Monday, October 29, 2012

Kenichi- Goodbye

Love sharing AMVs with you guys!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hokuto Shinken's Handstand and Finger Training

The first real training scene we see for Kenshiro has him balancing upside down on just two finger of one hand. While that is not a lot of training for us to look at, just the process of getting to that level of skill and strength is far more training than many people will ever do in their entire lives. The progression is pain-staking and it is uncertain whether or not the average person can ever attain such a feat or if it is merely relegated to the realm of monsters like Kenshiro, Shaolin Monks, or Vass- The Super Saiyan. In any case, if you put the work in, you'll definitely get stronger. How much so is between you and your genetics. Don't worry, if you fail, I don't think you'll explode.

Hokuto Shinken's Handstand and Finger Training 

LEVEL ONE:

  • GOAL: Continuous handstand for 1 Minute
  • Practice Handstands for 15 Minutes or until you complete the goal. Every time you fall, do as many fingertip push-ups as you can. Try to keep working the entire 15 minutes. 
LEVEL TWO:
  • GOAL: Continuous fingertip handstand for 1 Minute
  • Practice Handstands on fingertips for 15 Minutes or complete the goal. Every time you fall, do as many fingertip push-ups as you can. If you are unable to stay up on your fingers during the handstand, continue practice using normal handstands. Remember, every time you fall, you must do as many fingertip push-ups as you can.
LEVEL THREE:
  • GOAL: Continuous One-Arm Handstand on each side for 1 Minute
  • Practice One-Arm Handstands for 15 Minutes or until you complete the goal. Every time you fall, do as many fingertip push-ups as you can. If you feel like you are unable to stay up very long on one arm, continue practice using fingertip handstands. If your fingers get tired, continue practice using normal handstands. Remember, every time you fall, you must do as many fingertip push-ups as you can.
LEVEL FOUR:
  • GOAL: Continuous One-Arm Fingertip Handstand on each side for 1 Minute
  • Practice One-Arm Fingertip Handstands for 15 Minutes or until you complete the goal. Every time you fall, do as many fingertip push-ups as you can. If you feel like you are unable to stay up on the fingertips of one hand for very long, continue practice using one-arm handstands. Make sure to train both sides. If your strength starts to fail, continue practice with fingertip handstands. If your fingers start to get tired, continue practice using normal handstands. Remember, every time you fall, you must do as many fingertip push-ups as you can.
LEVEL FIVE:
  • GOAL: Continuous Two-Finger Handstand on each side for 1 Minute
  • Practice One-Arm Fingertip Handstands for 15 Minutes, removing fingers as you are able, until you are using only your index and middle finger on one hand to support yourself. Every time you fall, do as many fingertip push-ups as you can. Utilize the previous method to continue practicing as you get tired. 

See? Doesn't look hard at all!


Notes:

  • This is a long term workout. It will take years to get the strength and balance for you to be able to complete this feat. Do not train this every day. At the very most, train it three times per week and that's if you've been training for a while. 
  • I would recommend practicing on a non-slip surface, but preferably not one that is super hard and definitely not a slick surface. 
  • You're going to feel this in your hands, your chest, your shoulders, your back and your entire midsection. You may even feel it in your legs, as you get used to balancing. 
  • This will not be easy. It will take a large amount of work and a great deal of time. 

Today's workout is a fun one! Until next time, good luck and train hard!



Friday, October 26, 2012

Fist of the North Star- The Sergeant's Training

Fist of the North Star is over the top, gory, and freaking awesome. It's "Mad Max" meets kung fu movie and it generally throws realism right out the window. However, that's not gonna stop us from pulling training methods out of it, now is it!? (The answer is no.)

Kenshiro, the main character, encounters a Sergeant, who leads a kill-or-be-killed military regiment from the world before the apocalypse. His soldiers are no match for the main character's Hokuto Shinken, but we still get to see some useful training. This workout is based on the small amount of training that we do see.

Fist of the North Star- The Sergeant's Training

  1. 20 Push-ups w/135# (vest, backpack, weight plates)
  2. Climb 20ft of Rope
  3. Dumbbell Thrusters- 10 x 40#
--5 Rounds, then rest 10 minutes
  1. 20 Minutes Martial Arts Practice
  2. 20 Minutes Sparring


Notes:

  • Obviously, if you need to scale this workout back by doing less weight or fewer rounds, please do so. Doing 20 push-ups with 135lbs on your back during a MetCon is not an easy thing. 
  • If you don't have 20ft of rope, climb 10ft of rope twice or 5ft of rope four times. When it is listed as "X" ft of rope, that means that it starts at chest height. If your rope is only 20ft hanging, you need to subtract your height from below your chest from the length of the rope. 
  • Dumbbell Thrusters start from a similar position as a Dumbbell Overhead Press or a Dumbbell Front Squat. You'll squat down to full squat depth and at the top of the squat you will do a push press. If you need some assistance on this one, reference here.
  • Your martial arts practice can be forms, shadowboxing, bag work, technique or combo practice, or anything that you like, even weapons training.
  • Be safe when sparring. Wear at least a mouthpiece and cup. It is recommended that you wear more gear for safety's sake, but at least those. If you wear less gear, pull back your contact. Only go full contact if you're at least wearing gloves, shin-pads, and headgear. 
  • You can also grapple, instead of sparring. 

That's all for today. Hope you enjoy this one and hopefully, I'll be able to get some more out of Fist of the North Star. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Samurai Champloo- Mugen Trains for Shoryu


Samurai Champloo has some really awesome fight scenes in it, but I was turned on to this particular training sequence by one of our readers. Mugen, one of the main characters, runs into a man named Shoryu, who has blended his Japanese sword style with Chinese Kung Fu to a startling effect. He is able to kill without causing external injury and his sword skills cause damage even though they don't hit. 

Mugen, met with the challenge of such a powerful opponent, trains for a month to meet the man in single combat. This workout is based on that training. 

Mugen Trains for Shoryu

LEVEL ONE
  1. Splitting Wood w/Hatchet- 10 Minutes (see notes)
  2. Handstand Practice- 5 Minutes
  3. Walk Up Stairs Two at a Time- 1,000 Steps (2,000 Total Stairs)
  4. Walk Down Stairs One at a Time- 2,000 Stairs
  5. Practice Kicking Off Walls/Trees- 10 Minutes
  6. Practice Standing on One Foot- 10 Minutes
  7. Shuto (Knife-hand Strike) on Sandbag- 5 Minutes each side
LEVEL TWO
  1. Splitting Wood w/Hatchet- 15 Minutes
  2. Handstand Push-up Practice- 10 Minutes
  3. Fingertip Push-up Practice- 10 Minutes
  4. Walk Up Stairs Two at a Time- 1,000 Steps with 1/4 body weight (2,000 Total Stairs)
  5. Walk Down Stairs One at a Time- 2,000 Stairs with 1/4 body weight
  6. Practice Kicking Off Walls/Trees- 15 Minutes
  7. Practice Walking on Upturned Logs and Bricks- 5 Minutes
  8. Shuto on Sandbag- 10 Minutes each side
LEVEL THREE
  1. Splitting Wood w/Hatchet- 20 Minutes
  2. Handstand Push-up Practice- 10 Minutes
  3. Fingertip Push-up Practice- 10 Minutes
  4. Walk Up Stairs Two at a Time- 1,000 Steps with 1/2 body weight (2,000 Total Stairs)
  5. Walk Down Stairs One at a Time- 2,000 Stairs with 1/2 body weight
  6. Practice Kicking Off Walls/Trees, 2 Contacts- 20 Minutes
  7. Practice Walking on Upturned Logs and Bricks- 10 Minutes
  8. Shuto on Stone- 1 Minute Each Side (as is comfortable)
  9. Shuto on Sandbag- 10 Minutes Each Side
LEVEL FOUR
  1. Splitting Wood w/Hatchet- 20 Minutes
  2. Fingertip Handstand Push-up Practice- 15 Minutes
  3. Walk Up Stairs Two at a Time- 1,000 Steps with body weight (2,000 Total Stairs)
  4. Walk Down Stairs One at a Time- 2,000 Stairs with body weight 
  5. Practice Kicking Off Walls/Trees, 2 Contacts- 20 Minutes
  6. Practice Walking on Upturned Logs and Bricks- 15 Minutes
  7. Shuto on Stone- 10 Minutes Each Side (as is comfortable)

Notes:
  • You'll need to reach the level requirements in each of the exercises, before you can advance to the next level. 
  • When splitting wood with the hatchet, use only one arm to swing and try to cut the wood through with a single strike, which will be all that is needed for the first level. When you can cut a single piece in half with a single strike, place two of them side by side and, in rapid succession, attempt to cut them each with a single strike. That will complete level two. When you can do this, advance to three small logs and so on. 
  • You should be able to hold a handstand for at least a minute straight before advancing to the next level.
  • For handstand push-up practice, start where you are comfortable. You can use support at first, but since you should be able to hold a handstand in the second level, I would only make use of the support when first attempting the handstand push-up or when you are too tired to balance effectively. 
  • For fingertip push-up practice, when you can do 25 fingertip push-ups with all fingers, don't use your pinkie finger. When you get to 25 again, drop the ring finger. which clears level two. When you get to 25 reps again, drop the middle finger, using on the index and thumb. When you get to 25 push-ups using on the index finger and thumb of each hand, you'll have cleared level three on this exercise.
  • Fingertip handstand push-ups should follow the same rep count as fingertip push-ups. Drop fingers only when you reach 25 reps. If you're having trouble balancing, you may practice some with support. However, when you can no longer do fingertip handstand push-ups, make sure to finish the allotted time for training practicing normal handstand push-ups. 
  • You should be walking up the steps relatively fast, but not running. 
  • For the weight on the stairs, you can carry something on your back or in the front or wear a backpack or weighted vest. There is no prerequisite for moving on to the next level, except being able to complete the exercise. 
  • When you are kicking off walls or trees, use a running start so you can generate the force for the jump and kick off. Later, you can try to jump from a walk and then a stand still. When you can jump and kick off from a stand-still that should be the end of level two. 
  • You should be able to stand on one foot for 5 minutes on each foot without stopping before advancing to level two. 
  • To advance to the next level of walking on the upturned logs or bricks (no more than about 12 inches in height), you'll need to walk without falling for the entire time period listed. 
  • Practicing a knife hand strike on the sandbag will help build the muscles in your hand and prep them for striking the stone. When you finally advance to the stone, hit it softly at first so that you can build up slowly. 
  • This is a complicated training menu and could potentially constitute the majority of someone's training, considering it's working most of the major muscle groups, as well as building some athletic skills. If you do make it your primary training schedule, try to space your training out so you don't over-train. 2 to 3 times a week as a primary training tool will be sufficient for the vast majority of people considering the difficulty and volume of the training. Don't expect to master it in a month.
That's all for today! Hope you guys enjoy this one! Until next time, good luck and train hard!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Can You (At Least) Save Your Own Life?-- Part II

In the first part of this series I laid out some of the dangers you may pose to yourself, such as risky behaviors or obesity. This next part, however, will take a step out from ourselves and look at the world around us. The world that we live in can be a dangerous place and, while some things like natural disasters are not so commonplace, there are some everyday dangers such as slipping and falling, drowning, fires, and various on-the-job accidents that all require some level of fitness in order to escape. This level of fitness is the topic of this second part. It's You vs. The Natural World... and it's got a hell of size advantage.

So, what is the level of fitness necessary to save your own life in a dangerous situation? What skills are necessary?

Earle Liederman, in a 1926 book called Endurance, mapped out five basic skills necessary for someone to save his or her own life.
  1. Swim at least half a mile
  2. Sprint for 200 Meters
  3. Hurdle an object at waist height
  4. Complete at least 15-20 pull-ups or chin-ups, with chin over the bar
  5. Dip between two bars or chairs for at least 25 reps
You should probably listen to this guy.

These basic skills are what is necessary to keep you from drowning, what will allow you to escape a burning building or run from a dangerous area, while clearing obstacles in your path, and what will allow you to pull yourself to safety, if you are in danger of falling. These skills are your basic survival tools. The goal is to get out of harms way and to do it as quickly as possible.

These are obviously not beginner-level in terms of difficulty, but they are by no means on the world-class level. These are skills attainable by the average human being and it is only once your are capable of securing your own safety that you can effectively consider saving anyone else's life, which is the topic of Part III.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can You (At Least) Save Your Own Life?-- Part I

Life can be dangerous. Little, seemingly harmless everyday things and situations can, with great speed and ease, be transformed into something life-threatening. The ability to save your own life is enormously important. Once you're dead, everything is done. You don't get any re-dos.

Unfortunately, the average man or woman does not possess the necessary tools to save his or her own life. In fact, some people are doing the opposite on a daily basis. The following are some things that you should know about saving your own life.

Part I: Save Yourself From Yourself

Before you can save your own life from accidents, random acts of violence, or natural disasters, it's best to look a little closer to home and see what things you might be doing to harm yourself. Things like smoking or drug use or excessive consumption of alcohol are some pretty common things we humans do to hurt ourselves; however, there is a rising issue in the United States and the world as a whole. Obesity in the United States affects approximately 1/3 of the population and an increasing number of children. Worldwide, over 1 billion people are overweight or obese. This is fast becoming one of the largest health concerns in the entire world, as heart disease and diabetes are more prevalent than ever, millions of man-hours are lost on the job every year, and the medical costs of obesity push into the hundreds of billions per year.

First things first, if you are obese, the first person from who you need to save yourself... is yourself. If you're happy being extremely overweight and nothing is going to make you change, then I wish you the best. However, modern science is revealing more and more detrimental effects caused by being overweight and obese. How do you fix this?

The simple answer is "Eat better, move more."  In the end, that's really all boils down to. Eat more fruits and veggies, choose lean meats and fish more often, add nuts and seeds into your diet, and if you eat grains, choose darker whole grains over bleached refined carbohydrates.

As far as movement goes, just do more of it. Walk. Take the stairs, when you can. Park further away from where you need to go. Play an active game, either outside or using a video game. If you need help, get active with friends or perhaps get a personal trainer, if you need one.

Or you can start here.

I'm not going to harp on this one for too long. After you've improved your health, you can then focus on your level of fitness, and move onto the next part.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Anime Fights AMV - Swords, Spears and Skillfulness - 5. Marz

We got a request for some weapons training, so use this to tide yourselves over while I do some research!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kai Greene: A Day in the Life of a Bodybuilder (playlist)

Really great inspirational documentary. It's about bodybuilding, but it speaks to some universal truths concerning any dreams that you may have, especially in your training.

The Prodigal Son; Training sequence

I love old kung fu training sequences.