The Skills of Excellence

Excellence is the evidence of diligent, attentive, and purposeful practice. Not all of us will achieve excellence, nor is it a requisite for enjoying or being fulfilled in martial arts. In fact I would say that much of what holds people back from excellence is that in many ways its pursuit can be grueling, repetitive,…

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Learn to swordfight again from scratch. Learn new things about yourself!

The Mountain and the Bliss of Ignorance

A new student at Academie Duello recently said to me “There’s so much to learn, it’s like being under a mountain!” It can feel that way. It truly is a mountain of knowledge, practice and craft one must climb to become a master of these arts! The Dunning-Kruger effect, which has gained such popularity of late,…

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Flying Changes Ahead: What’s New for 2019 in the Mounted Combat Program

Happy New Year! There are big changes in the Mounted Combat program this year.  Perhaps the most significant is that the program is moving from being a direct part of the Vancouver school, and to becoming a separate satellite school situated at Cornwall Ridge Farm. This won’t have a huge affect on the classes themselves,…

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The Importance of Sleep for Martial Artists

Sleep health and sleep hygiene are very trendy topics these days and for good reason. We all lead busy lives, there are limited times to catch up with friends or spend time with family, and there are tons of distractions that can occupy you into the wee hours if you let them. Getting less than…

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Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium 2019

Registration for the fifth Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium (VISS) is now open! The event, which takes place from April 5th to 7th, is a conference focused around intensive three-day programs with an aim to help people along the path of mastery in the many disciplines of Historical European Martial Arts. This year the theme is This…

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Is Full Speed and Full Contact Required?

A good friend of mine is a special forces combatives trainer. I asked him how much of their training is devoted to full-speed and full-contact simulated sparring. He told me “no more than 5%”. For him it was a matter of balancing value and risk. Full speed, full contact sparring has the value of exposing…

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Slow Down Sign

Why Go Slow? The Benefits of Slow Sparring

This past week, at our 50-hour instructor intensive, I introduced a new batch of students, who travelled in from various places around the world to the method and benefits of slow sparring. Slow sparring is exactly what it sounds like: sparring done slowly. It has proven itself to me to be a tremendously valuable training…

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