I read Scientists Have Recreated Ancient Battles to Solve Debate Over Ancient Bronze Swords and was annoyed. Not because the study wasn’t worth doing for its own sake – I applaud archeologists with the good sense to use historical reenactors to learn more about how combat in bygone times must have worked. But it seems… Continue reading The feel for weapons
I was reminded, earlier today, that one of the interesting side effects of knowing something about hand-to-hand and contact-weapons-based martial arts makes a big difference in how you see movies. Most people don’t have that knowledge. So today I’m going to write about the quality of sword choreography in movies, and how that has changed… Continue reading A martial artist looks at swordfighting in the movies
I had a good sword class today. There was much sparring with many different weapons. At one point, Sensei Varady and I faced off, him with paired shortsword simulants, me with a longsword simulant. It went pretty well for me; sensei is bigger, faster, at least 20 years younger, and more skilled than I am… Continue reading Respect can be hard
My wing chun sifu played a classic martial-arts-master trick on me tonight.
There’s a book about martial arts called On the Warrior’s Path that tries to understand the differing psychologies of martial artists through the lens of half a dozen archetypes – Seeker, Ronin, Tribal Warrior, and others. I have not yet read the book, but my friend and regular A&D commenter Susan Sons reports having found… Continue reading Hacker Archetypes
As of tonight, I have a new challenge in my life. Sifu Dale announced tonight that next year he plans to send a team to next year’s Quoshu, a national-level martial-arts competition held every year in northern Maryland in late summer. I told Sifu I want to go and compete in weapons, at least. He… Continue reading Big fish, small pond?
Sometimes, the best encouragement you can get in a martial-arts class is silence. Once a month my school, which normally teaches a combination of wing chun kung fu and Philippine blade/stick fighting, gets a visit from Sifu Jerry Devone, who teaches pure traditional Wing Chun at a level a bit higher than our Sifu Dale… Continue reading On having good form
Cathy and I passed our Level 6 test in kuntao last night. That’s the hybrid martial art we study, part traditional wing chun and part Philippine kali. The empty hand stuff is mostly wing chun, a South Chinese close-fighting style which … OK, if you don’t know much about martial arts just imagine the fights… Continue reading Another step on the martial path
Last night, my wife Cathy and I passed our level 5 test in kuntao. That’s a halfway point to level 10, which is the first “guro” level, roughly equivalent to black belt in a Japanese or Korean art. Ranks aren’t the big deal in kuntao that they are in most Americanized martial arts, but this… Continue reading Halfway up the mountain
Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female insists an article at tor.com. It’s complete bullshit. What you find when you read the linked article is an obvious, though as it turns out a superficial problem. The linked research doesn’t say what the article claims. What it establishes is that a… Continue reading Reality is viciously sexist
This is a shout-out to all martial artists and would-be martial artists in the western Philadelphia exurbs, especially: Phoenixville, Spring City, Collegeville, Mont Clare, Upper Providence, Lower Schuylkill, Valley Forge, Charlestown/Malvern, Kimberton, Audubon, and Lower Perkiomen. I train under Sifu Dale Yeager at the Kuntao Martial Arts Club in Phoenxville, and my school has a… Continue reading Come train with me
The last couple of weeks have been my vacation, and full of incident.This explains the absence of blogging. First, World Boardgaming Championships. I did respectably, making quarter- and semi-finals in a couple of events, but failed in my goal to make the Power Grid finals again this year and place higher than fifth. I did… Continue reading Summer vacation 2013
I should have known it. I really should have expected what happened. So it’s about week 7 at kuntao training, the tasty exotic mix of south Chinese kung fu and Philippine weapons techniques my wife and I are now studying, and we’re doing fine. The drills are challenging, but we’re up to the challenge. Our… Continue reading Heavy weapons
My regulars will be aware that, since the Mixed Martial Arts program we were in folded up, my wife Cathy and I have been having an interesting learning adventure checking out various schools in our area as possibilities for our next style. We’ve had some more adventures since.
A few days ago I posted “A martial-arts trilemma” about Cathy’s and my search for a new school to train with following the demise of our MMA program. We’ve since gotten one nice surprise and struck two alternatives off our list. And thereby hangs a tale.
The responses to my progress report on searching for a new martial-arts school made it clear that many people are interested in advice on this topic. The problem is especially difficult for new students choosing a first school, as they have yet to develop the kind of trained eye that can evaluate technique. I have… Continue reading How To Choose A Martial-Arts School
So, nine days ago the Mixed Martial Arts program my wife and I had been training in was canceled, and we’ve been shopping for a new school in our area. We’re serious students, twenty years deep in empty-hand and weapons, so the general run of strip-mall karate and TKD joints just isn’t going to do… Continue reading A martial-arts trilemma
For some months now my wife Cathy and myself had been the only regulars showing up for the MMA classes at our local dojo, Iron Circle. While this meant we got a lot of quality instructor time, I did wonder how the school could afford to run classes fotr two students. Well, it turns out… Continue reading Shopping for a new martial-arts school
It’s always one of the high points of my year when I get to go to Michigan and play with the sword geeks. This year my wife and I went out for Summer Weapons Retreat 3, run by our friends at the Polaris Fellowship of Weapons Study, with an unstructured several days afterwards for extra… Continue reading What I did on my 2011 summer vacation (part one)
There’s been some discussion in response to my post on A natural contemplates game on the meaning of the term “alpha male” as it applies to humans. In comments, I had this to say as a definition: As I use “alpha”, it simply means someone who is equipped for leadership roles by psychology and temperament.… Continue reading Facing your inner alpha