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Preparing for the Emerald Tournament part one


OtakuBosatsu

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And so the geeky bodhisattva (that's what my username roughly means in Japanese) joins the Monks.

 

Every year around November, Mandirigmang Kaliradman, the FMA group I train with, organizes a tournament among its members, as well as our sister clubs in Manila, Cebu, and South Korea. Although I've been with them for several years now, my focus in the past has always been Aikido.  This year will be the first time I will be participating in the Emerald Tournament.  My concerns are: 

 

1. My lack of sparring experience (we don't do that in Aikido, unfortunately) and fear of getting hit by a stick (we have armor and the sticks are thinner and lighter - BUT they're not padded and strikes often leave welts even on areas covered by the armor)

 

  and

 

2. Stamina - I struggled with childhood asthma and still carry an inhaler with me just in case, even though I am a heck of a lot fitter now than I've ever been in my younger years and have not experienced an attack in ages.  When I was in high school I suffered a somewhat severe attack after TKD sparring - not rush-to-the-E.R. severe, but I was bedridden for a few days and was advised against competing.   Since then I've always had this niggling doubt about any kind of sparring, like what if I gas out and get the crap beaten out of me 'cause I'm too tired to do anything else, then I'll get sick the day after, blah blah blah...

 

 

Anyway, to address my concerns I have come up with the following plan, which I have already started this week:

 

 

Training schedule:

 

 

Monday to Saturday:

1. Morning routine - GMB Floor Two warm up plus Monks' hip mobility exercises

2. Grease-the-groove pistol squats throughout the day (add one rep every 3 to four days)

 

Monday afternoon: Mountain training - I should explain this.  I work in my family's resort, which is up on the slope of mountain and surrounded by pine forest.  Now I am not a trail runner, and I don't want to risk injury doing a trail run on the winding roads and trails.  Within the resort, we have a private area that includes a nice flat little park that I've been using for a little parkour training so I plan to do sprint intervals along with some agility drills there.

  

1. Do 4 to 8 reps of the following:

Single leg hops

Pirouette-to-back scale

Cartwheels

180-degree spinning tuck jumps

2. Sprint intervals - start with 5 laps, add one lap every week

 

Tuesday and Saturday afternoon: upper body strength and conditioning (start with 5x5 per exercise, add 1 rep every week)

1. Knuckle push-ups (hold sticks for the last 2 sets)

2. TRX rows

 

Thursday evening: Aikido and FMA classes

 

Sunday: Active recovery

 

As you can see, it's mostly just general conditioning and not so much fight-specific except for Thursday evening.  Next challenge period I'll start incorporating more FMA-specific drills in my mountain training (this should coincide with the time we start incorporating more sparring and tactics during FMA class).  Aikido class starts at 6:30 and ends at 8.  FMA class (which is in another part of downtown) starts at 7:30 and ends at 9.  As one of only 3 Aikido black belts (all professionals with jobs and families), I can't just back out of my commitment to teach every Thursday, and being a dedicated family guy I can only dedicate one night for MA practice of any kind.  It's okay, everyone in both dojos know about my cross-training.  The Aikido guys know I have to close the class a few minutes earlier than 8 so I can leave exactly 8, and the FMA guys know that I'll be joining them at least 40 minutes late.   The upside is that I'll be more than warmed up by the time I get to my FMA class.  The downside of course is that I will not be fresh when I start.

 

 

NUTRITION:

 

 

I've had excellent results with Intermittent Fasting ever since I started January of this year.  I haven't weighed myself yet (I know, I know) but all my old pants are looser, my pants size is now 32, and my shirt size is now medium.  So I'll continue my IF, which I'll do once or twice a week.  For this week, I fasted last Tuesday and I was originally supposed to fast again tomorrow, but I've been invited to a barbecue so... I will enjoy the barbecue :D

 

Fasting days: Tuesday and Friday OR Wednesday (depending on my schedule)

 

 

For my side quest, I choose MUSIC:

 

1. Find 5 to 10 minutes for guitar practice every day.

Goal: master the rhythm parts for the following cover songs:

Paradise City by Guns N' Roses

Livin' On The Edge by Aerosmith

 

2. 1 to 2 hours once a week in the recording studio

Goal: finish recording original song

 

I recorded something last month but it's still not done - just one guitar track.  I plan to add piano, vocals, and probably an additional guitar part.  Percussion optional.  I want everything acoustic and minimal.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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WOW.

 

This challenge just seems so cool! Martial arts, training in the mountains, parkour. You are doing just about everything a guy can do, it sounds like, and it all sounds completely sustainable.

 

Can't wait to see how it goes.

 

Also, welcome! Let us know if we can do anything to help you out!

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Not feeling a hundred percent today due to a slight cold.  I still managed to nail my workouts though.  I also drank two cups of ginger tea instead of filling up with coffee like I usually do (though I still drank two cups today because: COFFEE :) ).

 

Morning routine:

 

GMB Floor 2 warm up + Monks' hip mobility (for those who don't know Cheechoe posted this neat stretching routine that incorporates front, side, roundhouse and back kicks but I forgot the link.  Just look for it).

 

Like I said I'm not 100% today,  and I could feel it during the warm up.  But I did pretty well, going through it slowly and mindfully, paying attention not just to my form but also to how my body feels with each movement and position.  

 

 

Afternoon mountain routine, which I did just before lunch because I was afraid it would rain:

 

Single-leg hops - 8 reps/leg

Cartwheels - 4 reps/side

Pirouette to back scale - I lost count somewhere between 5 or 6 reps  :redface: DOH!

180-degree spinning tuck jumps - 4 reps/direction

 

Sprint intervals - 6 laps

 

I couldn't actually alternate jogging and sprinting so I did the laps this way:

 

Lap 1: Jog

Lap 2: Jog

Lap 3: Jog

Lap 4: Sprint

Lap 5: Brisk tired walking

Lap 6: Jog

 

I mixed some ladder drills during the jogging and walking laps.

 

I was pretty wiped out from last Thursday's Aikido+FMA marathon so I rested on Friday as well as Sunday, and opted not to do the GTG pistol work.  So for today I decided to use the same number of reps that I used last Thursday (3/leg) instead of adding more like I planned.

 

 

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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(Wrote this yesterday but couldn't post it due to connectivity issues)

 

Tuesday, June 16

 

I still have a cold, and now the beginnings of a cough.  I decided to take a break from everything scheduled today except for the pistol squats, and even those I'm taking down a notch.  Tomorrow is IF day - hopefully I'm feeling better because I'm wary about fasting while sick.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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Just an update: 

 

So I got home yesterday and figured that I could at least do some high planks on my knuckles.  So while watching Bro Science videos on my laptop, which was on the floor, I got down and held several planks, each about 20 seconds.  Some of them I had to drop out off because I was laughing.  It definitely cheered me up because I was a bit bummed that I'm sick and probably shouldn't even go to my MA classes tomorrow unless I am willing to risk getting sicker just for the sake of a couple of late night sessions.  That's one other thing I need to consider too.  Last time I trained I couldn't sleep very well, if at all.  I think my body was just too pumped up from the training.  Then there was the barbecue with my FMA buddies the following night...

 

Side quest: I've been practicing guitar daily, though I have yet to do any recording.  I'm aiming for this Friday if my schedule allows.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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You're probably wise to lay off hard training if the sick hasn't gone away. If it sticks around, that means it's trying really hard to do something, so at this point, restorative exercise like yoga is probably your best training now. As well as the requisite eat good food, get good sleep, etc.

 

Also, it may not be a bad idea to give fasting a shot. The cellular autophagy that occurs in fasting can have some benefits on helping you get better quickly... although, if you know that your body doesn't like sick fasting, then don't listen to me. :P

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Well, I thought about it after reading your post - but then I wimped out and headed for the buffet table :redface: .  Thanks for the advice though, I think I'll give it a go tomorrow.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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Tuesday, June 23

First, yesterday's mountain training session:

Single leg hops - 4 reps/leg

Pirouette to back scale - 4 reps/ leg

Cartwheels - 4 reps per side

180 tuck jumps - 2 reps /direction

GMB squat flow - twice

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

Link to post

So I gave in to temptation and purchased GMB's flow seminar, which they did with Mike Fitch, and decided to mix the squat flow into my warm up yesterday. Pretty nifty stuff imo - and I liked it so much I decided to include it in my morning sessions as well.

Internet connectivity's an issue where I am, which is why I'm breakin up my posts into tiny bits, cause it's such a pain in the ass to write a long post only for it to disappear.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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Hmmm... is it worth it? I think it depends on where you are, what you're into, where you want to go, that sort of thing. In my case, I'm A) getting close to a proper pistol squat, B) interested in athletic performance, which I loosely define as being able to move and perform in a certain physical discipline really well and C) love the playfulness of flow movements regardless of discipline. So there's a product-customer fit right there. I also have GMB's Floor 2, and while it's a great program that I intend to return to some time after the tournament, in F2 it's just Ryan in the videos. Production-wise very great, but what I appreciate in the flow seminar videos is that they were shot during an actual seminar. So there are actual students doing, and oftentimes struggling with, the movements and Ryan and Mike coaching them, which is not possible in a format like Floor 2. I'd say for me that it is worth the $45, which, compared to the price of going to the live seminar is a bargain. Especially since you can just watch it over and over again.

TL;DR - it's worth it for me, but for other people, it depends on whether you're into that sort of thing in the first place.

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OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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June 29, Monday

 

Back on track after a somewhat off two weeks.  

To recap: week 2

 

had me down with a bad cold and cough, which meant I had to lay off the badass workouts - although I did exercise a teensy bit just because my body is so used to moving.  I also reluctantly tried fasting on a sick day as Kishi suggested and I am happy to report that I experienced no unpleasant effects apart from the usual feeling of hunger.  

 

Week 3

 

While I was happily playing around with the GMB flow series, I was neglecting my grease the groove pistols (in my defense, squat flow sorta includes pistols and shrimps).  And although I still did my knuckle pushups I did not do any rows.  For some reason I feel lazy when it comes to rows.  Or maybe the knuckle pushups take out of me more than I realize and I'm too tired for the rows?  Nah, it's just an excuse.  On the other hand, I have trouble with managing the time for doing the rows.  My original plan was to do the pushups and rows in separate sessions of the same day.  But while I've been pretty faithful with the pushups I just feel so lazy with the rows.  I missed martial arts classes again last Thursday because my 2-year-old daughter was down with a cold and cough after she had just gotten better from a fever that lasted two days.  So I promised my wife I'd stay home that night.  BUT I did do a conditioning workout that afternoon: Squat flow and Push flow (which I modified to replace the single arm levers with straddle knuckle pushups), 1 Tabata set of single stick carenza (which is FMA free form kata or shadowboxing but with a weapon), ladder drills, plus some footwork drills.

 

Now for today's training: 

 

Morning

 

GMB Floor 2 and Flow Seminar warm up

Squat flow + Push flow

Monks kicking warm up

  • Front kick
  • Front thrust
  • Roundhouse
  • Side kick
  • Back kick

 

Afternoon

 

I didn't go to the resort today as I was finishing some stuff in our downtown office.  So I decided to work on upper body strength today and do the conditioning tomorrow when I go up.  I decided to have fun and incorporate the knuckle pushups into the Push flow like so: there's a part of the flow where you're supposed to lower into a single arm lever, then place your other arm down so you can shift onto that arm, then shift back to the original arm, all the while windmilling your legs so you land in a low squat.  Instead of that, I would drop to the position for the lever, pause at the bottom, then do 5 knuckle pushups with my legs in a straddle position.  I did that four times. 

 

It was a nice, short, and fun workout - unfortunately I had to rush out for a meeting all the way on the other side of town.  So, no rows.  Ok that's it I'll include them tomorrow.  Sheesh...

 

One last thing I ought to mention is that for the past several days I've been stretching my hips at night too just before bedtime.  Yeah I just love to stretch.  Not hardcore stretching though, just relaxed stretching while relaxing with the wife and kids.

OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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I've heard that nighttime stretching is good for the body in ways that other times are not. I don't know how much science supports that, but if you're feeling good, then all's well, right?

 

Also, yeah, I wouldn't worry too much about greasing the groove. That flow work kind of does the same thing, doesn't it? You get to play around and practice with it without necessarily going above and beyond what you could recover from. If that's the way of it, I'd say you're good.

 

I'm glad to hear the fasting didn't make things worse, and I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.

 

Also, Tabata stick work? Dude. Badass.

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Thanks for the compliment. I did feel like a badass. Probably the only thing that would have made me feel more like a badass was if the Rocky theme or some other appropriate music was playing in the background. :D

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OtakuBosatsu

Level 1 Lycan. Druid/Monk at heart, training with the Assassins
STR 7|DEX 5.75|STA 4|CON 3|WIS 3.75|CHA 3

 

My blog, "Zen, Music, and Movement": http://raffyayaladvo.wordpress.com/

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