Ready, Willing, and Able: How to Change Your Training Behaviour

This past Friday, Jon Mills, a member of the Academie Duello instruction team and the principal fitness trainer of Black Dog Strength and Nutrition here in Vancouver, lead a workshop on coaching practices for the Duello instruction team. One of the central themes was Motivational Interviewing as a tool for helping students move toward behavioural …

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WMAW 2017 Event Report

So this past weekend I attended the bi-annual Western Martial Arts Workshop in Racine, Wisconsin. Hosted by the Chicago Swordplay Guild, this is one of North America’s oldest European swordplay and martial arts events. The weekend features workshops, social activities, a feast, and copious amounts of free sparring and sharing between attendees. It’s also held …

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Vancouver Martial Challenge Report – 2017

This past weekend, we hosted the Vancouver Martial Challenge at Academie Duello and it was a tremendous weekend of inter-disciplinary sparring and camaraderie. The goals of this event are to: Foster Authentic Martial Combat Inspire Personal Challenge and Growth Create Community Through the Joy of Martial Arts There are many tournaments around the world and …

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An Amazing Swordplay Weekend in Italy

A little more than a week ago, I was arriving in Italy to the sala of Roberto Gotti for a special gathering of swordsmen called Giocatore. This was a weekend of martial encounters across disciplines, opportunities to share knowledge, and time to immerse oneself in study and camaraderie. First about Gairethinx Gairethinx in the Lombard …

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Be Both a Student and a Teacher

“Teacher teaches best what they most need to learn.” A friend of mine shared this bit of wisdom with me many years ago and it has stuck firmly with me. I have often found as a teacher that the topics I am most adept at sharing with my students are often the ones that I …

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The Secret to Good Knee Health

Whenever I teach dance, or martial arts, body mechanics are a big part of the foundation that I try to build with my students. There are many similarities to the mechanics required in partner dancing to those required in swordplay. When you get into lifting and dipping your partner, the crossover starts to even more …

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How Virtues Changed Sword Camp into Knight Camp

Academie Duello’s Spring and Summer Camp, Knight Camp (for kids), is coming up in March so I wanted to share a video of a talk I gave in 2014 about how the camp changed from it’s early beginning as Sword Camp, more than a decade ago, to a camp focused not only on swords but …

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Pursuing the Ridiculously Challenging

“Alright, the next drill is even more difficult!” I said to a chorus of groans. It’s accuracy night in line drills and I have been progressively making each drill more challenging. Each target is that much smaller, requiring that much more precision. The drills have essentially moved into a realm where even the most experienced …

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Don’t Get Hung Up on 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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The Value of a Symmetrical Learning Environment

There are two primary types of martial learning environment you must spend time in over your life of acquiring an art. A symmetrical environment, where your training and sparring partners are doing (or trying to do) the same thing as you. And an asymmetrical environment, where your training partners are specifically applying a different system …

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