Fencing, also called Olympic fencing, is a sport in which two competitors fight using 'rapier-style' swords, winning points by making contact with their opponent. Fencing was one of the first sports to be played in the Olympics. Based on the traditional skills of swordsmanship, the modern sport arose at the end of the 19th century, with the Italian school having modified the historical European martial art of classical fencing, and the French school having later refined the Italian system. There are three forms of modern fencing, each using a different style of weapon and different rules, and as such the sport is divided into three competitive scenes: foil, épée, and sabre. Most competitive fencers choose to specialise in only one weapon.
Competitive fencing is one of five activities which have been featured in every one of the modern Olympic Games, the other four being athletics, cycling, swimming, and gymnastics.