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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Prioritizing Purpose Over Relationships – An Unpopular Choice

I have chosen a life that puts myself and my purpose very central. This choice has often taken me away from larger relationships. It has meant that I play a smaller role in my daughters’ lives. It has meant that lovers have often found themselves not getting enough of me to stay within a partnership. …

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Revealing

It’s easy to hold yourself closed. It’s easy to be closed and not truly realize how closed you are. The world is full of daggers and my soft centre needs to stay hidden. The world is full of liars and my soft centre need not be led astray. I will bind myself down over this …

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Practicing the Power of Presence

One’s presence can be measured by one’s impact over time. The greater your presence the greater your potency. I like this view of presence not just as the practice of being in the moment as an internal process but as the act of being truly “there” in the world. Having an impact through the bigness …

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Power and Partnership – Landlord/Tenant

This is part of an exploration of Power, Partnership, and Symmetry. Landlords offer property in exchange for fees to pay for it. This is still a partnership; both sides need what the other provides and both truly require mutual respect to be successful, though a landlord may have 10 houses and the tenant only the need …

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