‘By far the coolest weapon’ Bev Sullivan – 2010

Sabre originates from the cavalry sword of the same name, and unlike the other weapons uses both point and edge. Until the mid 50’s there was a distinct resemblance between the stiff, heavy wide blades of the fencing sword and its military counterpart, and it has since evolved to the slim, light blade and guard that characterise modern competitive sabre fencing. Owing to the extent of target area sabre is fenced over a further distance which in turn places a high premium on the correct distance and timing for the attack – as most fencing is done in absence of blade (i.e. without blades touching) there is an enormous advantage to a fencer who is attacking. Owing to the emphasis on distance there is an advantage to being highly mobile and nimble on the feet to allow your opponent’s attack to fall short or to capitalise on a technical error in their attack.

As in foil sabre uses the conventions of right of way, where the fencer who starts extending their arm first, if both fencers attack at the same time then there is no hit awarded. If one fencer starts their attack their opponent will need to succesfully parry or otherwise evade the blade to gain right of way.