Tag Archives: grappling conditioner

Fairy Tale Valley: Martial Arts Training Involution #227

This is the last T.I. in the September focus of grappling, so this week we’re going sop up every bit of our grappling gravy before we move on to October.

On left is a shot of my 5’1″ and 105 lb daughter in the grip of a Scarf Hold.  One of my favorite escape hatches from this attack is known as a Valley Roll.  Read on and watch the video below.

And by the way, if you like the kind of thing you find in these weekly T.I. you’d probably love one or both of my ebooks.  Click here to download them from Smashwords!

And now on with the show…

Fairy Tale Valley: Martial Arts T.I. #227

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Grappling Conditioner #1. Set timer 10 mins. Grab a medicine ball, slam ball or sandbag in the 10 – 30 lb. range.  Pretend it’s an attacker’s head or neck and lay on the choke, lock or hold of your choice with maximum squeezing power and complete 10 Rear Lunges.  Then relax your grip and complete 10 Sprawls (beginners put the ball down for this, advanced folks take it with you).  Then place the ball on the floor, put your hands on it, and complete 10 Smearing Push-ups (beginners hands in diamond shape, advanced with hands overlapped in an “X”).  Repeat until the timer beeps.
  • Do 25 Valley Rolls.  See video below.  If you have a partner, great.  If not, get out your floor bag, take a nice grip on it, and start rolling.
  • Run fast, walk quiet.  Set a timer for 5 minutes.  Run as fast and as you can for 3 seconds and then get down — take a knee, baseball slide to your side, dive to prone position, etc. — as if avoiding gunfire. Stay down for a 3 to 10 seconds, then run again.  This is called an IMT run — I learned about them from Mark Hatmaker here.  For frontier flavor and to keep track of your three seconds, say “Messanik kakew!” (mess-AH-neek ka-KAY-ow) which is Powhatan for “running squirrel.”  When the timer beeps, spend 5 more minutes practicing your silent walking.  Make sure your feet are properly oriented, knees are flexed just right, and you are rolling your feet.  Purposely pick varying surfaces — grass, sidewalk, gravel, leaves — so that you can experience the varying dynamics, and make sure that you are habituating good foot placement choices.
  • Fairy tale reading.  Fairy tales are not silly, made-up fantasies. They are stories washed free of every unimportant detail by millennia of re-telling — 100% pure and refined meta-truth.  Read one (if you can’t find one, read the one from Issue #9 of SHIFT).  This month’s internal focus is journaling.   So after you read that fairy tale, get out your journal and write your personal fairy tale.  What have your challenges been?  Where are you going?  How are you going to live happily ever after?  And then jot down your training activities — if it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen!



TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is a martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. If Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912) — is more to your liking, check out Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts, my for-profit martial art project. Click either photo to get started today!

Attack and Track, Cram and Exam: Martial Arts Training Involution #226

My son Robert puts a scarf hold on David. Note (1)  forearm bone aligned with cheek bone and mastoid process and (2) Gable grip.  Instant tap.

The September focus is grappling (a.k.a. “stand-up wrestling”, a.k.a. “the clinch”).  Being able to handle yourself in this range is key to real self-defense.

In this week’s involution we’re going to hit you with a delightful bit of grappling fitness training followed by some technique training — namely the way to create space by using braced strikes and crams.

The clinch is where you avoid being carried away, forced to the ground, or smashed against a wall.  This is where the rubber hits the road!

By the way, if you like the kind of thing you find in these weekly T.I. you’d probably love one or both of my ebooks.  Click here to download them from Smashwords!

And now on with the show…

Attack and Track, Cram and Exam: Martial Arts T.I. #226

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
  • Attack.  Grappling Conditioner #2. Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00.  For each 3:00, Splay-n-Punch 1-2, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4, Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6, etc. up to Splay-n-Punch 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, then start again.  If you’re not dawdling you should be able to get at least 5 climbs done during every 3:00 round — that’s 25 Sprawls and 150 punches.  For the 1:00 “rests” body-lock a heavy bag and squeeze it as hard as you can.  Take as many 12-count breaks as you must in order keep from reaching for the bucket.  I promise it’ll be over in 12 minutes.
  • Track.  Go for a walk in your neighborhood and see if you can find the tracks of an animal.  Tip: Look just after sunrise with the sun at an angle so that you can spot places where the morning dew has been lifted or disturbed.    Follow them as far as you can.  Sketch or photograph the tracks (and any droppings that may be associated with them) and see if you can identify them in a tracking book.  You never know when you may need to hunt for your next meal.
  • Cram.  3 rounds of braced crams.  Watch video below, then set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00.  Round one, use your naked forearm to brace against, and strike, the bag.  Round two, use a short, blunt training weapon (a wooden knife, escrima stick, etc.).  Round three, a longer blunt training weapon (a jo staff, shinai, cane, bokken, etc.).

  • Exam.  Journaling “exercise.” This month’s internal focus is journaling, and the goal is to write in your journal every day this month.  Get out your journal and complete 5 clean Push-ups for every day this month you’ve failed to make a journal entry.  It’s no good setting benchmarks, creating to-do items, planning, tracking progress, or any of that if you aren’t self-evaluating.  Try to make an entry every day, even if it’s only one sentence.  If you forget or get sidetracked, don’t sweat it, just start again.   Include your training activities — if it ain’t in the training journal it didn’t happen!


TWO MARTIAL ARTS DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE. 100% free and operated through my non-profit, Cabal Fang is a martial arts for personal development, self-defense and fitness. If Frontier Rough ‘n’ Tumble — the fighting arts, survival skills, lifeways and ethos of the colonial and indigenous peoples of North American during the frontier period (1607 – 1912) — is more to your liking, check out Bobcat Frontier Martial Arts, my for-profit martial art project. Click either photo to get started today!