Personal Development  Category Archives

Less Function, More Art.

Posted on by Jon Mills

So, let’s get this down on paper first. I hate the word functional. It’s not a problem with the word itself, it’s that like the words “natural”, “healthy” and “fitness” it has become virtually meaningless. Every time someone uses the word functional, ask them the question “functional for what?”. Most of the time they won’t be able to answer, or…

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Being an Empowered Learner: Know Your Learning Style

Posted on by devonboorman

Your learning is only based partly on the effectiveness of your teacher. It is largely based on your own personal effectiveness as a learner. Good teachers should certainly help you on this journey, but the more you can help yourself, the more you stand to gain in each of the learning situations of your life. On our recent DTV Livestream,…

Posted in Personal Development, Programs |

How Do You Foster Safety In Martial Arts?

Posted on by devonboorman

Though safety may seem boring, uncool, or like an unnecessary consideration, it is a vital foundation for pursuing excellence in martial arts in both the short- and long-term. Having a solid approach to safety in your group is important for retaining members, keeping your body healthy, and for creating the space for experimentation. At Academie Duello, safety is a core…

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There are No Shortcuts; Just Dead Ends

Posted on by Jon Mills

I recently had a discussion on social media about this particular item: They are a kind of cutesy self defense device being marketed to women. Now, these are stupid, illegal, and unlikely to even offer an advantage in a self defense scenario. Not only that, but they are explicitly sold as a weapon, and therefore would probably mitigate any claim…

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The Pursuit of Learning Should Not Be Partisan

Posted on by devonboorman

It is easy to fall into the idea that there are right approaches and wrong approaches, true paths and false paths. If your group does things one way, if you've invested your time in one path, it can be difficult to allow that those who practice a different system, approach, or have invested in a different strategy, may also be doing something…

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The Longsword DVD is Finally Here!

Posted on by devonboorman

More than two years ago, I got together with Greg Reimer, a group of other Duello students and a filmmaker to lay down the footage for a new DVD: Introduction to Italian Longsword. After two years of post-production problem solving it is finally available to the public!! This DVD is an efficient and thorough approach to how I teach the use…

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Ask for Support, Not Instruction

Posted on by Jon Mills

Say that your car has broken down. You go ask your friends for recommendations of a good mechanic. You don’t ask for recommendations on how to fix it yourself with zero automotive knowledge, and then do your best to follow the instructions on what “worked for them”. Health and fitness are weird. You can do the wrong thing enough. And…

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Excellence, Machismo, and Hardcore Training

Posted on by devonboorman

Let me say first that I am all for the pursuit of excellence. Challenging yourself to be better is daunting, daring, and rewarding. On this road, you must find the edges of your comfort, push beyond your physical limitations, and surmount many an emotional hurdle. And though much of this is truly hard, little of it is "hardcore". Physical Excellence…

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Give What You Can Spare; Keep What You Need.

Posted on by Jon Mills

How long is a workout? A better question is how long do you have? In a conversation with a student this week, the subject of giving 100% came up and how they were training. Due to illness and stress, they were not training at the capacity that they had previously been at. They were happy though that even though the…

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Walking the Path – Reflections on VISS 2017

Posted on by devonboorman

"At their heart, martial arts are a solitary path. No one can walk that path for you." I'm paraphrasing one of many great bits of wisdom shared by Mark Mikita, a 50-year martial arts practitioner and teacher, at his talk on longevity in martial arts at the 2017 edition of the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium (VISS). One of the beautiful…

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