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The known history of fencing in France begins in the 16th century, with the adoption of Italian styles of fencing.
There are medieval predecessors, such as the Burgundian Le jeu de la hache ("The Play of the Axe") of ca. 1400, but the history of the classical French school begins with the foundation of the Académie des Maistres en faits d’armes de l’Académie du Roy (also known as the Ecole Française d’Escrime) by Charles IX of France in December 1567.
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Fencing in France was developed into a sport during the 17th century, with codificaion of rules and terminology and a system of teaching, by masters such as Le Perche du Coudray (1635, 1676, teacher of Cyrano de Bergerac), Besnard (1653, teacher of Descartes), Philibert de la Touche (1670) and L'Abbat of Toulouse (1690, 1696).
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