Tag Archives: movement

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!