Is Full Speed and Full Contact Required?

A good friend of mine is a special forces combatives trainer. I asked him how much of their training is devoted to full-speed and full-contact simulated sparring. He told me “no more than 5%”. For him it was a matter of balancing value and risk. Full speed, full contact sparring has the value of exposing […]

Read More…

Slow Down Sign

Why Go Slow? The Benefits of Slow Sparring

This past week, at our 50-hour instructor intensive, I introduced a new batch of students, who travelled in from various places around the world to the method and benefits of slow sparring. Slow sparring is exactly what it sounds like: sparring done slowly. It has proven itself to me to be a tremendously valuable training […]

Read More…

Brutality in Martial Arts

Musings on Brutality in Martial Arts

I’m not a fan of brutality in modern martial arts practice.  Aggression brings unnecessary risks and injury, overvalues intensity over grace, and makes martial art less accessible to the unarmoured (both physically and psychologically). Wasn’t Real Historical Fighting Brutal? I won’t argue that there is no historical precedent for brutal, cruel, and ruthless martial art […]

Read More…

Pain and Glee: Enjoying Your Training

This post originally appeared on Duello.TV, Academie Duello’s online learning and training blog portal. At our recent Instructor Intensive, the topic of “training so hard that you lose the joy of it” came up. The people who come out to intensives are hard workers. It takes a lot of drive to come out to do […]

Read More…

Making Masters

At Academie Duello we have an ambitious goal: Make 1000 Masters. The challenge is that at this moment, we have yet to make our first. What is a Master? Within most European martial traditions, a master is someone who not only practices their art with a high level of proficiency but more importantly is able […]

Read More…

5 Tips for Effective At-Home Practice

Classes are a great place to learn, but proficiency comes from learning in between sessions by practising on your own. Here are five ways you can make the most of your personal practice time: Keep your commitment small If you’re new to home practice, make a commitment that you feel very confident about keeping. In the beginning, […]

Read More…

Advice from the 30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge

Over the month of January, Academie Duello and Duello.TV (our online video learning channel) hosted a 30-day swordplay training challenge. Each participant engaged in the goal of at least 30 minutes of swordplay training per day for 30 days. Participants represented dozens of schools from all over the world and the range of disciplines practised was […]

Read More…

Mimicry: How To Use It, How To Beat It

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 […]

Read More…