Collaborative vs Competitive Practice Environments

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…

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

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…

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Why “Clean” Eating Challenges Are Hot, Stinking Garbage

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…

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How Do You Foster Safety In Martial Arts?

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…

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The Pursuit of Learning Should Not Be Partisan

It is easy to fall into the idea that there are right approaches and wrong approaches, true paths and false paths. If your group does things one way, if you’ve invested your time in one path, it can be difficult to allow that those who practice a different system, approach, or have invested in a different strategy,…

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How You Can Resist Being a Gym-Bro

I have made this statement many times, but never in print. But let’s face it, it’s a hard thing to quantify and I can only speak from my observations as a weightlifter, a martial artist, a coach, an ex-nightclub bouncer, and a man who has never really found a place in traditional masculine roles. The…

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Focus on Disaster: How to Use Impending Doom to Set Training Goals.

Functional training is all the rage but how often do we actually question whether our training is, in fact, functional? Not “Functional™” but functional. Could you lift a log, climb a rope, throw a punch, carry a wounded person or wrestle an assailant to the ground if you needed to do those things in a life…

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