This is northern Minnesota, and the first snowstorm finally hit us yesterday. For some people around here that means it’s getting cold and that means boarding up the house and stay inside as much as possible. For the rest of us, it’s time to pull out the fleece, hats, mittens and scarfs. (I wanted to add a winter hat to King Leonidas up there but I have no photo-editing software but paint ) That’s no exception to training. Unless you’re one of the lucky people who have a huge living room with 15-foot-high ceilings, swinging a sword around inside doesn’t work very well. So us sword martial artists either have to improvise (swing a shorter, weighted object like a mallet to not hit the ceiling) or add a few extra layers to our uniform and go train outside.

The ‘average joe’ even around here would raise a few eyebrows and think that’s crazy, but any dedicated athlete would accept training in all kinds of weather. If say, a runner, waited for the ‘perfect’ day or conditions to go for a run, a runner would never get faster or stronger. Same thing with martial arts. If we only wait for the ‘perfect’ conditions to go outside and train, we would never get better and stronger. (For us Minnesotans, if we waited for good conditions we’d only get 3 months) Especially in a ‘battlefield’ art. We all know that battles are fought on bright, sunny days right? Wrong. Battles seem to be fought in the worst conditions possible.

If a battle ever happened in northern Minnesota, that would probably mean in the middle of winter. Hopefully, those of us who live and train here can have a bit of an advantage ; ) One of the reasons that Northwind Martial arts’ logo is a snowflake is to represent that not even the cold has stopped us from training.