A Spaniard in Duello

I am “Eduardo-from-Spain”. Most of  you know who I am, but I guess some others do not.

Well, I lived for two amazing years in Vancouver. I thought it would be fun, but I could not believe that a place such as Academie Duello was possible. So I’m writing here about how lucky I was (and I still feel) to be a member of that great community in the heart of Vancouver.

I was walking for the very first time down the streets of Vancouver downtown when I just saw a big sword appending to a building.  For as long as I can remember, when I was a child I used to play with a stick simulating a sword. Growing up with fantasy and historic movies such as Willow, Robín Hood, The Three Musketeers…  even now, I am still reading fantasy and enjoying epic movies.

Moreover, I was looking for a sport to train in and enjoy, because (let’s say the truth) I was getting a little bit chubby and out of shape, because I’ve been doing sport for most of my life, but since I started attending university I was doing nothing.

So there I was looking through the glass, seeing people swinging swords and not only were both of my wishes made true, but also my reaction was, “OH MAN I HAVE TO TRY IT!”

After that, as soon as I could, I took my first beginner class: Warrior Fundamentals. As soon as I walked in a really, really tall and strong man introduced himself as the instructor and a bearded gentleman working with him as an instructor, too.  For me, it was a great experience, impressively done, and fun. The two men were a good team; they train you, and you can see from how good they are that what they were teaching you was just the basics.  So after taking that course, I needed more.

So there I was taking focus classes until one day that I was called by Devon, our dear director of the Academie, to become a part of the crew as member of the Outreach department.

Over there I had the chance to learn about marketing and also develop my skills as a graphic designer, so that means that you have been seeing posters, flyers… designed by myself and probably you would never have known. The experience working with that team was a blast!

Then I took my second intro course of Taste of The Renaissance, a course that uses a different sword but is also incredibly entertaining. I don’t know if it was because of how passionate the instructor was when talking about the sword, or if it is because you can combine that weapon with secondary ones, but I fell in love with the rapier then.

I have been doing sword fighting for more than a year now.  I learned a lot from the instructors and the sport itself because is not just a sport, it is history, it is knowledge, it is learning how to think and overall it is fun.

Now thanks to the Academie I know what I want in my life and it is to keep doing that wonderful sport while improving my skills and my knowledge about swordplay, and building them up wherever I go.

Now I am back in Spain, and I have found a really nice crew over here as well. I hope that I can contrast my new knowledge with my colleagues at Duello as soon as I can, and enjoy fighting with them again, as I used to when I was there.

The truth is that Academie Duello has made my Canada!


Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. 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.
Read more from Devon Boorman.