient card (the end of XIX century, France)