I had 10 minutes. I came prepared.
10 minutes to get changed.
9 minutes to get to the park.
8 minutes to get my 100 burpees done.
3 minutes to get back to the clinic.
2 minutes to get dressed.
1 minute to write this post.
It’s show time.
“One of my biggest struggles with learning the art of Wing Chun is getting in touch with my anger. When it comes to the skills we are learning the point is to be able to, as a woman, stay safe and have some tools to defend ourselves. Getting in touch with that rage is going to come in really handy when some jerk is approaching with less than honorable intentions.”
the teaching method is a layered one designed to introduce a person to increased levels of resistance and psychological and physical torment. in my experience, this is the best way to teach good habits.
once you start recognising patterns in what we do, you’ll see those patterns repeated again and again. ultimately, what i do is simple, but it requires a lot of initial effort both physically and intellectually.
recognize patterns; the way you grab a wrist (lap sau – grabbing hand) is mirrored in the way that you would, for instance, grab and pull a neck.
we worked a drill to take the inside/dominant position of a double handed neck grab/tie and added knees as an attack.
when playing the game of tag, orient your hands forwards to create a barrier or ‘fence’ between you and your opponent.
we introduced the push into sticking hands (chi sao). remember to grab and cover the opponents wing arm (bong sau) and then extend your dispersing hand (tan sau) to uproot at the neck. keep your elbows in to ensure a sound structural attack position.
use an overhand grip.
conceptually, we introduced the idea of following the contour of a persons face with your hand to allow your thumb to pierce their eye (fish hook). the eye is an excellent soft tissue target and your job is to penetrate the socket of the eye, deeply and decisively.
as it is impossible to train this with realism kindly do the following mind-setting exercise; close your eyes in a relaxed place and allow your mind to imagine the following scenario;
imagine that you find yourself somewhere where you have been confronted by a man on the attack. you can see him now, like a dark silhouette. although you try to see his face, it is darkened and shadowed so you dont get a clear look. you know that he is heavy set and bigger than you. imagine that he has grabbed your hair or perhaps he has hit you already and you are quickly recovering from being disoriented. although you cant see his face in detail, you picture yourself clearly fighting back now. your hand finds its way to his face and with aggression you push your thumb deep into his eye. aggressively you attack him back and when you create the opportunity, you escape now.
we also introduced the idea of ‘anchoring’ yourself if you are grabbed by, for example your hair.
we worked our various punches which you are all familiar with by now.
we went over the first part of the first form called Siu Nim Tao ‘the small idea’.
***the following are key excerpts from an article (link below) worth reading in its entirety;
10 hill sprints with 10 pushups after every sprint
Attribute training: Pole and Swords
You workout with Nike weightlifting gloves. I workout with a chain and skip rope.You workout in an air-conditioned gym. I workout in a garage. You eat protein, creatine and glutamine, I eat meat, vegetables and fruit. You drink lattes, I like my coffee blacker than pitch. You read the horoscope, I read the Lemegeton. You meditate in the morning asking for joy, happiness and peace, I meditate when its dark, channeling hate, anger and vengeance. You listen to Justin Bieber. I listen to Burial.
“The Revolution will not be Televised” G. S. Heron
The fitness industry is built upon the premise that people are either very stupid or that they are already in great shape. This leaves little information about training methods for the average, recreational athlete.
The stupid group consists of people who are trapped in the ‘Gym myth’ which suggests for example, that if they use an elliptical trainer for a long drawn out session, they magically get fit. The conspiracy is apparent in most local gyms where the machines look like space ships and people look like hamsters trapped in wheels.
We have to escape this bullshit myth and begin to understand that there is no scientific support for such training methods. In fact, these long drawn out sessions can actually be bad for you because they give rise to an increase in catecholamines or stress hormones which can lead to things like high blood pressure. There is also a scientifically recognised correlation between long distance running and sudden cardiac related death.
The other group is filled with training methods geared toward the elite athlete, serving only to confuse the average, recreational athlete with their ‘Principles of Periodization ‘ and training methods tapered to demands of the sport that the elite athlete engages in, such as football, MMA, etc etc. Elite athletes have access to strength coaches, conditioning coaches, massage therapists and sports psychologists. Clearly, the average athlete does not have the resources nor time to follow the rigorous training methods that work for the elite.
So what happens to the people who ARE average athletes, people like you or I? Clearly, the starting point for the average athlete is to understand that the Gym Myth ‘ain’t where its at’? Workouts should and can be simple. In Fact you should be able to do a workout in any environment, on any terrain without any external paraphernalia like cable-machines, cycles, etc. In short, workouts should be
a) EASY (although physically demanding),
c) short in duration so that we can fit them into our busy lifestyles,
d) intense (so that they are effective) and;
Next step is to figure out what fits this profile. Maybe another day…
Long Distance Running and Sudden Cardiac Death;
This article from the New York Times is well worth reading;
I am not going to go into detail as to what I do for resistance training, other than to say that it has involved trial and error over the last 15 years. I am also not stubborn enough to presume that I have the absolute answer. Instead, I believe I have found an approach that has helped me develop greater functional skill, aided by my thirst for research which has not yet been quenched! In short, my attitude is always to stay on top of any cutting edge discoveries regarding training.
What I will do however is to explain the principled approach I use as follows; firstly, I take the activity that I am trying to improve. As well as analyzing it as a kinetic chain I also break it down to its smallest components. For instance, you can take a straight lead punch in its ‘wholeness’ as well as view it in terms of e.g. the step, the drop in weight over the lead leg, hip and shoulder rotation, extension of arm, structural integrity/alignment of wrist and elbow… etc etc.
Once I have a breakdown of the whole and dissected components of the motion, the formula I use is a simple one; ‘how do I train the same motion, using the same dynamic, but load it with weight or resistance in the opposing plane of motion that the action uses?’
To give you some idea of where this leads some of the tools I rely upon to provide resistance include, 2lb dumbells, resistance/rubber bands (like bicycle inner tubes), weighted vest, heavy bag.
By empowering you to take a principled approach like this one, hopefully it will lead to your establishing a base from which you can come up with your own unique training regimes.
“The revolution is here.”
” He was never blessed with superpowers. It took him 15 years to hone himself into a physical marvel and scientific and deductive genius.” (M. Vaz on Batman)
15 years on and I spent last night reading for three hours on kinesiology. That was classified as my recovery period as I had spent the morning doing a set of ten 40 metre sprints with intermittent bursts of skipping rope between sets. There was no interest in body weight training as I was still sore from training with Jesse Glover on Saturday.
Homeostasis is the point which the body tries to maintain in order for the cells to function properly. It is the “set-point” at which the body attempts to remain.
Whilst the media seems to suggest that stress should be avoided, for elite athletic training, the converse is true. That is, that through the rigours of training, execise and calisthenics we become stronger and more efficient. Our body is driven out of homeostasis through intense training. It then adapts to that training (when done time and again)learns to achieve homeostasis quicker, therefore creating a stronger set-point state.
The two principles that facilitate the body to become stronger and more powerful (power is defined as ability of the body to move ballistically) are;
i) overload – adding greater degrees of resistance/loads/weight; and
ii) specificity – making the training as specific to the sport as possible
This is the first of my attempts to draft a succint article which will help indicate the way I believe training should be carried out, for the specific context of martial arts and combat.
Keep reading and note;
“The revolution will not be televised”
gym; had trouble doing 1 arm pull up, this is despite feeling good. maybe i wasn’t 100%. maybe muscle and deep tissue still fatigued from recent workouts. did some footwork drils and am happy not to take this stuff so seriously.
gym instructor encouraged me to take up track work as he said my sprints are getting faster and faster. perhaps its my ego that is making me write this here because such nonsense is just day to day trivia that does not make me a better fighter.
this is actually how i train;
Grappling on monday was good. mostly clinch based work. also covered advanced mount and takedown from rear body lock.
yesterday; punch drills
today; punch drills and luk sao
also did Tai Chi in the park today. have been thinking more about Tai Chi throughout the day.
today’s training; 2 hours in the morning, two hours in the evening.
today; luk sau, straights, big punch, drop step and close.
today i stressed the importance of language. language can be manipulated to change the way we perceive reality. if i say “I feel pain”; we empower the sensation that we commonly associate with ‘pain’ and make it particular to ourselves. if however i say “there is pain”, i am disassociating it from my notion of ‘self’. I then become an objective observer to the pain, rather than its complacent sufferer.
For more; see any of the language books written by Stephen Pinker.
today; sprints, skipping, windscreen wipers, 1 arm pull-ups
yesterday; straights, big punch, in-outs, backfist, flash pad drill, hook kicks