Lazy Saturday Morning

This morning is lazy, but only by special arrangement. The day is packed. I knew it would be, so I woke myself up a few hours early. I like to have an hour to myself in the morning, to eat my cereal and indulge in reading. Since it’s often my only real time for myself in a day, I’m willing to go to great lengths to reserve it. Health-wise, I know it’s better to get a full allotment of sleep, but I often wind up shorting my sleep just so I can enjoy this time. It’s been a busy week and I haven’t really planned to make any weekend posts. However, watching the stats on the website shows me that you think I should have something new here, so…here I am. Roland Cooper sent me a link to Christopher Holzman’s “Art of the Duelling Sabre” this morning. On a whim…

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Get up and move

I remember sharing a hotel room with my ex-wife, and my training partner. It was a major tournament, and my partner was fighting terminal cancer. At this point, she had not shared her condition with anyone outside of her family, except for a small group of very close friends. She wanted to prove some thing about her fighting ability without any pity being a factor. The alarm went off, and we start to get up. And heard a quiet voice coming from the other bed. She couldn’t get up. To weak, too much pain. We helped her up.  Got her slowly moving. She managed to make it to the bathroom, and change into her fighting gear. She came back out and put her arms around my shoulders, and we walked up and down the hallway for a while until she had enough strength to walk on her own. Then we…

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Crosstraining

Short post today, because man, is it lovely and sunny out. Courtney and I hopped on the bikes, and spent five hours roaming around Granville Island and environs. Delicious double-butter croissants, peaberry coffee done by someone who really knows how to drive a Clover, and a few indulgent treats from Chocolate Arts. Swordplay is an absolute bear on the joints. Moving a chunk of metal at maximum speed and changing its path in less than an eyeblink? It’s a specialist sport. If you do nothing but swordplay, you will be in a world of hurt. You need to do other things to balance your body out. I sometimes say I’m not a fan of weights, but that’s not true. I love to move heavy iron. But I don’t think sitting down, moving things in a limited plane of motion, is a really ideal workout choice. I think exercise should be…

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Listening for performance

I made the big switch yesterday. I moved from regular pedals to clip-in pedals with proper cycling shoes. The transition was unpleasant. I’ve only been using the bike on the 12km commute to work for about three weeks, but apparently that was just long enough to build up some body habits. I’d already noticed that I was starting to monkey-clutch the pedals with my toes in order to secure my grip. Switching to the new pedals showed me I was doing a few other things. The first thing that threw me off was a maddening desire to turn my toes out. I felt like they were being squeezed in, and there was a very uncomfortable pressure on my knees. I looked down at my feet while pedalling to check my position, and everything looked fine. My feet were parallel, my knees tracked correctly in line with my toes, everything was…

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Bounce A Little Higher: Moving Past The Squat

Bob Charron teaches some epic weekend workshops. It was at one of his workshops I was first introduced to the “Farmer Burns” workout. I loved it. It opened my eyes up to the value of old-fashioned calisthenics, and also got me into Catch Wrestling, which became a real love. The Farmer Burns workouts became a staple warmup for the classes I taught, and I shared them at workshops. When Devon and I start putting together the workouts for Academie Duello, there was never any question of the good old Burns being the staple. The squat is the key of the workout, and it’s a good exercise. If you’re a Western Martial Arts student, you’ve probably tasted the pain of a series of squats. I’m guessing most AD students can probably still do a minute worth of squats without any real effort. One of the problems of a squat, for students…

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