DuelloTV: Past, Present, and Future

Happy New Year everyone! Over the holiday I wrote a post on the Academie Duello blog looking back over the past year at the school. I thought the same would be worth doing here on Duello.TV where so much has happened.

A Fruitful and Productive 2015

We are always working to improve the content on Duello.TV both in how we deliver it abroad as well as to better represent our learning and delivery at Academie Duello. This year one of our major new projects was shooting the Abrazare Level III video series for Unarmed and Dagger. Along with extensive treatment of hand-to-hand grappling and unarmed combat, these videos explore all of the traditional Italian dagger masters and their plays. This material covered more than 60 individual techniques. It was a lot of fun to shoot, though probably less so for Greg who did most of the falling.

When you have the opportunity to run material through hundreds of classes you get a lot of feedback and iteration. Nearly all of our longsword material (6 tracks worth of stuff) has been updated to fit our new pedagogy. We also shot a whole new series of videos on Approaching Gioco Largo that reflects how we have developed in the school in the past two years. We have already received tons of compliments so I know it’s working for others and not just for us.

Looking Forward to Great Things in 2016

In the new year we are growing our intermediate curriculum videos further which will mean improved and expanded material for rapier and sidesword as well. Look for more on the deceptive fight with rapier, as well as general combative strategy in approaching and receiving with sidesword. I’m working on developing all of the new curriculum plans for the school now, so look to see these changes reflect in DTV content as our calendar updates progress.

Beyond content changes, we have been making changes to Duello.TV under the hood. Our membership engine was upgraded which allowed us to have people pay directly instead of through Paypal. It has also setup the needed backbone for much better access control and progress tracking for individual members. This will make our new features with DTV possible.

Which brings us to the most exciting news. As you all know we closed down new Subscription sign-ups at the beginning of December and began moving forward on the format of the new Duello.TV. Our main goal this year is to upgrade DTV from a knowledge repository, with little guidance, into a learning portal that will help bring members through each stage of their learning. This new format will bring in some key features:

  1. Courses. Here you will go through smaller objective oriented lessons that includes new more focused videos, theory questions, and the capacity to get assessment on your form. We’re designing these with both individual practitioners and study groups in mind. There is a sample course available already, check it out and give us your feedback by email or in the comment boxes below each lesson.
  2. Video Assessment. We’re working out exactly how we want to do this, but the plan is to have the ability to review student’s form remotely, so we can better help practitioners truly excel in learning new techniques.
  3. Discussion. Our new site will allow for much more discussion around individual techniques and lessons. Here there will be the opportunity to learn more about the why behind our approach as well as how it relates to the various historical sources we use.
  4. Progress. As you move through content and assess on it, the new site will better allow you to track your own progress, or manage the progress of others in your group.

We plan to start rolling out trials to some of these new features very early in the new year to our paid Subscribers and we’ll be looking for feedback and guidance as we go.

What are you looking to get out of DTV? What features do you appreciate the most? What is lacking? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

It has been a great year of swordplay at Academie Duello and Duello.TV and it has been great to meet so many DTV followers in-person and by email. I hope to meet many more of you in the coming year both online and in person. All the best to you, and enjoy your training!

Devon & Greg

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Last Chance to get a $9.95 Duello.TV All-Access Video Subscription

Greetings everyone! Duello.TV (DTV) has had a pretty amazing few years of growth, exposure and development. In just five years, we’ve gone from a collection of about 20 videos to over 400—the largest repository of Historical European Martial Arts content on the Internet.

Last time I did a calculation there was more than 60 DVDs worth of lesson content. It is also one of the most mature, systematic, and complete approaches to the longsword, rapier, sidesword, grappling, and polearms, born out of more than 20 years of experience and exposure to literally thousands of students.

Greg and I are now hard at work on some exciting changes to DTV for the new year. New features will make it even easier to access and learn from the content on DTV as well as creating even better content for individuals and groups. We think you’ll really like what we’re doing.

What this means is that after December 6, 2015 we’re no longer selling all-access video subscriptions on DTV in its current form. In January 2016 we’ll open the door to the new DTV, which will instead focus on individual learning paths, guided study and community support. If you’re already a Paid Subscriber, or you sign-up for a paid subscription before December 6, 2015, you can keep accessing the hundreds of teaching videos of DTV as you see it now for only $9.95 per month, which is pretty amazing!

Being a subscriber will not only help us make this new version as excellent as we can, it will also give you advanced access to the new content and structure as well as the opportunity to help guide the new version.

If you’re already a subscriber, thank you so much for your support. It has meant a lot to Greg and me. If you’re not, click here to sign-up as an all-access Paid Subscriber before December 6, 2015!

If you don’t want to become a paid subscriber, sign-up for a Free Membership to access free weekly content and to get news and updates on what’s coming up.

For our Free Members, don’t worry you’ll still get access to weekly content and we’ll keep you in the loop on developments too.

I’ll have more to share here about the new version in the coming two weeks. Stay tuned and please spread the word!


PS. The Academie Duello February Instructor Intensive is nearly full. If you’ve been thinking of joining, now is the time to sign up.

What’s Happening to DTV?

As I posted last week, Duello.TV will be undergoing some changes over the coming months. In fact we’re already hard at work at quite a few of them. I wanted to share a little bit about where we’re going and solicit feedback from the community about what they feel would be valuable for you. Leave your comments here

After December 6, 2015 we’re no longer selling all-access video subscriptions on DTV in its current form. In 2016 we’ll open the door to the new DTV, which will instead focus on individual learning paths, guided study and community support. Keep an eye on your emails and check back to the site often to monitor our progress.

Over the years we have had a loyal following both of subscribers and members, however as the internet and the practice of HEMA has grown, we have begun to feel that there is much more we can offer to help individuals learn and grow using new tools and technologies. The ten-to-fifteen-minute highly detailed videos we offer are great for instructors and certain higher level practitioners, however they can be a bit daunting for someone who is trying to start from the beginning.

The main features we’re planning to offer on the new DTV are as follows:

An Individual Learning Portal

Aimed at solo practitioners and the individual members of study group and other schools interested in learning what we have to offer. This will include:

  • Structured courses where videos are shorter and more actionable. I.e. 2 to 3 minute discrete lessons.
  • Guided assessments and quizzes.
  • Progress and level tracking.
  • Daily training advice and drills.
  • Forums for asking questions and getting guidance.

A Study Group Portal

Similar to what we offer currently with the unlimited access plan but with more guidance for setting up and running classes from our material. This will include:

  • Lesson plans.
  • Drilling guidance.
  • Level assessments.
  • Forums for asking questions and getting guidance.

What do you think? Does this have value for you? What would you add and where do you think we’d do best to focus? Leave your comments here.

To help support our development of the new site, we’re offering our unlimited access subscription (gives you access to all 400+ lessons on rapier, longsword, sidesword, grappling, and more) for only $9.95 per month. This package and price will be going away after December 6, 2015, so sign-up now to get the deal and help us out. We’ll also give you advanced opportunities to check out the new stuff as we build it.

Sign-up and support us here. You can also get access to our free membership and get free content and stay in the loop on our project.

Thanks everyone for your ongoing support and feedback!

Thank You For Your Support!

Thank you everyone for all of your support. Over the past two weeks we have broken the 1000-member mark as well as having over 150 unlimited access subscribers. Having a solid community helps us not only financially but it also gives us a sounding board for our new ideas and a base from which to build our next version of the site.

For the moment new unlimited subscriptions to the site are closed. In the coming months we will be rolling out new features and all of our members and subscribers will be getting advanced information as we develop them. Subscribers will also get a chance to try them out in their beta form ahead of anyone else. Once we’re happy with how things are going we’ll be opening up new packages to new subscribers.

New Features Designed for Better Learning

Much of what we are working on is to break large videos down into smaller, more useful, lessons. We will then be producing supporting material such as quizzes and assessments to connect those lessons together into classes. We believe that this will make it easier for study groups and individual practitioners to learn more fully from the site.

We will also be implementing forums and question & answer capability to make it possible to get clarification and build a deeper understanding of our content.

I hope to produce a more defined roadmap over the holiday that we can share with everyone so they can see more precisely where we are going.

Ever-Increasing Value for Existing Subscribers

For all of you wondering about our current format and site. Though we are hard at work on new features, we are still actively shooting new videos and revising old lessons. In fact the longsword videos that have been going up on the home page this month are all brand new. We’ll be continuing to keep this up and new content will continue to roll out.

If you have any requests or thoughts, please let us know in the comments.

Thanks again everyone who subscribed and helped spread the word about Duello.TV! Let us know what you’d like to see added to DTV in the future. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Devon & Greg