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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How to Get People to Drill

In an online conversation with members of Academie Duello’s instructor training program this past weekend, an interesting question came up, one that I encounter on a regular basis: How do I make the other people in my group drill and do exercises? The short answer is that you don’t “make” them do anything. Their training is their …

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Sparring Games: Alternate Target Objectives

Feeling in a bit of a slump in your sparring? Perhaps overwhelmed or under-challenged? Sparring games, where you create restrictions and alternate objectives, can be a great way to up the strategic challenge and interest or allow you to focus on a smaller subset of skills. The first batch of games I’m presenting are all …

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Eat the Book: A Process for Digesting Historical Sources

One of the awesome things about Historical European Martial Arts is that they come from a rich historical tradition. And this tradition includes a wealth of instructional books written from within the period where those arts were most actively practiced. Picking up a 15th-century fighting manual is by no means necessary to learn, practice, and …

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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, …

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How to Do Slow Sparring Effectively

I’m a big fan of slow sparring as a training tool. It is an ideal way to focus on mechanics and precision, develop strategic and tactical awareness, and work on the necessary relaxation and fluidity required for high-speed combat in a more manageable setting. The main challenge with slow sparring is that it is difficult to …

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Lots of Practice, Not Perfect Practice

There is an interesting phrase pair I have been hearing from a lot of instructors recently. I hear: “Practice makes perfect.” Then an admonishment: “No. Practice makes permanent. So make sure you don’t practice poorly!” The first is a message of hope and resilience. If you practice and stay the course, you can find mastery. …

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