One of the reasons I teach is that I need my students to train for. I literally can’t be bothered to learn anything I’m unlikely to pass on, and I’m not actually particularly interested in my own level of fitness, sword skill, etc. I train to remain able to do my job, which is teaching, and to set a good example to my students. Yes, I love swords, and being good at using them, but mostly because of the effect that has on my students.
Thanks to Corona, all my seminars are cancelled, and I can’t go anywhere. There was a time (a very long time) in which even if I didn’t get round to much personal training, I’d be in the salle for 12+ hours a week, and leading a bunch of warm-up sessions in that time. And even when that time of my life passed, I’d be travelling around teaching seminars, and needed to stay fit to do that properly.
In lockdown I have been trying to keep up a basic level of fitness, but the sad fact is I’d rather drink too much wine and sleep it off. So I have decided to create some positive constraints. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8.15am UK time, and for the foreseeable future, I’ll be doing my morning training *in public*, leading whoever shows up through my usual routines. Sessions will be fairly gentle, and emphasise getting your body ready for the day. Expect some breathing exercises, some range of motion exercises, some strength training, and lots of joint care. Having even just one student there means I can’t skip it. Please note I won’t be doing technical sword training in these sessions, at least to start with.
This is not a class as such- you won't be taught how to do the exercises in any detail (you can find instruction at https://swordschool.teachable.com/p/solo-training), and there will not be time for questions etc during the session, but I will be talking you through what I’m doing, highlighting key safety issues, and so on, just as I do when leading a warm-up in class. Eventually, I expect to be taking requests from the regular attendees, and it may evolve into a more formal class. But I’m very much in favour of starting small, and creating better habits.
This project will do the following things:
1) guarantee that I actually get some physical conditioning training done
2) help anyone that wants it to do the same
Regarding equipment, I’ll use any or all of the following:
- A mat
- A short stick
- Small dumbells
- Kettlebells (not too big)
If you think you may have a shortage of equipment, you should watch this video on improvised training tools
I’ll be doing these sessions in my study, i.e. in a small space with normal ceiling height. You won’t need much space around you to follow along, but you will need a decent internet connection.
I have created BookWhen entries for the next few weeks. There are an unlimited number of free tickets so cashflow issues are no impediment, and for those of you that have the cash and want to support my work, I’ve also created tickets at £5 each. Cancelling all those seminars has dented my cashflow, so every little helps!
If this becomes popular and people in inconvenient time zones want me to do something for them, I’ll think about introducing an evening session as well. In the meantime, I’ll record the sessions and drop the videos into a section of the Solo Training course, so you can do them whenever you want. If you haven’t signed up to the Solo course yet, you should- it’s only $20 for the duration of the Corona crisis, or free if you can’t afford it. Just email me for the free entry code.
Interested? you can find the sign-up for tomorrow’s session here: https://bookwhen.com/swordschool
P.S. If you need a live class at a time when I’ll be tucked up in bed, by all means go train with my friends at Valkyrie Martial Arts Assembly in Vancouver, Canada. You can find their live online schedule here, and they also do entry fees on a sliding scale starting at free: http://boxwrestlefence.com/valkyriewmaa/remote-class-quick-guide/