Fencing traces its roots to the development of swordsmanship for duels and self defense. Fencing is believed to have originated in Spain, and some of the most significant books on fencing were written by Spanish fencers. In conquest, the Spanish forces carried fencing around the world, particularly to southern Italy, one of the major areas of strife between both nations. The mechanics of modern fencing originated in the 18th century in an Italian school of fencing of the Renaissance, and under their influence, were improved by the French school of fencing. The Spanish school of fencing stagnated and was replaced by the Italian and French schools.
The shift towards fencing as a sport rather than as military training happened from the mid-18th century, and was led by Domenico Angelo, who established a fencing academy, Angelo's School of Arms, in Carlisle House, Soho, London in 1763. His school was run by three generations of his family and dominated the art of European fencing for almost a century. Angelo established the essential rules of posture and footwork that still govern modern sport fencing. He was the first fencing master to emphasize the health and sporting benefits of fencing more than its use as a killing art, particularly in his influential book The School of Fencing ( L'École des armes), published in 1763. Fédération Internationale d'Escrime.
Fencing was part of the Olympic Games in 1896. Sabre events have been held at every Summer Olympics, Foil events have been held at every Summer Olympics except 1908, while Epée events have been held at every Summer Olympics except in 1896. The International Fencing Federation (Fédération Internationale d'Escrime, FIE) was founded in 1913 and held World Fencing Championships from 1921. Starting with Epée in 1933, side judges were replaced by the Laurent-Pagan electrical scoring apparatus, with an audible tone and a red or green light indicating when a touch landed. Foil was automated in 1956, Sabre in 1988.