Video Lessons: Judging Measure, Rapier Voids, Unorthodox Postures, Single Grip Longsword Cutting

Welcome to a new year of training and sword fighting!  I hope that everyone has enjoyed their holiday and is ready to get back to their physical training regimes with a newly renewed passion. We are starting off this month we three rapier topics: receiving the opponent (for level 1), voids (for level 2), and unorthodox postures (for level 3). Now don’t worry we have an excellent longsword drill to wet the appetite of those who favour the heavier weapons, and just this afternoon we laid down two videos covering the first topics of Giocco Stretto control for Longsword — you’ll see those next week.

Green Cord (Level 1)

At the beginning of our months on approaching and receiving we like to get back to the basics of distance and movement. In this week’s classes we first look at the various distances or “measures” we want to consider when getting closer to an opponent and what our thinking should be at each one. In our second class we revisit the fundamental mechanics of movement and attacking.

Receiving 1: Judging MeasureReceiving 2: Movement and Lunging


Blue Cord (Level 2)

A void is a movement used to “avoid” the sword of the opponent through displacement of your body. Our first class this month examines the “girata” or “turn” that allows you to twist your body through a quick rotation of the shoulders. The second class looks at the mechanics for ducking beneath the sword.


Voids 1: Three GirataVoids 2: Passing Beneath


Red Cord (Level 3)

Through a solid grounding in technique we are able to learn and understand the principles of fencing. Once these are strongly ingrained we can challenge and develop our learning further by exploring how those principles are applied when are starting positions and movement strategies vary. This week in our month on unorthodox postures we start by looking at starting positions where the sword is held low with the point directed down.


Unorthodox 1: Larga GuardsUnorthodox 2: Countering Larga Guards


Exercise of the Week

This exercise with the longsword will get you back into the swing of things as it were. In this week’s exercise you will be challenged to move between single handed and two-handed longsword use.
Longsword cutting with one and two hands


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.