How do you get really good at anything? Practice, practice, practice.
That's hard to manage with dueling. So in the first few years of the Twentieth Century, a Parisian doctor named de Villers founded a school where ambitious men could develop their dueling skills without dying. This was an age before paintball guns, so they used pistols that fired wax bullets:
This remarkable academy is conducted by Dr. de Villers, and combats frequently take place there by way of practice. In these mimic duels wire masks are worn to protect the face and bullets made of wax are used, so that no injury may be sustained by the combatants. In all other respects, however, the conduct of the affair is carried through as on the “field of honour,” so that when the time comes — if it ever does come — for the scholars to take part in a serious duel they may acquit themselves with credit to themselves and disaster to their adversary — although this latter point is not of much importance.
Link -via Say Uncle | Photo: Bartitsu Society