Rapier Receiving, Sidesword Guards, and Longsword Thrusts

Welcome everyone to another week of Duello.TV. This week we have videos on the rapier receiving, sidesword guards, and longsword pressure sensitivity and we’ll be continuing with all three weapons throughout the month.

This week at Academie Duello several of our instructors are preparing to go to Armizare Academy in Racine, Wisconsin. Devon Boorman will be teaching workshops on longsword thrusting, applied combatives, and modern knife. Look at Duello.TV in the coming weeks for a report with some video content that supports these workshop topics.


Also keep an eye out on Duello.TV for new videos that cover our grappling curriculum. These will include fundamental posture and movement exercises, application of holds, use of the unarmed poste/positions, and more.


Green Cord (Level 1)



This week we look at the use of contra-postura or “counter-postures” to gain control of the enemy’s position as they approach. Any offensive position has a corresponding defensive position that will constrain it, even before an opponent has reached striking range.

Receiving 3: Contra-postura Receiving 4: Maintaining Control

Blue Cord (Level 2)



The focus this month at level 2 is on sidesword forms. We begin this week by working on a progression of sidesword guards laid down originally by Achille Marozzo. Each guard should be replicated precisely and the transition between them should be crisp and fluid. This is an interesting way to learn many of the most commonly used positions in the Italian system of sword and buckler.


Sidesword Guards: Progression

Red Cord (Level 3)



This week picks up where we left off last week by exploring the sensitivity or ‘feeling’ exercise on the outside. From this base we step into responding to the thrust of an opponent by countering it and make one of our own.


Solo Exercise of the Week



To augment your work with sidesword this week we have a cutting and footwork exercise we’ve been working in class that will help you develop your timing of hand and foot.

Longsword Mezzanni Blows


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.