It's a fairly common image from the Middle Ages and from fairy tales: an armoured knight on horseback, riding triumphantly into battle wielding a sword. Today, of course, such a sight would have shocked witnesses almost immediately—unless they're at Academie Duello. A centre for European swordplay and Western martial arts, Academie Duello has revived centuries-old scenes similar to the one above. It teaches students ancient battle techniques, but does not re-enact epic duels or the well-documented silly-string wars that ensued when swords broke.
The 5,000-square-foot facility extracts skills and weapon information from authentic combat manuals and primary-source texts. Its instructors turn that knowledge into an in-depth curriculum, which today provides both adult and children's programs. Most of those programs also help students stay fit, as they replace weights and treadmills with longswords, shields, and rapiers. To immerse themselves further into knighthood, students can check out Academie Duello's museum, which preserves an ever-growing collection of weapons of war, armour, and fight books.
Established in 2002, Universal MMA has become a well-known mixed-martial-arts facility in the area with locations in both North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver. With members ranging from beginners to intermediate students to competition fighters, Universal MMA provides a fun and friendly training environment. Classes include no-gi jiu jitsu, muay thai boxing, brazilian jiu jitsu, women-only kickboxing, and kids' martial arts.
Among Diving Locker's group of seasoned and certified underwater experts, accomplishments include inspecting Australia's Great Barrier Reef up close, swimming with fish in the blue waters of Guam, and spending more than 40 years helping snorkelers choose the right fins. Diving Locker's staff of instructors combine their wealth of collective experience to provide students with technical education?such as PADI certifications and search-and-recovery training?and to impart their genuine love for the fruits of globe-trekking. In addition to being a hub for scuba equipment sales and instruction, the business' audacious employees also organize and lead diving jaunts around the world and to a number of local underwater destinations on weekends. Diving Locker has been in operation since the late 1960s and has been operated since 1972 by Greg Kocher, the facility's resident equipment guru and mermaid interpreter.