1.3 Which is the best weapon?

 
     Such a question is an open invitation to religious warfare.
     Everybody loves to participate, but nothing is ever settled.
 
     If the question means "what kind of fencing is the most fun?" then
     the answer is: it depends what aspects of fencing you enjoy the most.
     If you are fascinated by technique, bladework, and tactics, you will
     probably get a lot of satisfaction from foil fencing.  More visceral
     fencers who want to experience the adrenaline rush of a fast,
     agressive sword fight will want to try some sabre.  Most epee fencers
     consider themselves practical, no-nonsense sword fighters who rely on
     as few artificial rules as possible.  Enthusiasts of more medieval
     combat styles, involving armour and heavy weapons, should consider
     joining the SCA or a kendo dojo.
 
     On the other hand, if the question means "which weapon is the most
     deadly?"  the answer will depend on a lot of factors, not the least
     of which are the skill of the combatants, the presence of armour, the
     military and cultural context, and the rules of the fight (ie. is
     this a street fight, a gentlemen's duel, or open field warfare?).
     Most swords are highly optimized for performance in a specific
     environment, and will not perform well outside it.  Comparing two
     swords from completely different historical contexts is therefore
     extremely difficult, if not downright silly.
 
     Then again, perhaps the question means "which style of fencing is
     the most realistic?"  It must be said that questions of realism have
     little relevance to an activity that has almost no practical
     application in the modern world other than sport and fitness.
     Historically, however, epees have the closest resemblance (among FIE
     weapons) to real duelling swords, and the rules closely parallel
     those of actual duels (sometimes being fought to only a single
     point).  Other martial arts with a high realism factor include
     kenjutsu and some aspects of SCA fighting.
 

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