Course Progression from Fundamentals to Master
- Rapier Level 2
- True Fight Mechanics
- True Fight Strategy
- The Deceptive Fight
- Body Voids
- Refused Posture
- Offhand and Dagger
- Dagger II
- Unarmed Level 2
- Intermediate Grappling
- Sidesword Level 1
- Fundamentals I-II-III
- Approaching Gioco Stretto
- Sidesword Grappling
- Receiving Gioco Largo
- Approaching Gioco Largo
- Longsword Level 3
- Quadrant Defenses vs Fendente
- Quadrant Defenses vs Mezzano, Sottano and Thrust
- Primary Guards
- Secondary Guards
- Gioco Stretto & Grapples
- Rapier Level 3
- Striking Tempos
- Unorthodox Postures
- Buckler and Cloak
- Two Swords and Baton
- Disarms and Dagger Strikes
- Sidesword Level 2
- Low Line Guards, Progression
- High Line Guards
- Polearms Level 1
- Poleaxe Fundamentals
- Quarterstaff Fundamentals
- Unarmed Level 3
- Wrestling in the Grips
- Dagger Level 1
- Dagger Masters 1-3
- Dagger Masters 4-6
- Dagger Masters 7-9
- Martial Prowess Trial
- Historical Research Trial
- Community Contribution Trial
Buy Books and DVDs
Introduction to Italian Rapier
BOOKS A complete curriculum for training and fencing with the Italian rapier covering mechanics and strategy, from first steps to full-speed sparring. Over 500 photographs, illustrations and diagrams. Courtesy Freelance Academy Press. Shop now
“The Flower of Battle” Manuscript in EnglishBOOKS Get in touch with the historical sources of swordplay. This unique and beautiful translation of the original Fiore dei Liberi manuscript is designed to resemble the look and feel of the Getty original, but read in English! Lays flat for easy study. Courtesy of Swordfight Canada. Shop now
"On Defense, or the Science of Arms" Manuscript in EnglishBOOKS A unique and beautiful translation of the original Salvador Fabris Italian treatise designed to resemble the look and feel of the original, but read in English! Nearly 200 retouched images. Courtesy of Swordfight Canada. Shop now
Introduction to Italian RapierDVD Learn cunning Renaissance rapier combat! An incredible art that combines poise and grace with explosive power and precision. Ideal for beginners of all age levels and physical abilities. Courtesy Freelance Academy Press. Shop now
Introduction to Italian LongswordDVD Learn the fluid and powerful Medieval Italian longsword. You'll develop solid mechanics and strategies for attacking or defending against any opponent. Ideal for beginners of all age levels and physical abilities. Courtesy Freelance Academy Press. Shop now
Learning a martial art requires discipline and rhythm, whether you’re taking classes or training on your own from home. Here’s how our DuelloTV students stay on top of their learning.
Make a training schedule.
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Practice with a friend.
Feed your passion.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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
The Rapier and its Secondaries
“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.
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
The Sidesword and Shield
The 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
Director and Maestro d’Armi Devon 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
Greg Reimer, Instructor
Greg Reimer has been studying Italian martial arts since 2006, and has taught over 5,500 hours to students in unarmed, dagger, rapier (and secondaries), sidesword & buckler, longsword, pole weapons and mounted combat.
In 2015, Greg received his Provost certification at the Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay in Vancouver, BC. Swordfight Canada was founded by Greg in 2016 and holds classes and workshops in and around the beautiful alpine village of Valemount, British Columbia.
Greg has participated in SCA events as well as tournaments sponsored by Academie Duello, winning the 2013 and 2014 Carosella Mounted Combat games, winning the 2014 Senior Students Invitational rapier tournament, and the 2015 Spring Clash Tournament (first place rapier, first place longsword) in Vancouver, BC. He has travelled across Western Canada and into Washington State to meet, teach and enjoy sparring with other sword fighters.
Greg enjoys sword fighting and teaching it to others, no matter what age, physical ability or martial experience.
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.
I signed up because I’m so novice in the art that I felt like I didn’t have the tools to train alone. Being a novice, it did seem intimidating to be joining a mastery-oriented community – but having completed the program, I can’t even imagine a past version of myself not taking that step into the unknown. I’m now immersed in swordplay, I have access to a community that I feel comfortable within, despite being an enormously reticent person, and I have a rich training plan that includes multiple options and directions – forms, partner work, historical source study, recapping the basics… I’ve acquired a solid grounding in the verbal, physical and mental vocabulary of swordplay, and I also know where to turn for continuing guidance.
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
Acknowledgement of Safety and Risk
- Practice all exercises slowly and with control.
- Practice using training swords that are not sharp and are specifically made for practice.
- Use protective gear for all exercises. In many of our videos we are not wearing head, throat or body protection in order to make clear explanation more possible. You should always use protective gear when practicing these arts regardless of the exercise.
- Be aware that injuries in training are always possible. Ensure that you are practicing with care and caution at all times.
- DuelloTV is not responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of sword practice inspired from our videos.