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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Pain and Glee: Enjoying Your Training

This post originally appeared on Duello.TV, Academie Duello’s online learning and training blog portal. At our recent Instructor Intensive, the topic of “training so hard that you lose the joy of it” came up. The people who come out to intensives are hard workers. It takes a lot of drive to come out to do […]

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Making Masters

At Academie Duello we have an ambitious goal: Make 1000 Masters. The challenge is that at this moment, we have yet to make our first. What is a Master? Within most European martial traditions, a master is someone who not only practices their art with a high level of proficiency but more importantly is able […]

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A party where party-goers are sabering champange

How to Saber a Bottle of Champagne

A slightly different type of how-to topic for today—though it still involves swords! This past weekend we held a charity event at Academie Duello called Duelling with Cause. It featured a tournament, swordplay demonstrations, and a lot of cool audience participation. One of the things that the attendees got to try out was sabering a […]

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