My TEDx Talk: Mastery, Movement, and Vitality

A few weeks ago I delivered a talk at TEDx EastVan. The talk focused on something I am passionate about: inspiring others to pursue and master movement.

In the talk I delve into why I believe it’s vital to pursue the path of mastery — that it is both vulnerable and empowering. In fact, it is the journey through our vulnerability that allows us to discover our strength.

I’ve written a lot about how choosing to pursue mastery can lead you down a road of both love and hate, of pleasure and struggle. It is a far greater trial than simply dabbling in something — and I don’t knock dabbling! I have fought against my own expectations and demons, and laboured through many plateaus. Much of what I have had to learn is how to keep my passion and joy alive (which they both absolutely are!) throughout what has become a lifelong pursuit. Every struggle has been worth it. This path and all its challenges and rewards has helped me discover a deeper sense of myself, true self-confidence, happiness, and a heartbeat that has gotten me through some of my darkest times.

In this talk, I took the opportunity to share some of my journey from being an awkward unphysical kid in school, to learning swordplay in an underground parking lot near where I grew up, to the gradual transformation it had on my physical and emotional being. I even got to to sword fight while doing it.

In many ways it’s a story about things I’d like to have learned when I was younger, but am glad that I’ve had an opportunity to learn as I’ve grown older.

My message:

Find a way of moving that inspires you. Then take the risk of trying to be good at it.

That’s what I hope this talk inspires. If it speaks to you, please share it.

Thankyous and Acknowledgements

The big guy who helps me look good — while looking good in his own right — is my student (and Academie Duello instructor) Matheus Olmedo. Marli Vlok also came out to show off the broader art in our half-time demonstration and lesson. Thanks to both of you for being part of this event.

Additionally, thank you to everyone at Academie Duello for helping make this journey so excellent. It would be impossible to travel this road alone. Also, a very special thank you to some of my early teachers including Paul McCann, F. Braun McAsh, and Vern Corson. Each of you helped give me the inspiration and drive to pursue these arts.

Finally, thank you to my fellow TEDx speakers and the organization team. I am so glad to have been a part of it. Be sure to check out more of the talks from the TEDx EastVan event here.