Martial Arts

On an almost daily basis, I get no shortage of messages through emails, DMs, & my public Facebook page asking me about what the best strength training, rehab protocols, or sport specific training implements/methods are.
 
The questions that come in are almost always some form of “I do ______ as my sport” or “I injured my _______”, then continue with “Should I get Bulgarian bags, Russian kettlebells, battle ropes, steel maces, elastic stretch bands, Indian clubs, Persian meels, etc., etc….?”
 
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Let me sum it up like this.
 
If you don’t FIRST invest the time, energy, & resources into learning a SYSTEM (such as StrongFirst‘s SFG) to teach you how to better understand your body and THEN understand the implement, you’re very likely on the wrong end of the 80/20 Rule.
 
I LOVE the equipment I get to work with because I train in a manner such that I try to execute every rep in such a manner that it feeds the improved functionality of my body. If I don’t hurt less or have improved range of motion or power AFTER using it, then I’m doing it all wrong & wasting time by feeding the DYSfunction of my body.
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So whether it’s a TRX Training suspension trainer, an Onnit steel mace, a Revgear Sports Co. Motion Master, a Bunal Brand FMA Equipment padded sparring trainer, or even a bottle of CavemanCoffeeCo Cold Brew, if you don’t want to take the time to understand how to optimize your use of the tool for your specific conditions, then all you have is either an expensive dust collector or a liability.
 
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This is probably a long-winded way of saying “Please don’t ask me for recommendations that need to be individualized and shouldn’t be based off of assumptions. I can & have been pointing the way in terms of generalities, but I will NOT dispense what I consider to be responsible medical advice via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram in situations where an individualized assessment needs to be performed.”
There are plenty of people out there who’ll gladly dispense such advice via Facebook or email. I am not one of them. 

Demonstrating how "footwork" can also double for trapping purposes with either armed or unarmed striking

Ikazuchi Dojo is the headquarters of the world-famous aikido master, Matsuoka Haruo Sensei. The dojo’s co-founder, Josh Gold Sensei, invited Dr. Cheng down several months ago to teach a workshop on small blade techniques. The response from that first workshop was so strong that a second workshop was scheduled, building on concepts taught in the first one, reviewing prior concepts & techniques while introducing new ones.

While teaching at such a high-caliber martial arts school can certainly be stressful, Dr. Cheng’s small blade training is primarily from his training with the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto.  Covering the fundamentals of footwork, blade strategy, and the Illustrisimo cinco teros response drills, the aikidoka who packed the mat were taught reproducible skills in bite-sized chunks, delivered mostly within the context of game-play. Game play within a set of limited rules allows the participants to learn & develop combat-applicable concepts and practice them on a live partner while minimizing the risk of injury and/or bloodshed.

Using game-play pedagogical methods, Dr. Cheng introduced the workshop participants to skill development drills that are applicable for short blade work.
Using game-play pedagogical methods, Dr. Cheng introduced the workshop participants to skill development drills that are applicable for short blade work.

This second 2 hr workshop covered reverse grip concepts and drills, many of which are highly applicable to the wildly popular karambit. Using Cold Steel polypropylene trainers and polished aluminum PM Training Blades, as well as the traditional Japanese-style wooden tanto, students were able to feel the techniques, positions, and strategies at work.

Demonstrating how "footwork" can also double for trapping purposes with either armed or unarmed striking
Demonstrating how “footwork” can also double for trapping purposes with either armed or unarmed striking

As participants grew increasingly familiar with the drills and responses, they were able to employ the entrances & counters of Filipino Kali and transition smoothly into the controls, locks, throws, & pins of their mother art.

For those who missed this event, Dr. Cheng is in the process of confirming dates for the next workshop with Josh Gold Sensei and will advise as soon as the dates & times have been finalized.

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