Curriculum This Week: Rapier Cutting, The True Fight, Primo Tempo with Rapier and Longsword

Welcome to the first full week of August.  Our Blue Cord and Red Cord curriculum works on a 9 month rotation and we're back to month 1. In both our calendars this is a month on fundamental rapier. For Reds (level 3) we're working on plays in various tempos and how to counter them. For Blues (level 2) we're working on the nuances of the true fight (the strategy where you are always constraining your opponent's sword) and the deceptive fight (where you are using a false movement to lure your opponent out of position). Greens (level 1) are working on fundamental cutting techniques with the rapier.

Those who are focused on the longsword are also moving into a month on tempo and provocation -- the idea of making your opponent move based on an offensive or inviting movement that you make.
So enjoy this move back to the finer points of the art. Good training!

Longsword Focus

A provocation is an attacking, inviting, or constraining action used to prompt the opponent into a predictable motion that can be exploited. In these first two classes we look at the opportunity to strike as an opponent steps into range and then how we can use the idea of stepping ot range to prompt the opponent into an attack that can be exploited.

Provocations 1: Primo Tempo

Green Cord (Level 1)

Though the rapier functions best as a thrusting weapon it can be an effective cutting as well when wielded with sufficient force and the proper mechanic. This month we focus on the mechanics of cutting and the right contexts in which to employ the cut.

Rapier Cutting 1: MechanicsRapier Cutting 2: Cutting to Targets

Blue Cord (Level 2)

This week we look at the various opportunities that exist at each measure within the true fight, including thrusts to the arm, cuts to the leg, and attacks that can be done to a retreating opponent.

Rapier 1: True Fight 1Rapier 2: True Fight 2

Red Cord (Level 3)

Prima tempo is the opportunity to strike the opponent in one tempo while they move forward or fix while in measure. In this week we look at a diversity of opportunities that can arrise in prima tempo from the opponent's initial approach into measure, into enducing the opponent to freeze, or to give you a movement forward while in measure.
Rapier 1: Prima TempoRapier 2: Countering Prima Tempo


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.