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<bows> Greetings and Salutations Monks! I'm Hugh and this is my 10th Nerd Fitness 6 week challenge I am taking a hiatus from the rangers to visit some of the other guilds. Last time was the Assassins, this time it's The MONKS! < cue thunderous applause > For this challenge I'm going to do something I've been thinking about for a while... Systematize a Lightsaber Martial Art! Additionally, where possible, I will be combining the burgeoning array of techniques with my fitness training in an attempt to make sure that, when the time comes, I can put these techniques to good use. I have a background in HEMA (theatrical and competitive), Ninjutsu and modern fencing. I also have varying degrees of experience in Iaijutsu, Kenjutsu, renaissance and mediaeval re-enactment fighting, larp, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and a few other relevant disciplines. I'm also hoping that, by osmosis, I might pick up some useful titbits of martial arts information while hanging out in the Monk's Dojo I'm also a fairly obsessive Star Wars Nerd (original trilogy FTW! Greedo DID NOT shoot first!)... Though I admit I'm a bit out of touch with the more recent expanded universe material. I'm also hoping that, by osmosis, I might pick up some useful titbits of Star Wars information while hanging out with a bunch of similarly obsessive nerds So, on to the challenge... My primary, long term, goal is to improve my fitness to a degree where I can do a "Kip Up" and then move on to other acrobatic endeavours. (this will also include loosing a bit more weight) Challenge Goals: 1: Construct the Martial Arts of Lightsaber Combat. There are seven main styles of Lightsaber Combat featured in the expanded universe material. My intention is to systematize them into forms, flourishes, katas and drills that can be performed in both sparring and in performance. They must be mostly martially sound and must be appropriately impressive for theatrical performances (i.e. a certain amount of flashy techniques are fine: this is as much about flair as it is about real fighting) You can follow the progress of this goal HERE. Construct the Martial Arts of the Jedi/Sith: +1 DEX, +2 WIS, +2 CHA 2: Rein in the Arrogance My inner Sith has a great deal of Confidence. My Inner Jedi likes to call it Arrogance... Whatever it's called, it can sometimes be useful but it can also be a hindrance. A tendency to think I know better is something that I'm always trying to curtail in favour of being objective and analytical. To this end, I will, for the next four weeks, be following a training regimen that is being provided by the trainers at my gym. I'm dubious and my inner Sith is riling against it... but my Jedi side WILL keep him in check! I will follow the prescribed program (with variations as noted below) at least two days each week. Three days per week is ideal but life can happen sometimes. In instances where a day is missed, it will be made up for by attending a Kettlebell class. The regimen that has been suggested is essentially a conditioning circuit. I'll post details after my first session (tomorrow). As I progress, I'll look at including some exercises from "TACFIT" in the mix but only if I'm not finding the prescribed circuit challenging enough. Follow the Program that has been supplied: +1 WIS, +2 CON, +2 STA. 3: Keep consistent but passionate I have a short attention span. My Chaotic and eclectic interests often leave m--- Ooh look! a butterfly! <sigh> see what I mean? I need to maintain variety in order to maintain interest. Doing the same thing over and over again might be great for consistent results but it's an anathema to me. Which probably explains why I'm overweight and without a steady job... and here's me jumping off a Pier in Eastbourne a few years back Ahem. So yeah, I need variety but I find that a little bit goes a long way. The illusion of variety is usually enough. To that end, my prescribed workouts will be added to with a little bit of my own preference: I'm keen to strengthen my back and posterior kinetic chain, so I will be including Deadlifts, Assisted Pull ups and goblet squats in my prescribed workouts. one or two of these exercises will be attached to each of my workouts. I'll track my progress and try to get better at them as I progress through the 6 weeks. Include some personal preference Strength Training: +2 STR And my "life goal" which is totally about the business opportunity and not at all about getting toys... 4: Practice what I preach - Prepare for battle! As mentioned in the Lightsaber Combat thread, this project is largely to do with some work opportunities which may or may not materialize. I am choosing to be positive about this. One thing that I will need when the bookings start coming in is a Lightsaber... So I'd better bloody well get one! If I can save enough to get one with all the features, then great (A grade) but each feature it lacks (sound, flash on clash, accessories) will reduce the grade. Buy a Lightsaber from Ultrasabers.com: +2 WIS, +1 CHA Ongoing Summary: Week 1: LSC development still firmly in the research phase but continuing. Some practice of techniques just to aid three dimensional thinking. Pretty gentle on the exercises. My time management has been a bit poor and I kept getting to the gym with not a lot of time before they close. This has meant that my workouts were not as focussed as perhaps they should have been and generally felt a bit rushed. Friday' workout was done on saturday for similar reasons but that's not a big deal. I didn't get as much "personal preference strength training" in as I would have liked - that bad time management again. Asisted pull-ups only but at least it was only 20 - 25kg assist. Saving for lightsaber - gotta get the car serviced which might eat up what little is put aside... time will tell.