Video Lessons: Rapier Mechanics, Rapier & Offhand/Dagger/Buckler, Scaling Speeds

It’s a new month on Duello.TV. We have some exciting topics ahead for you including control with the rapier, use of the rapier and dagger, as well as the buckler and cloak.  On the longsword front expect to see videos on use of the Finestra guards starting next week. We are also continuing our series on Applied Combatives, this week the focus is practice at different speeds and changing speeds.

Green Cord (Level 1)

Gaining control of the opponent can be considered through two simple attitudes of movement: 1. As you move toward your opponent (approaching), and 2. As your opponent moves toward you (receiving). This month the focus is approaching. As we usually do, we’re going to start with fundamental mechanics of movement and the core understanding of measure (the distance between you and the opponent).

Approaching 1: MechanicsApproaching 2: Measures

Blue Cord (Level 2)

Whether you are using a bare offhand or are carrying a dagger, the sword and offhand work most effectively when they work together. In our opening lessons for this month on use of the offhand with and without dagger, we are looking at how to form shapes that unify the sword and the offhand to defend both high and low on the same line. This joined defence is easier to manage and harder to defeat by the opponent.

Offhand-Dagger 1: Unified Defence ApproachingOffhand-Dagger 2: Unified Defence Receiving

Red Cord (Level 3)

In this month we look at how to use the small shield we often use with the shorter sidesword or cut and thrust rapier and combine it with the longer thrusting oriented rapier. In our first lessons you will see how it works positionally very much like your offhand.

Buckler-Cloak 1: Unified Defence ApproachingBuckler-Cloak 2: Unified Defence Receiving

Applied Combatives

This week in Applied Combatives (on our Workshop Review playlist) we are looking at the training benefits of practicing at a diversity of speeds from absolutely super-slow movement to full speed combat and everything in between.


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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.