End Of May

Nice busy class last night, with a full floor. New faces and lots of old faces coming by, a real blast from the past. It was a great class, and an excellent way to wrap up the first phase of Valkyrie. Our little incubation period is over, and now the real growth starts. We’d been muttering amongst our selves for some time about feeling like we were all improving as fighters, but we kept running into that wall of only testing ourselves against each other. No matter how hard you train, in the end that will kill you as a fighter. We got the proof of that last night. It was great! Wrapped up class with a half hour of solid fighting, and we all had fun getting used to each other. Finished with a bearpit..I managed a short run, Squeak managed a long run, most people seemed to get…

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Explorers, Pioneers, and Settlers

The back of my head is full of dreams locked away, visions buried in the hope of different times to come. I had the motivation to learn when I was younger, but means and circumstances taught me to compromise. I would have loved to have been the obedient and hungry student of a master instructor, absorbing their complete system…but that’s not the path for a roamer. I always wanted roots, a safe place I could call home forever. It just doesn’t seem to be the way the world rolls for me. I’ve learned to find solace in what’s around me, and not in things that I can’t hold on to. I’ve held on to a lot of bits of martial arts over the years. Moving from town to town, from school to school and teacher to teacher, I was always looking for the one true art. Taught, of course, by…

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Face Value

I’m a huge fan of the gay pride movement, and how it became an equal rights movement. I even love the overtly-sexual pride parades. I also really love the feminist movement these days, with it’s smart attacks on subtle assumptions about sexism. I’m a supporter of these things in a selfish way…they will result in good things for me and everyone I know. I’m not a woman, and I’m married to a woman, so that might not make sense to some of you. And you might also be wondering if I’m going to be talking about swordfighting today or not. This morning’s over-coffee interweb reading was a bit of a rarity in the world of martial arts, being an attempt at an actual journalistic approach to an issue. An actual attempt at a story, with implied press badges and everything. I’m a sucker for that. Ask me, the world needs…

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A little bit sore

It’s kinda nice living in a house full of swords. A kind of oddly comforting nice. No worries about a zombie apocalypse when you’ve got three nice sharp winged spears lying around. And always something to play with when you just feel like thinking. It’s good to have a sword at hand. Helps with the writing. Great class last night. Miserable weather, cold and wet. We’ve given up a class a week for the last few weeks in order to provide rehearsal space for an upcoming performance, and have taken the opportunity to grab some outdoor classes. We’ve hit the weather lotto for all of them so far. No rain in Vancouver is a pretty rare thing. It caught up to us last night. It wasn’t a bad thing. Working out in the rain is a special thing. When you stand around and wait to start, it’s pretty horrible. If…

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Workout for the win

Why waste your time working out when you can spend that time drilling on your martial arts techniques? Twenty minutes of calisthenics is twenty minutes of precious class time taken away from honing lunges or cuts. Our classes put a strong emphasis on exercise, and we catch grief for that online. The best thing people will say is that an emphasis on fitness will mean you can train longer with more focus, both in a session and over time. Otherwise, they accuse us of having a pure sport motive (as if that is a bad thing. Some people are inclined to sports as much as some people are inclined to scholarly pursuits. Putting down one is as bad as putting down the other.) The implication is that by trying to be fit, we are trying to win via pure athleticism instead of through proper technical training. If you talk to…

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Popping By For A Visit

I love swinging by other martial arts clubs. It’s always fascinating to see how other people train. Even when it’s a style you know very well, there is still the unique gestalt of the teacher and her students to make things fascinating. I used to make a habit out of taking the free drop-in beginner classes almost every school offers, just to get a better taste of what they did. I don’t do that so much anymore…unless the school offers something radically different, I don’t get much out of beginner classes anymore. I suppose that’s a sign of my maturity of training…I’ve finally mastered beginners classes? Is that a good thing or bad? It’s not to say I can’t learn from other instructors. That would be a lie. It’s just that I’ve hit the point where I know enough about the commonalities to all martial arts to know what has…

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