Rapier Fundamentals

Sign up nowLearn the art of the graceful and powerful rapier, duelling weapon of the Renaissance, along with the sidesword and longsword. This 8-class beginner sword fighting program will teach you the fundamental skills of the traditional European duellist in a fun, engaging, and welcoming environment great for adults of all ages and levels of physical ability.

Students of Rapier Fundamentals can expect:

  • An introduction to the fighting system of Armizare and the duelling systems of the Italian Renaissance.
  • Intensive training on the fundamentals of rapier combat with the goal of developing excellent technique.
  • Instruction in the fundamentals of the sidesword and longsword.
  • A First Rank Examination at the end of the 8 classes. Success will enable you to graduate into the first rank (Green Cord) of the school and, if you so choose, continue into our ongoing Mastery Program.

See the full schedule of classes and topics.

Cost: $135 + Tax

Try it out at home!

You can get a head start on your course with our free Getting Started with Rapier Duello.TV online course (membership is free).

Watch now: sample rapier lesson

Content of Our 8-Class Course

RAPIER POSTURE AND MEASURE: Learn basics of the Rapier including the four guards, movement, combat range and attacking.

FINDING THE SWORD: Learn to defend and attack simultaneously while gaining an advantage over your opponents’ sword.

ENGAGEMENT: Counter-attacking and regaining control of the fight.

CUTTING (Sidesword): Learn the 8 cuts of the sidesword, how to block a cut, deflect a blade and the secrets of the narrow and wide play.

TEMPO: Learn about the rhythm of combat.

4 TEMPOS FOR STRIKING: Learn when and how it is best to strike your opponent and make defence.

HEAVY WEAPONS FUNDAMENTALS: Learn the basics of the sword wielded in two hands.

REVIEW AND TIE IN: Review the first 7 classes and learn how the principals of swordplay tie the Longsword, Rapier, and Sidesword together. This class is followed by the First Rank Examination and graduation.

Course Times

This 8 class course runs twice a week for 4 weeks, except for saturdays, which run once a week for 8 weeks.

Course Name
Start Date
Start Time

8 Classes: Complete Rapier Fundamentals in a series of eight guided classes.  Cost: $135 + Tax

8 Classes and 2 Private Lessons: In addition to eight guided classes, receive two private lessons to hone your technique.    Cost: $260 + Tax

Rapier Fundamentals Schedule

Calendar begins on the first full week of each month. Saturday courses are spread out over 8 weeks.

First week
of the month
1. Rapier Fundamentals1. Rapier Fundamentals2. Finding the Sword2. Finding the Sword1. Fundamentals
5. Tempo I
Second week
of the month
3. Engagement3. Engagement4. Cutting4. Cutting2. Finding the Sword
6. Tempo II
Third week
of the month
5. Tempo I: Timing5. Tempo I: Timing6. Tempo II: Stringere6. Tempo II: Stringere3. Engagement
7. Longsword I
Fourth week
of the month
7. Longsword I7. Longsword I8. Longsword II8. Longsword II4. Cutting
8. Longsword II

First Rank Examination

The examination takes place on the last day of class.  Guided by an instructor, you will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of all material taught over the first 7 classes. Students are strongly encouraged to regularly review the content of Rapier Fundamentals in the weeks leading up to the examination.  A list of the material on which students will be tested can be found on the back of the Rapier Fundamentals brochure, which is available with registration in the class.

Successful completion of the examination will earn you your Green Cord, the first rank in the Weapons Mastery Program, as well as the opportunity to join the Ongoing Classes.

Protective Gear

For full-speed practice, the Weapons Mastery Program uses fencing masks to protect the face. Masks are supplied by Academie Duello. Gloves, gorgets (throat protection), groin cups and chest protection are also highly recommended.

Many Mastery Program students like to purchase and own their own masks, gloves and gorgets; all are available in the Academie Duello Arms and Armour store.

What Should I Bring?

The important things to bring are a set of clothes in which you are comfortable doing exercise (including running shoes), a simple pair of gloves (thin/unpadded are okay, cloth or leather are okay) and a water bottle.  Groin protection is highly recommended as well. Academie Duello provides all additional equipment necessary for the class, including weapons, fencing masks to protect the face, and collars of leather or metal called gorgets to protect the throat.

Sign Up for a Trial ClassYou may also choose to purchase your own training weapons and necessary protective gear from the Arms and Armour Store if you like.