VISS is a weekend devoted to European swordsmanship and martial arts that takes place in downtown Vancouver, BC, home of Academie Duello, the world’s largest centre for swordplay.

This is an inspiring weekend for Western Martial Arts practitioners, readers of historical fiction and fantasy, history buffs, and fans of swordplay. VISS brings together instructors, practitioners, writers, and lecturers from around the world for an exciting series of workshops, lectures, performances, and events all with swordplay at their heart.

VISS for Writers, History Buffs, and Swordplay Fans
The Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium has great opportunities for swordplay enthusiasts of all kinds. Join us for our lecture track – past lectures have included topics such as: writing fiction in swordplay, the lives of famous swordsmen, knighthood and chivalry in origin and practice, and the choreography of movie fights.
VISS 2013 sword and buckler
In between lectures join any of the Symposiums swordplay workshops as an auditing attendee. All auditors are welcome to ask questions and engage in the workshop as observers. This is a great opportunity to learn about historical swordsmanship and its surrounding martial arts without having to get sweaty.

Academie Duello’s museum will also be open to all attendees featuring a new audio tour and opportunities to interact directly with historical replicas and antiques of swords, historical fighting manuals, and more.

On Saturday night be sure to join us for the VISS Gala featuring lavish desserts, swordplay performances, tournaments, and an opportunity to meet and interact with all of the VISS guests and attendees!

More About VISS and Western Martial Arts

Western Martial Arts, the study, recreation and preservation of formalized fighting techniques and skills originating in Europe, are experiencing a dramatic resurgence on an international level. Enthusiasts range from a public that is growing increasingly fascinated by the armed and unarmed combat techniques seen in blockbuster movies, to martial artists of diverse disciplines who are thrilled to rediscover and practice old techniques, to scholars with a serious interest in history and experimental archaeology.
Italian rapier and dagger2

VISS sessions are designed to introduce the instructors’ special skills, techniques and knowledge about these Arts to attendees throughout the entire weekend. For those interested in a less physical experience of Western Martial Arts, or those desiring a break from non-stop action, music performances, movie nights, informal gatherings and, of course, the spectacular Saturday Night Gala are offered. Here all attendees can rub elbows with the experts and the like-minded, discuss and compare the skills discovered, or simply mingle and socialize with fellow enthusiasts in a fun and relaxed environment.

The goal of VISS is to connect attendees with the arts and practices, as well as the structures and teaching styles of diverse Western Martial Arts instructors and schools. It is intended to provide academic as well as hands-on content to encourage inter-school and interdisciplinary discourse and exchange, meshing academic aspects of WMA with practical application.

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Academie Duello

Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay in Vancouver, BC is the largest centre for the instruction and practice of European swordsmanship and martial arts in the world. The school is devoted to teaching the skillful use of the various weapons that were available to the historical gentleman and warrior to anyone willing to apply themselves.
Duello shirt

At our martial arts centre, training incorporates a comprehensive range of fields such as swordsmanship with the rapier, sidesword, longsword, and sword & shield; combat using spear, knife, quarterstaff, and other pole weapons; Bartitsu, which blends jujitsu, savate and English pugilism while employing an umbrella or a cane; and last, but not least, unarmed tactical skills in wrestling and boxing.

Also taught in full-time programs, workshops and seminars are mounted combat, jousting and equestrian skills; heraldry; armouring and other noble arts. Of special pride are the Youth Programs as well as the Theatrical Stage Combat Certification program, where actors and stunt people develop their skills with swords, pole weapons and in unarmed combat in order to create exciting, authentic, and safe displays of violence for stage and screen.

As North America’s largest school of European Swordplay and Western Martial Arts, Academie Duello is proud to present the first Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium where students of Western Martial Arts or anyone with an interest in these skills can meet and mingle with experts and other practitioners and enthusiasts during a weekend filled with powerful hands-on workshops, challenging intensives, exciting lectures, compelling round-table discussions and entertaining social events.