Special Guest Workshop & Lecture with Greg Mele










We are delighted to have a special guest instructor coming to Duello on February 21st to 23rd. Join the Dean and Founder of the Chicago Swordplay Guild and co-owner of Forteza Fitness, Greg Mele, as he takes you through the rich system of Fiore's Armizare, the medieval Italian Martial art that Academie Duello's curriculum is based upon, in a 2-day workshop and a lecture.

Greg has been a guest instructor at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium (VISS) and has been running his own gathering called the the Western Martial Arts Workshop near Lake Michigan which has been going strong since 1999.  Greg has a diverse martial background ranging from aikido, jujutsu and tai chi to sport fencing and modern knife fighting.

Needless to say, we're excited to have Greg coming back to our salle again!


Armizare Simplified: A Holistic Approach to the Art of Arms


Fiore dei Liberi's Armizare or "art of arms" differs somewhat from later fencing systems in that it was primarily a military system of combat, devised for the medieval knight to apply equally on foot or horse, in armour or without, on the battlefield or in single combat. In that sense, it is a forerunner of what we today call "combatives", and like all military combatives, is based on a small set of core tactics and gross-motor movements that can be endlessly applied to whatever tool is at hand.
In this workshop we will analyze how dei Liberi's system controls line, measure and response in the bind, moving seamlessly back and forth from the longsword to dagger and unarmed combat, and then back forward to the spear and pollaxe. Once the underlying structure of the art is revealed, students will come away surprised at how many of his "plays" they intuitively know and can apply to whatever weapon is at hand.

Students will need:

  • mask
  • gorget
  • dagger (rondel)
  • longsword
  • polearm

Limited loaner equipment will be available. The workshop is open to all levels of experience from beginner's at Italian fighting arts to experts from other European sword arts.

The workshop occurs over two days: Saturday 22 February (2:00 pm - 8:00 pm) and Sunday 23 February (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) all at Academie Duello.


The Merchants of War: True Tales of the Condottieri


Although Renaissance Italy was a fountain of cultural and intellectual innovation, it was also a land torn by constant warfare between the vying powers of Milan, Venice, Florence, the Papacy and the Kingdom of Naples. Into this environment came a new sort of soldier -- the condottieri, the quintessential mercenary knight -- whose business was warfare, and who approached his craft with a dispassionate professionalism and pragmatism unlike any other in Europe. This lecture introduces the rise of the condotta ("contract") system, the vying powers of the Italian Wars and the often "larger than life" personalities and heroics of the men who fought across the Italian landscape, including double-crosses, poisoning, judicial duels and daring escapes from tower prisons!

The lecture occurs on Friday 21 February, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm.


You can signup online here, or by calling the front desk at 604-568-9907, or you can come to our downtown location and register in person!

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.