Green Cord exam at Academie Duello!

Hey all!

If you’ve been keeping up with my life, you’ll know that I started at Academie Duello in their Taste of the Renaissance program at the beginning of the month. So for two days a week, I’d head on down to their studio downtown to learn all about rapiers, as well as touch on longswords and the side sword. It was a bit hard to juggle classes at university with the program, but it was also a great way to get away from pure academics!

The longsword and the rapier...and our newly earned green cord!

The longsword and the rapier…and our newly earned green cord! I didn’t actually arrange this. One of our classmates did and I told him not to move it because it looked pretty cool 😛

Today we took our green cord exam. The green cord basically means that you’ve gotten the fundamentals of swordplay down, mainly focusing on the rapier.

So for people who will be taking the exam, you do not have too much to worry about. Just brush up all the Italian words that they taught in class, go through your checklist on your booklet, and you will be fine. Of course, this means that you should know how to properly execute a well ordered lunge, switch guards, what each tempo looks like and how to advance/retreat. Almost the whole exam is on rapiers, except they sprung out side swords in the last 3 minutes of the exam. We were all a bit confused because it had been a while since we’ve touched the side sword. They’re really nice about the whole thing though, and you take it with everyone else in your class. The examiner will walk around and make sure you’re doing it correctly. I had to do my exam with a fever (I mysteriously got ill at the beginning of this week, just in time for my Transport & Logistics midterm exam, as well as my green cord exam), and it still went pretty well.

After playing around with the three different weapons, I must say that my favourite is the longsword. One of my friends there was also telling me how it was the lightest to hold since you get to keep two hands on it. Believe me– even though the rapier looks light, it gets really heavy after a while.

My friend Ama and I with our instructor Greg :)

My friend Ama and I with our instructor Greg 🙂

All in all, my experience with Academie Duello was great! I will be coming back after summer (I promised two of my friends I would)! They have really awesome instructors there and everyone seems like one big family. Greg Reimer led us through our eight classes in the program and he is seriously the nicest guy ever. He’s patient and  has a great sense of humour, which made the class all that better!  I have definitely meet some really cool people in my class and I hope I’ll see them there again some day!

Till next time!

-Karen

Choose me for your apocalypse team! I can use a rapier!

Summer term has started at UBC and I cannot believe how quickly I am once again sick of being back in the same routine. The content for my classes are kind of dry, but I guess I should give them a bit more time to get interesting…hopefully.

So I had morning classes today and I had to head home and change before going of to Academie Duello! I was actually hesitant about going to my rapier class today because I was feeling down from sitting through school. This was my second week in their “Taste of the Renaissance” program, and I had thoroughly enjoyed it every time. So I picked my butt of the floor and headed downtown.

If you looked inside Academie Duello, you will notice they have some nifty things on display…

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Right after our class, I felt refreshed!  It was great to do something not school related and there are some pretty cool people there. It turned my frown upside down. It actualy made my whole day!

Our free hand is supposed to shield our eye/face like this since we're not working with shields yet

Our free hand is supposed to shield our eye/face like this since we’re not working with shields yet. But basically, make yourself as small a target as possible.

So I first came across Academie Duello while I was with one of my friends walking around downtown. I stopped when I saw a group of people in there practicing swordplay and carrying shields. I stared in amazement as they continued to lunge at one another. What was this and how do I join!?

Now that I am a part of the academy, I can say that I really like it. I hated working out and jogging, but this is something else entirely. You get one and half hours of learning how to use a weapon, the history behind it, how to respect the sword and your opponent, and you also end up gaining a small pool of Italian words in your vocabulary.

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The misura larga. You can cover a lot of distance with this while staying safely out of range of your opponent’s rapier.

I hope I get to stay with the program, but I am worried that because I will be gone for the summer, there was be a gap in my learning. But if you are looking for something fun to do, and can commit some time, I would recommend looking up what there is to do at Academie Duello! They also offer a free class for you to try out! Asides from swordplay, they also do archery, horseback riding, and I even saw a class where you sit in their studio for 8 hours and make your own bow!

Hopefully, school beginning again does not mean another haitus for my blog. I guess we will see how that goes.

Until next time!

-Karen