Two Swords are Better Than One!

Getting Out of Your Head

“You see first with your mind, then with your eyes, then finally it is in your body.” — Yagyu Munenori.  Family Traditions on the Art of War, 17th century. Stuck In Your Head Whether it’s swordplay, dancing, or driving a car, when you first learn a skill it exists within the conscious learning part of the…

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How Much Should I Worry About Winning At The Beginning?

Not at all. Whether you approach your practice as a martial sport or a martial art, defeating your opponent can be a useful measure of your ability. However, it’s the wrong place to be looking until a fair ways down the path of setting a martial foundation. There are many techniques, tricks, and traps one…

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On Talent, Practice, and Patience

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece called Three Things You Should be Saying to Your Martial Arts Students, where I encouraged teachers to reinforce for their students that practice matters more than talent. I received a lot of great feedback and got into some great discussions. The piece was even translated into…

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Don’t Get Hung Up on Perfect Practice

There is an interesting phrase pair I have been hearing from a lot of instructors recently. I hear: “Practice makes perfect.” Then an admonishment: “No. Practice makes permanent. So make sure you don’t practice poorly!” The first is a message of hope and resilience. If you practice and stay the course, you can find mastery.…

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