Carosella Congratulations

What an amazing weekend!  The skies were blue, the temperature was perfect, the horses were on their best behaviour, and the participants were incredible at Carosella 2016. On Friday the focus was on Horsemanship, Riding, and Mounted Combat Skills — ie, the core tracks of our Mounted Combat Program.   For Horsemanship we had Diane Prosser…

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Pigeonholed Sword Press: News for February 2016

Let’s see now; what is “proper” historical swordplay? There are many definitions: Swordplay as it is strictly interpreted from a specific fightbook. The swordplay (tempered with safety concerns) employed by the SCA in their efforts to accurately recreate an overall (family-friendly) “feel” of being in the Medieval or Renaissance period. Swordplay as a martial art-driven, “totally different” fitness program.…

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On Talent, Practice, and Patience

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called Three Things You Should be Saying to Your Martial Arts Students, where I encouraged teachers to reinforce for their students that practice matters more than talent. I received a lot of great feedback and got into some great discussions. The piece was even translated into…

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How to Create Tangible Results from Martial Arts training

This past Tuesday night, I got home from the school at about midnight. After class, which ends at 10pm, I spent another hour and a half with Greg committing more rapier and sidesword exercises to video. This is our third week of shooting this particular content. To support this month’s 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge,…

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30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge: January 2016 Edition!

The third annual 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge is just about to start on January 2nd! If you’ve heard of yoga challenges, you know what this is about. It’s like that, but way cooler… there’s swords. The challenge: practice swordplay for 30 minutes per day for 30 days in January from the 2nd to the 31st.…

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The Haunting History of Halloween

Ever since I was a kid Halloween has always been my favourite holiday of the year.  My mother would spend months sewing exceptionally detailed and original costumes for me and my brother, and I loved heading out into the streets of my neighbourhood to see what all the other families had decked themselves out in.…

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Trans*gressions: the struggles and victories of trans athletes

It is refreshing to be alive in a time to see so much progress in our society in regards to LGBTQ* acceptance and civil rights — though we still have a long way to go despite a lot of recent victories.  This year in June we saw the Supreme Court of America legalize same-sex marriage. …

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Book Review: “Brief Instructions Upon my Paradoxes of Defence – Scholler’s Edition” by Eaton (ed)

The work that George Silver was best known for was his 1599 Paradoxes of Defence, in which he conducts a vehement denunciation of the Italian teaching of the civilian dueling rapier within his England and its subsequent use by a heretofore doughty race of backsword wielders.  Paradoxes was not so much a fight book as…

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Silver Cord Provost Examination Results

This weekend was a momentous event for Academie Duello: our first Silver Cord (aka Provost) examination. A provost is one step below Maestro/Master and it represents an enormous achievement. Provosts are expected to demonstrate a high level of effectiveness within the school’s system, a demonstrable and defensible understanding of the school’s pedagogy and theoretical approach,…

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Women’s Only Tournaments

I have loosely followed a couple of different conversations that have touched on this topic within the HEMA community. The first is about a Trans woman who has been denied entry into the Pacific Northwest HEMA gathering Women’s Longsword tournament. (In short on this: I am in support of her inclusion. I think that at best…

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Okichitaw: Canada’s only (Ab)original Martial Art System

Canada Day is fast approaching and as our country celebrates its 148th birthday, it is important that we as Canadians recognize that this birthday is based on Canada’s post-colonial history.  On July 1st 1867 Canada became its own self-governing dominion within great Britain (and originally only included the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario…

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Beginners’ Courses July 2015

Just like the sun, we are coming back with our beginner’s courses! Enjoy your summer with three different ways to approach to Western Martial Arts. Bartitsu is a complex martial art with many interlocking skills and is still very useful for learning practical self-defence today. Its introductory course, Fight Like Sherlock Holmes, runs once a week for four weeks.…

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Book Review: “Self-Defense for Gentlemen & Ladies” by Col. TH Monstery (Ben Miller ed)

In about 1877, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery wrote: “I hold that every gentleman should be able to protect himself from insult and violence, with or without weapons.” [1] Words as true now, as they were more than a century ago! [2] But why listen to Col Monstery? In Self Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies, Ben Miller…

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First Silver Cord Examination!

Exciting news for Academie Duello. We have scheduled our first Silver Cord examination for August 21st, 2015. This is excellent news for us as a school and for me as the Master Instructor. The Silver Cord is the fourth rank in our system and is the equivalent of a Provost level in swordplay schools from…

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