Wow.

Seven days left in our official fundraising campaign, three days before we need the funds, we’ve hit…and exceeded…our goal of raising half the fund we need for a years worth of insurance. Now we’re into the stretch goal, and starting to think about covering all the insurance, and getting some more loaner gear for students. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed…you folks are showing some serious support. Thank you! I’m looking forward to getting back into training. Since I quit my previous job, got married, had a lovely honeymoon and have settled into a nice, new job…I’ve added about six inches to my waistline. That really didn’t take long…Good food and happiness can have that effect, I guess. A big part of the gain has been due to the serious decrease in exercise. Twelve km of walking, and thirty km of biking every day is a good bit of exercise to…

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Quarter of a second

First things first: The new website is up for the school. You can find the link above, in the top right corner, for Valkyrie WMA Classes. And if you head to that web page and click on “Taking Classes” you’ll find you can sing up and pay for your first months dues and membership online. Convenient, yes? And since we are in our last few days, and still shy of the amount we need, do feel free to click on the banner on the right and donate a few bucks if you are feeling so inclined. I’ve got a lot of footage of fights. Tournaments, sparring sessions, all kinds of things. I spend a lot of time reviewing them for the technical and tactical lessons for students, but I also spend time studying them for deeper lessons to teach. Sport psychology is a useful field, and it’s produced some good…

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East meets West

Five more days til our first class. I’ve added a nice new sidebar for our Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for insurance and hopefully a few other things. We are doing great so far, but we still aren’t there. The campaign will run for another week, but we need to pay for insurance by friday, or monday at the latest. Things are coming down to the crunch, so if you’ve been thinking of kicking in a few bucks, now is the time! Hell, if you just like the blog and want to say thanks, it’s a great way to do so! Talking with some potential new students recently has been interesting. When you are involved with a community, you tend to forget that it’s still small and unknown. Western Martial Arts is still unknown even in Vancouver, so people still ask me what it means. They don’t really know what…

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Why Valkyrie?

Sandahl Bergman in Conan the Barbarian. Man, that opened some eyes for me. As a young man just learning that women weren’t icky things, but rather interesting things? A strong women who could stand up to, and stand up for, the big strong barbarians? Could swing a sword with the best of them? Yeah. I’d say that had a say in my tastes for women as I grew up. I’d also learned from a young age that women could be victims of some horrific violence, just because they were women. I also learned that children could be, too. My reaction to learning about these things wasn’t despair, or fear, or anger…but rather a stubborn determination that this wasn’t right, and should never be accepted as normal. Some part of me deep inside turned to stone, and promised it would make everything right, and would admit no compromise on the subject,…

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One more week

Seven days until the new classes start. Getting excited now. The fundraising campaign is off to a terrific start, and we are now looking at adding some stretch goals. Ideally we could cover all of our insurance costs up front, and maybe get a few pieces of loaner gear, or some more striking pads and other fun things. To that end, we will be looking at adding a few more perks. Not a lot of time, though! So I’ll see what I can come up with while I’m at work today. Now is a good time for people planning on taking classes to get ready. You can use this as an excuse to buy some new workout gear…the kind that can take some serious sweat. A rubber training knife would be good, Cold Steel makes decent ones. The second half of class will be rapier work, so you’ll need a…

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Coming to grips with the knife

Prepping for the new school again, and working over some of the material. As always, this means digging up my notes on Marozzo, checking what’s up with the latest translations, and re-reading the original. With Marozzo, I found my key to understanding him best comes from his self-defense section at the back. It mirrors the layout of the rest of the manual, but the accompanying pictures aid in mnemonic learning. You can hear the words, and see the actions, and the choice of words and patterns these are presented in added a kinesthetic element. “Prese” I like to hear as “catch,” for example. All these actions feel like they involve some aspect of catching…either catching a blade or a hand, and then following up. Which also reminds me of Catch Wrestling, which leads to the follow up. Catch the hand and wrestle. The first four catches are a perfect example.…

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