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Swordplay Training Blog Articles, News, and Updates

Winnipeg Event Report: Just a Flesh Wound

This event was hosted by Valour HEMA with support from Winnipeg Knightly Arts and Manitoba Broadsword. It featured two tournaments on Saturday and several workshops and lectures on Sunday. I feel that the hosting groups have done a particularly good job of emphasizing personal growth, learning, community, and art in their given groups.

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News & Updates

30 for 30 Swordplay Challenge 2019!

On January 2nd, join hundreds of martial arts practitioners from around the world in a swordplay and European martial arts training challenge!

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Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium 2019

Registration is open! The event, which takes place from April 5-7, is a conference focused around intensive three-day programs with an aim to help people along the path of mastery in the many disciplines of Historical European Martial Arts.

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Basic Courses

Basic courses contain high quality, individual step-by-step topic videos. Track your progress as you make your way through the course, and pick up where you left off last time you visited the site.

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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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Bust a Move: a Problem Solving Sparring Game

Swordfighting is a lot about problem solving. By selecting the right tool for the job, we can begin to solve these problems by having our partner give us one little sequence at a time.

VISS 2019 Wrap-up

This was our fifth bi-annual event and each time that it comes around it provides new adventures and opportunities for everyone. I’ll share some of my thoughts and recollections from what was an amazing weekend of interaction between instructors and students of swordplay.

Mortal vs. Immortal: a Combat Game with the Ultimate Advantage

I didn’t like this game when first introduced to it years ago. I found the Mortal role especially frustrating; I kept getting hit all the time! Gradually I’ve learned to appreciate the value of the game, and today it’s something I recommend to everyone.

Teachers as Students, Doing So Gracefully

I love having the opportunity to step into the classes of other HEMA instructors as well as classes offered by my own students. It can be a tremendous opportunity to be opened to new skills and new teaching approaches.

Training for Speed

Though I have said it is not your top speed that is important but rather how many speeds you have, being fast has its advantages. To cultivate speed in your martial art you need to consider several aspects of training.

Making Martial Distinctions: Stickmata Event Report

The goal of this event (and similar past and upcoming events put on by Immersion Labs) is to bring together martial artists from diverse cultures and traditions. In this case everything was unified by humanity’s oldest weapon: the stick.

Getting the Most from Mixed Experience Levels

It is difficult to manage levels of challenge within a mixed level group. The needs of the experienced practitioner and those of the newcomer are quite different.

The Three Ms of Excellence

The idea of pursuing personal excellence is great, but functionally how do you do it? I put together this material for instructors that touches on three lenses used for targeting both correction and improvement in any technique.

Capitol Clash Event Report 2019

Myself and three members of the Academie Duello crew visited the February 8-10 Capitol Clash in Washington, DC. I had the pleasure of being part of the reffing staff, a workshop instructor, and at the last minute a participant in the combined Longsword, Sidesword, and Rapier team tournament.

Is There a Link Between Ballet and Fencing?

I have long heard that ballet has its origins in historical fencing. It’s a romantic idea and as someone who both teaches martial arts and dance (though not ballet) I certainly find tons of parallels in how they are both taught and practiced.

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