With all three weapons, defence must be affected exclusively with the guard and the blade used either separately or together.
If the handle has no special device or attachment or special shape (e.g. orthopaedic), fencers may hold it in any way they wish and they may also alter the position of their hand on the handle during a bout. However, the weapon must not be - either permanently or temporarily, in an open or disguised manner - transformed into a throwing weapon; it must be used without the hand leaving the hilt and without the hand slipping along the hilt from front to back during an offensive action.
When the handle has a special device or attachment or has a special shape (e.g. orthopaedic) it must be held in such a way that the upper surface of the thumb in the same plane as the groove in the blade (at foil or at épée) and perpendicular to the plane of the flexibility of the blade a sabre.
The weapon must be used with one hand only; a fencer may not change hands until the end of the bout, unless the Referee gives special permission in the case of injury to the hand or arm.