[Videos] Rapier, Sidesword, and Longsword oh my!

It’s September already!  Many of our students in Vancouver are heading back to University for their new year and many old faces return after summer vacations. It’s a great time to get back to fundamentals. This week we are focusing on rapier movement fundamentals, cutting technique with the sidesword, and core skills of giocco stretto with the longsword.

Green Cord (Level 1)



At the beginning of our months on approaching and receiving we like to get back to the basics of movement for gaining position, managing distance, and attacking. This week’s classes focus on both of these subjects with a particular focus on good body mechanics.

Receiving 1: Judging Measure Receiving 2: Movement and Lunge

Blue Cord (Level 2)



This month we will be focusing on the assaults of the sidesword. These are sequences of attacks and defences used to develop mechanical and tactical conditioning. Before we set into these patterns though this week we will be building up the fundamentals of cutting and movement starting with the mechanics of rotational cuts at different joints, and then working on accompanying footwork in class 2.


Sidesword Assalti 1: Mechanics 1 Sidesword Assalti 2: Mechanics 2

Red Cord (Level 3)



We’re returning to the longsword for our Red Cord classes this month. The focus for the next 8 classes will be on giocco stretto (narrow play) which are generally techniques that you use from a crossing where the opponent’s sword point is near to you. Our first exercises focus on responding to the pressure of our opponent’s weapon on the inside (class 1) and the outside crossing (class 2).


Solo Exercise of the Week



The horizontal cut of the longsword can be an effective blow for striking into the arms, covering you from low line attacks and striking rapidly from one side of the opponent to the other, however thrown improperly it can expose the hands, arms, and head to attack before the blow lands.

Longsword Mezzanni Blows


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.