Getting the Most from Mixed Experience Levels

We were all newbies once. We were all the person who worried that our lack of skill was holding others back in their practice. And in some cases maybe we did. It is difficult to manage levels of challenge within a mixed level group. The needs of the experienced practitioner and those of the newcomer are quite …

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The Three Ms of Excellence

The idea of pursuing personal excellence is great, but functionally how do you do it? I’ve written about beating the boredom of repetitive drilling, and promoting an excellence mindset. Yet when you get the opportunity to really up the quality of what you’re doing, where do you focus? Below is a piece of guidance material I …

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Is There a Link Between Ballet & Fencing?

This is a cross-post that I wrote for the Duello.TV and Academie Duello blogs. I have long heard that ballet has its origins in historical fencing. It’s a romantic idea and as someone who both teaches martial arts and dance (though not ballet) I certainly find tons of parallels in how they are both taught …

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The Skills of Excellence

Excellence is the evidence of diligent, attentive, and purposeful practice. Not all of us will achieve excellence, nor is it a requisite for enjoying or being fulfilled in martial arts. In fact I would say that much of what holds people back from excellence is that in many ways its pursuit can be grueling, repetitive, …

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What Is a Modern European Martial Arts Master?

Recently I was asked in an online thread what I thought constituted a modern master of Historical European Martial Arts and whether I thought there was worth in the creation of modern masters or the use of the master title at all. In short to all: Yes. A Little Backstory on Fencing Mastery Before I …

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The Importance of Sleep for Martial Artists

Sleep health and sleep hygiene are very trendy topics these days and for good reason. We all lead busy lives, there are limited times to catch up with friends or spend time with family, and there are tons of distractions that can occupy you into the wee hours if you let them. Getting less than …

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Bruce Lee’s 10,000 Kicks and the Real Meaning of Mastery

One of the most quoted lines from Bruce Lee is “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” It’s a quote that emphasizes the importance of focused practice and a high level of proficiency. But it is often used to …

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Training to Defeat Intense Techniques

One of the most challenging things to deal with in sparring is the mental or emotional intensity of a very forward motivated opponent, someone who throws powerful blows, or someone who comes very ferociously. Commonly people respond in one of two ways: Freeze or pull away, failing to make a cover. Making a single simple …

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The Three Defensive Principles, A Cross Martial Approach

I posted this originally on the Duello.TV blog. While I was doing some research for another article I came across this video, on the Funker Tactical youtube channel, that includes some advice from a Vegas police officer about close quarters covering and entry. There is a lot of merit to his approach and it shares …

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Making Masters

At Academie Duello we have an ambitious goal: Make 1000 Masters. The challenge is that as of yet, we are 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 …

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