After reading some of the replies here, I have just realized you can dodge with the left stick ahahahahahh!!
I got through the entire game regarding the duels without dodging.
Now it makes sense and I got to stage nine on the duel mode.
Also, as someone pointed out here, the speed is key.
I take it back, the duels are now a lot more fun.
Well if makes you do it for the one duel in the saloon, but I had no idea it had become a mechanic from that point on; unlike the like focus and hand controls there was nothing onscreen. I got through all the duels in the story honorably without knowing, but it'll be useful for the challenges.