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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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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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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Training to Relax for the Very Tense

Being relaxed is a key component to good fencing. Relaxed muscles are quicker to respond, easier to adapt and change, and more capable of feeling connections through your weapon. Yet, so many of us have a difficult time being relaxed or even being aware of our current state of tension. In this article I’d like …

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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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