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Swordfighting may not seem like the natural choice if you're looking to you get fit, but Academie Duello is aiming to change all that
Blair Kaplan breaks a sweat while learning the art of swordfighting at Academie Duello
If you’ve ever wished you could defeat bad guys with weapons like swords, knives and the rapier — and get fit in the process — well you’re in luck. Swordfighting has jumped out of the movies and into a Vancouver studio.
Situated in a heritage building on Hastings St. in Vancouver, Academie Duello offers classes on European swordplay and western martial arts. You can be trained in the rapier, sidesword, sword and shield, and long sword, as well as the quarterstaff, spear, knife and unarmed combat.
I met Devon Boorman, owner of Academie Duello, at a networking event and was intrigued by his school, so I went for a visit. I was amazed at the size and esthetics of the building, which features a beautiful museum on the history of swords. I had never thought of swordplay as a way to work out, but after learning more about the classes I knew I had to try it out.
A week later, three friends and I arrived to try a 90-minute SwordFit class. Because we were beginners, we were put in a Warrior Fundamentals class, described by the Academie as a combination of “technical training with SwordFit, our swordplay and circuit training program, to create a training system for the modern warrior.”
Excited and eager to begin, we started with a warm-up to stretch our muscles. We then proceeded to get gloves and pick our swords. The swords weren’t as heavy as we expected, but until we learned how to hold them properly, just keeping them upright was tricky.
Our instructor, Jimmy, was amazing and very patient with us newbies. We learned a 12-step series with our swords and even got a chance to spar (in very slow motion) before our cool down.
The 90 minutes flew by and it was so much fun. It was such an amazing workout, and I will be going back weekly. I felt like a strong and powerful woman, kind of like a warrior princess, just like in the movies.
Want to try a class? You can download an elite coupon for a free class, and learn more about Academie Duello.
Blair Kaplan is the owner and CEO of Living Free Canada, Canada’s online health and wellness community which features elite coupons from companies that reflect a fun and healthy lifestyle. She began writing at an early age with a column in the Winnipeg Parent Newsmagazine and has been published in various publications around North America. She fell in love with blogging in May 2009. E-mail Blair.