Video Lessons: Rapier and offhand, advanced rapier guards, disarms, and posta di donna soprana with longsword

This week at Academie Duello and on Duello.TV we're looking at advanced techniques for the unified defence of rapier and offhand (green cord), the 5th and 6th rapier guards with dagger (blue cord), and employing the dagger within disarms (red cord). We also have some longsword exercises that pertain to some of the exercises students practiced this past weekend at the Longsword: Deceptive Fight workshop.

Green Cord (Level 1)

Our first class this week looks at use of the offhand as a supporting defence for the sword. First striking through the opponent's weapon with your sword and using the offhand to cover the alternate line and then stringering the opponent's sword and forcing them into the joined parry of the offhand and sword together.  The second class then focuses on using the offhand itself to stringere the opponent and force them to move and give you an opportunity to strike following your parry.

Offhand 5: Joined DefenceOffhand 6: Invitations

Blue Cord (Level 2)

This week in Blue Cord we first look at the position of sesta or sixth, where we withdraw the sword and extend the dagger. With the dagger strongly extended we're able to use it to directly stringere the opponent and setup our rapier for a whole new set of openings and opportunities.  We then look at Quinta where both the sword and dagger are withdrawn as both an invitation and as a method to lure the opponent into the defence and control of the dagger.


Rapier and Dagger 5: SestaRapier and Dagger 6: Quinta

Red Cord (Level 3)

If you thought the disarms from last week were slick, wait till you learn how to do them with your dagger. This week we'll be approaching each of the disarms of the past two weeks but with the dagger doing the work. Then we'll abandon the disarm all together and tie up the opponent sword so we can strike them with our dagger.


Solo Exercise of the Week

This past weekend Academie Duello hosted a workshop on the deceptive fight of the longsword. At the end of this workshop we looked at a deceptive quality of the high posta di dona where you can conduct a hidden thrust from behind the back. This exercise will help you develop the ability to smoothly expose this thrust.

Longsword Dona Altara


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.