Ways To Test Your Art — Triangulating on Life and Death

For the past many years my focus in the pursuit of Historical European Martial Arts has been very much on safely exploring the “martial” aspect. I want to get as close to the original martial art as I realistically can without actually putting myself, my training partners, or my students in mortal danger. Yet that is a …

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Four Strategies to Combat Technique Repetition Boredom

“The difference between an advanced action and a simple action is that an advanced action is a simple action done very, very well.” A student and colleague of mine reminded me of this quote recently. I very much enjoy its sentiment every time I’m exposed to it. It reminds me of how much of my …

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How to Create Empowered Learners; Not Just Competent Practitioners

A good teacher doesn’t just impart information to their students, they empower their students to be excellent learners. In my classes, I’m thinking not just about how I can increase my students’ ability with a given technique in that moment, but what I can give them that will help them meaningfully practice, implement, and build …

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Managing Safety in Martial Arts

Swinging a steel sword at someone, even a blunted one, seems risky. That’s because it is. How do we manage to practice an art that is traditionally deadly in a way that allows us to keep practicing it — often rigorously — for a long time? There are three primary ways that we mitigate risks …

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