i’ve noticed more people subscribing / following my blog. thank you!
currently it’s centered around krav maga and my general (and not so general) thoughts on self defense. i’ve mentioned that i crossfit in previous posts, but i’ve generally kept most of my thoughts on crossfit to myself.
is anyone interested on reading my thoughts on crossfit? or should i keep the focus on krav? (they DO compliment each other very well)
as i sit here listening to k-earth 101 via iTunes, i am reflecting on the days classes. the thing about conditioning, no matter how much improvement i seem to make, it’s never easier than it was before. there are always more walls just a bit past the ones i just jumped. but, crissy* has helped me become much fitter than i was before i started crissy, there is no doubt about that. running has improved, strength has improved, coordination has improved, body mechanics have improved, endurance has improved, spirit has improved, heart has improved, confidence has improved—all around i am at a different level now than i was before both physically and mentally. and yet, conditioning still never gets easier. we ran a similar workout as what jeanette ran on thursday, warm up to powell and back, circle of death with musical bags, and then a mini wod:
then for fun we did one-handed over-head squats with a kettlebell, 10 on each side, then a handstand hold for time. sadistic. i guess i’m saddicted (WOMP).
an hour later i stepped into christian’s level 2 class. the last time i took his class, i was thoroughly impressed with him as a teacher, but due to timing i haven’t been able to take another of his classes since. our material for the day:
warmups: touching shoulders with multiple partners touching shoulders with one arm inoperative (dangles limp to one side) all level 1 chokes with multiple partners all level 1 chokes with one arm inoperative (dangles limp to one side) knee + clinch work
defenses: sprawling space and base bear hug from the front, with arms caught and free
now that i’ve written it out, it doesn’t look like a whole lot, but christian’s attention to detail really made this class today. he did a great job of stopping us when needed to show us what he’s seeing wrong, demo the correct way to do it and why.
1. the knees from a clinch: he stopped the class almost right away for this. some of us in class (i was in this group) were clinching but not staying centered which made us (me) throw knees from a further position which didn’t allow our hips to open up and drive power into the targets. once fixed, i could notice the difference immediately—MUCH more powerful.
2. mind your surroundings at all times. be aware of the people around you, in a real confrontation you have no idea who the target’s friends are.
3. mind the thumbs. always always ALWAYS—plucking hands. leave em out there and they’ll get broken and they’ll also rob you of power in your defenses.
4. space and base: arms straight as manageable, aim for the hips, and drop your weight. do not bend over. bending over compromises your balance.
christian also mentioned another thing in class that i thought was great, but i’m torn over how i feel about it—keeping a journal for note taking. while i agree this can help, i’ve since changed my methods since college and i now take very few notes. a extremely respected teacher (lou danziger) from my college told my class one day “i don’t take notes and you shouldn’t either. they distract the student from paying attention to what’s being discussed. and because they’re taking notes all class, they miss the class. they should just pay better attention instead.” (this is paraphrased, but is pretty close to verbatim). so i took his advice and instead of taking notes, i doodled in his class instead while i listened to him. for whatever reason, knowing i have nothing to fall back on forces me to pay better attention. the fact i can remember this much about the classes, one, two, sometimes 5 hours after class is a tribute to this method. anyways, regardless—in some way, this blog is MY notebook. so, yeah. take notes. write shit down. help yourself remember it. whatever it takes, have a reference for yourself.
*crissy, aka crossfit. yes, i have given my gym activities persona’s. it makes me laugh.
89 days of krav, which is almost 100 days of krav and i’m cramming as much info into my brain bucket as i can for the upcoming belt test. without a doubt in my mind, i’ll see day 100 come before the test. but tonight was a mega-review…
first up was conditioning class. always never a super fun time, but fun in a way that i think hell would be fun. the recipe for disaster today was running and burpees. our warm up with a run to powell street and back (1.4 miles), circle of death (more running in a circle), then a tiny break, run 400m, and arrive back to find this on the mirror:
20 burpees 30 pushups 40 lunge jumps 50 sit ups 60 airsquats 70 combatives 400m run
then upon returning from the 400m, you run this thing in reverse, 70, 60, 50, etc. thanks to crossfit, i was able to hold my own through this. in a way, it felt like a crossfit workout we may have done before. either way, i was kaput by the end of it. then it was time for level 2. pam covered barney’s class and i want to guess her theme for the class was Fucking Brutal (just a hunch). we started with shadow boxing around the room, turned it into dynamic stretching, then followed pam out to the alley for a sprint to polk and back. when we got back, we lined up in the hallway, and did a type of “promenade” where the first two in the hallway do an alley sprint and then fight their way to the end of the line while the rest of us are doing all level 1 chokes and defenses on each other, then the next pair runs, so on and so forth. once we finished that, we went back upstairs and proceeded to go through our stand up game:
inside defense moving to dead side inside defense moving to live side (left v. left; right v. right) hook defense - 360 & absorbing bob & weave then we did these defenses in a random / 80% speed sparring format.
after a very intense session with those defenses, we had time to go over one level 3 ground move: the guard reversal aka sit up and sweep.
this was tricky to get at first, but after doing it a couple times, it became easier that i expected. the fact that it worked for me against my partner who towers over me about a foot and a half, and out weighs me by who-knows-how-much, is a great indication of 1. how well this material can work, and 2. that size truly does not matter.
so, the assessment after this night? i have plenty of work to do to clean up my techniques. my endurance / physical stamina i don’t think will be a problem (which is great) i just need to make sure my moves are “extra-crispy” now. practice, practice, practice.
Days 85, 86, and 87 have all come and gone, and all three days focused on side / back kicks and ground work. these were good training days, but i had reached an exhaustion point which ultimately kept me from writing anything for the last month. but with the belt test coming up (june 26th) it’s time for me to stop being lazy and start writing again. one of the benefits of writing this down is that it commits the techniques to mind better than if i didn’t write about them. having to think back and go over what was just done reinforces the techniques and forces me to visualize them. the plan until the test is to cram as many level 2 classes in as possible, lay off the crossfit and swap it with conditioning, and find a couple willing partners to practice with. along with changing my diet to exclude sugar and eat paleolithic, i have a feeling i’ll be ok. (isn’t it always “going to be ok”?)
there are 14 days until the test. this means:
5 conditioning classes 12 level 2 classes 6 level 1 classes 2 open training days (fridays) 2 crossfit days
i will hit conditioning and level 2 classes as my priorities. level 1 classes and crossfit are not current priorities other than to help my endurance training. well, looks like i’m booked up until the 26th yo. anyone wanna spar?
holy shit! i’m WAY behind on posts and i’m not exactly sure what i want to talk about. so i’ll type, and we’ll see where this goes… hopefully it’s fun.
so, i do know that after being out for two weeks, i wasn’t sure how to proceed with coming back—should i dive into the deep end and pretend i can swim, or do i take it easy and wear the floaties? seems like i’m doing both… because of the crossfit and conditioning classes i have been able to go at it pretty hard. this is usually done by taking xf or conditioning, followed by a krav class. but if i need to take a day off or cut out a class, i’m doing so. i’m finding it extremely worthwhile to pay attention to what my body is telling me, even if my brain doesn’t want to pay attention.
the break down for the last few days is as follows:
04/26/10 Day 80: crossfit / level 1 04/27/10 Day 81: level 2 / level 1 04/29/10 Day 82: conditioning / level 2 05/01/10 Saturday: crossfit 05/03/10 Day 83: crossfit / level 1 05/04/10 Day 84: level 2
just looking at that schedule brings the pain back to life. put simply, there has been a lot of running involved. i’m not a fan of running, in fact—i fucking HATE running. but… i have been seeing the results i get from running and i am liking the results. but on the flip side, just in the last couple nights, i have noticed the fatigue because i am getting gassed way to easily in kraal. i am certain its from the “go hard” attitude doing xf or conditioning before a krav class, but there is no easy way out of hell. so i “suffer” through this and wait for my body to catch up.
the good: i ran my first 5k, in just over 30 minutes (31:15). considering how i feel about running, i am pretty stoked on that time. i also learned how to “kip” my pull ups. i am and will continue to be a HUGE fan of strict, dead hang pull ups, but this kipping thing is pretty interesting. i’m feeling soreness in muscles i didn’t know how to work, and the momentum generated from kipping allows for more pull ups. this is good news for those wods that Rx 40+ pull ups, trying to dead hang those is a terrifying thought. next is figuring out the butterfly kip. the level 1 warm ups have been interesting as of late too, a lot of variations on the touching shoulders drill: targets are being changed (shoulders, abs, knees, feet), attacks are being added (choke from the front and shooting bearhugs), as well as scenarios involving third party defense (groups of 4, 2 stand back to back with the other 2 facing them. you protect the person behind you from the person in front of you). these variations have added a new dynamic to the drill (in a good way).
the bad: my side kicks (with & without advance) and my back kicks (with & without advance) need work. getting there, but still need repetition to drill the techniques home. no more bouncing back from the kick, or falling over. also need to work on the buck, trap, roll. even though i was gassed when i did it, that’s no excuse for the sloppy performance. and gassing out—this is being worked on every time i go to krav / xf / conditioning. and as shitty as the running is, it helps so much, it’s difficult to ignore it.
the ugly: running a 5k. i had no idea there was so much snot, sweat, and drool. fucking disgusting. i must relearn the snot rocket (thank you neti pot). last week i tweaked my wrist throwing hook punches. barney showed me that i’m not keeping my wrist straight when i throw the hook. so even though it feels ok 80% of the time, but there’s that 20% where i run the risk of really fucking my wrist up, possibly even breaking it. so now i get to relearn how to throw my hook. burpees. they never get any better. easier? maybe a little. but they still haunt my nightmares.
this concludes our test of the emergency broadcast system. if this was a real test, you would have heard instructions following the tone. this was only a test.
ooh, it’s been a while since the last post hasn’t it? ok, first i need to do a rundown of the pain inflicted today.
First up was crossfit (also referred to as “crissy fit”, “crissy”, or just plain “cris”): warmup: run 1 mile wod: Tabata This—20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. 8 rounds of; Pull ups (4,4,4,3,3,1,1,0=20) Sit ups (12,11,11,11,10,10,10,8=85) Push ups (15,12,5,6,4,0,3,0=45) and Air Squats (16,15,13,13,11,13,12,13=101) for a combined total of 151.
After that we reviewed how to do the back squat then proceeded to try it with weight. i did: 5 @ 95# 5 @ 105# and 5 @ 115#
those felt good, i haven’t done a proper squat since high school, so it was nice to do an exercise that i remember i grew to hate when i was younger, yet since its “new again” the desire to do it right prevailed. and when there’s weight on the bar, it definitely easier to get all the way down into proper position. a wooden dowel just isn’t the same, though looks can be deceiving.
after that behemoth, i thought taking a level 1 class with mark would be a great idea! i swear, my mind works against me—i’m only a glutton for punishment because i’m dumb. regardless of how badly my arms and legs shook, i went on with it, and i’m glad i did. there’s nothing like a level 1 class to get you back on track after a week off from krav (also referred to as “kravina” or “the girl friend”). let’s see if i can remember the laundry list:
1. fight stance and movement 2. punching while advancing and retreating 3. focus-mitt work with straight punches: 10 left, 10 right, 10 combo, repeat until switch 4. groin kicks: 10 right, 10 left 5. knees, no clinch: 10 right, 10 left 6. exhaustion drill, done across the length of the room: to: advancing punches, fro: retreating punches, return: 10 push ups, 10 sit ups to: groin kicks, fro: groin kicks, return: 10 push ups, 10 sit ups to: right knees, fro: left knees, return: 10 push ups, 10 sit ups break for water 7. choke from the front, single hand pluck with palm strike – groin kick, and multiple knee follow ups. 8. stress drill: The Fedor Drill* (look up and spin for a determined amount of time), close eyes and defend against choke from the front with a single hand pluck.
THAT was my night. and now i am sore, battered, and exhausted and i feel great. a week away was too much. this site is my mental dump for my krav training and anything related and i have a post i wrote on my plane ride to new orleans, but the draft i wrote is difficult to follow even for me. therefore i must clean it up and make the connections i think i meant to make before i can share it at large (er… medium?)
pay attention, be aware, and keep out of trouble.
*The Fedor Drill, the point of it is that by spinning around and making yourself dizzy, you recreate the the feeling of being either a. drunk, or b. dazed. i REALLY like this drill. it’ll put hair on your chest and make a man of you (or a woman).
again, another post that is almost a week late. a lot to talk about tonight, first up: trey’s level 2 class. it was enjoyably intense as always because we focused on ground work. by the end of class i was as happy as a pig in shit. we covered about 3-4 new techniques. almost all of the drills were ground based—trey even made us do 10 reps of getting up tactically on from each side… twice! the defenses we went over were:
1. kick out from the guard (shrimping) 2. shrimping 3. bucking 4. trap / buck / roll
i felt pretty good about my performance with these defenses. one buck tossed my partner completely off me—my partner definitely out-weighed me, so this was the proof that bucking can work. the trick to bucking is to keep your feet close to your butt, and then buck like you got your nuts slapped. good stuff.
after class, i left feeling *bleh* and when i got home i ptfo’d and woke up to my cat dragging me off my bed by my arm. tough little shit, that cat… anyways, as i awoke the sinus infection was in full effect. i hate sinus infections, they always leave me feeling like my sinuses are crawling with lava.
i was also trying to find my way to the xf sectionals in san jose. the ticket was secured, as well as a ride (thanks pam, thanks shal!), and by saturday morning, sinus infection or no, i was up at 5:30am to trek over and meet shal so we could leave at 7am. we made it to san jose’s Archbishop Mitty High School by 8:15am and the crowd that was gathered there was quite eclectic—a lot of tattoos, a lot of big guys, and even bigger girls. each xf affiliate was wearing their corresponding t-shirt so you knew who trained where, and the names of some of the affiliates was pretty intense. this crowd is a colorful crowd. colorful and fun to watch.
the facilities were amazing, but i suppose that’s to be expected for a private catholic high school. what sucked was you couldn’t see the competitor’s area for shit, and the spectators were forced to stay in the bleachers. hopefully things be different next year. after this weekend i’m pretty convinced i want to go to the xf games in july though. it should be fun and the competitors are ALL monsters. we had 7 guys from our gym compete, and i believe 4 made it to the next day. i was really impressed with the work that they all did. the workouts on saturday were brutal, but not nearly as much as sundays workout. this post has the final results of our guys: http://www.crossfitkmsf.com/my_weblog/2010/03/2010-norcal-sectionals-results.html
two days ago i took the intro xf class and the resulting pain from that class was the simulated sensation of injecting napalm into the inside of my thighs, ass, and lower back. and tonight i went back for more. for the next four weeks, every monday night there’s a xf elements class. to my understanding these monday classes are meant ot help build upon what you’ve already learned in the intro class.
so, after our warmup session, lake informed us (the ‘elements’ class) that we are “heat 3”. our workout for the day (don’t know if i can deal with using the term WOD yet… ) was:
10 deadlifts 10 pushups x10
the xf standards—apparently—are 135# for men, and 95# for women. but, since lake conducted the intro seminar with us on saturday, he wasn’t expecting any of us to do those weights yet. he wanted us to use a weight that was comfortable for us, but not killing us. so before we began our heat, we spent 10-15 minutes testing out the weights on the bar, and finding our ideal beginning weight. i know i can deadlift 135#, but… 1. it’s been 15+ years since i’ve deadlifted ANYTHING, and 2. i have no idea what effect the number of reps will do to me, even if it is a lower weight. so, to be safe i went light—65#—i’m not trying to kill myself. once heat #2 was through we set up our bars. as soon as lake said “go”, we would be timed. so, lake said go and we went. deadlift wise, no problems. i was able to do the whole 10x10 with no ill effect. my back felt fine, hamstrings felt fine. the pushups however, were more difficult than i expected them to be. by round 5 i was gassing out. between round 5 and round 10 i took 3 small breaks, i shook out my arms twice, and i went to complete failure twice. but i finished, and under ten minutes to boot: 9:03. a couple weeks of this and i should be in proper shape to do an actual workout. i need to workout so i can workout. the hell?