The VISS Lecture Track

With the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium just around the corner, now is a great time to check out our lecture options over at our events schedule page. As always, our workshops are complemented by a series of lectures, each of which fits into this year’s VISS theme of “This vs. That,” exploring asymmetries in the world of martial arts.

All of these lectures will take place at the Red Room (398 Richards St.), just around the corner from Academie Duello and one of four VISS locations within walking distance of one another. (More location information can be found on our location page).

On Friday morning, Mark Mikita leads the first lecture, “Short-Term vs. Long-Term Practice: Thoughts From a 50-Year Veteran.” Mark will talk about the choices we make as students and teachers to sustain a martial arts career that spans not just years, but decades.

On Saturday afternoon, Dr. Shawn Bullock will give his lecture “Motivation in Martial Arts; Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic,” in which he will discuss the ways that we are motivated as martial artists, as well as how motivational theory can be useful in martial arts education.

On Sunday morning, you can attend Mike Panian‘s lecture “The Vigil, the Quest, and Facing Dragons: Martial Arts Practice vs. Athletics.” This will be an interactive lecture and discussion, focused on the ways that martial arts differ when practiced as an exercise in self-cultivation, as opposed to purely athletic disciplines.

Later on Sunday morning is a panel discussion entitled “Women vs. Men: Exploring Gender in Martial arts”, moderated by Jessica Finley with participants including Dr. Shawn Bullock, Kaja Sadowski, Sean Hayes, and Pamela Muir. This panel will explore the role of gender in martial arts training, teaching, fighting, and competition.

On Sunday after lunch, Matthew Howden‘s lecture “Signal vs. Noise: A Neo-Classical Approach to Modern Technical Analysis” will adapt Aristotelian thought to answer modern questions about martial arts technique. Matthew will appeal to Aristotle’s Four Causes to break down techniques into their component parts, identify the essentials, and understand the conditions that make them work.

Our final lecture on Sunday afternoon will be given by Michael Heveran. His lecture “History vs. Myth: Using and Abusing Historical Narratives in Martial Arts” is an exploration into the ways that martial artists can become savvy historical thinkers. Michael will present a number of historical narratives from both Eastern and Western martial arts communities, then deconstruct them to show how they reveal our hidden assumptions about history and martial arts.

If you’re interested in attending VISS just for the lectures, head over to our registration page and you can sign up for an audit pass at a discounted rate.