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Lord Baltimore’s Challenge Event Report 2019

At the beginning of July I had the pleasure of once again being a Ring Director, Judge, and Instructor at Lord Baltimore’s Challenge in Washington, DC. This event aims to be a meeting of Historical European Martial Arts practitioners from HEMA clubs and from historical re-enactment backgrounds (primarily the Society for Creative Anachronism). The focus…

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Overcoming Negativity

Hello there! My name’s Dan, I’m a green cord student of 9 months at Academie Duello. I’ve been offered the opportunity of creating content for the school’s blog for the foreseeable future, focusing on bringing you updates on all things sword related. This week, we look at overcoming one of the most formidable opponents out…

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The Three Ms of Excellence

The idea of pursuing personal excellence is great, but functionally how do you do it? I’ve written about beating the boredom of repetitive drilling, and promoting an excellence mindset. Yet when you get the opportunity to really up the quality of what you’re doing, where do you focus? Below is a piece of guidance material I…

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The Skills of Excellence

Excellence is the evidence of diligent, attentive, and purposeful practice. Not all of us will achieve excellence, nor is it a requisite for enjoying or being fulfilled in martial arts. In fact I would say that much of what holds people back from excellence is that in many ways its pursuit can be grueling, repetitive,…

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Is Full Speed and Full Contact Required?

A good friend of mine is a special forces combatives trainer. I asked him how much of their training is devoted to full-speed and full-contact simulated sparring. He told me “no more than 5%”. For him it was a matter of balancing value and risk. Full speed, full contact sparring has the value of exposing…

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Slow Down Sign

Why Go Slow? The Benefits of Slow Sparring

This past week, at our 50-hour instructor intensive, I introduced a new batch of students, who travelled in from various places around the world to the method and benefits of slow sparring. Slow sparring is exactly what it sounds like: sparring done slowly. It has proven itself to me to be a tremendously valuable training…

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Assaults and Martial Forms

A couple weeks ago at the closing ceremonies of the L’Arte delle Armi conference in Chicago I was asked, along with Duello Provost Matheus Olmedo, and Jacopo Penso and Moreno del Ricci of Sala Opera Nova in Italy, to put on a display of traditional Bolognese Assaults. Assaults are a type of martial form that…

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Event Report: L’Arte delle Armi

“Although military discipline and art may be noted plainly and clearly in many courageous knights and greathearted fighters, it can also be seen that they are unclear to many talented people, owing to their inexperience. Thus, sometimes in discussing or using arms, they fall short due to ignorance, rather than to malicious intent.” Achille Marozzo,…

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Building the Swordplay Grand Slam

Tennis, one of the few internationally followed duelling sports, has four major tournaments throughout the year that are held in esteem above all of the others. These events, “the majors”, are hosted in four different countries and played on four different surfaces: Wimbledon (grass), French Open (clay), US Open (Decoturf), and Australian Open (Plexicushion). Each…

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Brutality in Martial Arts

Musings on Brutality in Martial Arts

I’m not a fan of brutality in modern martial arts practice.  Aggression brings unnecessary risks and injury, overvalues intensity over grace, and makes martial art less accessible to the unarmoured (both physically and psychologically). Wasn’t Real Historical Fighting Brutal? I won’t argue that there is no historical precedent for brutal, cruel, and ruthless martial art…

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