Reflections from 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge Week 1

We’re one week into the 30 for 30 swordplay challenge and here are a few things I’ve been reflecting on:

  1. The appeal of swordplay is broad. Participants who have been reporting to our group have been from all over the world including Russia, Serbia, Germany, France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, N. Ireland, Brazil, and a broad range of locations in both the US and Canada. There are participants of all ages, ranging from being in their teens all the way up to being in their 70s. The group includes a strong representation of both men and women, as well as those of all fitness levels, ranging from high level athletes to people rehabilitating from significant injuries.
  2. Timezones are confusing. When you’re trying to have everyone report on a particular day’s progress, it’s challenging when half of them are already on tomorrow!
  3. Accountability is powerful. (And it doesn’t require punishment to be effective.) Simply the act of telling someone else your goals, and then checking in with them regularly, can have a big impact on keeping you focused and moving you forward.
  4. It’s important to forgive and forget. Roland summarized very nicely in his Day 6 post when he said, “Worry less about making up lost time, and more about gaining momentum.” It’s easy to get mired in your failures instead of learning from them and moving on. The goal is to train every day — the challenge is to keep training even when you fail.
  5. Daily practice is a powerful thing. It’s a tired cliché but only because it’s true enough to be repeated a lot: “Every great journey starts with a single step.” Every journey of mastery, every completion of the 10,000 hours of required practice, is done only through a consistent rhythm. Take a step every day, enjoy the rhythm of those steps, and you’ll find yourself a long way down the road before you know it.

Good training everyone! See you at the end of week 2!

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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