East and West and Up

Worf and Squeak were back in class last night, freshly jet lagged from visiting Austria and Poland. It says something about dedication to training to be hitting class less than 24 hours after touchdown. I fell asleep last night reflecting on the odd dedication we all have to our class. If someone misses a week or so of training, they don’t talk about missing class, they talk, with almost fear, about losing their edge. It’s as if each and every single class yields a palpable gain to each student. Taking two weeks off leaves you feeling like you have to put in a ton of extra work to catch up. It’s not like we have any concrete way of measuring progress. We don’t record number of wins or how long you held a handstand or L-sit, or how many cartwheels you did. We don’t count submissions for or against. There…

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Methods From No Manual

Everyone should have a vision of what they want out of martial arts training. It’s one of those rare things in life that you have a modicum of control over. You can lose your job, your family, wealth, reputation, home…uproot your entire life and start over, and you can still follow your dream of martial arts excellence. It’s such an essential human endeavor that it can match all the seasons of a life. It can teach an adolescent co-ordination to cope with growth spurts, a youth the value of sportsmanship and confidence, an adult can find respite from the stress…fulfillment in the depths that come from constant refinement of skill, the mature can reap the benefits of years of experience to teach, and the aged can use the lifetime of training to find new mysteries to explore in life. I’ve had the opportunity to have it all and lose it…

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Pruning for correct growth

The art we love is on the verge of tremendous growth, despite the best intentions of some in the community. Wherever I go with my sword, I run across interested people. Mostly they just whisper off to the side, but it’s a rare day when someone doesn’t come up and ask me if that’s really a sword I’ve got. I’m always a little surprised by that, since Vancouver is a big WMA city. Devon and I planted a solid seed with Academie Duello, but Devon has since taken that seed and made it into a powerful force for WMA good. He’s used his considerable talents to promote the art to great success, both within and outside the community. It’s no longer surprising to see AD mentioned in the popular news…so it does still surprise me that people have no idea that the rapier on my back is for actual martial…

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The good, the bad, and the oh-hell-no…

It was cold yesterday, and the forecast called for clear skies. It was sunny all day. When I went out last night to take the garbage out, it was the right kind of cloud. Bright…the kind you get in the cities when all the streetlights reflect off of the bottom of the clouds, and cast everything with a pink-orange light. I walked back in the house and told Courtney it was going to snow, which was no surprise for either of us, because you could smell it in the air the last few days. I checked the forecast, and it said it would be partially cloudy later, but still clear. I checked three more weather prediction services and they all said the same thing…clear skies, no snow. So of course, I look out the window this morning and see freezing rain, and facebook reports of snow in the rest of…

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Week 51, Year of the Naked Bear

Let’s try something a little different. I’ve been trying to take one day a week off from blog writing, but I always feel a smidge bad about not writing on that day. I’m going to try doing an overview of the previous week. Should be an aid to those of you who only read sporadically as well. And it will help me with a large project I plan to kick off in the new year. Friday Night Fights Saturday morning after attending the Academie Duello weekly open Fight Night.  Just random thoughts. I choose the photo because it was a nice showcase of geometry. That’s me in the red, facing Aaron. This was a pre-engagement action, testing each other’s guard with movement. I’m using a false edge extension here to see if he wants to snipe with his left hand, which would allow me to counter with the true edge…

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Cascadia North 2012: Greatest Hits – The Rough Cut

I decided to bite the bullet and upload some footage from the 2012 edition of Cascadia North. I’ve been sitting on most of the footage while I looked for a chance to properly edit it down to a nice short catchy video. Free time seems to be lacking these days, so…here’s a wee peek! And do not take what you see as any sort of indication of anyone’s fighting level. I cherry picked things that I thought might be visually interesting. The attitude of almost every fighter at the event was one of earnest fun, not of trying to better someone else. Respect the fighters and the event before you make any comments…or better yet, show up next year and see what it’s all about.

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