Ladies and Gentlemen: The Umbrella

During these rainy winter months in Vancouver, we hold monthly workshops in Umbrella self defence. At the turn of the last century, every gentleman carried a walking stick, and every woman carried a parasol. Since we carry our modern umbrellas just as frequently in Vancouver today, it’s a great value to learn how they learned…

Read More… from Ladies and Gentlemen: The Umbrella

Is VISS for beginners

Short answer: absolutely.  A few of our newer students who feel a little anxious about registering for the 2013 Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium(VISS). There are several reasons for this feeling and I’ll address some of them here.  “It’s kind of expensive”  This applies to beginners and “veterans” alike. And, actually it’s not. At a cost…

Read More… from Is VISS for beginners

Article in the Vancouver’s Westender Newspaper

If you pickup this week’s Westender Newspaper you’ll see a great article by Gen Handley about Academie Duello.  Gen checked out a class a few weeks ago and it looks like he had a great time. It’s a good article and tells a little about the origins of Duello. You can also check it out…

Read More… from Article in the Vancouver’s Westender Newspaper

Awesome Workshops at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium

VISS 2013 is approaching, and we’re excited to announce a first look at our workshop lineup! We are proud to offer two styles of workshops at VISS. The first style offers a more in-depth look into various topics, with work that will build across three days of classes. Topics for this style of workshop include:…

Read More… from Awesome Workshops at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium

Bringing a 500 year old wrestling system back to life

A few weeks ago I was in Eugene, Oregon teaching a seminar at the Northwest Fencing Academy. The day after the seminar I got together with school director Sean Hayes and his senior student Mark Kruger to work with them a bit on an historical intepretation project of a 1537 wrestling manual written by a…

Read More… from Bringing a 500 year old wrestling system back to life

“Yeah, but when will I use fencing in real life?”

Brilliant stuff today, great for the novice and experienced fencer alike.Occasionally, when I talk to someone about fencing the conversation turns to applicability outside the salle. “It’s just good for killing people with a sword. What are you going to do when you don’t have your sword?”There’s so much wrong with that (besides the grammar).We…

Read More… from “Yeah, but when will I use fencing in real life?”

Out Cold: The Real Danger of Concussions

Here’s an infographic related to my previous post: Concussions R Bad. Created by MastersInHealthcare.com, it is sourced from the following: www.cdc.gov/concussion www.silive.com/sports/index.ssf/2010/10/scary_statistics_about-concuss.html www.mayoclinic.com/health/post-concussion-syndrome/DS01020 usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/story/2012-01-23/costly-concussions/52762290/1 Safety in Training and Reality In class, we avoid striking the head, even when wearing protective gear. To be a good partner, we either move slowly, change the target (do a…

Read More… from Out Cold: The Real Danger of Concussions

Martial Movement

Swordplay from the Ground: Movement Last week I covered the essentials of a balance and martial stance.  Now we need to add mobility, without losing the effectiveness of that grounded posture, for the second item in the mounted combat checklist: Demonstrate methods of movement The movements we are looking for are: 1. Advance: take a…

Read More… from Martial Movement

Use goals to check up on yourself, not beat up on yourself

We’ve been talking a lot about goals at the school and on the blog over the past few weeks and its led to many interesting discussions on the impacts, both positive and negative, that goals can have in your life. One of the core reasons to set goals and work to achieve them, is to…

Read More… from Use goals to check up on yourself, not beat up on yourself

Taking a Stance

Last week I gave an overview of the Mounted Combat portion of the Green Spur program, which includes Swordplay from the Ground, Swordplay Knowledge and Mounted Swordplay Knowledge.  For the next little while we’ll look at each of those checklist items in a bit more detail, starting with Swordplay from the Ground: Stance and Posture…

Read More… from Taking a Stance

Eastern Cane

Although the walking stick techniques of Bartitsu are an integral part of the art and contribute to its popularity, there are other martial arts that explore the cane. Tai chi and forms of Chinese kung fu sometimes incorporate weapons, including the straight sword, the saber, the staff, and the cane. I’m no expert on those…

Read More… from Eastern Cane

Victorian Shaving for Movember

The month of November is here, and the ritual of growing a mustache to raise funds for testicular cancer and other men’s health issues has been dubbed Movember. Deliberate and sometimes elaborate facial hair was common in Victorian era, so I’m sure Bartitsu enthusiasts are keen to learn more. Mustache Goals If you’re participating in…

Read More… from Victorian Shaving for Movember

Victorian-Themed Halloween

October is the month of death and candy in North America, so let’s talk about a steampunk-Holmes-Victorian Halloween. Besides your best clockwork sky pirate garb, I don’t have costume ideas, just some inspiration and factoids. Jack the Ripper Synonymous with the words “serial killer”, Jack the Ripper murdered female prostitutes in the Whitechapel district of…

Read More… from Victorian-Themed Halloween

I’m Teaching Workshops in Eugene and Chicago

If you live in Eugene, Oregon or Chicago, Illinois I’ll be in your area in the next few weeks teaching workshops on Italian Knife, Longsword, Sidesword, and Rapier. This weekend on Saturday the 27th I’ll be visiting Northwest Fencing Academy in Eugene Oregon to teach two workshops, one on Italian Knife and the second on…

Read More… from I’m Teaching Workshops in Eugene and Chicago