FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


Nov 1, 2010
2010 / November 2010

Whenever we engage in conversation, we fence, using words instead of weapons. We parry awkward questions and respond with ripostes.

By the same token, whenever two fencers fight, they converse. The clash of the blades is known as a “conversation.” Every attack is effectively a question. Every defensive move is an answer.

Our lives are underpinned by combative instinct. Talking or fighting, we employ reflexes as old as humanity. Both activities have been refined over millennia, modified by the rules of grammar and honor. But stripped to the basics, talking is a form of fighting, and fighting is a form of talking.

In Renaissance Europe, words and swords were elevated to new heights of cultural significance. Poets and playwrights crafted work that resonates to this day, while sword fighting ceased to be primarily a function of war and became a popular leisure activity for the gentry. Rules were drawn up and buttons were added to the tips of the swords to render them relatively harmless.

The term “fencing” evolved from the word “defense,” and for young European men it was more than a sport: It was a vital survival skill, either on the battlefield or in the formal duels that were the favored method of settling quarrels when words alone were not enough.

Firearms eventually replaced swords as the weapons of choice for battle or personal disputes, but the tradition of swordsmanship endured. Fencing was inevitably included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and is one of only five sports to have featured in every subsequent Olympics. (In 1924, the Hungarian and Italian teams became embroiled in a row that led to the buttons being removed from their swords and duels being fought. Fortunately, honor was satisfied without anyone being killed.)

In modern fencing, there are three disciplines, each employing different weapons and specialized techniques. Top fencers tend to dedicate themselves to one particular fencing discipline rather than attempting to master all three.

The foil is the lightest weapon, and only the opponent’s torso is deemed to be a scoring area. The épée is directly related to the traditional dueling sword, and the whole body is in play, though only a hit with the tip of the blade scores points. The saber, which is primarily a slashing weapon, evolved from the cavalry sword — the entire blade can be used to strike all parts of the opponent’s body from the waist up.

The seemingly absurd fencing garb — resembling a white romper suit, topped with a metallic, fine-mesh mask — is essential for protection. Prior to electronic scoring, sword tips were dipped in soot, and scoring was determined by the soot marks on the white uniforms of each fencer. Today, competitors are wired directly to a computer, and each scoring hit registers automatically.

Bouts take place on a long, narrow platform known as the piste. Fencers are penalized if they stray from the fighting area. A fencing match consists of three three-minute bouts separated by a minute of rest. The first fencer to reach 15 points wins. If the contest goes the distance, the competitor with the highest points tally is awarded victory.

Despite its long pedigree, fencing is never likely to become a mainstream modern sport. The specialized clothing and equipment can be prohibitively expensive, and a considerable amount of training is required to reach a competitive standard.

Yet whether we are aware of it or not, we fence every day; and when, in the course of repartee, we are skewered by someone’s rapier wit, we inevitably respond with a fencing term: Touché.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


Insta Feed
United States
Apr 15, 2021

New Deals and Packages in Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg is a great place for a springtime getaway! Explore the historic town, learn about the way they lived life back in the 18th century and enjoy sweet deals and offers throughout the spring.

eFlyer Reviews
Apr 14, 2021

The Hamilton Hotel Review

The Hamilton Hotel, located steps from the White House, was the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Upon arrival, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful with a quick check-in process. The lobby was immaculate with shining marble flooring, velvet couches and an arched ceiling design that brought a sense of sophistication. For added security, the elevators are only accessible to those who have a key card to a guestroom.

eFlyer News
Apr 14, 2021

Luxury Hotels Add Bryte Restorative Bed to Guestrooms

Luxury destinations around the country partnered with Bryte to introduce The Restorative Bed and enhanced sleep programming at their hotels. The revolutionary, AI-powered Restorative Bed uses real-time technology to intuitively adjust based on the individual’s needs and preferences. An embedded sensory network detects biometrics, like heart rate and breathing patterns, when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep, triggering cooling features and lulling sleepers into deep sleep. Computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points, and the technology also leads sleepers naturally out of sleep.

eFlyer News
Apr 14, 2021

Tauck Announces Full Restart of U.S. Tours

Tauck announced plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Departures of the Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston tour have already begun, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Check the Open for Travel page for information on specific tour departures.

eFlyer News
Apr 14, 2021

Turkish Airlines Resumes Premium Onboard Dining Service

Turkish Airlines resumed its premium onboard dining and hot meal service on all business- and economy-class flights longer than two hours and 15 minutes. The resumption of service is in accordance with all health and hygiene applications.

Apr 13, 2021

Bring Coffee Anywhere with Chemex

Coffee is the pillar to almost everyone's morning and, in a way, it's part of a routine you need to get right in order to have your day go smoothlyThere are many different brands, types, flavors, coffee shops and ways to make the bold morning beverage.

Apr 12, 2021

Soneva Yacht Experience in the Maldives

Luxury resort chain Soneva offers guests a luxurious yacht experience in the Maldives. The Soneva in Aquayacht brings guests on a three-night excursion to the pristine Goidhoo Island.

Apr 9, 2021

2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs

With the vaccine rolling out and U.S. air travel expected to pick up in the upcoming months, the personal finance website WalletHub released a report on 2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs, to help travelers make the best decision for their wallets.