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!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Dart Outs - Part IV: No Possible 3 Dart Outs

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

In the dart arts even when you reach the 170 mark there are some scores that will not allow you to throw a three dart out and they are, “169, 168, 166, 165, 163, 162 and 159. The question is, “What do you do if you find yourself sitting on one of these numbers?” Your there and the best you can do is hit a score with the first dart that will allow you a two dart out. Can you do this with these seven no out scores?

I asked myself what is the highest score possible with one dart and the answer, of course, is 60 points by hitting the T20 with that first dart. As I have stated in the last article almost all the three dart scores above 129 recommends the T20 for that first of three darts therefore if you hit one of the ‘dead-seven’ you should still go for the T20. 

I guess you have figured out already that even if you are sitting on the 159 score that hitting T20 only puts you at a score of 99 - guess what, it ain’t a two dart out. Ok, then you have to set up a three dart out from the dead-seven scores and since I recommend the highest score possible you may want to hit a T20, T20 and then either a T20 or T19 depending on the even or odd scored dead-seven. If you are at 168, 166, 162 go for the awesomeness of T2, T20, T20 and if you are at 169, 165, 163 or 159 make that last dart a T19. Is this optimal to your darts and winning?

169 - T20, T20, T19 = 177, ops, not a good idea. Lets figure this out, 169 - 60 = 109 so what do you do, you figure out the outs for 109 and they are T19, 20, D16. Since that is a good out for the next throw add in another T20 or 60 and what does that give you left, remember higher scores bring you closer to a two dart out. 109 - 60 = 39, ok, the last dart then should be one that leaves you a most excellent out of only one dart on the next throws so for me I would go for a single 7 leaving a 32. The 32 score if you miss will leave a D8, D4 in case you miss those so all three darts will give you the opportunity of going out, the win - you hope. 

This is the process I would recommend and follows the scheme of my 170 Out Game in practice as well as in the actual competitive game and also leads to figuring out and remembering outs for the ultimate goal of “on the fly out calculations” when throwing darts, the dart arts. 

  • 168 - first dart T20; 168 - 60 = 108; second dart 108 - 60 = 48; third dart single 16 for a D16 next three darts.
  • 166 - first dart T20; 166 - 60 - 106; second dart 106 - 60 = 46; third dart single 14 for a D16 next three darts.
  • 165 - first dart T20; 165 - 60 = 105; second dart T19; 105 - 57 = 48; third dart single 16 for a D16 next three darts.
  • 163 - first dart T20; 163 - 60 = 103; second dart T19; 103 - 57 = 46; third dart single 14 for a D16 next three darts.
  • 162 - first dart T20; 162 - 60 = 102; second dart T20; 102 - 60 = 42; third dart single 10 for a D16 next three darts. 
  • 159 - first dart T20; 159 - 60 = 99; second dart T19; 99 - 57 = 42; third dart single 10 for a D16 next three darts.

Ain’t dart arts life grand? 

Dart Outs - Part III: "170 Out Game!”

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

In the dart world of the "01" games the outs are the critical short game. The one who hits the out with the fewest darts wins. Learning all the outs is important. Most new players, dartist, need to know all the outs and that brings up the question, "What is the best, and quickest, way to know the outs?"

Some are blessed with an almost photographic like memory, few are math savants where numbers just appear but the majority really find memorizing outs difficult to just about impossible - frustrations run high.

I wonder at times how many casual players stay casual players simply because they can't grasp and work the outs under the stress of competition, and on the fly.

In my early dart period I just had a quick math-mind yet in my winter years find I need to find another path back to rapid out mastery.

When I did a search on how one goes about learning, memorizing, the outs all results speak to memorization and none speak (so far in my search) to the how of memorizing. Left to my own devices I feel I have found a way that will work for me.

I'm calling it my, "170 Out Game! (Any score starting at 170 means a dartist can achieve an out in three darts and if they miss a shot on the first throw can quickly determine if a 2 dart out is possible when subtracting that first throw to see if the score reaches 100 points or less.)“ 

I decided I would practice starting it like 501 but simply start at 170 because, as you know, you can't go out at any higher score.  

170 to 100 requires three dart minimum so I will look up the best three dart combo and then focus on the first, I.e., like T20.

If I miss, I work out the score through the math process like hitting 20 leaving 150. Since there is no 2dart out I then figure, look at chart again, how I can shoot the first score in an attempt to set up for the next round. 

150: T20, T18, D16 means if I can hit the first and second it leaves me a solid out in the next round/leg with only one dart.

If I throw, working my way down, and figure scores and as I work out outs along the way I find I am practicing my throw, my strategies and my tactics along with exercising my math brain and learning the outs of one, then two and finally three dart outs all at the same time.

I believe that the action + mental math process + practice playing 170 puts several learning processes into action so I can put away the chart, calculate the outs on the fly (dart by dart throws) so I can do it instantly in the game.

My goal of the fewest darts to the out and game over, I win. 

Something to remember, 170 to 130 always uses a T20 for the first dart of three dart outs except for two - 137 and 139 requires the first of three to be a T19 😜.

So, all first of three is a T20 except for 137 and 128 for scores between 170 and 130.

So, any score starting three dart outs below 130 needs the first dart to be something else, i.e., 127, 124, 120, 118 - 110, 108, 106, 103 - 101, 100, 98, 96, also start a three dart out until you go under 100 points and start with T20 - all others require T19, T18, or T17 with only a few needing other numbers that one can figure out with ease.

So, break the the chart, darts501.com chart is the one I like the best and used for this article, down into categories as follows and begin with the first until you have that memorized then follow up with the next and so on. Playing the 170 game while doing this will help the brain absorb the chart with fewer memorization requirements. 
  1. 170 - 130 points, first dart always T20.
  2. 137 and 139, first dart always T19.
  3. 170 to 101 (and 99), first dart, of three dart out, varies (T19, T18, T17): scores that start with T20; 127, 124, 120, 118 - 110, 108, 106, 103 - 101, 100, 98, 96.
  4. 100 to 60, two dart outs, easy to figure in head. 
  5. Other start darts use T19, T18, and T17 (first dart throw); between 100 points not T20 listed in parens here (100, 99, 96, 92, 90, 84, 80, 76, 68).
If you have the skills and the software, or use excel spreadsheet, you can create separate charts broken down in this manner to be used to help memorize. I have used this 170 out game a few times in the last few days and found that my darts, to reach outs faster once I reach 170 or less, has improved. The figuring out of the next three dart throws for those scores, especially if I still have to throw three darts to get out, that will follow on the next leg becomes easier. I especially have benefited, to start, using the chart on my iPhone lock screen because in my shirt pocket it takes only a moment to view and less time to use my brain to figure out the next throw regardless. 

I will amend this post or add a part IV post when I have vetted this process out and made any missed corrections. I feel good about it and hope this article assists others beginning the dart arts learn the outs. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dart Outs - Part II: The Short Game - Double Outs

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

Optional Reading First: "Doubles Out Article"

The last article was about my attempts to hit outs for what they call a mystery out. One of the issues I have, returning to darts after twenty plus years, is doing the math for my 01 game outs. As any dartist will tell you, in darts the outs are like the ‘short game in golf’. You can often do the long drives where your only concern is driving straight down the course to reach the green with the fewest stokes. Darts is like this in the 01 games, long or high scores to reach the greens, i.e., a score of 170 or less, and then play the short game to achieve in three darts or less the out to win.

In the mystery out last night, because I have not memorized the outs yet and even my math is a bit rusty I was distracted enough trying to work out the system I was unable, without assistance, to find the out combination so I could focus just on the shot. I am an old fart at sixty-two and all that new stuff so late past my bed time left me so, “Confused!”

Well, modern technology comes to the rescue. No, there are apps to figure out scoring but none just to enter in one, yours, score to display out options. It won’t take me long to learn if I can combo my brain to a chart so I can figure out the outs on the fly but until then I need to have some ‘QUICK’ reference to help learn and still focus on the game.

I have an apple iPhone 5 and I took the Darts501.com free out chart, put a border around it to help its readability, sharpened the photo for better clarity to read on such a small screen (with glasses of course), loaded it on my phone then set it to display on the “LOCK SCREEN.” I did this because I have a six digit access code. Hitting the code, finding the snapshot and viewing it in a game was just too cumbersome and time consuming. So, putting it on the lock screen only means all I have to do is pull the phone out of my shirt pocket, hit the home button, and it will display the chart so I can read the outs and figure out new outs as I throw darts. I figure it is even faster than if they actually had a single person only out app to show outs. 

Here is the 501 out chart as I added a border that can be put on the standard iPhone lock screen wallpaper. Since the out chart is provided from Dart501.com for free in pdf I assumed this snapshot would be ok for free - of course. Here it is to download and set to the wallpaper. Also, it may work on the smart phones as well but since I don’t have one I can’t say for sure. 

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

Relying on Technology

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

In the dart arts, much like in the martial disciplines, people have become lazy because their focus is heavily on technological advances to replace solid, hard and continuous practice, practice, practice. Granted, you want good equipment in throwing darts competitively because lets face it the old brass darts that came with the early toy darts is not really good for competitive disciplines because no matter how good a dartist you are, the are bad, bad, bad darts. Do NOT get caught up in technological ways of darts until you have mastered yourself and found your throw. 

The only recommended technology I employ in my darts are the following:

  • Steel darts.
  • Dart weight (because it matters on how and what you throw when you find your perfect throw).
  • Tungsten quality of at least 80 to 95%.
  • Quality shafts and flights.
  • Knurling not for slippage but simply for the feel I get.

That is it, a solid quality dart for me and if you find something else that feels good and works well for you then you found your darts. I would just stick with them regardless. I would then say; practice, practice, practice as well as play, play, play competitively even if just in the local pub because it is about YOU and YOUR THROW and if you find your throw the dart equipment and other technologies, such as the no bounce darts, are just nice things to stroke your egoistic feelings, etc.

What is most important is how you throw darts, i.e., finding your throw (like finding your swing in golf). Finding your throw involves a lot of physiokinetic principles you must adhere to in order to find your throw then consistently throw. If you find yourself becoming frustrated and you begin to lean toward finding technological mechanical ways to improve your throw then you are never, ever, going to find your throw. The only factor here is to find the equipment that feels good to you then learn the principles; apply those principles in practice; find your throw; and then apply that to competitive experiences, etc. 

No bounce darts are not going to help you find your throw. No bounce is a meme that obfuscates your thinking toward and external fix when you should focus internally, i.e., the mind-state governed by applying principles of the throw and the mind-set that consistently applies said principles in finding, keeping and applying ‘your throw’ in the dart arts. 

Principles of a Throw (Caveat: Yes, all the following are a lot of things to learn and apply; yes, this all has to be instinctive-like, i.e., become a primal conditioned response action - your throw. You need to know these things in order to apply them and then you need to practice consciously until they are encoded - THEN, you need to forget them so that your procedural memory can use the primal conditioned response or actions of your throw without the interference of conscious human-mind thoughts; it is the only way to master. Your goal is create, find your throw, a chain of events that will allow for consistent instinctive primal conditioned actions to be a good solid consistent player of the dart arts - a master dartist!) (Caveat II: “Without knowledge, how can you find your throw?”):

  • Breathing ( when and how to breath; when and how to not breath)
  • Posture
  • Spinal Alignment
  • Structure
  • Positive Relaxation
  • Wave Energy (aim, cock, fire and targeting, etc.)
  • Body-Mind
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Tactile Sensitivity
  • Rooting (assuming a dart kamae, etc.)
  • Chemical Cocktail
  • Technique
  • Speed
  • Timing
  • Rhythm
  • Cadence
  • Balance
  • Attacked Mind (frustrations, disappointments, anger, etc.; adrenal stress-conditions effecting dart arts)

Breathing ( when and how to breath; when and how to not breath)

Breathing and not breathing, when and how become important not just in the throw itself but in the body and mind while engaging in a competitive arena. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing processes help us reduce and remove various stresses involved in a competitive environment and it does this by triggering counter adrenal stress-conditions of the adrenal chemical dump. This dump is a result of the human instinctive system often referred to as the freeze-flight-or-fight response (Note: I added in the freeze). When we are stressed the chemical dump occurs to various degrees with the highest being the most detrimental. These chemicals result in effects that are counter to your goals in a competitive environment. Granted these very chemical effects when conditioned through training, practice and especially experience can benefit the competitor in a positive way when controlling their levels and effects. You can become conditioned in a way that limits the dumps not so beneficial effects. 

Then there is the not-breathing parts. Often this involves the actual throw. I liken the throw to the art of target shooting, especially shooting a handgun. Why, because your body moves constantly even when you think you have it immobilized, i.e., there are slight tremor-like movements the body makes constantly that we are just not aware of until we try to do things like target shooting. The handgun, in the hand, held and aimed will move and you can perceive that when you aim down the firearms sights. The more you aim, the more it will move and the movement will become more as time passes - in milliseconds to a second or two. This phenomena is in almost all physical discipline such as archery and of course, darts.

When I am readying to approach the ochre line I do what I call combat breathing, i.e., a deep, slow, rhythmic diaphragmatic breathing to keep my calm and retain my focus. I approach and assume my dart kamae, raise my arm, hold out the dart with arm extended to aim at my target - breathing the same throughout that process - then when the arm begins to apply my personal throw I stop breathing. I recommend, as the same with firearms target shooting and other disciplines, that you stop mid-breath, i.e., breath deep, exhale and at the half out point hold the breath and make the complete throw from cocking to the cheek, throwing confidently forward to the release point and to the follow through. 


Your pose if you will, the way your body is positioned to maximize your throw. Poor posture caused many physical and mental issues such as poor attitude and poor health and poor posture all resulting in minute changes in your body that adversely affect your through. Posture involves how you take your stance, how you position your hips, waist, shoulders, etc., and effect how the dart flies when thrown. 

Affecting a solid posture means you can feel that posture so to assume that same posture each and every time you throw from the ochre line. Moving your body changes the throw in small ways often not detected when in the throw unless you can feel it. Feel your posture once you find your throw as a part of the programming of procedural memory of primal conditioned actions. 

Spinal Alignment

In order to assume a solid posture and to deliver consistency of body functioning in your throw you need to attain good spinal alignment, i.e., the spine should be upright, aligned and locked into position. If your posture leans one way or the other, the spine is not aligned. Locking the spine as well as other things ensures your throw will be effective, consistent and on target. 


To maximize the efficient generation of energy and force the bodies structure must achieve balance, stability and energy. The entire structure of the body from the feet on the floor, the position of the body, the arm and hand along with certain principles are the only way to achieve mastery and to find your throw. This goes to endurance as well simply because your body, your arm and your mind have to deal with the duration and disruptions found in the competitive environment along with the strategies and tactics of those adversary’s you will compete against. 

If the structure of the skeletal system, etc., are aligned to the greatest potential then the body makes use of its energy supplies in a conservative way allowing that energy to go toward enduring long periods. 

Also, structure along with other health fitness actions achieve resistance to things like repetitive action concerns. This is true because the achievement of proper throw requires one assume a body posture, alignment and structure that is maintained then add in the repetitive action of the throwing arm, throwing the same consistent throw to the target over a  period of time and under high stress-conditions. 

Positive Relaxation

No one can assume a completely relaxed state of either body or mind but one can achieve a state of positive relaxation. PR means that the body is supported by minimal energy consumption and minimal tension of the muscles, tendons and cartilage. The mind when quieted enough to remain in the moment and to take on a state of mushin or rather allowing thoughts in the moment to enter and leave without conscious thought or thinking of the human mind. No thoughts of past or future but remaining in the moment. 

Positive relaxation of the body allows it to move fluidly with a rhythm and cadence that fits the actual dartists personal throw. Add in the proper breathing processes that will feed positive relaxation while simultaneously releasing the relaxation chemicals that counter the adrenal stress-conditioned chemicals that themselves promote proper breathing and therefore positive relaxation. 

Wave Energy (aim, cock, fire and targeting, etc.)

The flow, how the whole process is triggered and completed. The ability to put the rhythm, cadence and flow into a singular holistic action that becomes the personal throw. It takes lots of practice, practice, practice and experience, experience, experience. It is the process that finds the throw that becomes a primal conditioned process, i.e., click and whirr the tape goes to automatic and remains consistent. 


As the old saying goes, ‘the body follows the mind and the mind leads the body.’ Making a body-mind connection means maximizing the potential of both when they work toward a mutually beneficial goal such as finding and using your throw. Most often when I see a person miss a throw and then suffer the emotional effects due to disappointment, resentment, anger and frustration I know that their minds suffer greatly and by osmosis the body follows quickly  unless the person can rein in the monkey brain antics, return to emotional maturity and then apply their processes to achieve their perfect throw. 

Peripheral Vision

In this one, in this instance and in this explanation of a narrow interpretation our peripheral vision is critical to the actual throw. We need direct vision to focus strongly on the intended target while allow our peripheral vision to witness the actual process of the throw. It is this effort that assures a good throw because it is this peripheral vision that tracks the entire movement of the throwing arm. It is PV that allows them to witness their perfect throw while at the same time tell them when something is off resulting in a bad throw so they can analyze and return to their perfect throw before the next dart leaves their holding hands, i.e., holding the two other darts for the throwing hand to grasp, the span of time to asses, analyze and return to visualize the correct perfect throw when the dart is in the throwing hand, aimed at the target and ready to be launched. 

Tactile Sensitivity

The sense of touch, to feel tactically how our feet root to the ground; to feel our body shift to 80% weight on the forward/leading foot; to feel the 20% remain on the rear foot; to feel the rear foot root completely on the ground; to feel the spine align as you assume the stance; to feel your structure enter into a balanced form; to feel your arm align the elbow in a vertical form (for me); to feel the fingers grasping and taking hold of the dart; to feel the balance point of the dart; to feel the arm, hand, wrist, shoulder and fingers assume a positive state of relaxed tension; to feel the motion and alignments and structures maintain integrity as the throw starts, travels and reaches the release point of the dart and on, this is the ability to tactilely feel the true personal throw, the darts, the target - a Zen like process similar to the art of archery of Japan. 

Rooting (assuming a dart kamae, etc.)

Rooting is creating stability of the body by the method of, in dart arts - standing in a throwing posture, standing where both feet, legs, torso, etc., align and sequentially lock so the throw becomes perfected. Taking a stance at the ocre line is rooting and the stability depends on how well the feet are planted to the ground and how well the body and mind are aligned and stabilized so the throw arm can perform without interference from the body. How well that stance is assumed provides stability in different degrees, i.e., such as the back leg and foot, if the foot is only touching the floor with the toe then stability declines and minute movement is introduced making the throw more difficult as it must adjust to that movement much like sighting in with a firearm, etc.

Chemical Cocktail

It has been discussed previously how one controls and overcomes the effects of the chemical cocktail, i.e., that adrenal stress-conditioned process that degrades many aspects of both the mind and the body such as narrow vision and degraded fine motor skills. If you throw like me those fine motor skills become important such as the wrist cock, the finger flex and their follow through in the throw. 

Chemical Cocktail effects: “Degradation of Technique/skills, Peripheral Vision Loss, Tunnel Vision, Depth Perception Loss/Altered, Auditory Exclusion, Weakened legs/arms, Loss of Extremity Feeling, Loss of Fine Motor Skills, Distorted Memory/perceptions, Tachypsychia (time slows), Freeze, Perception of Slow Motion, Irrelevant Thought Intrusion, Behavioral Looping, etc.”


The actual application of a technique such as the throw and the actual technique when applying techniques. The more wholehearted objective of technique is the technique of applying principles to techniques. In the dart arts that means the whole to make the individual work and the culmination of all the individuals to make the whole work. You can gleam this principle concept through a study of all the rest for applying technique and the technique of apply principles are the yin-yang of the personal throw. 


In the dart arts there are several speeds from slow and deliberate to fast with attitude of confidence. Like finding your throw, you have to find those speeds that compliment, enhance and master your darts as the dart throw and so on. Don’t allow the nature and competitive environment influence how you perform your processes to throw and achieve success in your goals. The other dartist will appear to perform in a variety of ways to include how they throw and what they score and that tempo, rhythm and cadence all have a certain speed that makes them work. That is there way and although their process may be inspiring it is still necessary to achieve your own speed in things of the dart arts. 


There is timing in everything of nature including how you perform your dart arts. Like speed, everyone has to develop their own timing as to things like preparation before approaching the line; visualizing the throw; standing the line; assuming your dart kamae and so on until the dart reaches its chosen target in each moment. Ignore everyone else timing because as humans such influences and compliance or mimicking are as natural as breathing so it takes effort and discipline to hold on to your timing, speeds, technique and so on. 


The ebb and flow of the oceans tide; the swaying of leaves and trees to the gentle gusts of wind on an open plain; the deep diaphragmatic breath of a monk meditating in a Zen garden. All of these as a butterfly twittering around the garden all have a certain rhythm to how, when, why and what they do. It is that which connects them to nature and the natural way of it. When one searches out their throw rhythm of that throw is a part of the whole that a dartist must discover, practice, experience and make their own. No where have I seen and felt such peaceful darts than when someone who plays well exudes such an aura of rhythm, cadence, timing, speed and technique consistently as if a monk meditating in a Zen garden. 


Modulation, like the inflection of your voice where your accent, your intonation and inflection speak and convey things. In dart arts modulation is a regulation according the proportion of action, a tempering if you will where change from one thing to another is done in a certain process such as a carrier or signal as in a radio. It is the way we connect with the dart arts to form a ‘Way’ much like a path followed through theories, physiokinetics, technique and philosophy. Those things that create a unique cadence to all we  do, say and experience. It is the path toward the perfect throw, the dart arts. 

Cadence is how we achieve consistency similar to the cadence of a group of military in marching.

A way to take all the individual components and bring them together into one whole that move in a way that accomplishes a group goal through its strategies in all the tactics employed.

Liken this to a school marching band that takes each person, instrument and music that must create a cohesive oneness so everyone stays tuned, in many ways, to achieve a physical presentation and musical rendition as one whole, holistic, performance.


Balance, it is not just physical but mental as well. When I say mental I am talking about both psychological and philosophical because what you think, how you feel and what effects that has on your body and its actions is intricate in its connectedness. More often than physical when my throw goes awry it is not because of any physical action I take but rather the mental stresses that in turn disrupt my bodies actions. Many often assign blame on a bad dart from some physical misstep that effected the throw such as, “My hand turned or my foot slipped,” but in truth it is our minds that provide the body its abilities and this means training, synthesizing and assuming a balance of the body and mind so that both will align and make for a perfect throw and a perfect game.

Balance is also about gravity and rooting and the body structure, posture and stability because if those don’t align then the darts won’t flow. Kind of confusing after reading the first paragraph but to achieve such bodily stability and consistency the mind must first see, feel and accept the body and the work necessary to achieve this balance. The body must be guided and then monitored and changed according to any events and issues that end up effecting the darts. 

The only physical way to achieve a balance body is to understand gravity and its effects along with how you can overcome it along with other environmental factors. Rooting, structure, posture, alignment and skeletal/muscular stability and control all factor in and must be balanced out to work holistically as one entity in lieu of various separate ones such as feet to legs to hips to waist to torso to shoulders to arms to hands and so on. This can only be accomplished by study, practice, training, experience and the strength of our minds as they control everything. 

Attacked Mind (frustrations, disappointments, anger, etc.; adrenal stress-conditions effecting dart arts)

I have mentioned this before and you will say to yourselves, “Yea, I did that and boy did it matter in that game.” Well, the mind, the body and our psychological mind-set and mind-state and mind-strength must be exposed to being attacked, the attacked mind. Every thing that happens to us either physically, mentally and/or spiritually (not a religious reference here) is from the self, the ego and the mind, i.e., the mind is ego, self and the conflict in our three brains - lizard, monkey and human. 

Example: I practice a lot and find that often what I do in practice is often not what happens in competition. I know that is due to the stresses induced by my mind and as a martial artists karate-ka I have studied and understood the martial disciplines for over forty plus years I know that the stress-conditions release certain chemicals in the brain that effect our use of our minds and bodies. In the above writing I have referenced the chemicals and their adverse effects along with ways to combat that to retain your stability for the dart arts. It is good to refresh that information in your mind and make it a part of your training, practice and participation in the competitive environment. 

As you can understand by now after reading a ton of stuff, the technological enhancements you can have from technology, i.e., darts, training devices and other things can provide you assistance, enhance your already considerable skills, but it is critically important that you develop those esoteric-like skills long before you add in the techie stuff. A good example is the type of dart I used long ago as a newbie, I bought and used those types because I threw darts not so well. They did help but reflecting back I realize that they never truly contributed to taking my darts beyond a level of ability that I am now experiencing in my new way of the dart arts. I also did some research to find, yeah for the Internet and the search functions, that today they have found that those particular type of darts actually contribute nothing to the dart throw and game. It turns out they are a gimmick to appeal to novices so they can achieve more faster in their game. Oh, by the way, there is no faster and easier way to the dart arts.

Happy Darting!

Note: There are some technological wonders that are fun to have and use that don’t add to your ability and game except to make you feel good like the carrying case I like to hold my darts and dart parts. That type of technology is good no matter what level you play at because that is just fun stuff to have. 

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

Dartist(s) Caveat Blog

Caveat: Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to the dart arts. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

This article is mine and mine alone. I the author of this article assure you, the reader, that any of the opinions expressed here are my own and are a result of the way in which my meandering mind interprets a particular situation and/or concept. The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of other dartists and/or dart arts professionals or authors of source materials. It should be quite obvious that the sources I used herein have not approved, endorsed, embraced, friended, liked, tweeted or authorized this article. (Everything I think and write is true, within the limits of my knowledge and understanding. Oh, and just because I wrote it and just because it sounds reasonable and just because it makes sense, does not mean it is true.)

Finally, it is incumbent that the reader take any information they feel is relevant and useful and perform an in-depth analysis of it to work out its value to the reader. It is also stressed that students/practitioners also present the information to their qualified dartists so that his or her expertise and experience can also analyze the information to validate and then synthesize said information into their training and practice either as is or as synthesized into something new and creative.   

Thursday Darts Mystery Out

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

Mystery out, well, I didn’t give it much thought but I should have because although when buying a ticket I made the assumption that my ticket number would never be called. Sigh, last night unlike the other players who would buy two or more chances at the mystery out I went ahead and bought my single ticket. Buying the ticket is like my buying a lotto ticket, I want the chance although I understand that the odds are way out there beyond my world. Sigh!

Here is today’s rub, they called my ticket last night. I never bothered to find out how the mystery out worked so late at night, tired, brain dead and everyone is helping me think. For some reason I could not get the concept or the rules to stick until this morning after a nights sleep. 

In the mystery out you purchase a type of ticket much like the lotto and the matching ticket is put into a coffee can where a randomly chosen player will reach in and pull out a ticket. Being the idiot I am I wasn’t paying attention so they called the number again and louder then a moment later I said, “Oh shit, thats me.”

The embarrassing thing is that because I didn’t take the time to learn how that mystery out worked I kept going, “Huh,” when folks were trying so kindly to help me out. A friend even said, “Hey, he’s the new guy … yadda, yadda” in jest but finally, after fumbling around and getting brain-freeze trying to figure out the out … wait, I missed a part.

When your ticket is chosen you pull a poker chip out of another coffee can that has a number written on it so that the number for the out is random. I chose a chip with 89 on it meaning I had three darts to hit that out. Finally, after a gently, fun but constant telling me over and over till it sunk in I had time to throw nine practice darts then after I was given the opportunity to throw just three darts to out from a score of 89. I had this blank look on my face so the group was kind enough to assist me as the new guy.

Bob said, “Charles, do you know your outs?” I said, “Nope.” So Bob said, “T19 and D16, there’s a lot in the pot so go for it.” I threw three and because of my brain-freeze I would turn around and they would say, “Throw another three Charles.” Finally I got to my three dart chance at the out. I looked and aimed at the T19 and hit a 3, crap. So the two dart out for 86 should have been, DB and D18 but I hit a seven instead so - no possible out, bummer. 

Anyway, I have learned my lesson that there is always a ‘chance’ I will get the mystery out so now I can focus on the out, take the nine practice darts and then ‘go for it!’ Wish me luck for next time - oh, and about my performance last night I can only say, “Doah! (picture homer head slap here)” Note: Thanks to all the gang at Paddock Darts with Bob and Maggie Martell, the two folks who run the game. 

Oh, and in closing, I tossed a much better set of games this week, improvement is a good thing. I was actually breathing more and focusing on finding my throw during and especially between games. I had fun and everyone there was patient and nice and just a good all round group of folks - Thanks!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Barrel Types
  • Pencil -- a long, consistently thin barrel
  • Front Loaded -- a teardrop shaped barrel
  • Torpedo -- Thicker in the middle and tapered at the ends
  • Scalloped -- there is a notch in the barrel for fingers
  • Stubby -- short barrel, usually weight limited

Grip Types
  • Smooth
  • Knurling (cross-hatching usually cut on a lathe)
  • Ringed Grooves
  • Dimplex -- little nubby things
  • Razor -- small cuts that give a great grip
  • Shark Fin -- wide grooves with edges angled towards shaft end. (lots of grip to throw, and little grip as it is released).
  • Unidirectional -- like Razor and shark fin combined (small groove shark)
  • Scalloped -- the holding place is also the grip.

Flight Types
  • Standard gives maximum leverage to the flight mechanism because of its larger area.
  • Kite has a smaller area, giving the dart faster flying speed.
  • Teardrop allows maximum lift from a small flight and tends to keep the tail of the dart down.
  • Slim is designed for the fast-flying dart and allows the tail to stay low.
  • CoalCracker is an alternate name for Slim or Super Slim flights.
  • Lantern -- similar to the kite design but slightly more back heavy trajectory.
  • No.6 shape is similar to the standard shape flight but narrower through the top.

Shaft Types
  • Metal
  • Nylon
  • Spinning [came with the darts I bought so I kept them] (When a second dart lands right where a prior dart lands... The flights on the prior dart rotate out of the way so that the second dart can land, instead of being bounced out. This is a big deal when you are shooting tight groups. Rotation on release of the dart won't make it fly sideways.)
  • Magnet (A Magnet shafts is a refinement on the spinning shaft. These shafts are two part shafts. A magnet in the barrel-connected portion of the shaft is used to retain a ferrous flight carrier that is inserted into the flight end of the shaft.)
  • Carbon Fibre (Carbon fibre is light yet extremely strong. It is virtually unbreakable. As of 2013 a very few companies offer carbon fibre dart shafts. They should allow all the benefits of nylon shafts, with a similar durability to a metal shaft.)

Tip Types
  • Soft
  • Steel (fixed)
  • Retractable (hammerhead; no bounce; found in steel darts)

Find Your Strengths

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

“Find your strengths, train your weaknesses!” - cejames

We all have strengths and we all tend to lean heavily on those strengths and we all tend to lessen our focus regarding our weaknesses. Sometimes we dig a deep hole and throw in those weaknesses, bury them and then we push hard on our strengths in the hopes they will take up the slack for all those buried weaknesses. But, no matter how deep the hole those weaknesses are still there, just under the surface and ready to be exploited by an adversary and/or opponent. 

In order to attain and maintain your balance you have to take both sides of the coin that is our humanness, physical and mental, and develop them so that they are balanced first, complementary to one another second and strong third. It is tantamount to making one are very, very strong while ignoring the other arm. That lack of balanced symmetry of the body leaves the mind weak to one side and exposes us to the spears and arrows of conflict in our lives no matter whether merely social differences or resulting in grave harm or death. 

Yin-yang principles speak to the nature of humanness in the universe that exists only because of the spectrum of balance attained in the yin-yang concepts, a complementary balance of strengths and weaknesses. When you punch you are yang, when you retract that arm you are yin and it takes both sides for the arm to function properly. It is the way, the path, and it is the very nature of life, conflict and violence - all a intricate and intermixing of life’s nature.

When you train and practice you have to allow your strengths to flourish while at the same time you have to find your weaknesses and make them a part of your strengths. This is how we see yin-yang, i.e., strengths and weaknesses transforming to the far yang to become all strengths while retracting in a yin with a strength of yang to the far yin, the state we take in peace while yang is the state we take in conflict. A constant ebb and flow of the physical and mental with the spirit spanning both as if the one great tai chi that allows the one to become two, duality, but with both strengths and weaknesses while strengthening the weaknesses into balanced strength-weakness dynamic duality of spirit. 

Discarding, ignoring and/or failing to see, hear, feel and expose weaknesses in the effort to analyze and synthesize into strengths balanced with weaknesses is a failure to follow the path, the way or “Do (doah).” 

Don’t fail to follow the right path, don’t fail to regard and discover your weaknesses and you will find that those perceived weaknesses will complement your natural strengths making you spiritually, physically and mentally whole!

Bibliography (Click the link)

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Frustration, Disappointment and Anger

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

When I stand back as watch players throw and miss I often see them react in these emotional ways. I tend to feel them as well and finally came to the conclusion it comes from the human species natural drive to do well.

Doing well ties into my personal philosophy of human survival drives. It also ties in with the group dynamics of our base drive for group status in the drive for group survival.

I needed to come up with something that I could use in a mind-state that would, at a minimum, curb those feelings so the natural human adrenal chemicals released under their influence would not dampen my personal natural throw.

You see, when our emotions are triggered, click and whirr, our brains trigger our adrenal glands and release our monkey brain from its cage and all kinds of disruptive effects raise up to obscure and disrupt our abilities to act, to throw good darts.

So I decided to become, and train, a mind-set of the "Deadman!" A bit like killing the monkey and ignoring those irritating emotions when the darts don't fly true to my target.

How do I do this? Well, as a dart deadman I ignore the emotional reactive responses from a bad throw and just believe the miss is just an opportunity to practice my personal throw. 

I aim for a T20 and miss means I have opened an opportunity to practice my throw targeting my T20 again or to practice and train my brain to mental re-calculate a means to double out another way with the remaining darts in my hands.

The moment I miss I redirect my thoughts to, ‘ok, more practice’ or ‘ok, calculate and focus’ rather than allow emotional tidal waves to inundate my mind into throwing more and more bad throws. Look at it as a means to refocus away from the monkey’s efforts to use emotions to derail my efforts and use a mindfulness, a mind-no-mind, to immediate curb the emotional effects by breathing properly, relaxing the shoulders and face and then to immediately, without hesitation, recalculate. 

I have caught myself missing and immediately saying, ‘crap’, and then feeling that emotional turmoil taking control of my body often to cause additional throws to go awry so my training now is to hit the ‘recalculate’ button or take a mind-set of, ‘hey, more practice shooting at this target until I hit the darn thing’ mentality - dependent on if in practice or competition. After all, if I missed and if I allow the monkey’s emotionally dominance then I will just miss again so why not? Why not simply say no to the monkey on my back and recalculate, breath, refocus on ‘my throw’, target and toss.  With practice and experience it could mean the difference from mastery or just social darts. 

Just call me ‘Deadman!’ Deadman tossing here, deadman tossing!

Finding Your Throw

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

As one might understand better this relates to the golf philosophy of ‘finding your swing’. As with professional tours of the world one must know their swing, own their swing and can work out any kinks in their swing and in the dart arts this is the same, ‘one must know their throw, own their throw and must be able to work out any flaws in their throw’. 

The dartist must know what makes their throw tick. It is a personal thing that must be mastered by the self for no others can throw darts for you and not dart guru can teach you anything other than fundamental principles behind throwing darts. To achieve mastery one must find their throw and then practice the throw until it becomes a ‘primal conditioned response’. You can look to gimmicks, you can achieve fitness, feed your body nutritious food, stretch and visualize, mental work, and practice a throw but to consistently throw darts well takes something else.

Others can show you everything you need to know, to mentor one to throw good darts but it is you, the individual, who must find your throw and then use it, practice it, apply it and gain experience through your throw. It is about developing instincts and understandings in the dart throw. You must develop the feel for your throw. You have to apply physiokinetics along with technique but you cannot lose sight of theories and philosophical esoterica that attribute and contribute to the best personal dart throw. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dartist: Practice vs. Competition

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

This is similar to the chasm a self-defense practitioner must overcome when facing violence for the very first time. Even with a ton of confidence built in practice along with lots of practice when it comes time to face off against an adversary/opponent/competitor the stresses that come from that still take over until you are able to step that first time, often many more times to encode that into procedural primal conditioned response tapes/coding. 

Here it is, when you train you gain confidence; when you train your encode a certain amount of primal conditioning that permeates both the mind and the body (body as in what is falsely termed muscle memory). Regardless of how long, how much and to what extent one practices and trains when it comes time to deal with the adrenal stress-conditions of either/or violence and/or competition those very training and practices may or may not trigger.

Adrenal chemical floods are often because of a slight shift in intent and danger to the person who is trying to make use of the discipline. In truth, there are no ways to train and practice for violence or competition adrenal effects because in training and practice you are not exposed to grave bodily harm or death or even, which is the same in our lizard brains, the facing of an opponent who is often an unknown in a competitive arena. 

There are ways, in self-fense training, to expose practitioners to the adrenal stress-conditions that would hit you in a violent situation but even so, there is still a divide between the reality based adrenal stresses encountered in ‘training’ vs. ‘reality’. When you use that type of training you reduce the effort to step across a smaller chasm to reality. In competition tho, you can expose yourself to some reality by competing against others in training but in the realm of the dart arts, a dart’ist must expose themselves to actual competition where they face off with others that are not a part of the training regimen. Like the self-fense example, there is still that smaller step you have to make to get into the flow and throw to win. 

You can gain a ton of experience in practice and you have to realize that regardless, when you hit the competitive arena, or reality of violence for self-fense, you’re still going to be affected. As to how much and how much that effects your ability and proficiency is all up to you. As with anything, the more exposure you get the more experience and the more confidence that will overcome the adrenal stress-conditions that will have an adverse effect on your applications.

Last night, after about twenty-two or more years, and after a few months of practice and training I exposed myself last night to a competitive environment with mostly strangers who when I observed warming up all threw darts well. My training did help me but I still had to deal with the newness of the environment along with the stresses that come with all of it. My practice and training worked, to a degree, and I was able to throw moderately well but I could tell that my focus and such was not up to par with what I trained. I threw some, about half I think, darts well and then I choked. I could feel and see at times my hand do the adrenal dump shimmy and shake and I could tell that I failed to adhere to some of my mind-physical connections such as elbow position, confident throws through the cycle of the actual throw and my posture and structure tended to fall off from optimal but just the same I did well my first time out. 

The lesson I learned here is to train more and to expose myself to competitive environments and stresses. I already planned on darting at this location every week, Thursday evenings. There is enough, for now, attendance and changes in dart’ists that I will get exposed to more proficient and unknown entities so that I can finally train my mind for the adrenal stress-conditioned dumps that come in such situations and I expect to increase my proficiency in throwing, over time and exposure and experiences. 

I have also found, from the social parts of the dart arts, that the other dart place is also with more skilled dart’ists who, when the time is right, can challenge me to improve and grow in the dart arts. Turn over is also a great exposure to new dart’ists who can challenge one’s abilities toward constant and continuous improvement so I look forward to throwing darts at those places. 

In closing this article, it was especially enjoyable to find out that the person running the darts last night to be the same couple who ran it when I last threw darts over twenty-two years or more ago and that one person last night was actually an old acquaintance from the time I worked at the Station in that area so very long ago. It took me a while to realize and recognize him during play. It goes to show, you never know who will come knocking on your door years later in your life, cool!

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