More Burpees and Bulgarian Bag stuff…

Though I am a firm believer that regular skill practice is important; I’m still a proponent of fitness/conditioning as a cornerstone to good martial arts/self defense practice.  The upside to breaking out of the ‘gym rat’ workout mind is that I can work out anytime, anywhere as long as I have enough space to swing a jump rope or a bulgarian bag.

  • 50 Burpees
  • 5 Open spin/Burpees (left and right) x 5 sets
  • 6 Power Snatch/Arm Throw x 6 sets

It’s never been glorious…


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Life, let alone combat, from earlier times tends to be romanticized when people begin talking about ‘the good old days.’

I cringe when I hear comments from martial artists like “I wish life was like it was back in xyz…”

Here are some reality check videos from a few of my favorite “geek channel” shows to remind us that we have it pretty good on a daily basis – let alone when it comes to fighting/combat/self defense.

The trade off seems to be that modern society is obsessed with ‘working out’ and ‘conditioning’ because we have it so good that we are our own worst health risks…

The Blacksmith/boxer probably didn’t have to do too much ‘conditioning’ in order to be ‘fit to fight’ by the old standards.

The Farmer/Foot Soldier probably didn’t need to take PT tests too often and probably was very familiar with death/killing/slaughter given the daily life of herding/selling/butchering livestock.

The Herder/Fighter was VERY familiar with long stretches of boredom and having to be vigilant in all weather conditions – as well as fighting off the occasional rustler, coyote, wolf or other predatory threat to his herd.

And the idea of ‘women’s self defense…’ in a time when women lifted, carried, pulled, cleaned, killed, washed, built (and yes fought when they had to) probably would make them chuckle – women were tough as nails (maybe even tougher than some of the men) because of the work they did.

T.A.W.G. 3/22 workout fun as usual

Thanks to Tom, Dale, Sabrina, Dianna, Rick, Tony, and Alex of another fun one.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Footwork vs. “Stance”
  • Tactical Arnis is a high mobility system
  • Controlling your movement while disrupting the bad guy’s
  • Intro to the T.A.W.G. footwork patterns.

The difference between training ‘footwork’ and training ‘stance’ is difficult to grasp for some, but the great thing was to watch Sabrina and Dianna (very new students) working through the confusion.  It was just as interesting to watch some of the more experienced students making connections and sharing their lightbulb moments.

Next week: Scenario games!

T.A.W.G. 3/15 workout a blast again

Thanks to Dan, Dale, Michele, Sabrina, Tom, Tony, Dianne, and Alex for another good workout.

Training Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Highlight circular movements (Single Siniwali concept and application, Downward figure 8 stick strikes, bob/weaving)
  • Reinforce the importance of relaxed/soft motion with circular movement.  It’s about redirection/guiding.
  • See the linear vs. circular relationship for the ‘bigger picture’ of training.
  • COMMIT to a choice – OBSERVE the threat, ORIENT to it, DECIDE on the response, and ACT!!!!!
  • We also did a little forensic reenactment of the “Tony Carpet Slide” incident from last class – too funny.

Next week:  Movement vs. Stance.

T.A.W.G. Flagship workout was great!

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Thanks to Tom, Toni, Rick, Sabrina, and Alex for making the flagship workout a great time! Training objectives/outcomes: Highlight “push/pull’ movements (Wedge, Double blades, strikes, 4 count block check counter, De Cadena, Single Hand Shirt grab defense) Learn to consciously … Continue reading

Tactical training means…. ?

U.S. Navy Sea-Air-Land (SEAL) members emerge f...

Image via Wikipedia

Tactical is a buzzword getting a heck of a workout in martial arts these days.  The question is, what exactly makes tactical training… tactical?  Is it training ‘like a Navy SEAL‘ or training in the “proven” techniques/tactics/tools that (supposedly) come from military, law enforcement, or some other warrior tradition?

These may give the appearance of all things tactical, but frankly that’s more fashion than function if it’s in a civilian/commercial martial art program.

The core concept of ‘tactical’ training is the idea of ‘tact‘ or the ability to  “do or say the right thing at the right time to maintain good relations or avoid offense.” Normally the term ‘tact’ is linked to social conduct, diplomacy, and negotiations, but the root is to “do or say the right thing…” Connect that to the ‘tactical‘ definition ” (1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose” then it should be clear that ‘tactical training’ in a commercial martial art program should not mimic military or law enforcement training.  It should teach students how to “do or say the right thing” in order to accomplish “small scale actions serving a larger purpose” but with an “immediate end in view.”

Here’s where a few key questions are essential to really training ‘tactically’ in a commercial program:

  1. What is the “immediate end” for a civilian training in marital arts?
  2. What is the “larger purpose?”
  3. What “right thing” skills to say or do should be in a student’s toolbox?

In a nutshell, ‘tactical’ training – whether martial art, business, or anything else should be brain AND body training that can be applied to real life.

Borrowing from training techniques and topics that have produced effective military and law enforcement operators is a good idea.  But adapting and modifying those techniques and topics to produce effective civilian self defense students is essential.