Keeping up the Practice Regimen over the Holidays

So I’m away visiting family in Victoria, BC during the Holidays. I enjoy holidays not really as a chance to get away from working but as an opportunity to work on things I don’t normally get a chance to focus on when I’m at the Academie. On this trip I’m focusing on writing, editing (I’m nearly done the edit of my long-awaited fencing manual), and special projects (they’re secret, I can’t tell you). While I’m away I also make sure to continue to make time in my schedule to keep up my practice.

I must admit I don’t have the same access to time, equipment, or training partners as I do when I’m at home but there’s a lot you can do with a little.

1. Fundamental Form Practice. I do a lot of movement, lunging, and pattern work on my own. A stick can substitute for a sword or just imagining you have a sword or simply practicing unarmed forms. I try to do all of my forms as deeply (posturally) and intentionally as possible and focus on movement of individual parts of my body. I find that even a few short reps of a simple activity can be a great workout when I do them slowly and in as strong a posture as possible.

2. Visualization. During the 30 for 30 challenge I talked about how powerful it can be to visualize. If you can’t imagine the successful application of a technique its hard to pull it off in reality. Visualization has also been shown to cause the required muscles of an action to fire and condition.

3. Reading. This is a great time to read the fencing books you received over Christmas and expand your mind. I’m making my way through Guy Windsor’s recent translation of Vadi’s work and looking forward to getting to the recently release Giganti Book II!

I hope you are all making at least 5 minutes a day to practice while you’re away. Hit up some of the solo exercises on Duello.TV for inspiration and look forward to more swordplay in the New Year!

Happy holidays everyone!

devonboorman Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
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