This month at Academie Duello and on Duello.TV

Rank examinations have just finished up today for the Mastery Program with two new Blue Cords entering the ranks. They have a whole new set of topics to look forward to as we roll over into the next month of curriculum at Academie Duello.

Green Cord – Rapier and Offhand


This month in Green Cord we’ll be looking at the application of the offhand for supporting the defence of the sword and as the primary defender. Though vulnerable, the offhand when used appropriately can be an effective tool for controlling the opponent’s weapon, creating openings, and saving you when your sword has failed in its primary duty. This month we’ll look at fundamental positions, the unified defence of the sword and offhand, forcing the opponent from your sword into the defence of your offhand, and using the offhand to stringere the opponent’s weapon.

If you want to do some advanced reading on use of the offhand I highly recommend taking a look at the manual of Salvator Fabris available in the Duello library and in the single sword section of Saviolo’s manual on the rapier.

If you’re a Duello.TV subscriber you can take a look at this month of content here.  If you’re not a member yet, you can follow along this month as we go by signing up for an account.

Blue Cord – Rapier and Offhand


This is one of those neat occasions when the Green and Blue Cord curriculum sync up with one another. This month Blue Cords will be working on techniques that employ the rapier paired with the offhand as well as the dagger. The month is starting with a review of strong unified positions between the rapier and offhand and then moving into playing from your sword to your offhand, then using the offhand or dagger to stringere the opponent. The latter half of the month will focus on defeating the offhand and dagger and then a final conclusion with disarms and closer plays. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

The Academie Duello system of rapier and dagger most closely resembles those presented by Salvator Fabris and Ridolfo Capo Ferro, so if you’re interested in some additional reading Capo Ferro’s book is available in our store, and Fabris’ in our library.

Duello.TV content for this month will be forthcoming. Check out the feature videos each week or sign-up for a weekly email as videos are produced here.

Red Cord – Rapier and Buckler/Cloak


Continuing our theme of rapier accompanied by the offhand, Red Cords this month will be returning to the duel accompanying their swords with the small round shield and the soft secondary of the cloak, jacket, or cape. Students will explore how to employ the buckler and cloak in appropriate secondary positions and how to exploit their unique advantages.

For some additional reading, check out the sword and buckler work of Manciolino — his book is available in our store.

Duello.TV content will be forthcoming as we deliver our lessons each week.  Check the feature videos or your weekly email.



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.