Saturday, January 6, 2018

Broken Bat Challenge

Wow it has been a whirlwind.  Viody Prime, Jeff’s death, Thanksgiving, Viody Vancouver.  Then making sure everybody got through all of the mandatory qualifications before I left for vacation, making sure I got through all of the qualifications before I left for vacation, holiday celebrations.  Now, finally I have some time to put my thoughts down on paper.

As I write this, the one year ago today feature on Facebook showed me this blog
Improving the hand you're dealt

Jeez, its all but the same blog I’m writing now.  Super Soldier Project, Batman By 40, Beyond Batman, bump the fucking record.  So, what is different?  Am I going to be writing the same thing in 2019?

What is different is seeking help.  If I could do it by myself, it would already be done.  I might not be able to do it by myself, but that doesn't mean I am unable to do it.

So, let’s go back a few months.

When Violence Dynamics Prime was over there was some time that I got to just hang out with Myron Cossitt and Randy King before getting them to the airport.  When we were just killing time I showed Myron some episodes of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge that I had saved on the DVR.

One of the aspects that I really love about the show is that it embraces so many aspects of physical culture.  For example on a show like American Ninja Warrior if you have good grip strength, like that of a mountain climber, you can probably do pretty well.  A 240lb fullback isn’t going to do that great.  However, that full back is arguably the better overall athlete.  On broken skull challenge, there are several rounds of head to head competition to establish who even gets to run the obstacle course.  Embracing strength, endurance, power, will, mental toughness, and to some extent combatives with some variation of wrestling games.

I mentioned to Myron that the conditioning needed to be successful on this show is exactly what I need as a Police Officer, SWAT Operator, and Old Man Judo guy.

To be able to wrestle someone, sprint to to the next challenge, lift and carry something heavy, then perform a skill is exactly what I am trying to achieve.

On the next episode of the show, the woman that made it to the final obstacle course collapsed about half way through.  She was just done.  Nothing left, despite her will to overcome.
This lead to an interesting conversation with Myron, with charts and everything

The chart shows how Myron explained the energy expenditure of the woman that collapsed.  She was able to explode (reach 90% of her maximum potential effort quickly) for a brief time, then drop rapidly.  Every time after that initial spike she took longer to get to her maximal output and the max dropped every time until she literally had nothing more to give.

Myron summarized that what the people that succeed on The Broken Skull Challenge can do, and what my training should strive for is to be able to get up to something like 80% of maximal potential effort quickly, and be able to maintain that for 8 to 10 minutes.

Something like this

I was pretty excited about this idea, so much so that we kept talking about it non stop until Myron left.  The three of us were at a restaurant when some things started falling into place.

Myron stated that he would develop a program for me.  I was excited and a little scared.  Scared because, I’ve always done my own programming.  Excited because, well, as I mentioned if I could do it by myself it would be done.

As some of you know Randy King won the Katamedo Jujitsu Training and Nutrition Challenge at the United States Martial Arts Association national training camp last July.  Stripping me of my title.

So as he heard this conversation he was like - hey wait, if you are going to build a program for Kasey you have to make one for me too!

Myron owes us plenty of payback for all the shit we have given him through the years.  So he summarized ...OK, operation brutalize the bats activate!

Thus, the “Break The Bats Challenge” was born.

Myron asked for a couple of weeks and some specific details.

In those few weeks I was like a kid waiting to open Christmas presents.  Bugging Myron nearly daily.

I got to start playing with the concepts in late November.  Then I was off to Vancouver for Violence Dynamics.

Vancouver was great!!!

One of my major takeaways from the seminar was that no matter how different I may seem to be from the people I am training with, I have more in common with people who enjoy physical culture, people who like to box, wrestle and fence, than I do with 90% of the population.

Some of the most fun at these seminars is the social aspects after training.  At these events I try to sit in the middle, away form the other Instructors for the opportunity to interact with lots of other people.

As loud as I am I try to just listen.  I've been talking all day, enough about me, it is nice to just listen.  What are you bringing to the table?

I knew I was going to get along with the Valkyrie crew just fine when I over heard this conversation at the table.

Valkyrie is known for  the practicing modern arts of swordplay, boxing, and wrestling, and supporting the performance of those arts with a solid strength-training foundation.

They have received grief from others in the Western Martial Arts for focusing on human performance with conditioning and not spending "adequate time" memorizing which plate from an ancient manuscript a particular technique was retro engineered from. 

These people, which I refer to as martial necrophiliacs, went as far as to say with proper technique conditioning is unnecessary.

I wear armor and carry weapons on a regular basis.  Just bearing the load of that equipment takes a physical toll.  Much less moving in it, or engaging in combatives against a determined restive opponent.

I'm no historian, but I am fairly certain that throughout time, any human that made their living through the use of weapons did everything they could to gain every possible advantage.  Including some form of conditioning.

The Valkyrie folks continued the conversations with something along the line of ...
I doesn't mater where a skill or technique comes from, it has to work , and you have to test it. 

Well I knew I was going to like them after that conversation...and because one of their crew, a 5 foot nothing on her tip toes,  100 and nothing pound soaking wet female I called Squirrel Girl  challenged me to fight.  After I picked her up over my head and power bombed her into a couch.  She popped right up and came back after me.  Later she asked for a proper wrestling match, and although I weighed nearly more than three of her, and that I've been wrestling for roughly twice the amount of time she has been on the planet, she was game and made me work.

You don't judge a school by their teachers, you judge teachers by their students.  Valkyrie is a good school

Since I've come back from Vancouver I have had a solid month to work the Broken Bat Challenge and play with some ideas with my crew at the Keishoukan.

We've been having a blast playing with some things that look a lot like professional wrestling.  Not for their practicality in personal protection.  Rather, just for the fun of moving your body .  Hitting a trick if you will.  Getting your body to do exactly what you want it to do.

I doesn't mater where a skill or technique comes from, it has to work , and you have to test it...
Also it has to benefit other aspects of your training.

I found that through physical culture, focusing on the connections in human movement, conditioning has improved my technique.

Understanding structure in order to move a maximal weight with out hurting yourself directly applies to understanding the structure required move a larger, stronger, determined, actively resisting opponent.

Or pick someone up and spin them around your head just for funsies.

Karl Gotch said,"Conditioning is your best hold"
I don't think he meant exactly the same thing.  I feel he was expressing a thought more along the lines of General Patton's  "Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All"

Regardless, the connection between physical conditioning and technical ability become apparent to anyone who has tested their technical ability against resistance.

That can be very scary.  Remember this blog Finding the edge

It may be scary, but it is also necessary, and if done right can be the most fun and rewarding aspect of training.

So that is kind of where my head is at ending 2017 and going into 2018
The interaction of different aspects of physical culture.
Between conversations with my new friends in Vancouver, playing pro wrestling at the Dojo, and working Myron's programming with my nephew Ben.  Everything brings me back to physical culture.

I am excited about and looking for ways to bring the positive aspects of physical culture ( Box Wrestle - Fence - Shoot - Physical Conditioning) to others.  Especially those that may feel intimidated or turned off by it, and those that maybe enjoy one aspect and have yet to discover the connection to other aspects of physical culture.

So, what is different?  How is this going to be different than 2017?

Primarily,  staying in my own in my own lane and seeking help from others.

Staying in my own lane.  I am not a fitness expert, nor do I want to turn this into a wannabe fitness blog.

So, instead of follow up blogs tracking my progress that I may or may not ever remember to do, to help me, and anyone else that is chasing goals we have started a group on the Violence Dynamics Facebook page.
Life Dynamics

Step 1 - Like the Violence Dynamics Facebook Page
Step 2 - Join the Life Dynamics Group
Step 3 - State your goal/s
Step 4 - Share your plan
Step 5 -Accountability, check in with your peers, share posts of yourself working your plan

Seeking help from others.  If I cold do it by myself it would already be done.  Just because I can't do it by myself doesn't mean I can't do it.

Stay tuned for future co-authored blogs from Myron Cossitt regarding Life Dynamic topics:
Goal setting and planning
Work / Training / Life balance - the other 96%

Also be on the watch for the Violence Dynamics Web Page featuring weekly content not only from me but also Randy King, Tammy Yard-McCracken and ocassionally Rory Miller.

Train Hard, Train Smart, Be Safe

Happy new year

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