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!

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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