Phew! It’s done! It was an intense and satisfying experience teaching a full week in Academie Duello’s first formal instructor training intensive. Thirteen aspiring instructors came to Vancouver for a five day, 50-hour intensive to kick off their ongoing instructor training.
Attendees came from the local area and across North America with varying levels of experience. There were some who had been studying at Academie Duello for a few years, some who had only learned through Duello.TV, and some who had very little experience in formal swordplay at all. All came with a desire to learn the arts of the longsword and rapier as we teach them and the process through which we teach them. A few even stuck around after for additional training and workshop time—die hards!
Fifty hours is no small amount of work to cram into five days. Here’s a clip from a review written by attendee Aaron LaMontagne where he describes the daily format and how it positively challenged him:
“The days started at 8:00 am with warm up and grappling for 30 minutes, and rapier for three (yes three!) hours. A half hour break comes at 11:30, and then class resumes at noon with another half hour of grappling, and an afternoon of longsword training for another three hours. Following yet another half hour break, there was a two hour methodology section where we learned about the nuts and bolts aspects of teaching, training, philosophy, and knowledge retention.
“It was an infinitely wonderful experience for me, because I’ve spent this year away from training due to my job as a security professional. Ten hours a day is a lot of training, but it has been immensely useful for me.”
I was really impressed with how the whole course ran. The students received a tremendous amount of content with grace and things went about as smoothly as I could expect. I honestly couldn’t imagine it going any better. The foundational exercises that we used allowed for us to provide a scaling level of challenge that didn’t overwhelm the new students, and was able to significantly challenge the more experienced ones.
This week long intensive is only the beginning. Now we kick-off of an eight month long program aimed at deepening the technical and teaching skills learned in the opening week. We’ll be sending out weekly rapier and longsword training plans, supported by Duello.TV video content, and each month we will have a group meeting with program members who are both local and abroad to help guide their learning and support the process of growing as students and teachers. We also have a video review process that will allow for a two way connection until program members can return to Vancouver.
If the idea of an intensive technical program like this excites you, we’re getting ready for a second cohort February 15–19. Registration is due to open soon. If you’re interested to learn more about the course, check out our information page.