Ways To Test Your Art — Triangulating on Life and Death

For the past many years my focus in the pursuit of Historical European Martial Arts has been very much on safely exploring the “martial” aspect. I want to get as close to the original martial art as I realistically can without actually putting myself, my training partners, or my students in mortal danger. Yet that is…

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How to Create Empowered Learners; Not Just Competent Practitioners

A good teacher doesn’t just impart information to their students, they empower their students to be excellent learners. In my classes, I’m thinking not just about how I can increase my students’ ability with a given technique in that moment, but what I can give them that will help them meaningfully practice, implement, and build…

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Learning swordplay is different for everyone.

10 Steps for Running a Successful HEMA Study Group

A study group is a group of peers devoted to helping each other get better in a particular martial practice. If you don’t have an experienced and savvy instructor in your area, or you want to pursue learning something that is not offered by your group or school, or you simply want to get in…

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Five Pieces of Advice for Getting the Most out of a Week-Long Swordfighting Intensive

This week I have been leading an instructor training intensive at Academie Duello. 50 hours of instruction in Italian swordplay technique, theory, and teaching methodology. So far it is living up to its name — intense —  for both the students and the teachers. That’s not a statement of distress, simply one of fact. The…

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Five Rules for Being a Great Martial Arts Instructor

With one instructor intensive behind me and another coming in February, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be a great instructor. There are many false roads along this path and I’ve certainly had my share of internal struggles. I thought I’d share a few pieces of advice that I have found valuable.…

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Instructor Intensive Week in Review

Phew! It’s done! It was indeed an intense but satisfying experience teaching Academie Duello’s first formal, week-long instructor training intensive. From October 26th to 30th, thirteen aspiring instructors joined us here in Vancouver for a five-day, 50-hour intensive to kick off their ongoing instructor training program. Attendees hailed from both our local area (British Columbia’s Lower Mainland) as well…

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