Sword and Dagger

Picked my dagger up last night. I’ve been fighting single sword exclusively for maybe three or four years now. I made the decision to stick to sword alone because I wasn’t happy with my fighting habits. I had come to depend exclusively on a baiting and tricking game. Add to that some very poor initial instruction in swordplay, and I was hitting a solid plateau I couldn’t get past. Plus, getting older means you don’t get better without taking a serious look at your own building blocks. You either do a complete rebuild and shore up the foundation, or get content with slowly fading away and reminiscing about how you used to be able to do so much more. I did learn some interesting things over the last while. Off-hand weapons do offer an increased challenge against single sword, but not as much as you’d think. I fought lots of…

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Assembly

Been sick for over a week. Missed a lot of work, which is going to suck when the next payday arrives. But at least I’ve managed to catchup on my rest and recharge time, which means writing is back to being a nice and easy thing. Being sick last night, I had to rely on the head Valkyries (Squeak and She-Hulk) to help out with the teaching. It didn’t work out the way I expected, but it did work out the way I had planned. We’ve been working through a lot of Maija’s drills lately. They’ve been very valuable to us, and each session keeps revealing new depths that work with our system quite well. The usual process is that I demonstrate the drill, talk about the focus of it for today, and then everyone practices while I watch and correct. If the numbers work out, then I am lucky…

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Aeschylus, the Turtle, and Arwrology

Taught the third class in our four class self-defense series last monday, despite being sick as a dog. It went well. Six hours in and I feel like everyone has a good grasp on the basic materials. The small field trip really helped, hanging out for a while and practicing recognizing individual and group dynamics. Learning to see and categorize what would otherwise just be a “gut” reaction is a skill more people should develop. The third class was mostly the reverse CPR class. We covered all the ways to stop someone quickly and thoroughly. We covered why humans are hard to stop, unless you hit the right button. And we talked about how to push each button just right. I think it says a lot that such material is the rarest thing in martial arts. Doesn’t matter how bad-ass a martial art is, most of the class isn’t going…

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Self Defense Classes

Next week marks a big new step in martial arts training for me. Valkyrie will be teaching our first ever self defense classes, as a four-class series. I’ve resisted teaching self-defense for years. It’s what I taught when I started teaching martial arts, but the more I learned, the more I leaned away from teaching it. I had some good reasons. The primary reason was that I never felt I could devote the teaching time necessary to teach usable skills. I’ve always felt an urgency about teaching self-defense. What if the student needed to use the newly learned skills on their way home from class? Could I teach them enough to survive in one class? The self-defense market was my secondary reason for not teaching. The market is made up of buyers and sellers, and between the two of them self-defense has become defined as a product…a thing you can…

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