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Mimicry: How To Use It, How To Beat It

Posted on by devonboorman

Ever sparred with someone really good and felt like you were at your best, then right after sparred with someone less experienced and felt like you got as sloppy as they were? Mimicry is one of the brain's most powerful tools for both learning and fitting in (an important tool for survival). Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, speculates…

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Collaborative vs Competitive Practice Environments

Posted on by devonboorman

Early in my days of swordplay, I remember a common piece of training advice was to "never give anything less than 100% to your training partner". Because the only form of training our practice group really did at the time was sparring, this often lead to situations where a more experienced opponent just hit a less experienced opponent in the…

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Dealing with Criticism

Posted on by devonboorman

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." - Elbert Hubbard Putting yourself out into the world is a surefire way to invite criticism. All who do encounter those who detract. Yet is there really any other way one would want to be in the world? When we embark on a new pursuit like swordplay, or dance, or writing, we…

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Taped Up, Braced Up, and Strapped Down: Training Through Injury

Posted on by devonboorman

I consider myself to be relatively lucky in regards to injuries when it comes to martial arts. I have broken some fingers in intense bouting, separated a shoulder while doing armoured combat, and have certainly had my share of sprains and strains. That being said, it has been a relatively healthy career thanks to a lot of care and attention.…

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Conquering Fear with Mr. Bumble

Posted on by Jon Mills

Meet Mr. Bumble. Mr. Bumble is scared of everything. Mr. Bumble is a foster rat currently in my care. He was found living outside. Before we took him in he was a day away from becoming snake food (seriously!) and at some point in his adventures he broke a number of toes, so he was likely in a lot of pain.…

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Why “Clean” Eating Challenges Are Hot, Stinking Garbage

Posted on by Jon Mills

So, this clean eating challenge popped up in my feed a few days ago because several people I know are taking it. We’re about to go down a rabbit hole, so I guess before we begin I should clarify: I don’t blame people for doing this stuff. I don’t blame people for hoping it will help them change. This is not about…

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Kinesthetic Learning: Just Do It!

Posted on by devonboorman

Luis Preto gave a wonderful analogy in the instructor section of his Jogo do Pau level 1 instructor seminar where he compared how we teach martial arts to how we teach someone to catch a ball. The typical martial arts approach to teaching catch: Demonstrate the catching motion. Have the student practice catching as a solo exercise, focusing on the…

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Strategies for Auditory Learning

Posted on by devonboorman

At the end of a workshop delivered by Guy Windsor recently, Guy asked all of his students "Did you have every opportunity to get what you wanted from today's session?" This was a subtle shift from a question I had heard him ask two year's prior "Did you get what you wanted from today's workshop?" It is up to us…

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Are You Doing Too Much and Eating Too Little?

Posted on by Jon Mills

Three times in the last week I have advised other coaches seeking help working on weight loss with clients to get them to do less, eat more, and be patient. The common belief for weight loss is to eat less, train more, but more often than not when talking to other nutrition coaches their clients flounder not because they don’t take…

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How Do You Foster Safety In Martial Arts?

Posted on by devonboorman

Though safety may seem boring, uncool, or like an unnecessary consideration, it is a vital foundation for pursuing excellence in martial arts in both the short- and long-term. Having a solid approach to safety in your group is important for retaining members, keeping your body healthy, and for creating the space for experimentation. At Academie Duello, safety is a core…

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