Greetings members, students, and friends of DuelloTV!
This time of year is always a time of reflection on the year past and the year to come. As with most years, 2016 has been a year of growth, struggle, triumph, and celebration. We have lost some good friends and also been enriched by many new ones. We have experimented, challenged ourselves, had a few stumbles but in the end made some great strides. There is so much done, and so much to look forward to. Here are a few of the things we’re proud of from 2016.
Alas, the year started with speed bump that saw the online billing engine give out full access while skipping months of payments! Curse you, Technology! We brushed ourselves off and fixed the issues, getting this great online service on solid footing again and moving forward to complete the big task of reorganizing the site and building a brand new course component.
What once started out as a simple video archive has evolved into a full fledged online centre for swordplay. The site now includes online courses, a vast video library and training blog repository. The home page is a grand tour of everything DTV, giving visitors a taste of what they can expect when they plug into the incredible assets we have to offer.
The soft launch in September and the public launch at the end of October got a lot of attention from HEMA students worldwide, and gave DTV a big boost in recognition and community impact.
The weekly emails have also been revamped to include less text and more summary, with easy links to get you more of what you’re wanting to learn that week. We’re quite proud of the engagement of our community with these weekly emails—they’re opened and read at more than double the rate of the industry standard. Our students are eager to learn!
We wanted to bring a more thorough online learning experience to the HEMA world. So this year we launched a website course engine to lead students through the curriculum in bite-sized chunks while managing progress and providing challenge quizzes and guidance on practice. Now we can truly bring swordplay out to the world! If you haven’t been through the free or Club-level courses yet, try them out and we guarantee you’ll come away with new knowledge and insights.
We’re really proud of the Fundamentals series of Longsword and Rapier. Really, there’s nothing else like it out there. In 2017 we’ll expand the courses to include Apprentice level content, allowing students everywhere to supplement their physical practice with the rigorous mental and intellectual challenge that these arts bring.
Wanting to bring more of the “now” to our subscribers, we began a weekly beta of a livestream idea that’s been brewing in our minds for some time. We’ve really enjoyed it! It was fun to work through all the tech required (we’re a bit geeky that way), and finally see our presentation offered to the world in a very raw, loosely-scripted, conversational fashion. Quite different than the very tidy lesson videos we’re accustomed to creating! We’re proud of the great content present there, and hope to use that channel in the future to interface more with students around the world.
Ranked Students, Instructors & Study Groups
At the Academie Duello salle in Vancouver, we also graduated our first longsword Scholars and made a new Provost (the rank just below master). In this next year we’ll be expanding our longsword offerings and class times even further and running another Provost examination!
We hosted three instructor intensives in Vancouver in 2016, graduated more than 25 new level 1 instructors and welcomed three new study groups and two affiliate schools in Canada and the US. In 2017 we’ll host our first level 2 intensive—I’m already getting excited about another intense 50-hour week of rapier and longsword teaching.
While much of the power of DTV lies in distance learning, there’s no substitute for learning with other students and a real human instructor present. Contact us about your desire to have a DTV instructor come out to your location to work with you and your group, or about opportunities to come to Vancouver for short-term and long-term intensive training.
Thank You For Your Support
A big thank you to all the students, members, teachers, and advisers that make Duello.TV possible! This truly is an amazing dream to be both living and sharing with all of you. All the best to you in 2017. We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Enjoy your training!
Devon & Greg