How to Have an Effective Training Partnership

When I first started going to the gym, it was with a colleague from work. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of going home from work we would head to the gym together. We were generally there for an hour, sometimes we’d work out together, sometimes we would follow different routines. Though our approach to…

Read More…

The Answer to Failure is: “Do It Again!”

Training on your own and you can’t get that move right? Do it again. In class and you fail at a technique? Ask your partner to give you their part again. Sparring with a peer and they get around your defence? Ask them to back up and do it again. Do it again until you fully…

Read More…

How to Keep an Effective Training Journal

For many years I have kept a training journal. This is a log book of personal practice goals, training plans, progress toward those goals, and a ticker tape of general thoughts, comments, struggles, and successes. At its simplest, the journal is a way of keeping my training front-of-mind and it helps me keep continuity from…

Read More…

Skill Retention Tips

Any skill you want to keep should be rehearsed weekly. Any skill you want to improve should be practiced daily. Spaced repetitions In the case of learning new vocabulary, or memorizing names, we have a lot of good data from psychological studies. It is well known that there is a certain frequency of reminders that…

Read More…

Martial Challenges

Recently a group of Academie Duello members participated in a rapier tournament at Ursulmas, an event hosted by the Society for Creative Anachronism in the state of Washington. The tournament was based around the concept of martial challenges that the organizer called “labours”. These challenges pitted individuals up against an opponent who outmatched them in…

Read More…

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…

Read More…

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…

Read More…

Martial Arts Students in a Line

Three Things You Should Be Saying to Your Martial Arts Students

When you’re standing in front of your students you have an opportunity to not only convey martial arts technique but also to positively shape thinking. The psychology with which we approach learning and practice is incredibly influential over our success at that practice and our energy to keep at it long term. Here are some things…

Read More…

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: 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…

Read More…

Training Mindset

Our psychology has a tremendous impact on our performance whether in a competition, or even in practice sparring or drilling. Many people who are perfectly capable performers on one day or in one environment can find themselves falling apart in different circumstances. A large contributor to this is one’s internal dialogue. Mindset can feel chemical…

Read More…