If you haven’t heard already, the eighth annual 30-for-30 Swordplay Challenge starts on January 2nd. If you’ve heard of yoga challenges, you know what this is about. It’s like that, but with swords!
The challenge: practice swordplay for 30 minutes per day for 30 days in January from the 2nd to the 31st. This requires no experience and is open to both newbies and experts alike.
What’s involved: what you do is up to you. It can include swordplay classes, or practicing at home. You can choose rigorous conditioning or gentle drilling. You can choose to either challenge yourself to go over and above your regular schedule, or to incorporate what you usually do while filling in the days you usually miss. The goal is to start this year with a daily rhythm of swordplay.
For me, this is an opportunity to build up some new training momentum after the holiday. This year I’m particularly focusing on structural health and will be using weapon flow exercises as my base. I intend to spend a lot of time with my rapier and poleaxe, as well with longswords and sideswords.
There is a Facebook group for the challenge here. Join the group to learn more about the challenge, share your personal goals, and report on your daily progress (accountability is important).
Daily Drilling on DuelloTV
All DuelloTV members have access to our awesome Daily Drill page. Visit the page every day, and a new drill is posted for both longsword and rapier. Sign up on that page to have the daily drill delivered right to your email inbox.
And to help inspire you throughout your challenge we are also hosting a weekly series of drills for Rapier, Longsword, and Sidesword on Duello.TV on our 30 for 30 page! Check it out for both partnered and solo practice drills that you can follow throughout the challenge or use to augment your own training.
This is also a great opportunity to work your way through one of our courses in longsword or rapier that include drills and quizzes ideal for daily practice. Subscribe to DuelloTV for just the month, or longer—pay as you go and cancel your subscription at any time. It’s a great investment in your art!
Succeeding at a 30-Day Challenge
At first, 30 minutes per day may seem easy. However, the real challenge is not doing 30 minutes of swordplay, but practicing every day. Many habits are easily derailed by the business of modern life. To stay on track, I recommend the following:
- Have an overall goal. What do you want to get from your 30 days?
- Do your 30 minutes early, or schedule them with a friend, to make sure they happen.
- Start with 5 minutes. You can always break your 30 minutes up throughout the day, and 5 minutes is an easy start.
- If you miss a day, don’t postpone it; just don’t sweat it. The best thing to do if you fall off the wagon is to just get back onto it as soon as possible. Don’t try to make up your debt — just don’t fall further behind.
I hope you’ll join us for swordplay in January! Remember: meaningful changes happen in small steps—steps that start right away. Be sure to join the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/3548885328563343)
What about you? What do you plan on doing for the 30-for-30? I’d love to hear your ideas and goals in the Facebook group (we post there every day) or right here in the comments.