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Swordplay Training Blog Articles, News, and Updates

Don’t Judge Your Performance Based on One Training Event

I’ve had many frustrating training and combat encounters. It’s easy to jump to a conclusion “I’m just not practicing enough”, “I’m not learning”, “My opponent is just way better than me”. Yet there are so many factors that go into a given performance.

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News & Updates

Over 240 of our favourite drills

In pandemic times our at-home practices are more important than ever. Over the past several months we have been hard at work creating for you a whole new series of solo drills for rapier and longsword as part of our new Daily Drill. I’m proud to let you know we have now created and published […]

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Upgraded Sidesword Fundamentals

We just finished a big boost to our Sidesword Fundamentals course. Now it includes new quizzes and practice notes added to each lesson group.

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30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge Recap

Throughout the month of January students of the sword from around the world challenged themselves to build the habit of swordplay training with 30 minutes per day of swordplay practice.

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Featured and Free

Why Fight Light? Using Less Gear When Sparring

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A bulk of medieval and renaissance fighting manuals depict swordplay in shirts, jerkins, or gambesons, generally with light gloves, with both two handed and one handed weapons. These are often presented alongside depictions of combat in full armour.

The 5 Minutes Per Day Practice Regimen

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Rhythm is the most important thing to cultivate on the path to mastery. Whether you leverage our online course or simply get started with your own practice ritual, start making those little steps. Five minutes of real practice time honours your commitment more than hours of good intentions.

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30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge 2021

If you haven’t heard already, the eighth annual 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge starts on January 2nd. If you’ve heard of yoga challenges, you know what this is about. It’s like that, but with swords!

Tune Your Training, Part 4: Universal-Systematic vs Specialized-Focused

We’ve looked at the benefits and pitfalls of training specialization. And we’ve explored the goals of a more general training focus. I personally enjoy the middle ground–the blending of specialization and generalization that I think of as universal practice.

Tune Your Training, Part 3: Why Generalize

Studying a more general and broader set of skills matters when the context is not fixed or your desired outcome does not have a pinpoint focus.

Tune Your Training, Part 2: At-Home Environment

There are a lot of reasons for not training at home, we sometimes tell ourselves. But how to counter those arguments, and make it (nearly) effortless to transition into practising at home? One way is to designate a space for training, and work to make it both practical and inspiring.

Training Mindset: How to Practice Attitude

Mindset can feel chemical and mercurial. If I have a good start to training then everything is great, but if something goes sideways it can feel unrecoverable. The reality is that mindset is something to incorporate in your practice, like every physical skill.

Tune Your Training, Part 1: Specialization

Today the main driver of specialization is competition. By specializing, a combatant can focus every hour of their training on a single end, whether that be victory in a tournament, or survival in a duel.

How swordplay shapes our life journey

Many people ask me what my reason is for practicing something that is arguably esoteric and a few centuries past its true usefulness. The answer may not be what people are expecting.

Do Less Than You Think You Can Do

The most essential part of a practice system is its regularity. Generally the individual who practices more consistently over the long-term will see larger gains over the sporadic practitioner.

Crispness, Smoothness, then Quickness

Being able to perform a technique with the least amount of extra movement and in a manner that does the job as directly as possible is essential to high level practice. Use the following paradigm when teaching a technique for the first time and when correcting or refining a technique to increase its effectiveness.

Soft Work: Flowing Your Art

Students often spike during slow work in their speed or strength. We’ll explore the tools of “soft work” to help us train smarter, not harder.

Log in with a Scholars or Masters Club subscription to read all 277 training blog articles.