Training Videos June 3: Rapier Offhand Positions, Sidesword Mechanics, Collecting and Giocco Stretto with Longsword

Welcome to Duello.TV for the week of June 3rd. The sun in shining in Vancouver and its a great time to train outside. I know that many Academie Duello students are getting into some extra time at the sword as they participate in the 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge.  If you haven't joined, it's not too late. And you can use our Duello.TV exercise videos for inspiration!

We have lots of exciting topics ahead of this month in classes.  Longsword focus class is going to be working on the 'collection' which is a defensive technique where you channel an opponent's weapon down into the cross. Green Cords (level 1 in Mastery program) will be working on use of the offhand to defend and create opportunity. Blue Cords (level 2) are returning to the Sidesword to work on the assaults (series of attacks and defences put into sequence). Red Cords are approaching the longsword and the techniques used to enter and wrestle with the opponent.
It's going to be a good month full of swordplay training. Glad to have you along for the ride.

Longsword Focus

We're producing new videos this month for the topic of collecting, so to get you started follow this exercise on the collection in Longa Exercise. Class 1 will be available in next week's update.

Collecting in Longa Exercise


Green Cord (Level 1)

This week as we enter into the topic of rapier and offhand, we'll be focusing on the fundamental position off the offhand to defend on its own as well as to accompany the defence of the rapier itself. At Academie Duello our approach is to always unify the defence between the sword and the offhand having both guard the same line at the same time, the sword high and offhand low, or vice versa.

Offhand 1: Open PositionsOffhand 2: Closed Positions


Blue Cord (Level 2)

We begin this month with a look at core mechanics of the sidesword. Power generation, body alignment, union of forces, and a good tactical foundation are necessary to wield this weapon well and approach the later content we'll be learning.

Sidesword Assaults 1: Mechanics 1 Sidesword Assaults 2: Mechanics 2

Red Cord (Level 3)

We're again picking up the longsword, this time to explore giocco stretto or the "narrow play", a combative context where the opponent's weapon is an immediate threat -- usually when the point is near us. This situation is the norm in rapier and generally comes about in longsword and sidesword following a crossing. In the first two classes of the month we are exploring the crossing and how to safely respond to it based on the pressure the opponent gives us.
Giocco Stretto 1: Feelings Inside 1Giocco Stretto 2: Feelings Inside 2 

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.