When to Fight: Kyle Blackmer on Fisticuffs and the Peacemaking Protector

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The Art of Teaching: A Conference for Teaching Men


November 9-11 • The Heights School, Potomac, MD

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In this week’s episode we discuss fights. Most boys, especially at a young age, have a beautiful need for rough and tumble physical play. But what happens when it’s not play? What happens when egos are insulted and the fists go up? Or when there’s an unjust aggression? At what point is a young lad–or an older one–justified in puttin’ up his dukes? Teacher and Coach, Kyle Blackmer, gives us some points for consideration as we coach our sons on the use of physical force. In the end, this is another one of those areas where parents–most often, but not always, dad–are the primary educators of boys learning the proper employment of one of God’s great gifts: their strength.

Kyle Blackmer

About the guest:

Kyle Blackmer


Kyle has been teaching humanities at The Heights since 2015, working with 7th graders in the subjects of English, Latin, and history. Kyle advises the Ski Club and the Middle School Outdoorsman’s Club, and is also in charge of organizing the school’s famous Clan Games. A Division-1 soccer player, Kyle is the goalkeeper coach for The Heights soccer program and trains keepers in grades 7-12. His other interests include Irish history and music – both of which he pursued during graduate studies in Northern Ireland – and working in his family’s vegetable garden. A native of the Finger Lakes region of New York State, Kyle now lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, with his wife Julie and their children Thomas and Cora.