Fencing, otherwise known as the Art of Defence, is a form of sword-fighting that became popular in late period. With the rise of the musket, heavy plate armour became almost useless and was shed by some in exchange for light armour and light weaponry such as the rapier - which were quick and effective.
The SCA has a number of fencing groups, that mainly teach the heavier, more realistic fighting styles of rapier and side sword (as opposed to the sport-like modern forms of fencing generally using epee and foil).
I believe the style is known as something like ?cut and slash? rather than the thrust-only modern fencing technique. The main differences being that you can treat the sword as having a sharp edge (up near the tip) and slashing-blows are legal (as well as thrusts). Also, you are able to move around freely rather than the simply forward-backwards movement of modern sports-fencing.
There are a number of fencing techniques available to learn, most often used are:
- Single rapier
- Cloak and dagger
- Case (a pair of matched rapier)
- Rapier and shield
- Rapier and parrying gauntlet
The Guild of Defence was recently made into an official Lochac guild, and stands to promote the art throughout the kingdom. Tournaments are held at regular intervals, one of the most interesting and fun being the Queen's glove of courtesy held at festival (where we get to see interesting styles such as "rapier and song" vs "rapier and satyrical verse").