First Past the Provost

This weekend was a momentous event for Academie Duello: our first Silver Cord (aka Provost) examination. A provost is one step below Maestro/Master and it represents an enormous achievement. Provosts are expected to demonstrate a high level of effectiveness within the school’s system, a demonstrable and defensible understanding of the school’s pedagogy and theoretical approach, and the ability to display martial effectiveness against all comers in an in-earnest demonstration across multiple disciplines.
The candidates included two of the school’s first students – Roland Cooper and Clinton Fernandes – as well as the notable Greg Reimer (who already instructs many programs at the school) and Erik Hayden (winner of the 2015 Duelling Arts senior student invitational tournament).
Over the course of two days the candidates were tested with rapier and its various secondaries, sidesword and buckler, longsword, dagger, and wrestling; they demonstrated their final research work on historical assaults at arms; they defended their interpretation of plays from source material and were tested on their historical knowledge; and finally, they were called on to demonstrate an ability to not simply enact rote plays but to also apply sophisticated and multi-intention actions in all disciplines against skilled opponents in unplanned, dynamic environments.
The examination was overseen by a three-member board that included M. Puck Curtis of Sacramento Sword School, M. Marco Quarta of Nova Scrimia, and myself (M. Devon Boorman of Academie Duello). Together I feel we were able to rigorously challenge the candidates and honour the traditions that we are a part of. I sincerely thank the other two Maestros for being a part of this process. I was constantly inspired and awed by the beauty and earnestness of their approach as teachers, examiners, and custodians of this martial heritage.
The level of training that was required of these candidates is worth noting. All of them have been practicing intently for eight years or more and have been focusing on this exam with a very intense training schedule over the last several months. Their efforts are all worthy of commendation.
Now without further ado, I would like to present the results:

  1. Roland Cooper
    • Theory Examination: Pass
    • Martial Demonstration: Pass
    • Combative Prize: Pass
  2. Greg Reimer
    • Theory Examination: Pass
    • Martial Demonstration: Pass
    • Combative Prize: Pass
  3. Clinton Fernandes
    • Theory Examination: Pass
    • Martial Demonstration: Pass
    • Combative Prize: Pass
  4. Erik Hayden
    • Theory Examination: Fail (Test Again in 6 Months)
    • Martial Demonstration: Pass
    • Combative Prize: Pass

All four are worthy of big congratulations. We have our first three provosts and I am confident that Erik will ace his theory examination in the Spring and be our fourth.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this process possible within the school and without. I am grateful to be a part of this community.
Devon Boorman
M. Academie Duello
Vancouver, BC

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