In general: the Wii remote is sensitive to hand movement, so most of the action is motion-based. Hitting the A button or the B trigger on the remote create specific actions, but the point is to play in 3D space around you. And that's a very good reason why there's a wrist strap on the remote! On the other hand, I've never let go of it while playing yet.
This is one of the reasons an 'oldie' like me could pick up game play on the Wii quickly, because the interface is intuitive: if I want to duel Darth Maul with a lightsaber or challenge scalawags as Jack Sparrow, I actually swing away with my remote -- I don't have to press some odd alphabet soup of buttons to perform a manuver.
Parry, thrust... another foe vanquished!