Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mud Run's done and I've got a camera!

So, I did the USMC Ultimate Mud Run Challenge yesterday... and it was one of the coolest things I've ever done! But, really, that's just in passing, because I've got awesome news: I have a video camera, so the video versions of Real Anime Training are on the way! I'll try to get them done quickly... although I'm fighting off a bug right now. In any case, the fun is about to begin!

Later!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Upcoming Events

On September 22nd, I'm competing in a Mud Run. It's a 4.2 mile course, littered with obstacles. That should definitely be an experience. On October 13th, I'm planning on competing at a Grappling Tournament. I don't know how well I will do considering I'm not the best grappler in the world, but we'll see how it goes. I'd like to find something to compete in during November and December as well, preferably combat related and, please, nothing point-sparring related... I'll stay on the lookout for more grappling venues or some kind of amateur kickboxing or MMA event that won't require me to drop $400 on a plane ticket. On the other hand... sponsors?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Dragonball Training Manual- Part IX

BIBIDI, BABIDI, BUU!

We’re coming down to the wire here; the series is almost done, and we’re a little short on training methods. The majority of the series from here on in is nothing but an all out brawl, but before it gets too crazy, here’s a little help from the World’s Greatest Hero, Mr. Satan. Well, not so much him as it is his daughter, Videl, but we wouldn’t have her if not for him. Then, we’ll pick it back up with Gohan and Goten.

Videl

-Hitting the Heavy Bag- Pick a technique and work it all around the bag. Roundhouse kick, side kick, jab-cross combo-- just pick one and practice. The heavy bag will pack a lot more power into your shots. For a cardio-strong workout, “fight” the bag for a few 2-3 minute rounds with about 30 seconds of rest in between.


Gohan and Goten

-Dodging, Part II- To get ready for the World Martial Arts Tournament, Gohan and his little brother trained their reflexes by having Goten throw a series of small rocks at Gohan, whose back was against a stone wall. You’ll need to get up against a wall and have a partner throw tennis balls at you-- not rocks. Like Gohan and Goten, you should have your partner start a little ways away from you and then gradually move closer once you feel comfortable dodging at that distance. I say start at about 20 feet away and work your way in.

-Working with the Z-Sword- When Gohan goes to train with Kaio-shin, he pulls the Z sword from the top of a mountain and masters the use of the sword in order to defeat Majin Buu. We can take two lessons from this last bit of training in Dragonball Z (yes, I know there is training at the end, but it’s not anything we haven’t already covered). The first lesson we can take from this training is the actual pulling of the Z-Sword from its mountain resting place and the second is using it. Basically, the second is just using weapons (heavy ones) to strengthen your muscles, so we'll skip that this time, because their are a LOT of weapons out there to train in and you should probably find an instructor to teach you how to wield your weapon. SO, for all intents and purposes, the Z-Sword is an immovable object while inside the stone. Therefore, we are going to work on…

Isometrics

Isometrics are a type of exercise where muscles in the body exert force in merely one joint angle. This can include pulling or pushing against something too heavy to move or holding a weight you can actually move in a static position. I don’t recommend doing only isometrics, because in order to work your entire body you’d have to do a LOT of different positions and, plus, there’s not much to the cardio aspect of pushing against an immovable object or standing in a horse stance for an hour. However, what I do recommend is that, if you are in a sticking place in an exercise or if your grip is weak you can greatly benefit by using isometrics to burst through that sticking point and really increase your grip.

-Getting Through Your Sticking Points- Everyone, at some time or another, will get to that point on an exercise with a heavy weight where the weight just sticks somewhere in the movement. It can be very frustrating when you feel very strong in the entire movement, but fail in just a single spot. Let’s look at a couple examples just so we can get a general idea of just what types of things can be done with isometrics.

Bench Press- Using a Squat Rack you can find in nearly any gym or fitness center, slide a bench underneath the bar and lower the bar to whatever height you are getting stuck at in your exercise. Load an amount of weight that you cannot move and attempt to press it up. Please be careful and use a spotter.

Curls, Overhead Press, and other things I’m sure- Take a piece of rope, stand one end and pull upward. Make sure the rope is firmly underneath your foot as you pull up or press up so you don’t punch yourself in the face or anything.

-Building Raw Power- Pushing or pulling against something immovable, like a tree, will absolutely destroy your muscles. (Don’t worry, they rebuild themselves.) You can pull using a rope or chain, you can tie it to your waist and try to pull the tree up by the roots… or just try not to fall on your face. Get creative, be safe, and have fun!


I’d like to continue with the training methods of Dragonball on into infinity… but, unfortunately, from here on out there’s either things we’ve already covered or things that have no application in our world (Old Kaio-Shin’s crazy Hidden Power Dance). I had thought about analyzing each of the characters fighting styles, but really, there aren’t any unifying principles in their fighting which to analyze and convey, except individual strikes and such. It’s been fun writing this to be certain and I hope it will help you in some way to get both strong and healthy.


Hopefully, Dragonball hasn't bored you guys too much. Not sure what's coming next, but it should be up in a few days or so. Thanks a lot, guys!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Commentary on Being a Martial Artist

I've been training in the martial arts since I was a little kid. When I say that, an image of a whiny little fat kid (those were the days) in a karate gi may pop out at you, but that's just not me. When I say I've been training in the martial arts since I was a kid, I more likely mean, "I got into a lot of fights." (And that is most assuredly what I mean.) Sure, my Dad taught me some basic skills that he had learned from Tae Kwon Do and Judo, but really, my style consisted of me going berserk. I'm not one of those "tough talkers" who say, "I black out when I fight and when I come to, everybody's hurt." (I really can't stand those guys.) I just plain out went nuts, throwing wild punches and kicks at anyone I thought had wronged me. I didn't always win. I won a lot, but I didn't always win. Little kids aren't always prepared for one of their classmates needing psychological help, so it gave me the element of surprise, I guess. I didn't have the luxury of formal training when I was little, because we didn't have a lot of money. It's only in the past few years that I've been introduced to Senseis, Masters, and Coaches (I'm only 21). There was a lot of ways I could've taken this post, but I think I want to say this right now:

I often feel discouraged in wanting to compete at a professional level (someday soon, please!) with martial artists who've trained since age 3 and 4 to punch, kick, knee, takedown, and submit (well, it's only now that the kids are doing all of these things this early). I'm just learning the technical aspect of groundwork and the differences in fighting varied styles (I've fought Tae Kwon Do guys, American Freestyle Karate guys (under a Kempo banner), Kempoists, and a couple other styles). I get frustrated, discouraged, and sometimes depressed about it, but, I'm here to tell you, I really don't care. I may not be the most technical fighter, but I'm learning. I may not be a crazy little kid anymore (Thank you, Jesus!), but I love to fight. So, I don't care if you've been wrestling since you were "this high" (makes knee-high motion) or kickboxing forever or are the heir to a martial tradition reaching back into the Cretaceous-- I'll fight you. Because that's what it means to be a martial artist (at least to me). Challenges are nothing more than an excuse to better myself.

I hope I didn't bore you. I'll be putting out some more anime training in a day or so.