Muhammad Ali Compilation -  Need some inspiration for hand & foot speed + movement?  Check out this compilation.  I saw Ali at Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts (charity boxing tournament) in 1988.  He was in attendance the one night that I went to watch.  As he passed thru the crowd, less than an arm’s length away from me, he seemed to be a mere shell of a person.   There was no recognition of the crowd calling his name, no emotion, no registering of even being present at the event.   A very sad drop from his physical prime, because he was amazing.  

The Earth is our Gym - I like the one quote from Mike Rashid:  “Be your own motivator".  And I love to workout outside. 

Why not start the week with some combat tips from the indomitable Captain Kirk?  The kids and I have been watching some of the original Star Trek episodes (the only ones worth watching) on Netflix, have to admit they’re even better than when I watched them as a kid growing up.  
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was starting to incorporate some sprints into my training.  Unfortunately I’ve been sidelined for the past 2 weeks with a back issue, so I haven’t had a chance to try out this Jen Sinkler workout, but it’s on my list of things to do.  I also like the general Sprint tips/pointers from Eric Cressey.  Check it out. 

It always amazes me to watch an altercation unfold or to see one after the fact.  I usually wonder “What were they thinking?”   There are many valuable lessons to be learned from the following video:

Group of men attack MMA fighter after fighter slaps

1)  Not sure what evidence there is that the one participant is an “MMA fighter”.   His clothes?  Outerwear does not make one an MMA fighter, any more than aviator sunglasses make me a pilot.

2)  If one is an MMA fighter (or any other type of combative athlete) maybe you should keep a lower profile and try to blend in.  And don't be a jerk.

3) If someone mouths off to you (male or female, but especially female), the best strategy is to walk away.  No good can come from escalating the situation, even if it makes you feel better in protecting your pride or manhood.  One of my Sensei told me that there are 2 strategies in dealing with assholes – A) walk away, because if you smacked every asshole that you encountered, you wouldn’t get anything else done, or B) smack them, but you better be able to do it right and take care of business.  I’ve always chosen option A.

4) When it comes to dealing with when/if you should escalate or respond physically, I remember an old interview with karate pioneer Thomas Lapuppet. He said in essence, you can say anything you want, call me anything you want, disrespect my Momma, and it don’t mean nothing.  But if you try to lay your hands on me (or my family), then we’re
going to dance and someone could get hurt.  
5) Once the situation escalates and moves outside, then the female’s friends actually become the aggressors.  There are multiple attackers and they have introduced weapon(s) into the mix.  They are not just protecting her honor; they are guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and of using deadly force.  

6) It ends badly for everyone, especially the guy on the ground.  Once he is down and defenseless, there is no need to continue pounding on him, especially not the final kick to the head.  That is potentially lethal.

7)  The most common cause of death in a street fight is hitting your head on the pavement.  Either while falling or being thrown down, or while you’re on the ground and someone attacks you further (as here or in the Zimmerman case).  So as the defender, you need to protect your head on/from the ground and you should take the situation seriously and be prepared to defend yourself with adequate force.  For commentators in the Zimmerman case to say that his scenario was equivalent to getting a broken nose in a bar fight and that Martin was shot for no good reason (i.e. it wasn't that serious) just demonstrates a lack of understanding of combative reality.  Getting your head bashed into the pavement is potentially lethal.  As the aggressor (or defender turned aggressor), you have to know when to stop.  Do you have the legal, moral, and ethical justification to continue in this struggle?  If you’ve defended yourself and then throw the guy to the ground, think more than twice about continuing with some boot stomps, because you could go to jail, even if you were originally justified in the response.

8) Moral of the story –  walk away from the mouthy chick (or guy) at the Minit-Mart.   No good can come of it and lives can change permanently based on one stupid slap.  

I hope that some of you are sitting down, because I have a confession to make.  I’m experimenting with an upright form of accelerated locomotion.  As most of you know, I hate running. I find it boring, it makes my knees ache, and in my mind there are other ways to work on my aerobic capacity than to punish myself with running as a form of chronic cardio.  So unless I’m training for a Black Belt (been there, done that) or running from a Tiger (not lately, although there has been a suspicious looking raccoon staggering around our back yard), I don’t see the need to run.

Enter the Sprint.  There are more and more proponents of Sprinting as a form of cardio activity (see Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook, found here).  So although I’ve known I should be doing some sprinting, I always found an excuse not to. Until a couple weeks ago,
that is.  I decided that I would start to incorporate a sprint activity at least 1X/week into my other activities.  The local church across from our development has an open area next to it that is used for Pee Wee football.  It’s already laid out with ~ 60 yards of lines in 5 yd. increments.  So I just stop by, place an orange cone at the start line, another one 50 yds. out, and run the sprints.  I’m starting easy, 70-80% effort, 5-9 sprints, recovering while walking back to the start line.  So far, so good.  Will keep you posted as things progress.  And I’ll post a  few interesting links in the weeks to come.

{Note - just read an article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (26(1): 53-62, 2012) that compared High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to Repeated–Sprint Training for tennis players.   I know that doesn’t have any carry over to the Martial Arts (unless you’re going to whack someone with a racket), but there was a key finding.  They found that Repeated-Sprint Training (RST) might be a time efficient strategy in enhancing aerobic adaptations, given the lower training volume required by the RST compared with that of the HIIT.  “..from a practical point of view, desired adaptations (e.g., VO2 peak increases) can be obtained with a substantial reduction in exercise training time, allowing the players to spend more time on-court and optimizing technical and tactical skills.”  It’s the efficiency and providing more time to work on technical skills (strikes, locks, holds, weapons) that interests me from a Martial Arts perspective.}

Happy 4th of July and a big Thank You to all our past, present, and future Military Personnel.  You keep us free and we're in your debt.

Part of my 4th of July celebration has included prep work for the Extreme Pull-up Bar installation project.  I got the 4x6's cut to size, the holes drilled, and the bar painted.  This weekend will be hole digging, leveling, and QuiKrete.  By Monday we should be back in the Pull-up business!