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The Pursuit of Craft: Why Do Martial Arts at All?

Posted on by devonboorman

Why? This is a not too uncommon question that comes up from both outsiders and insiders of martial art. What is the purpose that your art is serving? What are the ends that you're driving toward? What will it look like when you're done? Who will you be? I pondered this question today as I sat in the members' lounge…

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The Beautiful Art of Solitary Practice

Posted on by devonboorman

Practicing martial arts on my own can be one of the great pleasures of my week. It is a time that is just purely for me. Within the time spent in solitary practice, I don't have to worry about providing for a partner or guiding a student, I can simply focus on my own body, sense of flow, and desires…

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How to Get People to Drill

Posted on by devonboorman

In an online conversation with members of our instructor training program this past weekend, an interesting question came up, one that I encounter on a regular basis: How do I make the other people in my group drill and do exercises? The short answer is that you don't "make" them do anything. Their training is their business. Trying to push people…

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Getting Over the Hump in a New Routine

Posted on by devonboorman

Starting a new routine? Coming back after a long break? Stepping it up in a way you haven't before? Fact: the first week will be hard. Go into that eyes open. If you're coming back after a long break or this is the first time you've set a serious routine, expect your body to hurt and your mind to object…

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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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