Adult Swordplay  Category Archives

Notes from a Fencing Student, circa 1657

Posted on by devonboorman

In the 1650s, a German speaking student attended the knight academy at Sorø in Eastern Denmark. There he studied under fencing master Wilhelm Schöffer von Dietz, a known student of fencing master Salvator Fabris (whose manual is a core source for rapier instruction at Academie Duello and to the Italian tradition in general). In his time there, this unnamed student…

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Benefits of Interdisciplinary Study

Posted on by devonboorman

At the moment of writing I'm sitting in a plane seat on my way out of Duluth Minnesota. I've spent my weekend at the beautiful facility of the Avalon Educational Institute teaching a combination of sword alone, sword and buckler, partisan, and spadone. I love inter-disciplinary weekends. They're an opportunity to connect students with the application of a full martial…

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Getting Started in HEMA, Wherever You Are

Posted on by devonboorman

Historical European Martial Arts are one of the most rapidly growing parts of the Martial Arts world with new groups, sites, and schools opening up all the time in both the West and East. Yet for a new practitioner, even with all this choice, it can be hard to know where or how to start. This is the first in…

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Taped Up, Braced Up, and Strapped Down: Training Through Injury

Posted on by devonboorman

I consider myself to be relatively lucky in regards to injuries when it comes to martial arts. I have broken some fingers in intense bouting, separated a shoulder while doing armoured combat, and have certainly had my share of sprains and strains. That being said, it has been a relatively healthy career thanks to a lot of care and attention.…

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Strategies for Auditory Learning

Posted on by devonboorman

At the end of a workshop delivered by Guy Windsor recently, Guy asked all of his students "Did you have every opportunity to get what you wanted from today's session?" This was a subtle shift from a question I had heard him ask two year's prior "Did you get what you wanted from today's workshop?" It is up to us…

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There’s More to HEMA than Tournaments

Posted on by devonboorman

I have fought in a lot of tournaments, and for a while that was what really lit my fire when it came to Western Martial Arts. There was a certain attraction to the intensity of the environment, the training program beforehand, and then winning a prize or a medal was pretty exciting too. However, as in any practice, over time…

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How Do You Foster Safety In Martial Arts?

Posted on by devonboorman

Though safety may seem boring, uncool, or like an unnecessary consideration, it is a vital foundation for pursuing excellence in martial arts in both the short- and long-term. Having a solid approach to safety in your group is important for retaining members, keeping your body healthy, and for creating the space for experimentation. At Academie Duello, safety is a core…

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Keeping the “Martial” in Martial Art

Posted on by devonboorman

These days, there is very little impetus to end up in a duel with sharp swords or even a true in-earnest fist fight on the street. In fact, I'm quite happy to live in a time and place where I do not need to defend my life on the regular. However, I am a teacher and student of an art that…

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30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge Review

Posted on by devonboorman

At the end of January, we finished up the fourth 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge. The Facebook group this year had over 250 members with reports coming from at least 100 of them throughout the entire month. I enjoyed reading posts from practitioners throughout the world with varying levels of experience and coming from different backgrounds and disciplines. I took some time…

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Structuring Your Solo Practice

Posted on by devonboorman

Not everyone has the luxury of being able to regularly attend classes at a school like Academie Duello or get together with regular training partners. So, how do you train on your own in a way that is effective? In this last week's DTV Livestream we discussed just that. Here's a round-up of some of the best advice. Set a…

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