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The Five Things Exercise

Posted on by devonboorman

I'm a big fan of sparring games and other exercises that help bring a skill from drilling into a more fluid and combative environment. The Five Things Exercise is a sparring game that allows you to focus on five different techniques or ideas with just this goal. Exercise Structure Set a timer for a period of time divisible by five.…

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The Simple Training Journal

Posted on by devonboorman

Over this past week, I have been working on a post about understanding who you are as a practitioner and using that self-knowledge to help you find the training strategies that work to help you keep motivated and achieve your mastery goals. Well, it's proven to be a more interesting and challenging post to create than I thought, and I'm…

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What Are the Duello Rank Levels?

Posted on by devonboorman

This Saturday (May 5th, 2018), we have an exciting event occurring at Academie Duello in Vancouver BC, an examination for the rank of Provost. Matheus Olmedo, who has been a student at Academie Duello for the past 8 years, has been diligently preparing himself. Everyone in the school is excited to witness and support him in his examination. If he…

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How to Do Slow Sparring Effectively

Posted on by devonboorman

I'm a big fan of slow sparring as a training tool. It is an ideal way to focus on mechanics and precision, develop strategic and tactical awareness, and work on the necessary relaxation and fluidity required for high-speed combat in a more manageable setting. The main challenge with slow sparring is that it is difficult to go slow, especially when you're…

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Lots of Practice, Not Perfect Practice

Posted on by devonboorman

There is an interesting phrase pair I have been hearing from a lot of instructors recently. I hear: “Practice makes perfect.” Then an admonishment: “No. Practice makes permanent. So make sure you don’t practice poorly!” The first is a message of hope and resilience. If you practice and stay the course, you can find mastery. If things are going wrong,…

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The 5 Minutes Per Day Practice Regimen

Posted on by devonboorman

In light of our upcoming Online Collaborative Longsword Course, I thought it would be a good occasion to revisit this post on the five minutes per day practice regimen. Rhythm is the most important thing to cultivate on the path to mastery. Whether you leverage this course or simply get started with your own practice ritual, start making those little…

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Exposure is the Key to Deeper Learning

Posted on by devonboorman

In his Jogo do Pau training seminar in Vancouver in 2016, instructor Luis Preto demonstrated a basic fact of learning. To get good at catching a ball, there's little utility in rehearsing the catching action in isolation; you need to have a ball thrown at you. The mind is an incredible problem-solving machine. It can take in hundreds of stimuli…

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Advice from the 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge

Posted on by devonboorman

Over the month of January, Academie Duello and Duello.TV (our online video learning channel) hosted a 30-day swordplay training challenge. Each participant engaged in the goal of at least 30 minutes of swordplay training per day for 30 days. Participants represented dozens of schools from all over the world and the range of disciplines practised was extensive. The final conclusions of…

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Inspiration not Competition

Posted on by devonboorman

Competitiveness plays a big role in sport. Cultivating the competitive spirit is often used to drive one to harder training and to overcoming one's opponents in a game or tournament. It can be a font of energy positively harnessed. Yet, if it's based on making negative comparisons to others, I think competition is something you should let go of for…

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Why Do Martial Arts

Posted on by devonboorman

Martial arts have been a big part of my life since I was a child. I started first with Kung Fu then Arnis/Eskrima and then I began my longest-term exploration, Western Martial Arts. I am often asked why people practice martial arts or why I practice swordplay specifically – considering it’s unlikely that I’ll be in a life-and-death sword fight…

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