Good afternoon, all.

As I have told many of you, the last two weeks of this year will be devoted to sparring, and to cleaning up our fighting. If I could offer some advice to all of you to keep in mind over the next two weeks, it is this:

Be less concerned about winning your matches, and way more concerned with preserving and/or improving your form, and performing the proper actions at the proper measure. You won’t win every exchange like this, but you will definitely give yourself a chance to win the majority of your exchanges when those things are properly refined. Incidental ‘wins’, the exchanges you win only because you are slightly less sloppy than your opponent, or because you managed to score a hit despite a lack of control of your own weapon, are not worth very much. What’s even worse is that they don’t teach you anything, except when you watch video of your fighting and see where the deficiencies are. If it’s humbling, that’s alright, so long as you work on making the necessary changes.

As I have done the past couple of years, I will be engaging you all in a series of consecutive exchanges in celebration of my birthday. Last year, I went up to 56. I intend to exceed that number this year, if I’m able to do so. We will see how far I get before my form collapses completely and my limbs turn to jelly. I will stop whenever that happens (otherwise, I’ll just be continuing for the sake of continuing, which doesn’t serve much of a purpose).

See you then.