Tag Archives: movement

Antiviral: Martial Arts Training Involution #200

Last week I warned you not to get distracted by “viral” training methods, tools, and techniques promising easy results.  This week I’m encouraging you not to freak out over another “viral” phenomenon — coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19.

Something’s always “going viral.” Most of it is either snake oil (like the Thighmaster or the Versaflex) or  drama (gossip or train wrecks).   Both are wastes of time, money and attention.

So — what about the real virus that’s “going viral” right now — COVID-19?  Is this all just manufactured drama?  No sir.

This is not a drill.  COVID-19 is for real.

Which reminds me of a clever atheist quip I heard recently (as a member of the clergy, I spend a lot of time witnessing to atheists): “If God really wanted to save us, why didn’t he give us a good book about the germ theory of disease instead of the good book as in the Bible?  He would’ve saved way more people.”

For an answer I turn to 1,500 year-old words of  St. Augustine of Hippo.

“What grace is meant to do is to help good people, not to escape their sufferings, but to bear them with a stout heart, with a fortitude that finds its strength in faith.”  ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

God didn’t “give us a book.”  Hebrews and Christians wrote a bunch of books about what they learned from God, and they were brought together into a library of books called the Holy Bible.  And God doesn’t solve our problems for us.  God helped us a fish a couple of times, but His real goal was to teach us how to fish.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

God helps those who help themselves.  So follow the advice of the CDC — especially in the hand-washing department.   Say your prayers, have faith, and be strong in God.

Antiviral: Martial Arts Training Involution #200

Gyms are a great place to expose yourself to diseases of all kinds.  Good news is, you can exercise just find at home with this zero-equipment, solo training session.

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work.
  • Complete this month’s constitutional.   Intermediate and advanced folks should be able to get this done in under 15 minutes:  Lunges(50), Push-ups(50), Get-ups(25), Crunches 3-Way (25), Prisoner Squats (50), Wall Touches (100), and Sprints (25).
  • 250 kicks as fast as you can.  Set a timer and complete 250 kicks vs. air.  Don’t to them in static isolation — do them in combos while you move around realistically.  Intermediate and advanced should be able to get these done in under 10 minutes.
  • “Antiviral” contemplation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Have a seat in your posture of choice and regulate your breathing.  Leave your eyes open, and do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Now think about exactly nothing.  Clear your mind as completely as you can and allow yourself to stop thinking in words while maintaining total awareness of your surroundings. 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

How to Avoid Getting Punched in the Face

Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who are violent will sometimes try to hit you in the face.  In my personal experience, practicing the below method for moving out of the way results in absorbing fewer blows to the face.


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Drag Strip: Martial Arts Training Involution #199

You don’t need a fancy sled to do drag work. This 95 lb tire feels like 200 lbs when being dragged across concrete.

 

 

“There’s no sense getting serious about my training until…”

Stop delaying.  Stop surfing YouTube for the perfect training tricks, drills, tools and secrets. Stop combing magazines and books and websites searching for the perfect program or tool.

Strip away the bullshit. The training you do right now is 100% better than the training you put off until next week.

Shut your laptop, turn off your tablet or phone, and complete the training session below.  Tired,  weak, sore?  Old?  Rehabbing from an injury?  I was all of those things when I did this training session.  Modify the exercises to suit your limitations.  Lower the weights, reps or intensity as needed.  Anything you do is better than nothing.

Strip it down.

Drag Strip: Martial Arts Training Involution #199

*  Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work.

*  16 minutes of survival martial arts.  Set a timer and complete 2 minutes each of Drags, Strikes, Shoulder Rolls, Strikes, IMT Sprints, Strikes, Drags and Strikes.  Take as few 12-second rest breaks as you need to finish.  For the the striking rounds, you can shadowbox, work a heavy bag, or do whatever you want.  I did tomahawk swings, braces, toe and eye strikes and cocking drills. Here’s how the rest work.

  • Drags: Go out to the shed or garage and find something to drag.  Here’s a rig I made with a trashcan lid.  Cargo straps make perfect harnesses. 
  • Shoulder Rolls: If you’re a martial artist and you don’t know how to do a shoulder roll, that’s a problem.  Watch this.
  • IMT Sprints.  IMT stands for Individual Movement Technique, and it means running, dropping to avoid being targeted, and popping up to run some more. Read more here.

*  “Stripping it down” meditation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Have a seat in your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing.  Leave your eyes open, and do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Now think about what makes you special.  What makes you unique?  Your favorite foods, colors, movies, books?  Your behaviors, your little quirks?  No, that’s just the bullshit that make you just like everybody else.  Meditate past your mask and seek the “true I.”


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Locomotion: Martial Arts Training Involution #173

Me and my son going down the slide at Rugged Maniac

Last week we discussed why tanks are scarier than cannons — because tanks can move and cannons can’t — and we did some movement-related training.  This week we’re taking it a step further by doing some “next level” movement drills.

Why?  Because, whether you’re a martial artist or not, being able to move through your environment isn’t just handy for clearing obstacles so that you can escape danger.  It’s about ownership of the space you occupy.  It’s about confidence, command and mastery of one’s body, practical fitness, fighting the spectre of workout boredom, and more!

Locomotion: Martial Arts Training Involution #173

  • Martial warm-up.  Practice your forms or flow drills for 8 minutes.
  • Spar or work your heavy bag for 20 minutes.  If you have a partner, gear up and spar using whatever guidelines you prefer.  At my clubs we generally spar using standard MMA rules and equipment except that we don’t allow strikes to the head (only smearing, grinding and cooking) and we don’t push the contact past about 2/3.  If you don’t have a partner, work your heavy bag.  I recommend using some aspect of the “S.A.F.E.  M.P. ” protocol from the Cabal Fang Study Guide.
  • Practice some martial movement exercises for 15 minutes.  Set up a little course of six exercises as much like the ones in the video below as you can manage (modify, adapt and overcome!) which are  Suitcase Carry Sprints, Vault w/ Quad Run, Jump and Safety Roll, Log Walks, Kansas Burpees and Get-ups.  Set a timer for 2:30 intervals and do as many as you can of each exercise for 2:30.
  • Walking Contemplation.  Walk.  Just walk.  Go slowly to minimize the sounds of your footfalls.  Be silent and do not fidget or scratch.  Breathe silently and in a regular pattern, and narrow your eyes to minimize the need to blink.  Do not think in words, prepare your grocery list, or any of that.  Just put one foot in front of the other and allow your chattering monkey mind to gradually quiet  itself until you’re in a quiet state of awareness.
  • Journal.  And, as always, record your performance, thoughts and realizations in your training log or journal when you’re done.


DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!

Propel: Martial Arts Training Involution #172

Which is more intimidating: a cannon, or a tank?


The tank right?  Why?

Because it moves. 

Your cannons are no good if they cannot move with authority.

Propel: Martial Arts Training Involution #172

  • Martial Fitness Warm-up.  Set a timer for 8 mins and do low intensity 4-rep sets until the timer beeps of Sit-Outs, 5-yard Bear Walks, Crunches, and Reverse Bridges (Neck or Shoulder based on your fitness level).
  • 200 yard Bear Hug Carry.  Carrying heavy objects  is the most basic test of functional, moving strength and should be a part of all fitness programs.  Set a goal of carrying half your weight at least 200 yards.  If this is your first time, start with a light, manageable weight and walk that off 50 yards.  Break 1 minute.   If that was easy, add a little weight and repeat.  Rest 1 minute.  If that was easy, to ahead and try to walk it off 200 yards.  Train this way 2 or 3 times per week using a linear training program with periodicity.   I like the Ironmind sandbag.  There’s a video of me training with one below.
  • Falls and Rolls.  Never take the basics for granted.  A competent martial artist should be able to safely fall and roll on real-life surfaces, not just on mats.  Warm up on mats and then, if your technique is good and you’re sure you’re ready, take it outside on the grass.  Complete 25 Shoulder Rolls and 25 Break Falls.  If that feels good, and if you’re sure you’re ready, go to the sidewalk and repeat.
  • Move while you hit and hit while you move.  Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 heavy bag rounds. For the first two rounds, focus on mobility only, not power.  Be in motion for every strike.  All kicks should be switch-kicks or kicks with a décollage.  For the final round, go for it — full power with full mobility.
  • Contemplation.  Walk it off off for 3 minutes or until your heart rate is back to normal.  Do not fidget or scratch, breathe silently and in a regular pattern, and narrow your eyes to minimize the need to blink.  Do not think in words, prepare your grocery list, or any of that.  Be in a state of quiet awareness, motionless inside and out.
  • Journal.  And, as always, record your performance, thoughts and realizations in your training log or journal.


DID YOU KNOW…that I have an awesome shop where you can buy all kinds of cool stuff, like martial arts training materials, bespoke books, artwork, and so on?  Check it out!