Making Masters

At Academie Duello we have an ambitious goal: Make 1000 Masters. The challenge is that at this moment, we have yet to make our first. What is a Master? Within most European martial traditions, a master is someone who not only practices their art with a high level of proficiency but more importantly is able…

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A party where party-goers are sabering champange

How to Saber a Bottle of Champagne

A slightly different type of how-to topic for today—though it still involves swords! This past weekend we held a charity event at Academie Duello called Duelling with Cause. It featured a tournament, swordplay demonstrations, and a lot of cool audience participation. One of the things that the attendees got to try out was sabering a…

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Eat the Book: A Process for Understanding Historical Sources

One of the awesome things about Historical European Martial Arts is that they come from a rich historical tradition. And this tradition includes a wealth of instructional books written from within the period where those arts were most actively practiced. Picking up a 15th-century fighting manual is by no means necessary to learn, practice, and…

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5 Tips for Effective At-Home Practice

Classes are a great place to learn, but proficiency comes from learning in between sessions by practising on your own. Here are five ways you can make the most of your personal practice time: Keep your commitment small If you’re new to home practice, make a commitment that you feel very confident about keeping. In the beginning,…

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How to Do Slow Sparring Effectively

I’m a big fan of slow sparring as a training tool. It is an ideal way to focus on mechanics and precision, develop strategic and tactical awareness, and work on the necessary relaxation and fluidity required for high-speed combat in a more manageable setting. The main challenge with slow sparring is that it is difficult to…

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