Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Phone booth fighting

I haven’t written about the Super Soldier Project in awhile.  I Changed some things around recently and I have been making progress. 

In review the physical training portion of the Super Soldier Project can be broken down into 3 segments
Strength Training
Cardio Training
Conditioning (skill specific training)

For strength training I had been dong a full body circuit twice per week.  That was my favorite and most productive workout.
For cardio I was running twice a week.  Necessary work but boring, I just don’t like running. (Don’t have to like it / just have to do it)
For conditioning I was training one specific skill set once a week.  Depending on the skill set it was hit or miss if the skill training was also good exercise.
Rest 2 days a week.


As I mentioned strength training was the most productive and my favorite training.  So instead of training the entire body in one circuit, I broke that circuit into pushers and pullers

Push:               Pull:
Quad               Hamstrings
Chest               Back
Shoulders        Bi’s
Tri’s                 Forearms

Previously I worked opposing muscle groups together in the circuit so the pushing muscles could rest while the pulling muscles worked and vice versa.  I still wanted to work in a circuit but I didn’t want to waste time resting between sets.  Also as I mentioned skill training was hit or miss depending on the skill.  So I incorporated the skill training into the rest portion of strength training.

For example:
Quad Set 1
Nage Waza 1 (Throwing technique against the plyo bands.  Quads recover while I train a specific skill against resistance)
Quad Set 2
Nage Waza 2
Quad Set 3

My heart rate stays up but the targeted muscles rest while I do skill training.

Joint Lock Training Set up

Throwing Techniques Training Set up

So now I strength train 4 times a week.  Condition throws twice a week with the pushers and locks twice a week with pullers.  Also because I work fewer body parts per training session I can work more exercises per body part.

Running is boring.  Road work is fun.  Roadwork = skill conditioning while you run.  I’m lucky I have a gym to myself so I can set up a circuit.  Run 2 min, 1 minute Uke Waza (evasion techniques) against resistance on the adjustable cross over machine.  40 minutes equals about 4 mile run and burns near 800 calories.  On days I run out side after I warm up I run a distance, condition a distance, sprint a distance repeat.

So outside the Dojo I practice not getting hit, throwing, and locking each twice per week.

It is fun and I’m having positive results.  I have noticed an increase in functional strength.  I could really tell the difference recently clearing dead trees out of a wooded area in my yard (throwing big ass logs) and moving heavy tatami mats into the new Dojo.

Most importantly (and really the purpose of the super soldier project) is no over training issues / injuries.  I feel great.  So what the hell do any of this have to do with phone booth fighting, the title of this blog?

Bear with me, I’ll get there

The strength training that I do is body weight suspension training.  I use the USA (universal strength apparatus) from body weight culture.  One of the things I love about this kind of training is you can get a kick ass work out anywhere.  No excuses!

Here is a picture of Syd's Wonder Woman training on the USA

Over Easter weekend we stayed with my parents.  On Friday I took the kids to the park.  They played while I trained, fun was had by all.  On Saturday it rained.  No big I just hooked up my gear to a door.

As I mentioned earlier joint locks / joint destruction is a part of this training.  It is similar to this

But instead of a heavy bag the belt (I use my old USA protégé) is attached to the top of a door

The door I was using was at the end of a hallway.  So I needed to pull the joint lock techniques on a 3’ x 3’ space or….
Wait for it……..

Fighting inside a phone booth
(See I told ya I’d get there)

What can you learn from fighting inside a phone booth?

The Void
One of the most basic tenants of what I teach is motion defeats strength. 
What are you going to do if there is nowhere to move to? 
This type of training teaches you that even though space may be limited there is never no where to move.  Instead of focusing on being blocked by where the opponent is, you can move to where the opponent isn’t.  Sometimes called fighting the void.  You also learn to work angles to make the best use of the limited space you do have

Environmental fighting
Conflict is three dimensional.  I like throws / take downs because you are smashing someone into the planet.  However, they become more difficult in tighter spaces.  But those very walls that restrain you can be used to your advantage.  Why take someone all the way to the ground when a wall is right there for you to slam them into?  Or better yet introduce them into the wall and then guide them (their face) all the way down the wall and then into the planet.  In a peaceful and harmonious manner (we put the harm in harmony) totally within your department’s policy and your state’s force statutes.

You better have something in your tool box for in close fighting.  It is much easier to close distance than maintain distance.  If you can take away their comfortable distance you can take away most of their skill set.  If you can only function at “sparring distance” with plenty of open Dojo space around you in every direction you are in for a rude awakening if you ever face an actual physical confrontation (Closer, Faster, Harder, By surprise).

Story time, gather around kids and I will tell you the tale of Karate Ben the black belt.
I used to sub-lease from a Karate Dojo.  Very nice people.  We taught very different aspects of martial art.  We were really never in any competition over students.  However, every once and awhile a new student would come to the Dojo unsure of who they would want to train with.  I would always respond along the lines of, with me the first two weeks are free.  Try out both and stick with the one you enjoy, no hard feelings either way.  If they asked me to compare and contrast, I would give them information on what I taught and suggest they ask about Karate from the Karate Sensei because she knows much more about it and could answer their Karate questions better than I could.

One day when Karate class had ended but some students were still on the mats and my class was about to start a potential student to both classes asked what art he should study.

Karate Ben the black belt told the new student all he knew about Jujutsu (nothing) and finished up with, “You would have to study for 20 years and become an Aikido master in order to block the powerful strikes of (his style of) Karate”
I must say I did a very good job of not breaking his neck right then and there, but I was tempted.  I suggested that if the new student has questions about what I teach maybe they should just ask me.

The next week Karate Ben the black belt was still hogging my mat time after class.  This time he was teaching that new student he convinced join Karate how to block the powerful strikes of (his style of) Karate.  You know what you need 20 years of Aikido training to do.  His strategy was back straight up, back straight up, and continuing backing straight up.

Like Popeye I had taken all I could takes and I can’t takes no more.  Since it was time for my class anyway I asked if he would be willing to show that to me.  I angled us a particular direction (yeah I stacked the deck I don’t get paid to lose).  I bowed and announced the attacks in order that I would perform them.  Jodan Tsuki, Mae Geri, Jodan Tsuki.  He yelled Osu, to show me that he was ready and I attacked.  Jodan Tsuki (High Punch) he backed up in a straight line, he he he.  Mae Geri (Front Thrust Kick) he backed up in a straight line, here it comes.  Jodan Tsuki, oh oh he can’t back up anymore because now he is trapped in the corner of the Dojo, bazinga.  Jodan Tsuki becomes Tegatana Jime (Forearm Strangle).  When you are in close you can whisper and only they can here you.  I suggested he tap before he passed out.  I also suggested that if any new students have questions about what I teach maybe they should just ask me.  That and that it would it be nice if he left the mats promptly after Karate class ended in the future.

I didn’t see much of Karate Ben the black belt after that.  Except for the time Lise pulled him out of a car by his face.  But that is a story for another time

I ambushed you with a cup of coffee

So why did I share this story?  Because I’m so bad ass?  No it’s just a funny story and serves as a good transition to my next category of things learned from fighting in a phone booth

Pinned against a wall - Vertical Ground Fighting

Just as throwing can be modified to a vertical surface, so can ground skills.  You can use the same principles of a mount escape to escape a wall pin.
If you get a chance to attend a One On One Control Tactics Instructor Course you will spend a lot of time with this.  It is awesome (and it doesn’t take 20 years to learn)

Train hard, Train smart (at different distances), Be safe

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