The goal in fencing is to make hits without being hit yourself. Both your attack as well as your defence are important. A fencing match starts in the on-guard position. Both fencers position themselves on the on guard line on the piste. The piste is 14 meter long and two meter wide. The fencers are allowed to use to full length of the piste, as long as they don't change side on the piste. After a valid hit has been made, both fencers position themselves on the on guard line again.
You can initiate an attack. Most of the time your opponent must first make a parry, before he can start a counter attack. An attack can miss its target or be parried. As soon as an attack does not result in a valid hit, the opponent can initiate a counter attack, or 'riposte'. A fencing match is a sequence of actions and counter actions until one of the fencers makes a valid hit. Most of the time a match ends after one of the fencers has scored five hits. There is always one referee, possibly aided by two or more side-judges.
De KNAS (Koninklijke Nederlandse algemene schermbond) is the Dutch Fencing Association and has about 70 associated fencing clubs with a total of 2.500 fencing members.
Visit the website of KNAS.