Over the month of January, myself and Academie Duello hosted a training challenge that set a goal of 30 minutes of swordplay training per day for 30 days. Whether this was over and above your usual training, or simply an extension of it, was up to each participant. Specific additional training goals could also be set to give the practice an extra focus. Participants came from dozens of schools from all over the world and the range of disciplines practiced was extensive.
Regular practice is probably the single most influential and important factor in building proficiency in a skill. That doesn’t mean that to be successful you need to practice everyday—rest is good for the body. However, it does mean that you want to have a rhythm that sustains and propels your growth.
Each year that we have run this challenge it has emphasized for me a few things:
- Rhythm is best maintained in manageable pieces.
- A little bit of regular practice is more powerful than binging irregularly.
- Community is a powerful and supportive form of accountability.
- Sharing your goals with others and having a process for regularly checking in can help you keep on track.
- Regular practice can be a powerful force for staying grounded.
- I practiced on days where I was excited to train and days where I felt exhausted and stubborn. It was on these difficult days where I felt the biggest payoff. Though its as difficult to pickup my sword, after 30 minutes I was always glad that I had. So many funks were trained away and much joy was taken in the simple practice of moving and feeling my own body at work.
Thank you to everyone for participating this year and being part of Academie Duello’s extended community. It was a joy to share with everyone and receive so much as they worked through every day of their own challenges. I’m already looking forward to next year.
For those who are interested in keeping up with some of the drills that I posted throughout the month, the list of all 30 is on the 30-for-30 page, as well as the Duello.TV Youtube Channel.
Please take a moment to leave your thoughts in the comments and let us know what the 30-for-30 meant to you!