Taped Up, Braced Up, and Strapped Down: Training Through Injury

I consider myself to be relatively lucky in regards to injuries when it comes to martial arts. I have broken some fingers in intense bouting, separated a shoulder while doing armoured combat, and have certainly had my share of sprains and strains. That being said, it has been a relatively healthy career thanks to a…

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Tumbling Down the “Why” Hole

Why do you practice martial arts? If it’s for fun, once you’ve achieved a good level of fun, why seek to get better? If it’s to win, why does winning matter? If it’s for artistic or personal mastery, why? Like getting caught into a conversation with the pedantic child who always asks “why?”, down the…

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Pursue Your Art Your Way

Do you like to put on full protective gear and really feel the rush or high intensity combat? Or, do you simply like the feel of the sword in your hand, weaving through patterns, an extension of your body? Or, perhaps you like the dance, smooth and intricate, collaborative as much as competitive. Martial arts…

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The Pedestal: What We Expect From Our Teachers

I have come to wonder if placing our teachers on pedestals is about elevating them, or if it’s really about lowering and restricting ourselves?  Elevating our teachers to a realm beyond what is humanly achievable can be a strategy for minimizing our own expectations, and thus our disappointments. If the goal is unachievable there are…

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Why “Clean” Eating Challenges Are Hot, Stinking Garbage

So, this clean eating challenge popped up in my feed a few days ago because several people I know are taking it. We’re about to go down a rabbit hole, so I guess before we begin I should clarify: I don’t blame people for doing this stuff. I don’t blame people for hoping it will help them…

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Strategies for Visual Learning

Understanding your strongest and weakest learning styles can be a useful and illuminating tool for becoming a more engaged and effective student. This week we examine effective strategies for maximizing visual learning and retention. Check out the DTV Livestream on Effective Learning to hear a discussion on this same subject. Visual learning is the process…

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Less Function, More Art.

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…

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How Do You Foster Safety In Martial Arts?

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…

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The Pursuit of Learning Should Not Be Partisan

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,…

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