Kill em all: How to be a winner

I stabbed this one guy in the face maybe fourteen times. It was the same technique, over and over. He’d line up his shot on me, aiming at an opening he saw, and charge in. I’d twist my body just a little, roll my sword palm up as I extended it, and wham…Right into his face. In frustration he would speed up, trying to get his shot in before my counter attack. Because he kept going faster, my shot to his face just kept hitting harder and harder. Eventually I called the bout off because I was getting physically sick. At least one of my shots had caused a concussion on my opponent, and all he had done was angrily shake it off and try to come in even faster. I don’t have it in me to lay that kind of hurt on someone…not in what is supposed to be…

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The Flat Spot: Plateaus in training

I can’t figure out why my mind makes the decisions it does. I know my problems, and they are many. My body is not only broken, but misshapen. Scoliosis, a curved back, is only one thing that prevents me from doing what others find are simple actions. Even so, I have a lot of experience. I know how to overcome my flaws. I know the technical steps needed to get better. I know the drills it will take to reprogram myself. I’ve done those and more, but I’m still faced with the question of why I don’t get better. Everyone goes through plateaus. We learn something new, we get better, and then we stop getting better and just get stuck for a while. Then some sort of eye-opening breakthrough happens and we get better again. For a fencer, it’s often a literal eye-opening experience. About the two or three year…

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