My Longsword DVD is Finally Here!

More than two years ago, I got together with Greg Reimer, a group of other Duello students and a filmmaker to lay down the footage for a new DVD: Introduction to Italian Longsword. After two years of post-production problem solving it is finally available to the public!! This DVD is an efficient and thorough approach to …

Read More…

Excellence, Machismo, and Hardcore Training

Let me say first that I am all for the pursuit of excellence. Challenging yourself to be better is daunting, daring, and rewarding. On this road, you must find the edges of your comfort, push beyond your physical limitations, and surmount many an emotional hurdle. And though much of this is truly hard, little of …

Read More…

Keeping the “Martial” in Martial Arts

These days, there is very little impetus to end up in a duel with sharp swords or even a true in-earnest fist fight on the street. In fact, I’m quite happy to live in a time and place where I do not need to defend my life on the regular. However, I am a teacher and …

Read More…

The Solitary Path of Mastery

“At their heart, martial arts are a solitary path. No one can walk that path for you.” I’m paraphrasing one of many great bits of wisdom shared by Mark Mikita, a 50-year martial arts practitioner and teacher, at his talk on longevity in martial arts at the 2017 edition of the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium …

Read More…

What Have You Failed At Today?

“What have you failed at today?” This question is one that a friend’s father used to ask her and her brother every day at dinner. I found the story inspiring. This question, as well as her father’s warm approach in how he asked it, contained so many positive questions and affirmations: What did you try today? …

Read More…

Swordplay On Your Break, or a Break from Swordplay?

We just finished our last curriculum week for the year at Academie Duello. It will be two weeks before we’re back on to our regular program and, depending on where you practice, you might be stepping into a similar break yourself. So what to do with the time off? If you don’t stop, you don’t have …

Read More…

Humble Beginnings: How to Start a Sword Fighting School

Academie Duello started in August 2004 at a defunct outdoor skating rink in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Canada. The space cost us nothing, other than the time and effort it took to get permission from the province, who owned the rink. It was covered, lit at night, and centrally located. We had enough money …

Read More…

Your Support Matters

When someone is vulnerable, it is venerable to stand with them. When someone takes a leap. Puts themselves out there. Truly and meaningfully expresses something that matters. Let them know they’re not alone. Let them know you are seeing them and that they are seen. Let them know that what they are saying matters to …

Read More…

“Discomfort” a poem

How do I help you? In this mire you rest But it is more that you wrest and struggle with stuck. I want for solutions To work you like a problem Solve you like a riddle Unscramble your Rubic’s Cube and set you in order But all I can do is sit In this dark …

Read More…

Giving Yourself an Idiot Mark

We’ve all got one. That self-inflicted bump on your head, scrape on your arm, or a knick on your cheek. We’ve all had that moment. The moment when you made a bad parry and deflected your sword into your own face. That time when you were making a circular flourish with a stick and clipped the side of …

Read More…