Become a Master of Italian Swordplay

DuelloTV brings you high quality online swordplay training that will take you step-by-step from the fundamentals of historical fencing, to advanced techniques and strategies.

Acquire skill, get fit, develop confidence and poise, connect with history, and join a worldwide community.

Your Path to Mastery

Get started for freeFree membership! Take the free Getting Started courses and receive our weekly email with training advice, at-home exercises, news and updates.

Newcomers: Transform Your Life Through Swordplay

Duello.TV is designed with beginners in mind. Our progressive courses help you learn the basics at your own pace, with easy to follow lessons, quizzes, and training guidance.

Get on the exciting path to mastery.

There’s nothing boring about it! From holding a sword, to sophisticated attacks, defences, and strategies.

Become active everyday.

Daily exercises and bite-sized, progressive training make it easy to start up and keep going.

Get started for free

  Longsword sample lesson: cutting down from the right (more like this)

Develop grace and strength.

Master the smoothness of a rapier lunge, or the flowing cut of the longsword. Feel like you’re gliding on air, hands and feet in perfect sync!

Build competence and confidence.

Gaining skill is gratifying. Follow DTV’s step-by-step lessons to build up your techniques and become adept with a sword. You won’t just do it, you’ll do it well!

Get started for free

  Rapier sample lesson: making a lunge (more like this)

Progress from beginner to master.

You can become a true swordfighting expert. It takes time, investment and hard work. In the end, you’ll have a treasure few will ever obtain!

Find your passion.

Energize your life with swordplay. Step into a mode of moving and fitness that you’ll actually want to do every day!

Get started for free

  Sidesword sample lesson: marking parries against cuts (more like this)

Learn more about how beginner courses work and the exciting journey you can embark on. Courses Page →

Experienced Practitioners: Maximize Your Training and Expertise

Duello.TV has the resources to take you deep into historical Italian martial arts. Totaling over 45 hours, we have over 400 Video Library classes across 7 disciplines in 4 progressive levels of expertise.

Get the structure you’ve been missing.

From expert coaching on the fine details of form and body mechanics to progressive tactical approaches for applying your art to any opponent.

Learn a mature and proven system.

Our programs have been running for more than 13 years, have seen more than 10,000 students, and have been tested in training, tournament, and by experts from throughout the world.

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  Advanced Longsword: provoking the opponent’s attack (more like this)

Level up and certify.

Receive expert advice and progress through the levels of our system from beginner to master through our online assessment program and connection to our study centres throughout the world.

Lead your own study group.

Through our certification program you can lead a group in your own area, and with hard work, become a certified Academie Duello instructor.

Get started for free

  Advanced Sidesword: feint provocations (more like this)

Browse our Video Library to see what is possible as you progress. Video Library →

Get started for freeFree membership! Take the free Getting Started courses and receive our weekly email with training advice, at-home exercises, news and updates.

Devon Boorman, Lead Instructor

Director and Maestro d’Armi Devon BoormanDevon Boorman has practicing martial arts for more than 20 years. Starting first with Asian martial arts, including Kung Fu and Arnis, Devon discovered western swordplay through the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) which connected him with a burgeoning community of martial artists and scholars studying Historical European Marital Arts throughout the world.

Devon has travelled extensively, first as a student, then as a competitor, teacher, and researcher. He has won more than 40 European martial arts competitions, and worked on both stage and screen as a stunt person and choreographer. Devon is actively involved in the translation, interpretation, and revival of Western Martial Arts from surviving historical manuals, some of which are on display at his school.

Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques. He has taught workshops and seminars throughout the world on both the study and practice of historical techniques and on practical combat implementation.

Devon is the co-founder and director of Academie Duello, which has been active in the Vancouver area since 2004. Under his leadership the school has become a centre for swordplay with over 200 active students, a store, and an arms and armour museum. The Academie is currently the largest WMA centre in the world; a model that Devon hopes to help others achieve.

Devon Boorman at TEDxEastVan

  Watch Now: Swordplay and the Lost Art of Knighthood

Testimonials from Professionals & Students

As a professional instructor myself, I not only respect Boorman’s approach, I highly endorse his school as a major center for anyone interested in Historical Swordsmanship.

I only have the highest praise for Devon Boorman and his staff, past and present, and cannot truly describe in words what my association with this club has done for me on all planes: physical, mental, emotional and indeed spiritual.

Mike Miller

Devon and the Academie Duello are producing top caliber martial artists.

Puck Curtis
Maestro, Sacramento Sword School

Academie Duello is an extremely welcoming and positive environment… the sense of community is wonderful. The instructors are patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic; everyone in the school is friendly and helpful; it’s a great workout… and who doesn’t want to learn how to sword fight?!

Allison Sproule

Academie Duello in the Media

  • Vancouver leads the renaissance in swordplay, January 2014, The Province
  • Medieval Bully Fighting Workshop, February 2014, Global Morning News
  • Game of thorns: Roseblade a longsword and the woman who wields it, October 2013, Vancouver Courier
  • Charge into fitness with swordplay or martial arts, July 2012, Vancouver Sun
  • En garde for the new fitness hybrid – SwordFit, February 2011, The Globe and Mail

Get started for freeFree membership! Take the free Getting Started courses and receive our weekly email with training advice, at-home exercises, news and updates.

Learning From Home

Learning a martial art requires discipline and rhythm whether you’re taking classes or training on your own from home. Here’s how our Duello.TV students stay on top of their learning.

  Make a training schedule.

Plan some time in your schedule to work through our courses and lessons. We recommend at least a single one-hour block or two 30-minute blocks to tackle new lessons each week.
To help you out we send weekly training guidance and lesson plans.

  Commit to a daily rhythm.

True learning comes when you give a little bit of time everyday. As little as 5 minutes of mental review or simple practice makes all the difference.
We help by providing you with short exercise videos and bite-sized practice assignments you can fit into even the busiest of schedules.

  Learn it. Test it. Refresh it.

Learning is a process that requires taking new steps, challenging the steps you’ve taken, and constantly touching what you know to keep it fresh.
Our programs are all progressive and iterative. You will learn new material and get guidance to practice and build on what you already know. Our quizzing system tests your knowledge and through video assessment you’ll get feedback from experts to help you push yourself further.

  Practice with a friend.

Get a friend on board to help keep you accountable and to learn the partner aspects of the art.
We provide ample solo and partner content to make training on your own and with a friend easy and fun.

  Feed your passion.

Connecting with other practitioners, engaging in practice challenges, and reading some of the original ancient manuals can help keep you excited.
We have a vibrant online community, weekly training blog content, and we run regular practice challenges to keep you inspired.

How do the Courses Work?

  • 1. Watch a video lesson

    Each lesson contains a short 2–4 minute video that is clear, concise and easy to follow. Watch the video several times to get the most out of it.

Three Core Weapons

Italian Longsword
Longsword: The medieval longsword is a powerful cutting weapon held in both hands and is most commonly associated with knighthood. Longsword techniques include cuts, thrusts, halfswording and wrestling. Academie Duello’s longsword teachings are based on those of fifteenth-century master Fiore dei Liberi. Read more about the Longsword.
Sidesword and Targa
Sidesword: Sidesword technique covers the use of most short cutting swords. Sidesword technique is often combined with the shield, dagger or a second sword. Academie Duello’s sidesword teachings are based on the sixteenth-century Italian techniques of Achille Marozzo and Antonio Manciolino. Read more about the Sidesword.
Italian Rapier
Rapier: Synonymous with The Three Musketeers, the skills and abilities developed while learning to master the ultimate dueling weapon build a solid foundation for learning many others. The Academie’s teachings are based upon such seventeenth-century masters as Ridolfo Capoferro and Salvador Fabris. Read more about the Rapier.

Read about the duelling arts and other weapons taught at Academie Duello.

The Italian Longsword

Italian LongswordThe longsword is a long straight bladed weapon with a simple crossbar and grip that can accommodate two hands. The overall length of typical longswords range between 40″ and 50″ with blades varying in length between 30″ and 40″. Sword weights vary but are typically between 2 and 5 lbs.

The longsword is a weapon that unites both sides of the body, emphasizes full body movement, effective footwork, and an ability to move between combat distances with fluidity.

Red Cord Longsword 3

The Longsword is a superb teacher of combative principles including:

  • Power generation
  • Combative fluidity and movement
  • 360-degree movement and perception

Physically the longsword will challenge you to develop:

  • Fast and effective posture and footwork
  • The ability to move with fluidity, power, and speed
  • Your body into a powerful and efficient martial tool

The mental game of the longsword will teach you:

  • Confidence and decisiveness
  • Combative strategy that blends cut, thrust, and wrestle
  • How to think in 3 dimensions

Read more about the nature of Longsword combat and the history of the Longsword.

The Italian Rapier and its Secondaries

Italian Rapier“The rapier has improved me as a martial artist more than any other discipline I have pursued.” – Devon Boorman, Academie Duello Chief Instructor

The rapier is a long, thrusting oriented weapon typically 43″ to 50″ in total length with the blade itself being between 40″ and 45″ long. Typical rapiers weigh between 2 and 4.5 lbs in overall weight. The balance point is typically 2″ to 4″ from the guard along the blade.

plays of rapier and cloak

The rapier is a superb teacher of fundamental combative principles including:

  • Control of distance and timing
  • Understanding how to strategically control an opponent
  • Blade interaction and sensitivity – reading your opponent through subtle blade pressure

The rapier is a superbly physical weapon that will improve your:

  • Cardiovascular fitness through its athletic demands
  • Core strength, thighs, legs, shoulders, arms, and back
  • Ambidexterity through the co-ordination of multiple weapons

The rapier is an intellectual weapon that will teach you

  • Clear language for understanding blade interaction and position
  • How to control time and distance and manipulate an opponent to your advantage
  • Confidence and intentional action

Read more about the nature of Rapier combat and the history of the Rapier.

The Sidesword and Shield

Sidesword and TargaThe sidesword is sometimes called a cut and thrust rapier because it has a similar hilt design to late renaissance rapiers. They are typically between 35″ and 40″ in total length with blade lengths varying between 30″ and 38″. They are broad bladed, capable of the thrust and the cut. The typical weight is between 2 and 4 lbs.

The arming sword fits similar dimensional properties to the sidesword but is typically on the shorter end of the spectrum and features a hilt made up of only a simple cross and optionally a finger ring.

The sidesword and shield is a superb teacher of combative principles including:

  • Flow and deception
  • Weapon unity and interaction
  • The blending of cut, thrust, and close play

Physically the sword and shield will challenge you to develop:

  • Graceful and effective posture and movement
  • Ambidextrous coordination
  • Finesse and physical endurance

The mental game of the sword and shield will teach you:

  • Confidence and decisiveness
  • Combative strategy that blends cut, thrust, and wrestle
  • Multitasking

Read more about the nature of Sidesword combat and the history of the Sidesword.

Get started for freeFree membership! Take the free Getting Started courses and receive our weekly email with training advice, at-home exercises, news and updates.