Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ideas for a Real Anime Training slogan?

This one just popped in my head,

"Just because we watch anime, doesn't mean we can't kick your ass."

If you've got a good one, leave it in the comments!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ippo vs. Sendo- Redux (Workout)

This workout is nasty hard. It's the culmination of everything Ippo has done up to the point. Truthfully, I wouldn't even touch it unless you've been very comfortable with all the other things we've done up till now, but if you feel so inclined, you can scale it down if you'd still like to try it on for size.

So, here it is!

Ippo vs. Sendo- Redux

Morning
  • 3 Mile Run, 7 Sprints Throughout (Shadowbox 15 seconds at the end of each sprint)
  • One-Arm Alternating Cable Press- 30 Reps (Each Side)
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press- 2 Sets x 15 Reps
  • Alternating Dumbbell Biceps Curls- 2 Sets x 15 Reps
4-6 Hours Later
-OPTION 1
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Sit-ups
  • 20 Squats
--10 Rounds OR
-OPTION 2
  • MAX One Arm Push-ups (Each Side)
  • MAX Decline Sit-ups
  • MAX Jumping Hindu Squats
--5 Rounds, then
  • 10 x 800 Meter Sprints (Goal: 3:00 Minutes/Sprint)
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Heavy Bagwork
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Mitt Work
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Shadowboxing
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Jump Rope
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Double-End Bag or Heavy Bagwork
  • 3 x 3 Sparring or Sledgehammer to Tire
  • Neck Bridging- 3 Minutes
  • Headstand Work- 3 Minutes
Notes:
  • For Dumbbell Shoulder Press, you should stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart, hold the dumbbells in your hands at shoulder height, palms facing away. As you press up, bring the weights together in an arching motion over your head. You should pick a weight you barely get 15 reps with.
  • For Alternating Dumbbell Biceps Curls, you hold the dumbbells at your side and then, alternating each side, curl your arm up until your palm is close to your body. Don't cheat the motion. The weight is too heavy if you have to use your hips or move your elbow away from your body to lift it. You should also barely get 15 reps here, as well.
  • For the Sledgehammer to Tire, you can either use a tire or (like I sometimes do) a fallen tree. Try to put maximum force into each swing. You can alternate your grip each round, if you like. I would say that an 8-lb sledge is a good place to start. You would be surprised the training equipment you can buy and/or make using things at your local home-improvement store.
That's all for this workout! Since this is a good stopping place for a bit for Ippo, the next thing I'm going to do with this anime will concern ranking the workouts according to difficulty, so it's a little easier to build yourself up to the hard stuff.

Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Mastery (Part 1?)

It's that time again. The time where I sit down and write the sort of philosophical diatribe that makes people go, "Seriously, wtf?!" In the past few months, I've put a lot of thought into the term "Master." What does it really mean and who is worthy of the title?

Maybe, though, it's not necessary to get caught up in the word itself, so much as the concept. Words are merely vehicles on which human beings transport thought. In Japanese, words like "tatsujin" or "shishou" might be applied to a person to denote Mastery.

But, what does it mean? Merriam-Webster defines "Mastery" as:

a: possession or display of great skill or technique
b: skill or knowledge that makes one master of a subject

And, it defines "Master" as a lot of things, but here are a few of the interesting ones:

a: an artist, performer, or player of consummate skill
b: one having control
c: one that conquers or masters

Apparently, "Mastery" is not something easily pinned down. It doesn't necessarily mean being the best at something, but it does mean that you possess a great deal of skill. I am convinced that Mastery (notice I dropped the quotes) is not a destination or a final  acquisition, but a journey; not necessarily a status, but an attitude or way of life.

At some point, when there is sufficient experience in something, the subject (whether a language, a physical skill or mental skill, or understanding) becomes less and less "outside" ourselves. It becomes a second nature. Specifically in the martial arts, it is difficult (read "impossible") to say that someone has master of a style or skill if it is not immediately available to them without the poison of having to think about it. If a man throws a punch and a boxer (assuming he is aware of the incoming attack) does not slip it and/or counter, but instead is hit because he was not "ready" for the punch-- Mastery does not yet exist for this man. Or, if a jujitsu practitioner is grabbed forcefully and he does not break the hold, move to a better position, or submit his attacker, how can he be said to have Mastery? I will not bore you with countless permutations of the same scenario, because the concept is relatively easy to understand.

Mastery is about becoming. It is that transformative path to the superhuman that tests the boundaries of our limits as people. It is not all-inclusive, but can be limited to a single pursuit or ability. You can possess Mastery on levels-- Mastery of a concept, technique, or style. I would say the more specific the endeavor, the higher the degree of skill necessary to attain Mastery. One can be the Master of a martial art and one can possess Mastery of a certain skill within that art. To be certain, to be called the Master of a style, one must have a very high degree of knowledge and skill concerning the fighting method. However, I believe if one were to be called the Master of a particular skill (say armbars, for instance) it might be necessary for him to possess a level of skill in that technique greater than the man who is called the Master of a style. Certainly, this must be the case if the two men were to try to meet on equal terms in battle.

This is fun to think about, but I bring it up not to be purposefully confusing or philosophical, but because at some point, everyone who practices a particular style of martial arts or who fights, must make a decision like this. Do I attempt to become what is called a "complete" fighter or do I dredge on through the fires of hellish training to find the uttermost of a specific kind of fighting or specific technique? Surely, most fall somewhere in between.

I've said this before, but if you are the latter of the two types that I mentioned above, it is your duty to discover things about and do things with your skill that have never been done before. If you say, "I will defeat all opponents with only jujitsu/judo/boxing/muay thai/hung gar/karate/my left hand," then you will need to train to defeat those other style with your own instead of making excuses about rules or the shortcomings of your own style. Mastery is about finding The Way--

So, find it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kung Fu Training Book and Training Camp

Hey, guys!

A friend of mine has had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time in China training with a Taiji Master named Master Zhang. In his studies, he's learned a lot of really interesting things and Master Zhang has put a lot of that into a new book, which I find extraordinarily interesting.

First of all, anyone who reads this blog knows that I love fighting, training, MMA, traditional martial arts, getting punched in the face (etc.) and it seems like I'm not the only one. Master Zhang's book is called "How to Win Your First MMA Fight" and it is filled with the combative knowledge of a man who loves all of the things I've listed above (although, I'm not sure how often he gets punched in the face...) and has a treasure trove of experience in the martial arts.

So, if you guys are interested, here's the link to the book:
"How to Win Your First MMA Fight"

If you're considering getting into MMA or if you are just curious about what goes through the mind of a Kung Fu Master, I would really recommend this book.

(End of commercial-- No, but seriously, check it out!)


FANG MOUNTAIN KUNG FU TRAINING CAMP

In related news, Master Zhang and two other Kung Fu masters are planning a special training camp in China. You can find the details here. Essentially, the breakdown is that the students will train full-time for about three months and then enter some form of combat martial arts competition. The idea is to hearken back to the badass days of Kung Fu.

It's supposed to be intense and it's an amazing opportunity! If you think about it, in terms of hours, it's the equivalent of spending three nights a week at a local martial arts school for two and a half years. That's pretty hardcore. Plus, you get to go to CHINA! If you're going to learn Kung Fu-- there's not really much of a better place to go, right?

Check out the above links and certainly check out the rest of James' blog. Also, leave a comment with your thoughts about the training camp.

That's all for today, guys! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ippo's Mountain Training Camp

Before the fight with Sendo, Ippo's training camp takes him not to the beach, but to a secluded cabin in the mountains of Japan. Here he trains to increase his power and deliver feints with sakki or "bloodthirst" to make them more realistic. The training he does for this week is simple, but very effective. The training camp is described as seeds that will grow until they blossom at the Sendo fight.

So, here's the workout.

Ippo's Mountain Training Camp

Morning
Run 3 Miles on Hilly Terrain. (Sprint up every hill, jog lightly down the other side, and run flat areas),
Woodchopping- 100 Downward Swings
Mitt Hitting- 3 x 3 Minutes
Woodchopping- 100 Downward Swings


Afternoon (4-6 hours later)
Run 3 Miles on Hilly Terrain. (Same as above.)
Woodchopping- 100 Downward Swings
Mitt Hitting- 3 x 3 Minutes
Woodchopping- 100 Downward Swings
Sparring- 3 x3 Minutes
Woodchopping- 100 Downward Swings
Mitt Hitting- 3 x 3 Minutes

Notes:
  • You're doing one of three things in this workout: Running, chopping wood, or punching something. It's basic, but that's the point.
  • Be careful about blisters on your hands if you are not used to chopping wood. You may wear gloves to keep them from forming.
  • When sparring, practice using feints with sakki. You need to make your opponent feel the pressure like a punch is really coming and, when he reacts, you do something entirely different. You normally don't use such a feint unless you are already in the midst of throwing punches. You would hardly lead with something like that.
  • If you are in the mountains for this workout, please be careful of wild animals. It is best you not go out alone and make sure you have some sort of protection if you do. I doubt you'll be able to KO a bear like Takamura.
That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sorry for the delay!

Hey, guys!

Sorry for the delay in some of the posts and the video for this week. Having to take care of some things right now, so it's taking up a lot of my spare time.

I'm going to try to put up an Ippo workout tomorrow, so look forward to that.

Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good Luck, Takeda

This workout is for Takeda Ikki of History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. After the fight with Ragnarok, Takeda goes in search of a Master of his own and comes across James Shiba, the world of Underground Boxing's God of Destruction. He is a monster in his own right and wanted no part of training Takeda. However, Takeda stayed outside Shiba's home and completed a few tasks of pure luck... one which was finding a rare double-pachiko ball outside James Shiba's home... even though the Master boxer just made the whole thing up on the spot.

The second task he gives to Takeda is to run to the ocean to find two rare sea creatures and bring them back. Not only that, but he had to pull a tire the whole distance and do 100 Hindu Squats while singing a song at a police box. Although rather silly and, mostly impossible to complete, Takeda did just that. After learning that Takeda has the same best punch as himself, Shiba decides to finally take Takeda as a disciple.

This workout is based on the second test that James Shiba gave to Takeda.

Good Luck, Takeda!

LEVEL ONE

Run 1 Mile
100 Hindu Squats
Run 1 Mile
--Goal Time: 21 Minutes


LEVEL TWO

Run 2 Miles
100 Hindu Squats
Run 2 Miles
--Goal Time: 35 Minutes


LEVEL THREE

Run 3.5 Miles
100 Hindu Squats
Run 3.5 Miles
--Goal Time: 54 Minutes


LEVEL FOUR

Run 5 Miles
100 Hindu Squats
Run 5 Miles
--Goal Time: 65 Minutes

BONUS LEVEL: If you can complete level four with the given time, you can start pulling a tire on the run. You may not want to do it every time you do the workout, but you could drop back down to Level 1 or 2 for the tire pull, or you can continue with Level 4 and attempt to complete the workout with the tire.

Notes:
  • You may not advance to the next level until you complete the time listed.
  • Your legs will hate you. End of story.
  • Although you don't have to sing to anyone, it may be a good idea to take an MP3 player with you on your run.
  • We've covered Hindu Squats before-- but you need to focus on cranking them out. Get into a rhythm, get them done, and get back to the run.
  • Good luck!
That's all for today. Truthfully, I'm quite fond of this workout, so I really hope you enjoy it. I made it a long time ago and now I get to share it. Yay!

Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Retsu Kaioh's Training- Part 5

Here are a few more of the 72 Arts of Shaolin. I really hope you guys are enjoying these!

#11: Exercise "Sweeping with an Iron Broom"- This skill is about strengthening the legs or, more specifically, the shin for which the purpose is to sweep an opponent's legs or disarm an opponent. The first stage of the training is to sit motionless in a horse stance. Your leg positioning should be approximately one and half times your shoulder width, feet pointed forward, knees bent, your butt low enough to be uncomfortable (but not below parallel), back naturally straight, and your arms loosely held up in front of your body.

As an example, go to page 5 of this document-http://home.earthlink.net/~wushujia/articles/bashi2009final1.pdf

Stand in this stance as long as you comfortably can and stand when fatiqued and take a little walk. Come back to it later in the day and continue training. This training should be accomplished day after day, the author says. When you can stand in the horse stance for 2 hours without stopping, you have mastered the first stage of the training.

The next stage of the training requires you to place a wooden pole (or several) in the ground and to make sweeping blows at it with your legs. You are to use all four sides of your leg and it will hurt initially, but your legs will become tougher. There is no definite succession of blows to be delivered, you may kick at any height, any frequency, any number of targets.

When you can shake the poles loose from the ground and break the end off, it will be necessary to put a larger pole in the ground and continue the training. The author says eventually, you should work your way up to a tree of some size. At this point, you should be very careful. You will not be able to deliver the same types of blows to the tree, but continue your training in this fashion for three years and leaves will be shaken from the tree. Continue your training, the author gives no time frame, and the trunk itself will shake. Remember that results do not come overnight and that it will be painful. Finally, the trunk will move when you kick it and eventually will fall. You can probably move to another tree after the first one falls. At this point, you will be able to break the limbs of your opponents. This training is difficult, but the author urges a strong spirit.

#12: Exercise "Hand- Bamboo Leaf"- For this training, the author says you need to fill a linen (I'm sure it could be something else, too) bag with iron filings and deliver palm strikes to it. He also says it will cut you, so you should be ready with medicinal tinctures... I think we're just going to skip that altogether and just move onto steel shot. Tie the bag with a rope to strong tree branch or hang it where you can hit it easily from a horse stance. The initial weight of the bag should be approximately 15kg (33lbs). You should strike repeatedly, driving your power to throw the bag back and you can also catch it on its return. If you hit the bag so that it spins, strike it oppositely so that it returns to its normal position.

When you feel during the practice of this exercise, that it is becoming relatively easy (meaning you can strike at it for a long period of time without tiring), add 10kg (22lbs) to the bag and continue your training. Make sure your bag is tough enough to take the beating. You may need to replace it with canvas. When the training once again becomes relatively easy, add 10 more kg and keep training. Repeat this cycle until you reach 60kg (132lbs) and when you can freely deliver blows to the bag without tiring, you will have achieved mastership of this art. It should take 3-4 years, says the author, by which time you should be able to break an object in front of you and seriously injure your opponent.

#13: Exercise "Jumping Centipede"- The starting position of the exercise is much like a push-up. Palms on the ground, raised on your toes, body 2-3 inches off the ground. You will bend slightly at the hips and push off explosively with your arms and toes so that you "hang over the ground" and then, moving forward as well, land back in the starting position.

When a certain level of skill has been attained, you can also do this on your fists and your fingertips (using less fingers as you get better-- until just your forefingers are used) and even raise one leg. You will build explosiveness, stamina, finger and toe strength, and agility--especially on the ground. You can even jump in mulitiple directions with you get better at the exercise.


That's all for today! Let me know if you guys are doing any of these arts so far. I'd love to have you document any and all of the training that you do. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Workout later today, Part 2 of Demo Video tomorrow

Later tonight, I'm going to post another workout for you guys and then tomorrow I'm going to post Part 2 of the Warm-up Demo Video.   I hope you guys enjoy the video, because we're doing a lot more of them in the coming weeks.

Monday, November 1, 2010