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Sith / Jedi Martial Fitness Mix Up - Hugh's 10th NF Challenge


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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


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.

Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Yesterday I went to the gym and "followed the program". Well, I say followed, I did my best with huge blisters on both feet  :uncomfortableness: 
Ah well, nobody's fault but my own..


Yesterday also had me researching Lightsaber form I - Shii-Cho. 
This will be the most in depth form purely because it has to include all the basics. It's also the least interesting because it's all stuff that any swordsman already knows as instinct or conditioned reflex...

I need to come up with a way of making it fun and unique will still maintaining it's directness and simplicity...

Any suggestions? :D

Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Greetings Hugh. Sadly I can´t provide advice or tips, but you have my support! I think your goals are amazing and completely unexpected (specially the Light Saber Art). I wish you to succeed. =D


(Damn right!!, Solo shoot first)

Level: 4 Human Monk

STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 10.75 | CON: 6.75 | WIS: 13.75 | CHA: 1.75 |


"Effort without results is only self satisfying bunk" - Kain R. Heinlein.


"You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes." - John Wooden.


"Misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort." - David Wong.

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Thanks for the support folks!


Week 1 is over and we're into week 2.

I feel like week 1 was a bit of a slow start (summarized at the bottom of my OP for simplicity).
Week 2 might see some slight adjustments to my routine as I've had a slight gout flare-up! I think it was caused/exacerbated by the jumping/impact exercises in my prescribed routine* so I might, for now at least, swap them out for a variety of fast bodyweight squats. I tried that yesterday and it worked pretty well.

* skipping, jumping jacks, star jumps, burpees, etc.


tomorrow I'll be meeting up with an expert in battle re-enactment sword fighting. I've taught him a fair bit of authentic swordsmanship so he's going to return the favour for the non-authentic stuff (which is actually pretty good for lightsabers). Combined with some martially sound footwork and some KDF and kenjutsu basics (along with a small dash of unnecessary spins and flourishes), this should form a good grounding of Shii-Cho.



Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Nice, dude, that's terrific. It's always good to find new things to do to help other martial artists as well as yourself. I hope you and he get a step closer to getting the form figured out!


And yeah, sorry to hear about the gout. But it looks like you've modified and found a way around that, and that's perfectly fine as such things go. As long as you can continue to train without making things worse in the wrong way, you should be fine.

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Thanks Kishi. 


Well, it's been a busy week.
I didn't get to meet my re-enactor friend as a gout flare up was causing me too much pain.
On friday I managed some cardio in the form of a tabata session on the rowing machine. Followed it up with some assisted pull ups and standing rows on the cable row machine thingy.


Took it easy on the weekend though I have been doing a lot of driving (took my friend to the airport for his holiday and have been driving back and forth to his house each day to feed and entertain his lovely bengal cats).

Didn't do proper training on monday but did walk 3 miles on a slightly less gouty foot.

eased myself back into things with a kettlebell class today. a week of minimal activity has left me feeling a bit lackluster so it was nice to do something.


Foot still painful but managable as long as I'm careful. Hopefully I'll be back to normal on Friday (sans skipping I would think ;) )

As not doing much exercise, I took the opportunity to work on Form II (Makashi) of the lightsaber combat.style.

Lightsaber combat thread will soon be updated... :D

Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Yesterday's workout was all good. 

Skipped the skipping, no pun intended ;) in favour of fast BW squats.

Skipped the lunges (being careful with the gouty toe) in favour of front/side/roundhouse/crescent kicks.

added in some KB stuff and assisted pull ups. 

Even managed a bit of (careful) running. 


Cool, man. How's the gout doing so far? Is it still managed?

Thanks Kishi. Yes, it's under control.

The Gout flare ups tend to be "agonizingly painful" for a few days and then just "very painful" for another week.

Ibuprofen keeps the worst of the pain just about dealable. Behaving myself diet-wise and losing a bit more weight will reduce the frequency of flare ups but I think it's just something that will happen from time to time.
My flare ups tend to follow periods of "laxness" with my diet so I have no one to blame but myself!  :indecisiveness:


In this instance though, just as the gout pain was subsiding I got a cold. D'oh!
Can't complain too much though as I've been pretty healthy lately and it's the first time I've had a cold in a couple of years.
Still feeling a bit headachey but mostly ok. A long soak in the jacuzzi after this evening's (still relatively gentle) workout will surely go some way to making me feel better ;) 

Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Incidentally, Kishi, I'd just like to express my appreciation for your continued support. It's so nice to see a guild leader taking the time to comment on members' posts. The morale boost that comes from such a simple gesture does not go unnoticed :)

My Death by Burpees exercise is going to be tomorrow...


Glad to be of service! Just seems like the thing to do, you know?


Can't wait to see how many burpees you throw down!

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Well, my first challenge with the monks has been a bit poor...
I could try to explain everything away with excuses about illness, gout, life getting in the way or any other poor excuse... but that would be disingenuous.
Fact is, I lost focus. I didn't apply myself and my enthusiasm dwindled and got distracted.

My sincerest apologies to the monks - I hope my mediocrity hasn't brought dishonour to the dojo.


My goals were as follows:

1: Construct the Martial Arts of Lightsaber Combat.

Construct the Martial Arts of the Jedi/Sith: +1 DEX, +2 WIS, +2 CHA

FAIL. Didn't do anywhere near as much as I should have and could have. I'll take what I've done and work to expand on it for next time.


2: Rein in the Arrogance

Follow the Program that has been supplied: +1 WIS, +2 CON, +2 STA.

FAIL. See the above-mentioned crappy excuses.


3: Keep consistent but passionate 

Include some personal preference Strength Training: +2 STR

Partial success: I stuck with some degree of strength training despite all the other bulls**t: +1 STR.


4: Practice what I preach - Prepare for battle!

Buy a Lightsaber from Ultrasabers.com: +2 WIS, +1 CHA





ah well...

when we fall we get back up and try again. This is not me failing to achieve these goals, only a delay along the road!

Til the next time. <bows>

Here's me and my Epic Quest: https://www.nerdfitness.com/character/61826




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Well, this kind of thing happens sometimes, right? I mean. It's not exactly as if you meant for it to happen, right? And meanwhile, you're trying to do some fairly awesome things with yourself. Even if you didn't succeed this challenge, you failed trying to do something awesome, and that's a good place to end up in. It's better than never trying at all.


Sorry you didn't get to see the success you were looking for, though! Now we have to execute you via kumite. But it's just a learning experience. It's only a failure if you fail to learn from it.

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