Darts: a game where participants compete with one another by throwing small arrow like devices at a target that is round and has numbers and sections and an inner bull with an outer bull and so on. Darts now refer to the standard game with a specific bristle board design and a set of rules. Rules that are general to the game and rules that govern games like, “501,” “301,” and “Cricket.”

Darts is a traditional pub game that was and is commonly played in the United Kingdom as well as other places in Europe and across the pond here in the America’s.

Wikipedia tells hits history in a terse form, i.e., “The dartboard may have its origins in the cross-section of a tree. An old name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target". In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no treble, only double and bullseye, the Manchester board being of a smaller diameter, with a playing area of only 25 cm across with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm. The London Fives board is another variation. This has only 12 equal segments numbered 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10, 20, 5, 15, 10 with the doubles and triples being a quarter of an inch wide.”

There have been a variety of darts created over the years but the most common today is the tungsten dart. There are electronic darts but for this blog and for my efforts in tossing darts I remain a steel dart fan and enthusiast. I am recommending a book for novice darters but only because it appealed to me and my studies and rest assured most of the dart books out there are outstanding. In short, find one if this one does not fit your needs and get it. I can tell you when I started to play over twenty years ago, before I laid down my darts in 96, I tossed darts for several years without knowing some very important and critical mechanics, etc., of the dart game. As I take up once again my steel darts I have found a fountain of information to help make the game both enjoyable and competitive. Enjoy, diddle for the middle and let the darts fly!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

It’s Harder than it Seems

Blog Article/Post Caveat (Read First Please: Click the Link)

In my recent articles I have presented for your review, analysis and disposition things martial as they would apply to the dart arts. As a long time martial artist, i.e., Karate, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Gong, I have a good deal of experience in that discipline. My dart arts have been on hiatus for about twenty years so they are kind of out of play so to speak. 

The lesson to learn here, as taught all the time with martial artists who find themselves moving from one system or style to another that even with a good deal of experience it can be a bit discerning to find that you have to go back and go through the novice to student to practitioner levels all over again even to get those fundamental principles adjusted to the new way of doing things. Now, this can be a bit off-putting and yet it is how things work regardless so it means getting back to the basics of acceptance, embrace it and then practice, practice and more practice. 

In my current state of darts all that I have written to date is still true, relevant and beneficial to the dart arts. I find myself falling into old habits you would have thought were long gone but the old gray cells tend to hold on to things pretty much for ever and ever so when such things are triggered now they will still try to implement those old things until you train it away and the rub to that is this - IT takes a lot of practice; a lot of work; a lot of mindfulness to achieve that goal for reprogramming something like this takes, wait for it, LONGER!

Now, lets add another factor some of you won’t have experienced yet, your age and state of health and state of fitness. As a long time practitioner of the martial arts I am healthy, fit and yet in my winter years (meaning I am over sixty years of age). The first two tend to help a lot while the third one can present other obstacles necessary to overcome or work with to gain back a level of expertise necessary to be competitive. 

It takes even longer to reprogram so the advice is this, “Accept the facts as irrefutable; Embrace your age, health and fitness levels; slow yourself down and then implement a plan to reprogram to overcome and create, synthesize, a new model, method and conditioning that will allow you to consistently and accurately throw your darts. 

I have found over the last few weeks of practice that I tend to slide into old habits so now I need to program myself to stop, slow things down, focus back on the strategies and tactics to create, synthesize, a new “way of the dart arts” to be consistent and accurate in my efforts. It means catching myself when I slip, stopping, meditating on the new way, visualization of the new process then actively practicing that process until it becomes a primal like conditioned response every time I stand at the oche line. 

Good darts!

p.s. Since I am actually starting all over again I intend to write about my efforts with both successes and non-successes as I travel this path back to good darts for myself and writing about it just in the remote chance readers would find it helpful in perceiving ways to improve their dart arts. 

p.s.s. Oh, and as to my current status in dart arts, lets say that I have been in a really huge ’Slump’ these last twenty years and my efforts and changes are all about overcoming that slump and achieving even better dart arts. :-)

Bibliography (Click the link)

“In order for any life to matter, we all have to matter.” - Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal (ret)

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