What is Nimble?

Nimble is a simple card game designed to make it easy to build challenging and unique movement exercises and flow patterns for solo exercise.

Why is this important?

Two reasons. First, one of the major challenges in solo training, especially for people with less experience, is coming up with drills and exercises. Nimble takes the work out of that by giving you an easy way to put together actions you likely already know into combinations you may not have thought of with as much or as little complexity as you want to have.

Speaking of combinations you might not have thought of…. we all have biases. We tend to like patterns that are familiar and comfortable. As a result, when we’re building movement sets or flows, its easy to default to patterns that you already know or patterns that “make sense.” The problem is, fights aren’t always made up of only actions you thought to train ahead of time. By randomizing your training patterns, you may find that you run into patterns that aren’t intuitive. These can challenge you to move better, even when it’s uncomfortable, all the while teaching your mind and body how to move more easily through awkward and difficult transitions.

How does it work?

Nimble is made up of two kinds of cards:

  1. Action cards (Step, Strike, Defend, etc) give you a basic action to take. When deciding how to take the action, remember that any interpretation that meets the basic definition of the card and isn’t explicitly ruled out is valid. For example, the Advance card just means move forward. You can advance with the left foot, the right foot, or hopping forward with both feet. You can keep the same side forward or switch it in the step. It’s up to you. Use your imagination to find new ways to interpret the directions.
  2. Modifier cards pair with action cards to limit how the action needs to be expressed (which foot moves first, what edge you’re striking with, etc.). Most Modifier cards can be played with most Action cards, but if the two cards describe things that are mutually exclusive or don’t apply, they can’t be played together. This is dealt with in the game-play documentation.

You simply deal out a combination of cards and then perform the actions along with the modifiers.

Is this only for solo exercise?

Nimble was created as a way for people to train at home, but it can also be used to create interesting single player drills for classes.

What kinds of actions can I train?

Currently, there are two decks available. Nimble: Feet is for training footwork, while Nimble: Blades is for practicing attacks and defenses. They can be used separately or together.

The Nimble: Feet cards look like this:

The Nimble: Blades cards look like this:

What does it cost?

Just a little bit of time and supplies on your part.

Nimble is currently available as a free print-and-play game. Just download the PDF files below, print the cards out onto card stock, laminate them if you’d like, cut them out, and start training.