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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Your Intuition Isn’t Always Right

I struck the 7 ball on the spot I had marked, completely incredulous that it would go anywhere near the pocket I had called. I watched my cue ball slide toward it, the sharp crack and the 7 shot in a straight line, directly to the corner pocket and in. A part of me felt …

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Three Types of Practice

I was talking with a student of mine the other night, encouraging them to start pushing themselves toward their next rank at my school. They commented to me that they felt like they were getting worse in their skills, not better. They felt that they were flailing, imprecise, and out of control. I personally had …

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Arte, Ardore, Onore a Documentary about Academie Duello

“Arte, Ardore, Onore” is the motto of my martial arts school Academie Duello, which simply means: skill, passion, honour. These are the three guiding principles of our school. To practice the art as authentically as possible; to pursue and feed our passions for a happier, more fulfilling life; and to honour our teachers, training partners, …

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