Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society. A Rant?


Respect, the role of the instructor and general norms of society.

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

2 stick vs 1 stick, high-high-low drill

I hope ya’ll are doing well. This is going to be a bit of a rant or me just bitc….g about a subject and some thoughts on the subject.

It’s no secret that I am training my self up again after a nasty collar bone injury. This goes for normal strength and conditioning and LC Escrima training. Speaking of which, thanks for a cool training session at the beach yesterday Niklas! This old fart could feel it afterwards. I’m glad that I stayed at the beach to just lay around for a while. I’m looking forward to next time we train together.

Any Hoo! Back to the subject. Some of us were training at the beach and doing our best to not feel the heat. It was a hot day! For myself, I was doing my best to not feel my hectic schedule and the lack of sleep. In short “old fart stuff”! I felt all the 8,10,& 20 kg boxes I lift all day long. ;) The inspiration for this blog entry came from the fact that there was a group training at the beach not far away, and the instructor and 2 group members seem to really not understand the idea of personal space when walking by. Some would call it just stupid where I come from in Texas and in some circles here in DK. Provoking people training escrima is just silly! Add to that they did it twice just to prove a point….?

Any Hoo!! Back to the subject. Personal space is different everywhere in the world. In crowded country/cities, where there is a true mix of poor and other economic groups, like some Philippine cities, you will find people walking up against you without thinking about it. The New York streets could be another example of many people packed together in a small space. Here in DK, there is an odd mix of an understanding of personal space and a general respect, and there is a blatant habit of just doing something like walking too close when there is A LOT of space all around. It’s something you expect from teenage boys learning to find boundaries not instructors with a t-shirt proclaiming instructor for a club in Hellerup / Copenhagen. You see it also in young children of 1-5 years old because they are so focused on an end goal ( or something they saw) that they forget the world around them. Think of a 3 yr. old at the beach with his/her bucket and shovel and they have to dig right there beside you because they saw something in the sand. You smile and giggle at it when there is no expectation of normal social codes and more. It’s cute in many ways. And yes, I wrote cute. Blackmail me. ;)

It does not belong in the realm of instructors of crossfit! (hint), personal trainers!, self-defense trainers! and other coaches or teachers! There is supposed to be an understanding of respect for personal space! This understanding of respect for others personal space transcends other subjects like other people’s feeling as well as their opinions. As a personal trainer/ instructor, you have to understand the type of person you are working with. Once again, another reason, that I had a hard time not just getting down right angry at the lack of respect the instructor showed. Many of the people ( in the area ) who were curious asked if they could sit down close by and watch or just showed some respect and walked around…. leaving  a decent amount of space between them self and us. There are always dumb teenage boy trying to prove something and provoke a response, but they don’t have a t-shirt on declaring “instructor……” and they are not responsible for a group. They are not paid to lead!

You could say that it was not worth getting worked up about. Forget it and move on. We have to remember, that instructors set a tone for the group in which they are a members of or teach in. It’s the same for higher grades in martial arts. This is getting back to the big brother / little brother idea. Sociologist have performed studies on behaviour in groups. It’s common knowledge that one person cheating seems to open the flood gate for the next few then the whole group. There is a cool video on the subject. The speaker uses the expression….  fudge factor. If someone, like an instructor, does not respect one groups personal space then the people he is teaching tend let themselves invade other people space. There were many families and groups at the beach who experience the same thing we did. This will not end here, btw. I am just cooling down before I talk with the local club responsible.

When I was running around in clubs in Texas, chasing women and dancing, there were places, where almost everyone was nice, because anyone was ready to fight for keeps, if pushed to far. A fight could get real ugly really fast! The very unprofessional instructors and his two groupies would not last long where I come from. Then we could look at the totally unprofessional behaviour of the person and the implications down the line….. economic, and moral. I can tell you there are several people at the beach that day who will never get close to the club in question.

One reason this angers me so, is because, I take teaching very seriously. Instructors are guides in life in many ways.  That’s why I like to be called coach. A coach sets an example while trying to give to those willing to listen. Yet another reason I like instructors like R. Latosa & Martin Rooney. One of the reason I took the job of training the ice skaters, was that I like to see the development of young people to a type of person with a life code not to mention the development of tools and abilities that might make them an olympic athlete. When I say/write life code, I am referring to a way of treating others as you would like to be treated, a way of living up to a higher moral way of treating others, & living as well as showing respect for one self.

Good instructors / coaches and other teaching professionals try to understand the people they train / coach so that they can help them as much as possible. They want to inspire not lead people down the wrong path of blatant disrespect. This leads to the student not respecting themselves in the end and the cycle starts all over again.

To see a Ted Talk video about the “fudge factor”  click here. It’s really cool.The Ted Site has a better video format. That was my rant! The next blog post will be about Latosa Concepts Escrima training. We might even put some video up.

BTW, excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes. There might be a few more than usual.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training.

CW

Latosa Concepts Escrima. What happen when you focus on one thing?


 Latosa Concepts Escrima. What happen when you focus on one thing?

Latosa Concepts free sparring helmets

The equipment before the storm. LC Escrima free sparring day at the beach

I hope ya’ll are doing well. The sun is shining strongly here in DK. Old Texans like that! I just got back from the beach where we got our fill of free vitamin D. Now it’s time to sit in the shade and put a few words down for ya’ll out there in internet world.

The subject for today is … What happens when we focus a whole lot on one thing? Before I went on a two week break from training, we

Latosa Concepts 2 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

Latosa Concepts 2 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

had worked on strong strikes against an attackers attack. Example: Hard #1 strike vs a #1 from the other man.

You might ask yourself… why do that? The trick is to remember that on the street hitting the bad guy

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs unarmed  free sparring

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs unarmed free sparring

/attacker / assailant fast and hard is best in many cases. Destroying the power in his attack is also a good idea in many cases. By slightly adjusting a  #1 downward towards the attackers weapon, hand or arm the attackers #1 strike is a tool against him. He is open and out of balance. The problem with training /sparring with people in your own training group is that they have the same plan and know what to do. In short it looks ugly sometimes. It looks like people trading blows.

Our free sparring session at the beach was much more online and it looked like people trading blows back and

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs 1 stick  free sparring

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

forth in much more a degree, than we have shown in some of the video from older posts. Once again there are factors the “lookers-on” have to take into consideration. The strikes to the head would take a person out if they happened on the street. The strikes to the hands would cause the assailants to drop the weapon on the street. The same goes for the good hits to the arms. In short, what you see is not what you get when you watch sparring with protective gear. The sticks we use for sparring are fully padded rattan sticks. A hit to the head or hand with a real blunt object have a defined effect that can’t be denied. Things break. Once again, people don’t have hockey gloves on the street! Most people will use an object that does not bend like the stick in a picture above. Check out the melon bash we did a time back. Click here. It will also give an idea of what happens.

Latosa Concepts Copenhagen melon bash

Went through it like butter with a hot knife!

Be it a knife, a blunt object you might have in your hand, or some other object you find in the general vicinity, something happens when hard / sharp / pointed objects hit the human body. Many people forget that when they watch two people trading blows.

In reality, it’s all about hitting the other guy faster than he can hit you. When that skill set is learned, then the fancy stuff can be trained. In my book at least. I could see that in our beach session, before I took a well needed 2 week break from training. The old fart needed the rest after he sparred with some young guys full of way too much energy! ;)

As always it’s good to work on a theme for a while before switching to a new focus point or concept. Next time it will be a little more movement offline with the attacks. That will happen naturally with two stick matches, because they demand room, if the sticks are not to get bound up by the other man’s arms. When we put the gear on again the “lookers-on” will see prettier sparring sessions. After that, we’ll get back to the hard ugly stuff again. You get what you practice.

BTW, well done guys. For all the old farts out there. Make sure you get your sleep before doing 2 minutes sparring and 1 min rest with a bunch of wiper-snappers! I didn’t and paid the price. ;)

Ya’ll take care and have a great day.

Proactive in Life and Training

CW

 

Latosa Concepts, FMA terminology. Movement is King?


Screen shot 2014-06-09 at 12.42.47 PMLatosa Concepts, FMA terminology. Movement is King?

I hope ya’ll are doing well. This will be an escrima terminology post about a subject that popped up because of some old video I put up here on the blog in the last last blog post.

Before I get into that, I just got back from the Copenhagen Middle Age Market. My son and I made an outing of it. It does the soul good to get out and bond with your son. Get off the sofa right this moment, if you haven’t done it in a while! We both have the same interest. Knowing some of the people, who are doing the Battle of Nations style fighting and some other sword training styles made for a good start. I was lucky enough to see a whole mess of old friends, students, training partners and and even my earlier instructor, Lars Lind. My son and I even got a drinking horn from the trip. AAARG! ARRRG!

Any Hoo! Back to the real subject at hand. As I wrote, the free sparring video of the guys in our training group is the reason for this blog entry. In one of the videos you hear me saying that movement is king.

Do I mean people should hop around like Muhammad Ali in his early years?  The answer is a resounding …NO! We are not bunny rabbits! A good way to understand what movement does is when cars start a race from a rolling start. This rolling start does not have to be that exaggerated or extreme. In fact, in our case, it can be totally mental or just the slightest movement in how tight your fist is clinched. The idea is not to stagnate or fall into a moment of unawareness. A moment of unawareness is just as much of an opening/window of attack as an arm that falls.

Another aspect of this movement is that it can put you at a distance that allows a short moment of less attention. In our training group, we like to press in & fly out while attacking a target such as an arm after a combination / attack sequence is done. As long as we are in close, we have to be hyper vigilant and aware of dangers. Now that my arm is doing better and I am training with the group again, I do enjoy my little breaks. Old farts need to breath and keep the distance more often than the young men. ;)

We hear that our concentration span is shorter today. Having a well developed concentration span is very good in a self-defense / sparring session and every day life. When the body becomes tired the mind want to take little breaks as well. It takes discipline to not give way to this urge when sparring and / or defending our selves. Forcing ourselves to move little parts of our body or weapon help to avoid mental stagnation and a head ache or worse!

Any Hoo! Movement is king is not jumping around like a hyper active bunny! It’s all about keeping the mental and physical energy going so we can act and react when we need to.

I’ll be updating the new site for the personal training and group strength and conditioning classes that I offer now. Go to www.HardcoreFunctional.me to see what is happening there. I’ll be reposting some of the strength and conditioning post from this blog as well as touching on some new subjects in health, wellness and training.

I hope all you tough guys enjoy the bunny video! ;) He he he! Now go to the http://www.KMM.dk.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW

The grit to get through life. Robb Wolf and Joe DeSena podcast.


Grit to get through life. Robb Wolf and Joe DeSena podcast.

It’s no secret that I like my podcast. They are an introduction to many books and an easy way to listen and do something else at the same time.  The word convenient comes to mind. Besides that, old farts like me like talk radio. This time around I was listening to Robb Wolf and Joe DeSena talk. In many ways, there were a lot of views that carry over to what we do when we train escrima, kali, combative sports and martial arts. One of the subjects talked about was grit to continue even though things become tough. My old training partner, MA, showed that when he won the last Biting Rattan with his right hand, after getting his left arm was broken. He’s a lefty.  Having kids, I also liked what they talked about regarding other subjects. Any HOO! Click the link and listen to it. It’s not a nutritional show this time around.

I’m thinking about the next escrima, self-defense subject to write about. Have a great day.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

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

CW

 

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

CW

Body language documentary video. Latosa Concepts FMA terminology and psychology.


Body language documentary video. Latosa Concepts FMA terminology and psychology.

In this video, you see and hear about body language in politicians, liars, hard core criminals, and more. Some might say the word politician covers all that but we’ll stay away from that little twist for now. ;) It pays to understand why people act the way they do, as well as signs of what they are thinking. The videos also tells about the voice nuances which can be understood in different ways. As martial artist and combative trained professionals, we should have the skill of reading people to be aware of what they are thinking and what they may do. It’s great to get just a little nerdy with subjects like this from time to time.  ;)

The original video was taken down, so I found these to replace the older one. Both are good. The first mays seem old but it’s well worth the time. The man talking is very good at explaining how things work.

 Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW 

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 some 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

CW

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!

CW

Kelly Sarrett: Mobility Wod Principles


Kelly Starrett: Mobility Wod Principles video.

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