Training Videos: Mezzo & Contra Tempo Attacks, Countering Refused, Rapier & Baton, Mezzano Cuts and Tactics

Welcome to Duello.TV's videos for the week of May 27th! This week 'practice' has been on my mind. Capo Ferro says that swordplay is made up of Nature, Reason, Art, and Practice. Practice being the disciplining of the body to enact the principles of art, that have been identified through reason, and governed by the natural principles of physics. Simply if you're going to get good at sword fighting, practice is the primary pillar we stand on that connects us to all the others.

In keeping with this theme I am issuing a challenge to Academie Duello students, Duello.TV members, and all of our friends in other schools called the 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge. This challenge is to practice 30 minutes of swordplay (or other WMA disciplines) every day in June. You can read more about the challenge in this previous blog post here. I hope you'll join us! Look in the rapier, longsword, and sidesword drills sections for some ideas on solo home practice.
And now on to this week's topics…

Longsword Focus

The mezzano is our final cut in our month on precision cutting. In these two lessons we look first at how to make a mezzano with intention and cover, then at the various ways that a mezzano can be used in combat.

Precision and Intention 4: Mezzano from all PostePrecision and Intention 5: Mezzano Tactics


Green Cord (Level 1)

This week level 1 students are examining the use of the rapier guards as a response to attack. These positions protect the head through cover behind the guard and the lower body through position. Students then examine how to use these positions to not only defend but strike simultaneously in contra-tempo and mezzo

Receiving 7: Contra TempoReceiving 8: Contra Tempo and Mezzo Tempo


Blue Cord (Level 2)

In this week's lessons we look at how to counter the refused position by first exploiting the withdrawn distance of the opponent's sword, then by drawing the refused fighter into parrying with their offhand and then deceiving it.

Refused 7: Countering with Proportion Refused 8: Countering the Offhand

Red Cord (Level 3)

This week we're going to put down the second sword a pick up a different sword-like object: the cane or baton. In these lessons you'll see how the baton can function like a rapier, a blunt sidesword, or a dagger. It has many advantages you can exploit plus a few weaknesses to secure yourself against.
Case 7: Rapier & Baton


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.