Thursday, September 30, 2010

Updates

Hey, guys. It's been a busy week for me, so I haven't been able to put much up, but I'm hoping to get something up for you guys tonight!

Until then, good luck and train hard!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Body Conditioning- The Hands (Part 3)

This will be the last post on hand conditioning in this series. I'll pick up the series in a couple of weeks with another type of body conditioning, but it's time to get back to the workouts and such. These last types of hand conditioning are not entirely different than the previous versions. In general, hand conditioning requires that you strike something that is hard in order to increase bone density and skin toughness.

Hand Conditioning Method #4: Makiwara (Striking Post)

A makiwara is a striking post used in Karate. There are actually striking posts or dummies in other martial arts, but I'm just using this as a reference. Essentially, you just need something hard that would imitate, like a heavy bag, an opponent. You will not be able to hit it hard at first, but you can work your way up to it. In general, if you are going to be doing any kind of makiwara-type training, I would recommend trying to condition your whole hand and not just the knuckles. Punch, knife hand, ridge hand, backfist, hammer fist, finger poke-- whatever.  You may do conditioning for a length of time every day or for a number of repetitions, but don't go overboard. You have to remember that this is on top of any other training you might be doing. 10-15 minutes on hand conditioning isn't much, but it's time well-spent.

Here are some links for reference:

http://www.okinawagoju.com/OkinawaGoju/images/rd_hojoundo_equipment/hojoundoequip_09.JPG
http://www.okinawagoju.com/OkinawaGoju/images/rd_hojoundo_equipment/hojoundoequip_10.JPG
http://www.wle.com/products/W558.html

Hand Conditioning Method #5: "Giving" Materials

By "giving" materials, I mean materials that are going to "give" when you strike them. For instance, if you punch sand, gravel, steel shot, or dry bean, they will move out of your way. It's a way for you to punch something that has a certain hardness, but also for it to give like a human body. For instance, if you punch someone in the stomach, the rest of your hand will touch the person's body, not just the knuckles used for striking. Start with sand or dry beans and then work up from there. You can use tree bark, small gravel, medium size gravel... I think you get the picture. Use many different strikes here, as well.

I hope the options I've given you in these last three posts will be useful for your training in whatever martial arts style you practice (or, even, wish to practice). There will be more body conditioning following, but I think it would be good to start with this and perhaps add more later.

That's all for now. Until next time, good luck and train hard!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Body Conditioning- The Hands (Part 2)

Hand Conditioning Method #2: Hit Random Stuff


In the previous post regarding hand conditioning, we looked over some Iron Palm-type training. However, if that's not your thing, rest assured there are other methods of hand conditioning available. For instance, a very simple way of conditioning your hands is to merely hit them up against random things throughout the day. A tree, a wall, a board, your car (ok, not that one)-- lots of things will suffice. So, that's our second way of hand conditioning. It's not as cut-and-dry as the previous method and there is a possibility that it can get you into trouble if you break something or if the constant pounding on everything you pass by with your fists and hands gets annoying to other people (my wife, for instance).
 
The good thing about this method is that is requires no special equipment and, included in this method, is a "sub-method" where you hit your hands against one another or hit your knuckles against one another. You will have to go easy at first, but you'll be able to hit harder eventually. As in all things, go slowly and build gradually and, if it hurts, then stop and come back to it another day.
 
Hand Conditioning Method #3: Bagwork
 
There is already bagwork in a lot of the Real Anime Training workouts, but if you have a heavy bag, hitting it with no gloves or just very thin bag gloves is an excellent way to condition your hands. If you have a canvas bag, you can also condition the skin on your hands. Be careful on heavy bags with slippery surfaces, as it can be easy to tear skin on them with glancing blows, especially if you're sweating. If you're not too tired from your workout or if your workout doesn't involve much punching, it can be a good idea to spend a few minutes a day just really laying into it in order to build your wrist and hand strength. However, remember to hold your fist properly according to whatever style you practice.
 
Thats all for today guys. I might put something else up tonight, but it depends on how much time I have. Until next time, good luck and train hard!
 
P.S.- Thanks to all you who have been spreading the word on Facebook and otherwise, we've got a lot of new fans and a few more followers on Blogger-- so, thank you! And to all the new readers, welcome!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Body Conditioning- The Hands (Part 1)

This is going to be the start of a small side project on body conditioning. The point to body conditioning is to hardened the skin, muscle, and bone-- conditioning them to take damage. There's not much point for any of you to undertake such training if the martial arts are just a hobby or a passing interest. However, any serious martial artist must at least consider body conditioning. The process is long and often painful at times, but can be useful in increasing the hardness of striking surfaces (such as knuckles, feet, or shins) and your ability to take a strike without being injured. Like anything else worth having, attaining a high-level of body conditioning will take a long time, but is worth it in order to reduced the risk of broken bones and injuries in the long run.

The first body part we are going to consider will be the hands. Not just the knuckles, but the entire hand. So, whether it's slapping, punching, knife-handing, or spear-handing, the hand should be ready to use those techniques. Performing a technique with a weapon that is not forged for the purpose of performing that technique can be dangerous. Sure, a punch from an unconditioned hand can hurt and may even knock someone out if it lands in the right spot, but there is more of a possibility that the person who threw the punch will injure himself if his hands are not conditioned.

So, how do we condition our hands? Truthfully, it is an open subject. Your hands become conditioned punching a heavy bag, but also when punching a tree. The difference is the quality of the punch and the hardness of the material. You are going to be putting more force into the punch on the heavy bag, so there will be more compression of the bones and joints in the hand and wrist. However, you won't be able to hit as hard on the tree, because you will break your hand. Therefore, you hit as hard as is comfortable and slowly build as the bones strengthen. I'm not here to argue that one is better than the other... on the contrary, I think hitting varying materials builds a higher quality conditioned hand.

There is some hand conditioning in Real Anime Training, as it is, but it's not enough if you want to build your conditioning level effectively. There is heavy bagwork, Iron Palm Training, knuckle push-ups, punching trees, hitting stones, fingertip push-ups, Diamond Finger Training, and sparring. (What? Punching people doesn't count?)  To build effective conditioning, something needs to be done every day. If there is already hand conditioning in the Real Anime Training workout you have scheduled for a day, that's great! However, if there isn't any hand conditioning in it and you are training in the martial arts for sport or self-defense, I think you need to have a supplement hand-training regimen. Below, I've made a list of some hand conditioning exercises and routines that can be done in addition to a Real Anime Training workout that doesn't have any hand conditioning. They are not particularly strenuous, so you don't have to worry about your muscles being worn out or being super tired and they are specifically for conditioning your hands.

Supplemental Hand Conditioning

1. Iron Palm Training- 120 Strikes (Each Side)
         >10 Slaps
         >10 Back Slaps
         >10 Knife Hands
         >10 Palm Heel Strikes (Strike with open hand, bottom of hand, near where palm meets wrist.)
         >10 Hammerfists (Hand in fist, strike with bottom of fist)
         >10 Backfists
         >10 "Knocking" Fists (Hand in fist, thumb on side of fist, strike with palm side on fingers)
         >10 Leopard Fists (Fingers pull in tight, fist clenched to second joint, strike with second joints)
         >10 Punches
         >10 Finger Strikes (All 5 Fingers)
         >10 Sunfists/Forefists/Wing Chun Punches
         >10 Ridgehands (Pretty much a Knife Hand, but the other side of the hand)

Notes on Iron Palm Training:
  • The first level is sand. Fill a canvas bag tight with sand (you can find Iron Palm bags online) and use it as your Level 1 training. You can stay on Level 1 as long as you like. You may find that you bruise at first, but it goes away. I also recommend purchasing some Dit Da Jow, because it helps you heal a little faster, but it's not required. With this and your workouts, you will probably be ready to move on in a month.
  • On Level 2, you can put some very small gravel in your bag. Alternatively, you can just follow the levels of bag on whichever you purchase your bag. Level 3, you can put in some larger gravel. Level 4, you can do larger rock or steel shot, or alternate the two. Levels 2 and 3 should be about a month a piece and then Level 4 is where you stay after that.
  • You may stand in a horse stance and do these, if you like, striking downward for all of them. You may also have one down and one on a wall, so you can do some of the strikes like the punches out in front of you.
  • Be easy and do not rush yourself. You don't want to injure your hands, because then you can't train at all!
I know there are probably people out there who're going to say hand conditioning is stupid, but it's done some good things for my hands. Also, it's not like I'm standing on a soap box saying that hitting a heavy bag is dumb and doesn't make your hands tough... sure it does! Your knuckles can be very hard, but if your wrist folds when you hit something because it isn't trained to take the power of your punch, it's not going to be very effective.

I try to keep an open mind as far as my own training and I encourage that in you, as well. That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

P.S.- A lot of anime characters do hand conditioning... not sure if that helped or hurt my case. I guess it depends on who's reading it. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Chained Patriot's Training (Karelin)

This workout is from Grappler Baki and is patterned after the training of the fictional Andre Arlov Garland from the anime and the real-life Alexander Karelin, one of the baddest men of his day... and probably ever-- alright, I don't know that, but still-- he's pretty badass. He was completely dominate as a Greco-Roman wrestler and has more gold medals than he could possibly know what do to with. He's quoted as saying, "I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs."

Sounds like my kind of guy. So, here's the Chained Patriot workout-- the ball-busting, full force, unrelenting training of a world-class, powerhouse athlete. There's only so much known about his training, so I'm going off what is known and what is put in the anime for Garland. This is also set up slightly different than other workouts.

The Chained Patriot's Training

Morning
  • 6 Mile Run (as hilly as possible)
  • 100 Sledgehammer Swings (each side)
4-6 Hours Later
  • 50 Pull-ups
  • 100 Push-ups
  • Pulling/Throwing w/Bands 5 x 5 Minute Rounds
  • Chest Expander w/Bands 3 x 20 Reps
  • Rowing- 30 Minutes
  • Grappling (see notes)
  • Land Clearing (see notes)
Notes:
  • On your run, you need to find very hilly areas.
  • On the sledge work, you can hit a tire or a downed tree or something.
  • Do all 50 Pull-ups and 100 Push-ups before moving on to the rest of the workout.
  • For Pulling/Throwing Bands, if you have any kind of workout bands (I recommend ones used for powerlifting), loop them over something very sturdy and pull on them in different directions, practice throwing movements with tension on the bands, and just generally work them in different angles.
  • LifeLineUSA's Chest Expander is a great product for the Chest Expander exercise. It's a series of three bands with a handle at each end. You hold it out in front of you and spread your arms as wide as you can. It can be really tough.
  • You'll need a rowing machine... or a rowboat, I suppose, to do the rowing. Go as hard as you can for 30 minutes. I realize that can be a long time, so I realize you will have to pace yourself.
  • There is no time limit for Grappling and no restriction as far as only doing Greco-Roman, just so it can give you a little more freedom in practice. Essentially, you practice grappling until you or your partner is done for the day.
  • Land Clearing is a little tough to pin down. Ideally, if you had an axe, a pick-axe, a shovel, wheelbarrow, and a stretch of land with a large number of trees you could legally and safely chop down, chop up, and haul off, you'd be in business. However, if you do not have that luxury, you may attempt to do these movements with bands, cables, or what have you. You can carry weights to mimic moving logs, you can dig a hole and move the dirt in a wheelbarrow and fill the hole back up, and you can chop on any tree that needs chopping that you can get to. In general, there are no restrictions to this part of the training-- the main idea is, "Do hard physical labor revolving around explosive movements or heavy lifts for long periods of time."  So, if you have a patch of land to clear-- you've got a hell of a workout ready for the taking.
  • In general, this workout is open toward the end, allowing you to gear it toward your level of fitness. I'm not telling you to bust your ass on everything up to the Land Clearing and then work 8 hours doing that kind of labor-- unless of course you are at that level of fitness. Use common sense. You train to stimulate growth by tearing your body down... not by annihilating yourself every time you train and not recovering properly. That's how injuries happen.
This workout is a little different. I wanted to give you guys something that wasn't just a remix of some of the things we've already done, so hopefully this is slightly refreshing... and maybe terrifying. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taekwondo Sampler-- Kwonkicker

This is what I meant by Kwonkicker being a great resource.

Yeah, he's pretty crazy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Valkyrie's Training (Kisara)

This workout is for Nanjo Kisara, AKA Valkyrie, from History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Her style is Tae Kwon Do, one of the world's most popular martial arts, so the workout will be more geared in that direction. I have very limited experience in Tae Kwon Do, so the majority of the exercises listed here are either used by people who practice the art or are useful to the martial art, given what it is: kicking--- lots and lots of kicking. 

To be fair, I know that TKD has punching, elbows, and locks, but all Kisara really every does is kick. Kisara trained her martial art so that she wouldn't lose to a man. Being "good for a woman" was not really her style, so she made sure that she was tough enough to dish out some damage to whoever she was fighting. This workout is in that spirit and should bring her up to the end of the anime (but not the manga).

Valkyrie's Training

LEVEL ONE

1. Run 1 Mile on Hilly Terrain
2. 50 Squats
3. 50 Horse Stance Punches
4. 25 Knuckle Push-ups
5. 20 Walking Lunges up Steps (Each Side)
6. 10 Minutes Air Kicking Practice
7. 10 Minutes Heavy Bag Kicking Practice
8. 5 Minutes Balance Practice
9. 5 Minutes Leg Stretching

LEVEL TWO

1. Run 2 Miles on Hilly Terrain
2. 20 Jump Squats
3. 75 Squats
4. 100 Horse Stance Punches
5. 50 Knuckle Push-ups
6. 30 Walking Lunges up Steps (Each Side)
7. 10 Minutes Air Kicking Practice
8. 10 Minutes Heavy Bag Kicking Practice
9. 5 Minutes Heavy Bag Fighting
10. 5 Minutes Balance Practice
11. 5 Minutes Leg Stretching

LEVEL THREE

1. Run 3.5 Miles on Hilly Terrain
2. 5 Deep One Legged Squats (Each Side)
3. 40 Jump Squats
4. 100 Squats
5. 150 Horse Stance Punches
6. 75 Knuckle Push-ups
7. 40 Walking Lunges up Steps (Each Side)
8. 10 Minutes Air Kicking Practice
9. 10 Minutes Heavy Bag Kicking Practice
10. 5 Minutes Heavy Bag Fighting
11. 5 Minutes Target Kicking Practice
12. 5 Minutes Balance Practice
13. 5 Minutes Leg Stretching

LEVEL FOUR

1. Run 5 Miles on Hilly Terrain
2. 10 Deep One Legged Squats (Each Side)
3. 50 Jump Squats
4. 200 Squats
5. 200 Horse Stance Punches
6. 100 Knuckle Push-ups
7. 50 Walking Lunges up Steps
8. 10 Minutes Air Kicking Practice
9. 10 Minutes Heavy Bag Kicking Practice
10. 10 Minute Heavy Bag Fighting
11. 5 Minutes Target Kicking Practice
12. 5 Minutes Balance Practice
13. 5 Minutes Leg Stretching

Notes:
  • You should not advance in Level until you can complete the whole workout in its entirety on three separate occasions.
  • This workout is very leg-intensive and for good reason. The purpose is to develop powerful legs for kicking and balance.
  • It's best if you have a very hilly area to do your run on, like the mountain or something like that. If not, make do with what you have.
  • For Deep One Legged Squats, it should almost be like you are trying to sit down on the floor. Your front leg and arms will be out in front of you and you will squat down like you are trying to sit, you'll go all the way down, and then come up. It's very rough, so please have patience.
  • For Walking Lunges up Steps, it's probably good if you had some bleachers to walk up, so you don't have to keep walking down to start over. Alternate legs until you reach your alloted reps. In general, you should be clearing two to three stairs with every step, depending on how they are laid out.
  • For Air Kicking, just practice kicking techniques in the air. For Bag Kicking, practice kicking on the bag. Preferably, you should be practicing TKD kicks, but you may do other kicks if you like.
  • Heavy Bag Fighting is just bag work, but preferably with TKD techniques.
  • Target Kicking can be a variety of things. A partner can hold an object or pad for you to kick for accuracy. They can throw it in the air and have you kick it. You can kick a balloon and keep it in the air. You can hang a tennis ball from the ceiling and kick it. Just work on your kicking accuracy. Use a variety of kicks, if you can.
  • Balance Practice is very simple. You can stand on one leg, you can stand or kneel on a balance ball, you can squat on a balance ball, practice kicking slowly, practice kicking slowly on a half-balance ball, walk a tightrope for all I care. You just need to work on your balance.
  • The 5 Minutes of Leg Stretching is just extra stretching for your workout. Pick any leg stretches. You can do them for 20-30 seconds and do a bunch of them, or you can do them for a minute and do less. Up to you. You should still do the Real Anime Training Stretching Routine after your workout, though.
  • For more references, Kwonkicker on Youtube (we've had a video up here before) is a great source for TKD kicks.
That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Facing the Champ Workout

To face Date Eiji, the Japanese Champ, Ippo must've trained relentlessly. The anime doesn't show much of his training to fight the Champion, but it must have included his training up to this point. So, this is an extrapolation, but I think it's fair.

Facing the Champ Workout

Morning
  • 3 Mile Run, 7 Sprints Throughout (Shadowbox 15 seconds at the end of each sprint)
4-6 Hours Later
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Sit-ups
  • 20 Squats
10 Rounds, then
  • 200 Jumping Hindu Squats
  • 3 Minute Neck Bridge
  • 3 Minutes Headstand Work
  • 10 x 800 Meter Sprints
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Heavy Bagwork
  • 3 Minutes Close Hitting
  • 3 Minutes Jump Rope
  • 3 Minutes Close Hitting
  • 3 Minutes Mitt Hitting
  • 3 Minutes Double-End Bagwork or Heavy Bagwork
  • 3 Minutes Mitt Hitting
  • 3 Minutes Non-stop Mitt/Bag Hitting
Lastly,
  • Run 3 Miles (Shadowbox 15 seconds after every 3 minutes of running)
Notes:
  • You'll notice a lot of the Ippo workouts build on one another. Each one is an upgrade of the last. However, that shouldn't stop you from attempting one of the later workouts.
  • 10 Rounds of Calisthenics. 10 Rounds of Sprints. 10 Rounds of of Boxing work. 6 Miles AND 200 Jumping Hindu Squats. This is not easy. It's a workout made to build a fighter worthy to face the Japanese Boxing Champion, Date Eiji.
  • Close Hitting means you are extremely close to the Heavy Bag or the Focus Mitts. The point is to build power from a very short distance. Really focus on that acceleration in a short distance. The key will be explosiveness of the muscles and proper shifting of your weight using your feet.
  • A Double-End Bag is a little ball, attached on the top and bottom. It is used for hitting and dodging. You can see Ippo working on one of these in the first opening of the anime. You hit and dodge the ball. Hit lightly at first. Eventually, you'll be able to hit harder and hit multiple times while dodging.
Hopefully, you enjoy this one. Don't kill yourselves with it if you're not ready for it. It's high-level athlete worthy, for certain, so give the workout its respect. This is a tough workout, built for a tough fight.

Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Friday, September 3, 2010

KAMEHAMEHA!!!

This is what happens when you don't read Real Anime Training.

And, yes, that's me. :D

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kakashi's Rock Climbing Training

During the Chunnin exams, we actually get to see a little of Kakashi's own training. He ties one arm behind his back and climbs up the face of a cliff.  That's beastly. So, in the spirit of the Leader of Team 7, here's a workout that you may enjoy if you have access to a rock wall. I do not recommend doing this workout without a partner (nay, I forbid it!) or safety equipment. If you try to just go a free climb, you may find yourself 35 feet in the air with shaking arms and legs and no way to get down and that's just not pretty. I'd rather no one die doing any of these workouts. :)

In any case, here it is:

Kakashi's Rock Climbing Training

LEVEL ONE
-Climb a total 100 feet on a rockwall, using both hands.

LEVEL TWO
-Climb a total of 200 feet on a rockwall, using both hands.

LEVEL THREE
-Climb a total of 50 feet on a rockwall, using one hand. Do both sides (100 total feet).

LEVEL FOUR
-Climb a total of 100 feet on a rockwall, using one hand. Do both sides (200 total feet).


Notes:
  • If you have to do this in sets of 25 or 50 feet because of rockwall size, that's fine.
  • You should advance when you feel very comfortable climbing the height on your current level.
  • Climbing with one hand is ridiculous. You need to really hug the wall and focus on short jumps. You will need a large degree of grip strength, because the only way you'll be able to move up is in quick bursts, even jumps.
  • Expect to fall a lot when doing one-handed climbing.

I really hope you guys enjoy this workout. I know we don't have a lot of Naruto workouts, so it's always a treat to have them. I don't think you'll learn the Chidori doing this workout, but it will help your grip, arm, back and leg strength and your agility.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rock Lee Workout Add-on- The Green Beast of Konoha

This is an extreme, albeit more accurate representation of Rock Lee's training in Naruto. This is an Add-on to the Rock Lee Workout and can be attempted at any time on any level, with no bearing on that level's advancement. Just do it if you are feeling especially energetic or are about to advance to the next level anyway and just want to put in some extra work. Attempt these to the best of your ability and stop when you need to stop.

Pick one:
-200 One Arm Push-ups Each Side
-200 Unsupported Handstand Push-ups
-1000 Punches to Heavy Bag Each Side
-1000 Kicks to Heavy Bag Each Side

Yes, this is insane. I know it's insane, you know it's insane-- it's insane! But, understand, the point of this is to push you past your limits. If you're already going to level up this workout, you might as well put some extra effort in. Just because it has such high numbers listed, doesn't necessarily mean you have to do them all. You could also scale the exercises down to just push-ups or supported handstand push-ups.

This is not something you would do at the end of every Rock Lee Workout, but something you might throw in on one attempt out of 5 or 6.

Notes:
  • Your punches and kicks can be any you like and do not have to be 1000 reps of a single type of punch or kick.
That's all for now. Until next time, good luck and train hard!