Five if by morning

David Smash

Ilkka Hartikainen posted this fun little clip on facebook today: One of the steps of the 5×5 drill that students have an issue with is the first part of the fifth counter. This is a perfect example of how to perform that series. It’s only one way to interpret it, of course…but a good foundation to approach the practice from. It would also be an acceptable variant for the fifth of the fifth. Sorry for the gibberish, those of you that haven’t trained in the 5×5. Each of the five flinches is used to respond to the five attacks, but each flinch has one variant that occurs once in the series. The flinches are classed as Pass, Block, Block and pass, Strike, and Grapple. Against the punching series of attacks, Block and pass becomes Block and strike. In the knife series of attacks, Strike becomes Disarm. These variants preserve the…

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Fundraising is live.

Finally got the Indiegogo page up. Feel free to click the click and show us some love. Feel even more free to show up for our first class on Dec 3rd, at 7pm. Logo work is coming along. We’ve settled on a name, after a bit of a process. And I’ve worked out some initial typography and layout to get us pointed in the right direction. I chose Valkyrie to reflect the modern usage of the word. It’s one of the few modern archetypes for women that starts with a sense of strength and ability. It can also have a layer of attractiveness on top without detracting from it’s strong origins. The WMA part is, I hope, self-explanatory. We settled on “Assembly” instead of guild or association or the like because of the connotations of coming together, of mutual interest and community. It’s a more informal word, reflecting what we…

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Prese-ing business

I know, I suck at puns. It comes from too much exposure, resulting in an almost complete inoculation. I am totally okay with that. So…wound up getting all excited talking about Marozzo’s dagger work online last night. I still get excited about Marozzo’s work. Thirty years of martial arts training and I still think it’s the best I’ve ever come across. But it’s far from intuitive. It takes knowledge, training, and guts to pull of some of his moves. The image above comes from the sixth in his series of Preses, his self-defense section. I was aware of that image for years before I started to actually pay attention to it. At first glance I completely dismissed it. There is always a tendency to gloss over some of the things you see in old manuals…you just think “it’s the modern day, we know better about some things.” It’s especially easy…

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I love it when a plan comes together…

Putting the final touches on our Indiegogo campaign last night, and we should finish it tonight. Enjoy the teaser image above…I think Courtney really managed to capture the essence of what the new school will be all about. And we’ve nearly settled on a new name, which will of course mean a new website, new graphics, new t-shirts and other fun things… I’m dusting off my testing and ranking schema that I talked about in an earlier post. It should be ready to go by the end of the week, way before the first class. I just have to polish up the swordplay end a bit. That part was a bit neglected in the previous incarnations…the unarmed work was just too exciting and wound up overwhelming everything else. Blog posts might be a touch on the short side while we put our time into getting this thing started…

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Classes starting soon

Made it over the first major hurdle in getting the new classes started: I found a location! It seems to be a constant in my life…I do the methodical work and get no results, and then on the spur of a moment go out to an event and make the connection I need. My friends and family seem to come through for me more than my own efforts do. I’m always grateful when things work out, and I never forget how much I owe the people who have supported me. The new location will be at One Thousand Rivers Academy of Arts and Learning, located at 54 E 4th Ave in Vancouver. It’s two blocks from Main street. I walked it in ten minutes from the Olympic Village skytrain station, it’s slightly less of a walk from the Main station. If you’ve taken my classes before you know that the…

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A question about safety

In response to my post yesterday, Steve Silva asked a question about the apparent lack of safety gear in the video. In my response, as usual, I went off on a bit of a tangent and used up all my blog writing time for today. So I’ll share my response with all of you, so you have something to read today. From Steve Silva: This is a sincere question: Why isn’t anyone wearing safety equipment other than masks? Are the hits soft enough to not worry about jackets and pants? Hi Steve, I guess the answer is yes, no, depends, maybe? One one hand, most people locally just really don’t care about minor bruising, cuts or scrapes. They are considered just part of training in a martial art. The people who care wear more protection, but most don’t. It’s just not needed. On the other hand, they are wearing more…

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