Bunnies, bloopers, and slow work.

Let’s start with the good stuff today. Kaja Sadowski, who wrote the hugely popular “Turning Expectations” guest post, has started an Indiegogo campaign for her other project: Starlit Citadel Reviews. When she’s not fencing, Kaja works in the gaming business. She and Joanna Gaskell started doing these video reviews a year ago, and they are popular and a lot of fun. They have support for a half-season, and are starting a campaign to make it a full season. Go kick em some money. It’s entertaining, and worth it! You can find the campaign here. In WMA news, Guy Windsor has an intriguing blog post up today. I admit I really found it interesting because I was toying with the idea of making a similar post. For a bit of context, ARMA, the “Jersey Shore” of Western Martial Arts posted this article a little while ago. In the usual ARMA fashion,…

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Growing and Learning

In the beginning, there was the yardstick. Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t start out wanting to be one of the three musketeers. I didn’t know what a rapier was, or care. In the beginning, I wanted to be an olympic fencer. Swordplay was the cool thing people did with foils. Had I any exposure to a modern fencing club before I was twenty, things might have been very different for me. Growing up, the yardstick was my weapon of choice. It had a beautiful balance, it was light and fast. I would grab one at any opportunity and fence my way to victory. I dreamed of growing up and someday owning my own. Out of school and it’s extensive armoury, I would resort to sticks for mock battles with my friends. Sticks, of course, had one advantage over a yardstick…they would more easily convert to a machine gun or…

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Small and Silent Things

It took me years to stop thinking, but it happened in a moment. Martial arts was about meditation when I was a kid. Meditation was a Mysterious Asian Power that only the elite could attain. Part of the promise of Kung Fu training, aside from being an ass-kicker, was being able to have those cool moments where you kneeled or sat in a neat posture, and thought magical thoughts…while some sort of magic aura glowed all around you, I guess. Meditation was part of my training from the very first class. We learned the formal Seiza posture, (Yes, in my kung-fu class. It was a weird time.) and learned how to stand and fight from it. And we learned to breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Steady and slow. I practiced enough that I could breathe one cycle in three minutes, holding my breathe for a ten…

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And so it goes

Had a good day yesterday. We made plans and followed them, but around that we just went on a long and random path. The day took us to all kinds of places, and we enjoyed ourselves. The only downside was my recurring foot issues cropping up again. I spent the day trying not to limp, and stealing every chance to stretch out my calves. Being an ageing martial artist makes you think often about all the lessons you’ve learned. Tweaks and aches in the morning have all been earned from a lifetime of injuries. Some were pure accidents, but most were from being stupid. You like to think you’ll stop being stupid as you get older, but you don’t. You just get less stupid. Wisdom is less about learning new things than it is about learning not to do old things. Of course, nothing is more stupid than people who…

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Breaker, breaker…

As a kid in the seventies, that was CB talk. Truckers were the bikers of the seventies, heroic gypsy rebels of the highway. How things change… In the eighties, breaking was something the really weird poser kids did. In the nineties it was a laughable relic of the past. The advantage of getting older is that all your shame is decades behind you. Or at least, you can pretend it is. So when I heard that breaking was still happening, and there was this “Battle Of The Year” thing that was going on. I dug a little deeper…neat. I was in the middle of shaking up my personal world of martial arts. I’d had a blinding, brilliant revelation at 4am one morning, and in twenty minutes wrote out the entire 5×5 drill and teaching system. I was so excited I texted it to my fiancee, and called my best friend,…

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Step back into the past

I’m starting to get a nice groove going in the mornings. Get up, make coffee and have a healthy breakfast of cereal, with a cup of berries and extra cream, and a few fish oil pills. After seeing my wife off to work, I get to stand at the window for a bit and just enjoy the morning light for a bit. After almost a week off of work, I was ready to try my first workout session. Started with some frog stands, just relaxing and enjoying the balance. I resisted the temptation to stretch out a leg, or shift in place and do some muscle work. I just took it as a small meditation break. After I was good and warmed up with that, I started working into the advanced frog, by basically doing a pushup from the frog and trying to straighten my arms. Not so easy! I’m…

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