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Lateral Thinking: the Leg Yield

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Riding Level 4: the Leg Yield Item 6 of the Level 4 checklist seems quite full: 6.  Turns, circles.  Trot, canter.  Knowledge of canter leads.  Leg yield at trot. However, you already know your turns, circles and canter leads, which you can review in previous posts.  At this level, we will be looking for accurate geometry, balance, and control.  We…

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Bow to Authority! Seek Professionals to Maximise Success

Posted on by Jon Mills

I am not someone who defers to authority easily, but often the difference between success and failure can be our willingness to trust a professional. We waste a lot of time and a lot of headspace on self-teaching. This is an important and valid part of any process, but most people delay, hinder, or even sabotage their goals just by…

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5 Martial Arts Conference Survival Strategies

Posted on by devonboorman

This coming weekend is the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium. This is a three day weekend of martial arts workshops, intensives, sparring, socializing, and more. Over the past 20 years, I have attended my fair share of conferences both as a student and as a teacher across disciplines of eastern or western origin. These events are amazing opportunities for learning and…

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Our Furry Valentines

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Happy Valentine's Day, from some of our favourite kissable faces.  Photos taken at Red Colt Co-op  by Double Exposure Photography (aka Is & El). A reminder that there is no swordplay at the barn this weekend due to VISS. However, Riding & Horsemanship classes are on!   Upcoming Classes NEW! Ongoing Mounted Combat Skills Beginning in February, weekly Mounted Combat…

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Focus on Disaster: How to Use Impending Doom to Set Training Goals.

Posted on by Jon Mills

Functional training is all the rage but how often do we actually question whether our training is, in fact, functional? Not “Functional™” but functional. Could you lift a log, climb a rope, throw a punch, carry a wounded person or wrestle an assailant to the ground if you needed to do those things in a life or death situation? Chances are…

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30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge Review

Posted on by devonboorman

At the end of January, we finished up the fourth 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge. The Facebook group this year had over 250 members with reports coming from at least 100 of them throughout the entire month. I enjoyed reading posts from practitioners throughout the world with varying levels of experience and coming from different backgrounds and disciplines. I took some time…

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Forward to Halt: Effective Use of the Aids

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Riding Level 4: Transitions Before you read this post, review the Level 3 post on the Half Halt.  You will want all this information to be second nature by now, as we look at the next Level 4 checklist item: 5.  Effectiveness and use of Aids.  Transitions.  Halt. Salute At this level, we will not only be looking to see…

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Changing behaviors: Shape Your Environment to Guarantee Success

Posted on by Jon Mills

Plants grow because the environment is right. Often a seed will sit waiting inert in the ground until the conditions are perfect to give it the best chance of success before it starts to grow. The only difference between you and that seed is that you can change your environment to create the best possible conditions to grow. Success is…

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How to Connect with the Historical in HEMA

Posted on by devonboorman

I began my practice of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) without any personal connection to its original historical sources. My real connection was to movies and stories of swordsmanship. I had musketeers and knights running through my mind when I first connected with a group training in rapier fencing. Yet, what I really connected with was hitting other people with…

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A State of Independence

Posted on by jenniferlandels

Riding Level 4: Rhythm and Independent Work Cast your mind back to many years ago on this blog when I first discussed the training pyramid and its base layer, rhythm.  In your Level 4 exam we are looking for 4. All paces, feel of rhythm.  Independent work. In Level 3 we wanted you to demonstrate rhythm and forward movement in…

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