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.
The Vancouver campus of Utopia Academy focuses specifically on massage therapy, where students steep their minds in healthcare instruction from a skilled faculty. The registered and accredited programs guide students toward flourishing careers by building skills through interactive clinics that are open to the public. Under careful supervision, students gain tangible field experience as they knead away tension, perform anti-aging peels, or style the coiffures of an entire poodle wedding party.
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.
Micah, Luch, and Alicia of Metropolitan Bartending School draw on over a decade of bartending chops apiece to impart the art of alcoholic alchemy. Students enrolled in at-home or comprehensive certification courses might recognize Micah Dew as the resident drinkspert of the Province newspaper, or remember his dazzling “Extreme Bartending” performance of juggling and fire-breathing for a stunned Rachel Ray. Between also working a bartending job five nights a week at The Roxy Vancouver, Micah lends industry-veterans Luch and Alicia a hand in leading a lineup of diverse classes and workshops. The sessions range from wine-tasting seminars to Serving It Right certification, a legal necessity in British Columbia. All of these classes take place behind real bars at Metropolitan Bartending School's facilities, equipped with the most commonly used liquor bottles, a POS training-mode system for running tabs, and an animatronic priest, rabbi, and minister.
The Modern Languages program at Vancouver's International House fills the heads of children, curious adults, and globetrotting businessfolk with useful grammar and vocabulary knowledge during intensive, engaging classes in 11 languages including French, Farsi, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin. Classes are taught by native speakers and qualified teachers who focus on practical conversational skills rather than teaching their students what to say when they encounter a unicorn. Class size is kept small, with a maximum of 10 students learning together, which ensures everyone gets some one-on-one instruction. Adventurous language learners can also fully immerse themselves in the words and culture of a foreign country through study abroad programs to distant locations ranging from Qingdao, China to the French Riviera.