@ocianain Fencing is tons of fun, and it is a sport that is very martial. The lines of attack, the footwork, the ability to know your range- these are all very helpful skills to have. However, as someone who is an experienced fencer and who is now studying kali, I feel safe in saying that fencing isn't a viable form of self defense. Think of it this way- imagine if you studied karate with the restrictions of only being able to move back and forth on a 3 foot wide strip, and you were not able to hit harder then a touch so light your opponent could barely feel it. Yes, it would be combative, but would it really be self defense? If you think it is self defense, then let me ask this- is it self defense to the same degree as boxing or MT? Obviously, I don't think so. With that said, I love fencing, think it is fun, and would encourage anyone to do it. Like Cudgel said, fencing on TV doesn't work well because it is so fast. I mean, you really don't know how fast it is to non-fencers until you try to watch it. What you see when watching olympic fencing on TV is two people, in white outfits with masks on and wires coming out of their backs- why wires you ask? Because the touches come so fat that electronic buzzers are necessary to judge who has touched first. These contestants will continue waiting around for 5-15 seconds at a time, followed by an explosion of action and then someone pumping a fist. Somewhere in a slit second, one of the contestants has moved in, taken right of way (if necessary), and scored a touch. But it is soooooo fast that you need the instant replay that follows, or else most people watching at home won't be able to tell what is going on. Also, as mentioned above, fencing requires protective gear and masks- and it's pretty tough to identify with a hero if they're constantly in a full facemask. Although I would like to see fencing on TV, I think it would be very tricky. If you do want to see fencing, stick to movies. Two of the movies with better fencing scenes recently have been "The Mask of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins and "The Princess Bride" with Cary Elwes and many others. Honestly, if you haven't seen "The Princess Bride" you need to go out and rent the movie anyway. Better yet, get a girl and make it a date- it is a solid date movie @Stolenbjorn I don't know much about non-olympic fencing, but I wouldn't call it fencing. Fencing is exclusively the olympic veriety, right? While there are many other viable, practical, and well developed wester MA systems, I would call them boxing systems, or sword systems, but never fencing. Maybe that's just me. @Dilon Well done! I didn't know the answer to your question for sure, so I googled it. You were right! Here is what I found from this link: Apparently right of way was developed to deal with simultaneous kills- which occur very prequently in non-electric bouts, btw. Are there any more questions? I will be happy to share what I know. I would recommend to anyone that they start fencing- it is fun, fast paced, and very athletic. However, don't expect to become an complete warrior studing fencing- the system just isn't set up for that.