Video Lessons: Longsword Fendente Precision; Rapier Finding & Gaining, Offline Movement, Mezzo Tempo

Welcome to the first full week of November. This week we are including the first of our new longsword series that follows our technical focus classes. In these classes we run on a 6 month cycle of themes: 1. Precision, 2. Crossing, 3. Giocco Stretto, 4. Tempo and Provocation, 5. Guards, 6. Defeating Guards. Last week we started back on class 1 of month 1 and it seemed like an ideal time to start setting down some new material and sharing it with all of you.

In the mastery program we move into week 2 of rapier across the board with Green Cords exploring how to find and gain against various guard positions, Blue Cords learning how to use the circle to add another dimension to stringere, and Red Cords beginning an exploration of Mezzo Tempo.

Longsword Focus

This week in longsword class our focus is on making powerful fendente blows that not only strike with maximum range and force but that are capable of meeting and clearing the opponent’s sword as it comes to defend or attack.

Longsword Precision 1: Fendente

Green Cord (Mastery Level 1)

In the first class of this week we look at the mechanical elements of a strong finding and gaining position against the four standard guards, in the second class we begin to branch out to see how we can gain against even more unorthodox positions.

Approaching 3: Finding GainingApproaching 4: Crossing Lines

Blue Cord (Mastery Level 2)

This week we look at how using offline movement can create a space between your weapon and your opponent’s that we call ‘breadth’. Breadth adds a third dimension to stringere which gives us more time and a greater position to exploit the opponent. Our first class looks at how to do that while approaching, the second while receiving the opponent.


Rapier 3: Offline 1Rapier 4: Offline 2

Red Cord (Mastery Level 3)

To strike in Mezzo Tempo is to strike in the middle of a preparatory action of the opponent. In this week’s classes we first look at a variety of different types of mezzo tempo actions one can force on their opponent and then how to recover when you’ve made a movement that has given your opponent the opportunity of mezzo tempo.


Rapier Tempo 3: Mezzo TempoRapier Tempo 4: Countering Mezzo Tempo


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.