Posts Tagged ‘Martial Art’

Haven’t logged much in a little while. Been doing small, sporadic little workout sessions, mostly picking up the kettlebell for a few drills, some qi gong and yoga exercises, and a good longsword session.

Today, I went hardcore. A little strength, a litte METCON. A good bit of sweat. I think I needed it. I’d been feeling out of sorts for a couple of days–achy and a little bummed. Maybe an energy let-down after a high-e week where we let our excellent product at work loose.

In any case, today I started off with several minutes of double heavy bag striking. I like working with my two bags. Adds interesting tactics to my multiple striking options. Fun! 🙂

I then did a variety of kettlebell movements, working a lot of different angles and areas. That led to an energetic six-minute kbell swing session. Using the 24 kg bell, I did both two-hand and single-hand swings, taking breaks to catch my breath.

Followed that up with 10 reps each side of the twisted press (24 kg kbell), then 5 or 10 each side of the two hands windmill, with the 24 kg bell on the high side of the windmill and the 32 kb bell on the low side.

Then I did one of my absolute favorite exercises, the long cycle clean and jerk (LCCJ). 10 each side, 24 kg kettlebell. For some more ab work, I used the 24 kg bell for 10 each side of the half Turkish Get Up.

And to cap it all off, I went back to the venerable two-handed swing, for five minutes with the 32 kg bell. Forearms were still there, but barely. Mostly smoked.

Breathing, stretching and light meditation to recover. Booyah.

Music: Pandora Loreena McKennitt station.
Diet: Fasted since breakast (eaten at lunch time).


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Last coupla workouts were simplicity defined:

Sticking with the 32 kg kettlebell, a quick five minute Turkish Get Up session (with the last few seconds on the floor doing ab pullovers with the bell).

Back to basics with the “Ultimate Aerobic Workout,” as demonstrated on its page to the right. Hadn’t done that in a while, and my shoulder was taking it hard. The various push ups were not feeling too well, even with a warm-up consisting of posting and sit-outs. I still haven’t been fencing with the fencing folks in a while; my shoulder is just not up to that kind of stress. I can do a lot of different exercises, but when I fence O-style, it really seems to tear my shoulder up, alas, so I don’t do it when it’s not near 100%.

Ah well.

Music: Pandora “Yoga” mix (Arabic/Indian electronica/ambient).

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So today, I did an early, then a late PT. Just kinda worked out that way.

Going back to yesterday (Saturday), first… it was a pretty explosive session, which included lots of heavy bag with stick and limbs for the pre-fatiguing/warm up. Then went into the tabata protocol of 20/10 that I’ve been using a lot with kettlebells.

I stayed totally with the medium bell, Wilson (24 kg), and did mostly jerks. Other stuff, too, but I don’t quite remember. It’s all starting to run together… 🙂

Finished off with a nice thorough stretch for cooldown. Ahhhh. Then off to get some steak salad then see some friends for a couple of movies later.

Music: Afro-Celt Sound System, POD

Today, I had the noonish session, also concentrating on the tabata protocol. After some martial arts practice with the roommate, concentrating on stick, and knife, I went through two rounds of eight sets, doing sit outs, abs (kettlebell pullover), and legs for the first round. Second round ending with four sets of legs, this time.

Rounded it all out with a healthy session of stretching/yoga.

Music: The rest of the POD album from the Afro-Celt Sound System.

Next saw me going to meet some friends for a birthday party and my meal of the day at the local Capitol Ale House. Had some of the prime rib, yummy mushrooms, and a small dab of mashed potatoes. Also a Great Divide Hibernation Barley Wine. It was… okay, but for me, the maltiness was a bit much. It was great to see all the fencers (past and present) and to meet a couple of new folks! Then it was back home to get some stuff done.

The evening session had me going for more of a straight up grind. Instead of explosive lifts, I stuck with a simple count (not tabata) of ten or so each hand cleans with the 24 kg bell, then five each hand with the 32 kg bell. Then back to 10 with each hand with the 24.

Next, I hit up the kbell military press. 10 or so each hand 24s, then five each hand with the 32 kg bells. And back to 10 with the 24 kg bell. Some stretching, and that was it. Good stuff. Got warm, but not really sweaty, though I could definitely feel a bit of working going on. One thing to say about all this working out stuff, it getting my breathing a lot more… locked in, if you will. I’m still not a “hard style” guy so much, where you squeeze super tight and add all the tension you can, but I am trying to tweak my breathing all the time and pay attention to how I breathe and where in the movement I inhale and exhale.

Music: None. Just the rush of air in and out… 🙂

There you have it.

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Some work from today, yesterday, and Sunday.

Sunday I went with the roommate over to visit some folks that are big into the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) thing. It’s the worldwide group that “celebrates the Middle Ages as they should have been.”

Super good peeps, they took me right in as if we’d known each other for years. As is typical of the SCA folk. I was involved a bit when I was at WVU, with The House of the Drunken Badger. Dealing with these folks was like a total flashback for me. There’s a certain look to the folks, to the house; a certain flavor, a certain… je ne sais quoi that I usually see that involves cats, dogs, beer, beards, weird, unnamable objects (by the lay public, that is) left in corners, and bookshelves of fantasy and science fiction literature (as well as esoteric volumes about obscure crafts and lore).

I felt immediately at home, and wary, too. The SCA is the type of hobby that can eat your life, and these folks often have a hard time understanding why you can’t center your life around the Middle Ages as well.

Nonetheless, it was a good group and I really enjoyed talking with them. The homeowner apparently is a bowman of some renown in the organization, and apparently anytime anyone shows up, the bows and arrows come out for practice/competition.

He most graciously asked if would care to join in the fun of chucking arrows downrange, and honestly, I do rather like to shoot archery, so I accepted. So, a group of us shot and shot until the rain started to pour, and I had a good time. Shooting archery, though not particularly taxing, is still a) not sitting around on the couch, b) a decent skill/strength workout.

In my case, I was using a recurve bow of only 25 pounds and flu-flu arrows. Normally I use a 55# recurve and normal arrows, but using the 25# bow was nice and easy. Shooting flus from a 25# bow was challenging, in the sense that the flu-flus don’t want to go the forty yards downrange unless you angle up like you’re trying to shoot aircraft.

Tuesday was over at University of Mary Washington to help with the fencing club. It’s always a pleasure to go over there, and it’s one way I feel like I’m contributing to the community. It’s actually the first practice I’ve been to this semester. Travel, long workdays, and an injury or two have conspired to keep me away.

Again, not too taxing; I was over there with my neoprene knee brace on as much a signal that I wouldn’t be doing a heavy amount of lunging as for actual protection. But, no hard bouting ensued. I mostly helped in training coupé (cut-over) and dégage (disengage) techniques and tactics. Had a good one-on-one with one of the students (David, I believe).

Tonight’s affair was, however, of a completely different nature. It involved a lot of sweat.

Started off with 10-20 minutes of stick work (kali and jo) vs heavy bag to loosen up. Then I went into tabata kettlebells. I stayed with the baby bell today (16 kg). I practiced a few timed sets with what Coach Scott Sonnon calls the “Swingblade,” a sort of swing-lunge affair that I found quite taxing. I’ll be beating on that one a lot in the future, I can tell. I closed out that round with explosive two-handed swings.

Next tabata round: LCCJ (long cycle clean and jerks). Another good four minute round of love, yum-yum.

Next round was not tabata, but a long four minutes or so of capoeira-like movements around the heavy bag.

Back to the bell for the last round: snatches. Oh, yeah, felt gooooood. Mm-mm, getcha some! Okay, so I was a little hyped. 🙂 Finished off with the usual cooldown/stretch session, and I managed not to twist my knee out of its socket this time. Yay me.

Music: Billy Idol’s much maligned Cyberpunk album.

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Summary report for our “Ringen,” or wrestling seminar at the University of Mary Washington. The Phoenix Arms Historical Training Group held a UMW student-only seminar based mostly on Medieval German “Ringen,” or wrestling, on Saturday. It was a great success, and a lot of fun. Writes Chris Wheeler on our website:

Seminar Training Summary

Photos and videos to come soon!

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Back a couple of days ago from Colorado Springs, CO. Looks to be the last time in a while I’ll be back there, though you never know. Whilst I was out there, I managed three or four pretty decent PT sessions, with varying combos of bodyweight work, the cable tower they have there, and a couple of the cardio machines (recumbent bike and elliptical). With high intensity/short duration on the cardio machines.

Because there was a weekend in-between the two weeks I was there, I elected to head up to Pikes Peak. It was magnificent!! Gorgeous day, a little breezy. Was hot down on the plain, where the Springs sits, but up on the Peak it was perhaps 20º F cooler. Nice.

Photo Op at Pikes Peak.

After running around there taking pix and getting into the Summit Center, I got back in the car and headed down about 1000 feet in altitude where there was a car pull-off. I pulled off and commenced about an hour or two hike up and down the trail at about 13,000 feet.

Hike from the road to past the far point at the top left of image, coming down off of Pikes Peak.

Headed back home to VA last Friday (24 September). Unfortunately, my last workout was the night before, and having had a really good PT, I somehow tweaked my knee when doing my cooldown. That kinda sucked for the next day running (limping) around the airports… The good news is that it seems to happen fairly rarely these days, it’s been only one knee (the same each time), I seem to have a lot of mobility and flexibility (except for hitting just that right spot), when it happens it’s not very severe, and I seem to recover better every time.

Unfortunately, that means I had to decline going on a hike this morning with some friends (which ended up being canx anyway for other reasons). Saturday was the local brewpub’s (Blue & Gray Brewery/Lee’s Retreat) Oktoberfest, so I ended up being all day on my feet, with only a few respites (with friends, which was nice) for my weary knee.

Pretty Girl, Pretty Dress, Pretty Smile

Beerfest Beermaid Serving Beer.

I had a great time; got to see many friends from olden times. As I am never a heavy drinker, I suffered no ill effects. Even though I was walking/standing all the hot day on the asphalt of the parking lot, at least it was flat and level. We headed inside the brewpub after dark and consumed some tasties (I had the fish and chips, as there was no shepard’s pie *sniff*. But it *waaaaas* wicked good!).

So today, I felt that I deserved a good workout or two, now that I’m back home with the tools I like: kettlebells. In addition, the bells don’t require a lot of linear space–I didn’t want to travel on wounded knee.

In the morning, I started off with staff work on the heavy bag (fairly gently) and empty hands/feet vs heavy bag, to get loosened up. The roommate came out to watch and stretch as I treated myself to a nice tabata set of one and two-handed swings with the baby bell (16 kg). After I was done, he jumped on to the baby bell for the same workout, tabata with swings. I grabbed the middle bell (24 kg) and joined him for a few. After that, we did various kbell stuff and some Systema stick work, then a stretch/cooldown. Not super long, or super-intense session, but I did get a sweat on. After I got a shower, we hopped out around 1230 or so for some brekkies.

This evening, I was feeling my oats a bit, so went back down to the Courage Corner and practiced some striking with the steel blunt, then grabbed the big bell for some work. A very quick tabata round (8 sets at the typical 20 sec/10 sec ratio) doing military presses for the first two sets (left hand first set, right hand second set), and then two sets of two-handed swings; rinse and repeat for the last four sets. For a four-minute workout, that turned out to be VERY intense. I had to really push to get that last set of swings in there. Out of breath and pumped! Whew!!

So, good stuff, yo!

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Ahh, summer. Today was only up in the mid-nineties (ºF) and about 1000% humidity during the middle of the day, so I decided to take a run with my jo.

About thirty minutes later, back at home, I grabbed my new sword trainer (steel blunt) and went whacking at my new pell the roommate and I put up a few days ago. Good forearm work, there.

My new pell.

Finished off with some kettlebell jerks, cleans, and then some sumo squats.

Today’s been a fasting day. I’m thawing some frozen shrimps, and will probably add them to an omelet. Yums!

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