Academie Duello 2016 in Review

Greetings members, students, and friends of Academie Duello!

This time of year is always a time of reflection on the year past and the year to come. As with most years, 2016 has been a year of growth, struggle, triumph, and celebration. We have lost some good friends and also been enriched by many new ones. We have had to let go of some programs while expanding others. We have experimented, challenged ourselves, had a few stumbles but in the end made some great strides. There is so much done, and so much to look forward to.

Here are a few of the things we're proud of from 2016:


At Academie Duello this year we took a big step toward a greater focus on the health of our students. We expanded our programs in Vancouver to include morning fitness bootcamps, kettlebells, and india clubs. We looked not just to the fitness that one could get from swordplay but to a new focus on overall strength, mobility, and structure. Martial arts is not just about combative health but about general health and we've been proud to have an even more expanded impact.

The Return of Archery!

Not only did we host three mounted archery workshops in 2016 we also brought target archery back to our indoor range at Academie Duello downtown. Look forward to even more great opportunities to shoot in 2017.

Horsing Around

We held our third Carosella Mounted Combat Symposium, expanded our riding instruction, and welcomed in a new crop of fighters at our stables this year. In 2017 I look forward to expanding our riding programs and holding a few more mounted tournaments!

12 Months of Fencing

We expanded our swordplay curriculum for our intermediate and advanced students (Scholars and Free Scholars) to be a full 12 months with a greater focus on sword and buckler, intermediate longsword and rapier material. We also graduated our first longsword Scholars and made a new Provost (the rank just below master)!

In this next year we'll be expanding our longsword offerings and class times even further and running another Provost examination!

Duello.TV Courses

In the online side of Academie Duello we completely overhauled Duello.TV (our online learning portal). A new interface, new lesson library, and new courses. These courses for beginner and intermediate students break down swordplay into bite-sized lessons you can easily do at home, complete with assignments, quizzes, and training plans. Now we can truly bring swordplay out to the world!

In 2017 we'll be expanding our courses even further and hopefully adding a few more disciplines to the mix.

Instructors and Study Groups

We hosted three instructor intensives in Vancouver in 2016, graduated more than 25 new level 1 instructors and welcomed three new study groups and two affiliate schools in Canada and the US. In 2017 we'll host our first level 2 intensive -- I'm already getting excited about another intense 50-hour week of rapier and longsword teaching.

Thank You For Your Support

A big thank you to all the students, members, teachers, and advisers that make Academie Duello and Duello.TV possible! This truly is an amazing dream to be both living and sharing with all of you.

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.