The Wolf Lord of Blades Shows a Little Leg

So the Wolf Lord taught us a nice basic technique, and smidge of principle. Gain the inside line, threaten with the point, roll to palm down to maintain control if the opponent tried to get to another line. We also learned that a smart fencer won’t truck with such basic things, and will instead use […]

Take Five, From the Top

I’m working on a new description of classes for students interested in training with the Valkyrie WMA Alliance. It’s not a difficult thing to do, but it is an opportunity to re-examine a lot of my base assumptions, and maybe redefine what it is we do. When swordplay is your life, and has been for […]

Movements subtle, strong, swift, supple and bold

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the […]

Being Most Excellent

I like to be perfect, but I’m not very good at it. Despite my efforts, I’m constantly making mistakes. It’s pretty obvious, with all my experience, study, and teaching, that I know exactly what to do all the time. At least, that’s what I berate myself with every time I make a mistake and get […]

Slow work

Some of my favourite moments when fencing have been in slow work. Moments of sublime joy, and surprise, can come out of the steady pace. It’s a place of insight into your fencing and your thinking, the kind of learning you can only do in those moments when you drop the pace of your fencing […]

Balance, Timing, and the War.

The problem with most martial arts teaching, especially in written form, stems from a basic misunderstanding. In order for me to explain the technique I want to teach, I have to break it down. I have to talk about the separate steps. If I want to teach a parry-riposte, I will talk about an opponent […]