Lesson Videos: Cutting Mechanics for the Rapier, Sidesword and Longsword; Longsword Mezzani Attacks and Tactics

This month we are taking the techniques out to three separate weapons: the rapier, sidesword, and longsword, with each we will be exploring the fundamentals of how to cut effectively, efficiently, and safely. If you have the opportunity, follow the exercises at each level so you can deepen your understanding of this essential form of attack by exploring it with weapons of different weight and balance.

Longsword Focus



Our final topic in precision month with the longsword was the mezzano. This horizontal blow can be used to strike to mid body targets and be used to quickly maneuver around defences and counter-attacks. First we look at how to make the blow from all the poste and then how to use it tactically to overcome an opponent with a barrage of blows on each side.

Longsword Precision 4: Mezzani from EverywhereLongsword Precision 3: Sotani from Everywhere

Green Cord (Level 1) – Rapier




Though the long thrusting rapier is not as effective a cutting weapon as its heavier counterpart the sidesword, when it is handled correctly it can deliver and effective and powerful blow with its edge. In this week’s lessons you will explore the mechanics of powerful cutting and the dynamics of maneuvering the sword to strike to different targets.

Cutting 1: MechanicsCutting 2: Cutting to Targets

Blue Cord (Level 2) – Sidesword



In this week’s lessons you will learn not only how to make tactically sound cuts with the sidesword but how to appropriately tie your body’s movements into each blow to deliver them with the most power and the least effort.


Sidesword 1: Mechanics 1Sidesword 2: Mechanics 2

Red Cord (Level 3) – Longsword



In this weeks classes we will take a look at how to deliver effective cuts with longsword in proper order and measure in a manner that creates power and leaves you protected. We will then look at the various types of crossings one can make with their opponent when the two swords meet based on measure and movement.


Longsword 1: Cutting MechanicsLongsword 2: Crossings

Exercise of the Week




This week to go with our fundamental cutting exercises we present you with a 2 person target drill that is great for challenging your ability to deliver combinations of cuts with the longsword.
Longsword Target Exercise


devonboorman 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.