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). Some kingdoms allow modern equipment to be used, but Lochac favours metal theatrical schlagers and in-house fibreglass rapiers.
SCA fencing allows people to move around freely rather than the simply forward-backwards movement of modern sports-fencing, and it is not limited only to thrusts. The rules allow the tip and the side of the weapon to be used for thrusts, side cuts (drawing the blade along a part of the opponent's body) and tip cuts. Side sword allows even more techniques.
There are a number of fencing techniques available to learn, most often used are:
- Single rapier
- Cloak and dagger
- Rapier case (a pair of matched rapier)
- Rapier and shield
- Rapier and parrying gauntlet
- Rapier and baton
The Guild of Defence was recently made 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").