My Swordfit Bootcamp Experience – Day 1

Hello fellow sword and fitness enthusiasts! This morning was the first morning of May Swordfit Bootcamp. Bleary eyed and yawning when I rolled into Academie Duello at 7am, I was nevertheless prepared to get my butt whipped into shaped. Today’s theme was precision, and like all bootcamp days , we started with a 10 min warm up, followed by 20 min of cutting, 20 minutes of themed circuit drills and finally 10 min of cool down and stretching.

Below you can read a summary of the morning’s sword wielding experience.

Warm up: Running the length of the studio and cat crawling on the way back, with some good ol’ bum kicks thrown in for good measure.

Cutting: The precision of the fendente, or downward cut and the sottano, or rising cut. Now I don’t know about you, but when I get a sword in my hand I like to know what I’m doing with it, how the particular technique I’m learning applies to actual combat. Our instructor, Mane, made sure we knew to start the cut aiming for the eye and finishing through the knee. For extra clarity, I got him to stand in front of me so I could visualize where the blow would be going through his body. Precision in action- ahh, so satisfying.

Circuits: Four stations set up around the floor.

1. Suspended shield-striking w/sword

2. Rope spinning (one of my favorites!)

3. Pell target striking with quarterstaff

4. Medicine ball rolling while in plank position

One thing that really gets me excited about swords is the sounds they make. The ringing ting of station one’s hanging shields as I struck them was a truly satisfying indication of precision thrusting!


Cool Down: After a tiring and focused workout, stretching is a healthy reward for the body. We finished with some leg, hip and shoulder stretches.

The day’s hardly begun and I’ve already completed a warrior’s workout. I think it’s safe to say I’m ready to take on the day.

See you Wednesday!

Arte, Ardore, Onore,



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.
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