McCormick’s VISS Workshops

Let’s take a look at the two workshops that David McCormick, head of Bartitsu and head of stage combat at Duello, will be teaching at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium: Power generation for punching and thrusting, and physical culture exercises.

Body Mechanics of a Powerful Punch and Thrust

Friday, 27 March, 2pm-3:15pm

Who hasn’t been impressed by Bruce Lee’s 3-inch punch? Those who say “it’s all in the wrist” are missing 95% of the picture. Learn how to commit the body to a powerful strike that doesn’t just rely on your arm. Thrusting weapons benefit from this training just as much as boxers, and we’ll apply these insights to bayonets, spears, rapier and longsword.

Intensity: Moderate
Prerequisite knowledge: None
Student Equipment: Rapier or Longsword if desired.

Here is the outline:

  • Punch Like a Man (not a chimp)
  • Bare Knuckle Boxing: Jack Dempsey, R. G. Allanson-Winn
  • Bruce Lee’s Straight Blast
  • The Home Run of Punches: Rotational Power
  • Bayoneting and Spearing
  • Application with Rapier, Longsword
  • Push Yourself: Power Training with Minimal Equipment

Physical Culture Exercise

Saturday, 28 March, 9am-10:15am

Get the best start for your day by learning the best classical exercises using traditional equipment or bodyweight. The term “physical culture” was used in the 19th century to denote all aspects of training the body that were not sportive: strength, flexibility, coordination and endurance. It was commonly believed that a gentleman should be “morally upright and physically fit.”

Intensity: Push yourself (non-competitive)
Prerequisite knowledge: None
Student Equipment: None

Here is the outline:

  • Classic Calisthenic Warm Up
  • Farmer Burns Exercises
  • Indian Clubs
  • Medicine Balls
  • Kettlebells
  • Feats of Strength (Are they Illusions?)

VISS Registration

Check out all the information about VISS and sign up at

David McCormick Head of Stage Combat at Academie Duello and certified Instructor with Fight Directors Canada. Head of Bartitsu at Academie Duello, the longest continuously running Bartitsu program in the world.
Read more from David McCormick.