The First Question

The First Question

Do you want to learn? This is the first question I ask of anyone I work with. Sometimes it’s slightly more implicit, but it’s always there.  I teach as part of my “mundane” job, oftentimes to students who don’t want to be there.  Trying to keep their attention is one...Read more
Zen and the Art of Beard Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Beard Maintenance

About a year ago I switched from having a full beard to going with a mustache and goatee.  With the full beard I could get away pretty easily with only shaving once or twice a week in order to maintain the desired shape without it looking to scraggly. Shaving off...Read more
Some Thoughts on Round Robins

Some Thoughts on Round Robins

Let us take a second to discuss pooled round robins.  For those unfamiliar with the format, the essence is that everyone gets to fight everyone else once (each fight can be one and done, best two out of three, etc.) and the winner is generally decided by total number of...Read more
Mismatched Weapons V.1

Mismatched Weapons V.1

Here's an Arts & Science's entry on the topic of mismatched weapons in period I put together for a contest I entered a couple weeks ago. I plan on diving deeper into the topic at some point, but I figured I'd share with you what I have so far. Enjoy....Read more
Why You Should Practice at Practice

Why You Should Practice at Practice

Spar to Practice, Not to Win One of the biggest and most difficult changes I have attempted to make in the past couple years is to actually practice at practice rather than focus on winning. That's hard to do in the typical SCA fencing practice, where people show up, gear...Read more
Three Kinds of Fighters

Three Kinds of Fighters

There are three kinds of fighters, particularly in the SCA. Now, before we go any further I will be the first to admit that this is not an exhaustive list. There are of course nuances outside the scope of this article and that's perfectly fine. This merely serves as a...Read more
Stop Quoting Bruce Lee Part I

Stop Quoting Bruce Lee Part I

"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." —The mantra of every beginner. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a new-mid level fighter tell me some version of this quote, I could pay off my student loans. "But Bruce...Read more
Beliefs About Talent

Beliefs About Talent

I recently came across an infographic from The Practice of Practice that did a great job illustrating the difference between those who regard talent as something you have (static) and those who regard talent as something you have to earn (variable). Although the graphic references musical skill, it applies well...Read more
Why Point Control Drills Are Overrated

Why Point Control Drills Are Overrated

Point control drills in rapier are a waste of time. There, catchy headline achieved. Ready to hear me out? Great! Now, the important thing to note here is not that I am hating on hand eye coordination. Getting your body to precisely follow the instructions your brain sent is of...Read more
On Coaching and Teaching

On Coaching and Teaching

Picture this: I’m at a small Local SCA event. Thunderclouds loom over the open-walled, tin-roofed barn where the only fencers who bother to show up are a couple of totally green novices, two of my cadets and me. Everyone else, including other locals, have been scared off by the weather....Read more