Indian clubs, clubbells and Escrima. Latosa Concepts Escrima

Indian Clubs , clubbells and Escrima. Latosa Concepts FMA

The title of this blog entry says it all. I think more fma’ers should be doing indian club and  clubbell training and the like. One reason is mobility and another is flow and coordination. And let’s not forget the stability and strength aspect of it, when we start working with heavier weights. This also gets into the mace ball you see in the second video. As I have written before on how we need to do physical fitness training to counter the extreme volume, we build up in some movement patterns. An overload of volume in a few movement patterns can easily be a recipe for injuries.

looking at the flow shown in the indian club video, it’s easy to to how we can build up more coordination and fluid movements. Getting back to balance, hard and strong movements need to be balanced with fluid movements to counter the extreme volume that can be built up. There’s the aspect of working with fluid movements as well. We’ll save that for another day.

For the nerdy people there are subjects like the nexus of strength and range of motion we could get into. This subject is something for the long-term projects.

I have started to add more functional training in small portions. My shoulder is holding and still getting better. The natural progression will be to try more mobility based drills with light weights. I can imagine there are a lot of you who need the same. If you are in the same boat as me (collar bone injury) take it slowly. I have some wood picked out to make some indian clubs from. Getting back to the kid looking into the candy store. There’s nothing like making tools and then using them.

Any Hoo! I hope ya’ll enjoy. You gotta love the music in the first video as well. The second is well worth the time also.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training



Sternoclavicular joint injuries and rehab training.

Sternoclavicular joint injuries and rehabilitaion training.

Screen shot 2014-03-15 at 9.45.44 AMI hope ya’ll are doing well. The subject for this post entry is going to be injury rehabilitation for a sternoclavicular joint injury. It’s been a while since I posted something and this subject seemed appr. considering, I have been out of action for a while. It’s called the sternoclavicular joint. It’s one of those injuries only a few doctors see. Add to that the mentality that the doctors have here in DK and you better start looking into things on your own ( personal experience! ). Looking at what I can do today and how bad it was after the accident I feel very lucky. Old dogs can learn new tricks.

Before we get too far into it. This entry is based on what I went through / am going through with my sc-joint injury. Find a good therapist to help you with your needs if you are in my shoes. Many are just not good enough. :( look at this post as food for thought and do some real research into the complications, variations of the injury, treatments, and rehabilitation tactics. In my case, they said give it time. The problem was that there were joints in the general area that were out of alignment which made healing up a problem. An example is how the 1 rib being out puts pressure on the sc joint. now think of a t-spine joint, a c-spine joint and three ribs out of place along with the sc-joint injury. We are getting into osteopathy and chiropractics here. Imagine a doctor letting a bone heal up without making sure it is straight. That’s what I was facing.

I could do a lot of complaining about the way we are looked at as a number and so on but I’ll just throw a few pointed remarks in as part of this blog entry. Getting back to how many people have seen this injury, you’ll need to do some research if you are so unlucky to abuse your body like I have. It’s well worth the time when talking with the doctors. I learned that several were not prepared and just said ” give it time.” To be honest there are a few angry doctors because I would not accept that. I wanted scans and more. Ultra sound scan, MR scan and more to see what was wrong. The doctors did not understand that I knew something was wrong based on the way it felt. Most people don’t have great control of their bodies and that makes it easy to just say “give it time,” it’s your imagination.

To start with you’ll have to just be real careful with your arm and shoulder for a long time. Tendons and joints tissue heal a lot slower than muscle. So if you are like me, no more super man for longer than you will like. When your arm is ok to move you’ll need to keep it mobile without putting a strain on the joint. Remember that the arm hangs from this joint if we are talking about the skeletal system. That means everything pulls on that very sore unstable joint. Good luck with using your arm without hurting the sc-joint from time time to time.

Getting back to the mobility issue, there is something called atrophy. That’s one reason old folks can’t get their arm over their head. Muscles shorten and become smaller and weaker while joint become stiff. Be real careful with your arm/shoulder so this doesn’t happen to you. In order to take the burden off the stiff shoulder joints you will end up with it’s worth the energy to work on t-spine mobility. Here’s one version of t-spine mobility. We are meant to have a mobile thoracic section of the spine. We lose that, way too often, because of our modern lifestyle. That can be a subject for another day. The physical therapist I go to works with the joint alignment as well as nerve issues. I am very happy that I found a good physical therapist. You can find him here. Ask for Niklas. I was and am still very thankful for his knowledge of how the body works. In my case several joints needed to be set straight because it was more than just the sc-joint that went out.

Once you are ready to train, the fun starts. I started with 1 kg hand weights. Just think I went from jerking 150 kgs. around to lifting 1 kg weights. Watch your ego if you want to get back to what you were doing. The weights will get heavier with time. You need to remember that the joint strength improves MUCH slower than muscle strength. It’s a baby step affaire from this point on. I can say That I am well past the baby weights with the current program. Not rushing is the reason.

I started with static/ isometric strength. I had to learn to use back and shoulder muscle to stabilize my arm before being able to push and pull. When doing lunges my arms hanged at my side. A lot of energy went into holding the arm in with the back and shoulder muscles. Most modern people don’t have the isometric strength, that they should, just like shoulder, t-spine and hip mobility. Once again … another post and another time. The shoulder program I did and still do grew/is growing. It’s an issue of not putting too mush strain on the joint. Front raises, lateral raises and reverse fly’s are but some of the exercises. I don’t push it to the limit to avoid making the joint too weak. That means a superset of one shoulder exercise after another. At the moment I am doing 6 exercises in the superset.  I started with 1 exercise. My shoulder are tired when I’m finished but I avoid feeling pain in the joint. Push until you have pain in the joint, and you will be knocked back a few weeks like I was after forgetting the baby steps. If I had to put a number on it, I am doing a 15-20 rm weight no more than 10 reps before going to the next in the superset.

Having the nerdy background in personal training, kettlebell training and other functional training as well as martial arts means that I have a good list of exercises in my head. The logical pushing exercise was and is the floor press. The shoulder is not pushed to an extreme like laying on a bench.  You’ll need to pack the shoulder blades in and down for stability in most of the exercises you do. The floor stops the backwards movement of the arm at a safe angle. I started with baby weight so I could work on stability and proprioception. My advice is to not take this for granted. Many people have very poor proprioception. Commonly called balance in many cases, that’s an incorrect use of the word balance.

The other half of this superset is a bend-over-row. Once again baby weights and isometric focus for the shoulder. With time you can let your shoulder drop towards the floor a little and pull it back into place as part of the exercise. As always, when stability is gone… DON’T PUSH IT.  Stop there for the day. My natural progression was to rotate my body with the light weights while working on holding my arm in place with tension in the shoulder and back muscles. Once again … baby steps! In the beginning I noticed how my arm just was not attacked to my chest plate like it should be if I was not careful.This version of the bend over row has helped greatly. Look at this experience as a reboot of the system in which you are going to have to learn to use your body in new ways.

My advise is to work on some extra core strength while you have the time. I do legs one day and body and shoulders the next with a thirds day’s break to heal up. On the leg days, my lunges and so on are controlled by the static shoulder strength/stability that I have for that exercise. When there is no stability , I stop right there! You can alway use a machine to lift more with your legs. Saying that really hurt :( The next day I’ll do my shoulder superset and floor press/ BOR superset. I end both days with a lat-pull based on stability not lat. muscle strength. We are talking baby steps again. I hope to start working again soon. I can feel this exercise helping a lot and am looking forward to heavier weights. It’s all about controlling every second of the lat-pull. That means reprogramming the other muscles to hold and not just let go. It can be done simply by taking it slow and teaching your body to do it. Overhead press is the next frontier so to speak. This movemnet pattern will take a little while to build up. We all need a project, the overhead press will be mine.

If you are like me, it’s pure heaven to do frontal and lateral t-spine mobility while using the lat-pull machine. You will get the joint decompression that makes you smile. It can be weird in the beginning, because you are holding tension in some muscle to avoid stressing the sc-joint, while trying to relax and do mobility drills for other parts of your back/body. Forget the rotational stuff if you are like me.

A final note could be about escrima training. I have started training escrima a little bit and I am still testing what I can and can not do. I will not be swinging big heavy axe handles around for a while. I’ll be using light rattan sticks. Short power strikes are also out for a while to come. The “reboot” or reprogramming my body to hold the shoulder stable will effect my training for a while to come as well as the short power techniques used when that time comes. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks … when they have to. ;)

We have to look at the dynamic stresses we put on our bodies when doing fma. Knowing my body like I do, will get me up and running so most people would say that I don’t show signs but there will be limitations and a rebooting of the system. Things will have to be changed. New ways of developing power are just some of them. I am looking forward to escrima training. I feel like a kid looking through the window of a candy store. The challenge will continue to be baby steps.

My advice to anyone with the same injury is to do the same. Make sure the rest of your body works like it should to take the stress off the sc-joint. And most importantly do the research. All doctors, therapist and personal trainers are not equal. If you live in the Copenhagen area and you need a good physical therapist contact Niklas at Nivå Fysioterapi. The other therapist there are very good as well. Don’t be afraid to piss some doctors off. I was just a number and I am where I am in my rehab because I will not be a number. As in all things in life, take charge and responsibility for your life.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training


FMA talk live podcast about Escrima, Arnis , Kali and more.

Check out FMA talk Live for information and interviews about Escrima Kali, Arnis and more.

I was talking with the guys about this podcast, I thought others might like to check it out. You can click here to see the FMA Talk Live site and podcast. It’s always great to hear and read about how other instructors look at their systems and teachings. I have it on my phone via Itunes. It’s well worth the time.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training


Kelly McGonigal: Controlling our Willpower

Kelly McGonigal: Controlling our Willpower

It’s time we look at what happens inside the human head / heart and body because of mental perspective. Stress is one of the largest factors when looking at intestinal permeability (example from nutrition). We ancestral eaters like to talk about gluten and so on. But going ancestral is called a lifestyle change because it’s about everything. We try to incorporate mental ideas and perspectives into the Latosa Concepts Blog posts. The video below with Kelly McGonigal is yet another one of these posts. “it’s all how you look at it,”… How many people have heard those wise words. (when used in the correct situation !!! ). Watch /listen to the video and start to really think about how you act / react to stress and other things in your life.

Heck it could be a self-defense situation you have to learn to see in a slightly different way in order to best cope with it.  Watching the people around me go through many situation that professionals have to live and cope with has helped to enforce the importance of this simple truth. Enjoy the TED video.

Stay Proactive!


Kelly Sarrett: Mobility Wod Principles

Kelly Starrett: Mobility Wod Principles video.

The name says it all. I watched this video again the other day.


Demo and explanation of FMA by GM Inosanto

Demo and explanation of FMA by GM Inosanto

I hope ya’ll are doing well. The sun is still shining and that makes a Texan in DK happy.

I thought it would be great to get back to the actual subject of this blog… FMA or Filipino Martial Arts. We have posted some videos that are about viking sword making and history, Japanese katanas and the culture around it, and other cool things like knives made from railroad spikes. The series of posts will continue. Today we are getting back to the FMA subject.

GM Inosanto did a demo and history presentation for the Smithsonian museum once. You will see him talk about the FMA history and show some techniques in the video. At the end he answers questions.

Stay Proactive  and Enjoy!


Balance, balance disrupting and power mechanisms. Latosa Concepts, FMA terminology.

Latosa Concepts from GM Rene LatosaWhat is balance disruption? Why do we learn about power mechanisms and balance?

To start with, we have to know how to keep our balance while moving and standing before we can learn to disrupt another persons balance. Why do I say this? We’ll start with an assumption … you are a big fellow! Well, a time is going to come when a person is bigger than you and you can not rely on sheer size. There are also the cases of people who have a natural sense of balance … kinda like cats. Do you know anybody who works on a ship / boat? In order to disrupt someones balance in as many ways as possible we have to know what the mechanisms are. Proprioception (knowing where your body is in time and space) plays in here as well. Balance and proprioception get used in each others place all the time. We’ll save that for another day and just use common terms.

The way we stand, in it’s self, tells us how to disrupt an attackers balance. By learning how to stand in a strong position and give the energy of our attack (or control techniques) a path into the opponent / attackers, we start to learn about disrupting balance. Does our body break at the hip or some other joint? If it does, we know we can disrupt an attackers balance in that same spot. Even more so if we stand well and strong, with the ability to explode with force!

By understanding how our own body combines the explosive ability of major joints we can figure out how to disrupt an attackers balance by a compound attack to his 2 joints or more. By understanding how the breaking of the wrist can lead to the locking out of the elbow and that in turn pulls the shoulder out of a strong position, we learn how to take an assailant down by way of his wrist. Please note, you are taking a chance when doing this in many cases. One guy I know is a perfect example of the people running around on the street, who do not feel pain like we do. He could just stands there and looks at a person who tried to apply locks to him. I know of at least two other people who are the same. Trust me when I say that, they are out there.

If a person has some tolerance for pain but is not immune to it we can recruit speed, timing and distance as a helping hand. Do you recognize the trinity?

We can also learn to use the movement of the assailant to disrupt his balance. We start to play with some of the ideas of mass and energy when we work with high triggers. In order to attack an assailant balance we can use his movement and movement patterns to our advantage.

When we look at pain, we can start to see other ways of effecting change in an attacker. Pain does terrible and wonderful things to all of us. And NO! … I am not into S&M. Give me a few years and I might get into it; I’m not there yet. Any hoo! … Looking at the people who do not feel pain in the normal way again, we can change things up. We can use equalizers to create pain and cause a disruption in someones balance. Here’s a simple example for you. Let someone push a pen or something else hard into your collar bone, chest plate or even the small bones of your hand. It’s funny how pain in/on your collar bone can buckle your knees!

Another way to create havoc in the nervous system is through an emotional response. The startle reflex can be used against a person. The karate people are not far of base in some aspect. Just yelling in someones face causes a reaction. The psychological reaction in the person makes life easy in some cases. In others it might cause an attacking spear reaction.

Looking at the different ways to cause balance disruption, we have been different ways to skin the cat. One of the reasons that a training session has a theme is to work on one or two of the subjects. It’s hard to say that this method or this method is the best at a given time. We will not know how we feel and other factors until we are in that time/situation on that given day. You might be in a Mike Tyson kinda mood that day or you might be in a mellow mood that day and take pity on the poor fellow. The method you use will change depending on your mood as long as you have trained different methods enough to make them a part of your real library of methods/tools.  This is why we should look at balance, high outside positions and low outside and inside position. We decrease the stress, so there is time to learn the tools of the trade before putting a person ( that means us) in a heated close quarters inside position, and with a weapon involved to boot!

That’s it for this round. The old fart is tired of writing. ;) Have a great day!

Stay proactive in Training and Life



Master Ron Saturno. Panantukan youtube video 1

This is for the guys so they understand some of the targets we are after and the areas we have to protect on our own bodies (and Why! ). It can get nerdy but if you have some idea of how the body works it’s great information.

Proactive in Life and Training


TED, Shawn Achor, and The Happy Secret to Better Work.

It’s great to giggle and laugh with your coffee. Starting the day in the correctly does wonders! Who can deny that getting your mind right helps the rest of the day to become a good one. If you are like me you like TED and TEDx. Another instructor turned me on to it a few years ago…thanks Jacques.

Why should you watch this video? To get your mind right and not be in the average group that researchers and people in general want you to be a part of.

Check it out and …. Be Proactive in Life and Training. 


HMMMM! If they don’t hit you, you hit them back!

Preempting and So What Training. Me like! Add some other Latosa Escrima  FMA theories and techniques to MMA and you get this.

Enjoy, CW.