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Burn out: when the fire is gone

Posted on by devonboorman

Sometimes, I have hated swordplay. This is something I truly love and has been an enduring passion of my life. But when the fire is gone a sense of resentment, frustration, or anger can remain in its place. It can bring a tremendous feeling of loss; when something that has so readily fed you before seems now to have abandoned…

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Ready, Willing, and Able: Changing Your Training Behaviour

Posted on by devonboorman

This past Friday, Jon Mills, a member of the Academie Duello instruction team and the principal fitness trainer of Black Dog Strength and Nutrition here in Vancouver, lead a workshop on coaching practices for the Duello instruction team. One of the central themes was Motivational Interviewing as a tool for helping students move toward behavioural change. The reality is that…

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Collaborative vs Competitive Practice Environments

Posted on by devonboorman

Early in my days of swordplay, I remember a common piece of training advice was to "never give anything less than 100% to your training partner". Because the only form of training our practice group really did at the time was sparring, this often lead to situations where a more experienced opponent just hit a less experienced opponent in the…

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SKIL: A model for learning martial forms

Posted on by devonboorman

Many martial traditions, including ours, use martial forms (series of attacks and defences for solo or partnered practice) to help train martial precision, flow, and fitness. Having a form that you can practice without a training partner provides structure for improving and maintaining your martial ability when you don't have the option of training with someone else. Forms also provide…

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Why Do We Fight?

Posted on by devonboorman

To get out of danger. Self-defence is one of the oldest reasons for conflict. To uphold honour, right wrong, and make just. Both noble aims and righteous justifications. To tell a story. To explore characters, their conflicts, and their motivations and take the audience along for the journey. To challenge ourselves. Keeping the body in alignment, making that technique work,…

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Why I Don’t Believe in Tough Love

Posted on by Jon Mills

I don't believe in tough love. Yet, for some reason, society treasures it. We love the anti-hero archetype that speaks their mind and doesn’t bullshit (hey, people used this as a reason to vote for Trump), and there is something in that: The truth is important. We should value the truth. However, the truth is neither "tough" nor "weak", those…

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Dimensions of Mastering the Art

Posted on by devonboorman

When you attend classes through Academie Duello, you learn a system of fencing, an art, and you learn that system through a particular methodology. Our goal is to help people find the path of mastery. To develop an understanding of the art on a deep and fundamental level in multiple dimensions and to explore those dimensions in as useful and…

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Dealing with Criticism

Posted on by devonboorman

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." - Elbert Hubbard Putting yourself out into the world is a surefire way to invite criticism. All who do encounter those who detract. Yet is there really any other way one would want to be in the world? When we embark on a new pursuit like swordplay, or dance, or writing, we…

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

Posted on by devonboorman

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 lot of care and attention.…

Posted in Adult Swordplay, Personal Development, Programs | Tagged , |

“Eureka! It works!”…

Posted on by Jon Mills

…They cry, waving before and after photos under your nose like they have solved one of life’s rudimentary problems, but “it works” is misleading when they are the ones defining what works. This blog is a short write up on the ketogenic diet based on a request from a client of mine named Mike who wants some clarity on a…

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