What is Fencing?
Foil is a point sword providing a reduced target and a ‘priority’ of attack. Foil was based on the court sword, and rules were developed to teach sound sword fighting principles. The target area is the torso excluding the head and arms.
Sabre is a cutting sword using the edge of the blade as well as the tip. Its origins can be traced to the cavalry sword and the naval cutlass. Like foil, right-of-way rules give priority to attacks. The target area is everything from the waist up, excluding the hands.
(image sourced from https://historyoffencing.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/men-sabre.jpg)
Epee is a point sword and has the fewest rule constraints. Epee is based on the practice of duelling, where the aim was simply to hit first. The full body is target from head to toe.
(image sourced from https://www.redsports.sg/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/SEA-FENCING-EPEE-1.jpg)