ROG supports the Asthma Society

Yesterdays Irish Independent ran a sort piece about Irish rugby superstar Ronan O‘Gara is working alongside the Irish Asthma Society, he is an asthma sufferer.
This initially came as a slight surprise as you wouldn’t associate elite athletes with this debilitating illness, but then I got to thinking and reminiscing of a couple of people in my own past.

 

As a school boy there were two lads in my class, both of whom had asthma. One cried off every PE class or Games session, citing his asthma as his excuse, the other became a star member of the schools rowing squad assisting the crew in becoming one of the top crews in the country (ranked 12th if I remember rightly)

Rowing is an incredibly physical endeavour requiring iron lungs with physical and mental strength to match. The rower with the asthma hardly ever missed a day of school and was never seen to use his inhaler. The other guy, well he became an accountant.

 

Then I remembered another story from my past. As a young Karate-ka, I remember a younger club member who was always struggling with his breathing, he had quite severe asthma although It never stopped him attending class. Our instructor, Jack Parker, decided to introduce breathing exercises at the end of the sessions as we sat in seiza. To us this was just another of jacks’ foibles, we thought it would pass.
He would have us breathe in while he counted to 5, hold for the count of 5 then exhale for 10. Some days he would change the numbers (4,4,8 or 7,7,14). The young lad with the asthma struggled with this but persevered. One day Jack and the lads father were in conversation. Jack came over me afterwards that the boy had shocked his GP when at his last check-up because of the vast improvement in the lads lung capacity, something like a 30% increase. It turned out jack made us all do the drill for the sake of the one lad, he had realised the benefit and spent a half hour a day practicing his breathing.

The result, he conquered his asthma

 

Why am I telling you all this?

 

Well like many illnesses that are abound today, most are quite easily controlled if you apply a bit of will power. The lungs, like every other system in the body will adapt and improve if it is asked.
Asthma, obesity, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, these are, in the vast majority of cases avoidable. All one has to do is take some exercise and avoid junk food and the excesses of modern life.

If you don’t know how, ask your granny (or someone’s granny)

 

At Wild Geese we take self defence one step further, keeping oneself safe from harm includes keeping preventable and controllable illnesses at bay, we treat them the same as we would a mugger. Avoid if possible, attack relentlessly if not.

 

There are no excuses.
You are responsible for your own health and safety. Ronan O’Gara chose not to bow to his condition, why should you?

 

Regards

 

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

The Hindu Pushup

Allow me to introduce you to one of my favourite upper body conditioning drills, the Hindu Push up, or Dand.

This has been a favourite of India’s legendary wrestlers since time immemorial. It has since been adopted by fighters across the world.

What does the Hindu push up offer that standard military push ups don’t?

* Dynamic flexibility for the hip flexors and hamstrings, two areas that are notoriously problematic in today’s sedentary populace.
The Dand will stretch the hamstrings each time you push the heels to the ground at the top of the move, as you go through the bottom portion and look upwards the hip flexors are nicely stretched. Keeping these loose will greatly reduce the incidence of back pain.

* Mobility of the spine. In yoga they say you are only as old as your spine, this drill will help mobilise the back and undo some of the flexion based pain and injury that is rife amongst our society. Sitting at a desk all day destroys your back, we were never designed to sit hunched over a computer. A few Hindu’s will breath life back into your spine and provide some much needed extension based mobility.

* Greater range of motion for the shoulder. There is a more rounded involvement of the shoulder muscles during the Hindu Push up, to the point where even your Lats will be sore the next day.

* Deep breathing, in time with the move is very therapeutic and will also train the respiratory system.

Here’s how it’s doneTry to build reps, I often perform multiple sets of 20 reps. Another favourite is to try and go for time, for example set the egg timer for 2 minutes, or next time the ad break comes on the telly, drop and try to do a continuous set of Hindu Push ups until whatever rubbish you were watching restarts.

You’ll soon build non stop conditioning, a strong flexible shoulders and a healthy, mobile back.

For this and more do anywhere bodyweight drills check out No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight training for the home, office or on the road.

Regards

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

Edges is gettin hitched

Wild Geese instructor & Fitness Coach, Dave Hedges, will be getting married a week on Wednesday (the 13 May.)

 

In order to celebrate this he has agreed to give you lot a wedding present:

50% off all his online services.

This offer will last for a 7 week honeymoon period from Wed 13 May to Wed 1st June.

During this period you will be able to buy his new eBook at the special price of €8.

Online personal training is normally €50/month or €250 for 6 months, for the honey moon you will be able to get away with paying a mere €25 for the month or €125 for a 6 month package.

 

He’ll only be getting hitched once (we hope!!) so take advantage of his good mood while you can.

 

Email us on info@wildgeesema.com, just make sure to put “Honeymoon offer” in the subject line.

 

Regards

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

Edges is gettin hitched

Wild Geese instructor & Fitness Coach, Dave Hedges, will be getting married a week on Wednesday (the 13 May.)

 

In order to celebrate this he has agreed to give you lot a wedding present:

50% off all his online services.

This offer will last for a 7 week honeymoon period from Wed 13 May to Wed 1st June.

During this period you will be able to buy his new eBook at the special price of €8.

Online personal training is normally €50/month or €250 for 6 months, for the honey moon you will be able to get away with paying a mere €25 for the month or €125 for a 6 month package.

 

He’ll only be getting hitched once (we hope!!) so take advantage of his good mood while you can.

 

Email us on info@wildgeesema.com, just make sure to put “Honeymoon offer” in the subject line.

 

Regards

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

September International Karate Camp – UKAI – Cork Ireland

The first European/Asian UKAI autumn will take place (for the first time) in Cork, Ireland on the 5th and 6th of September 2009.

 

It will be a two day camp with the most senior of American and European karate instructors.

 

This camp is organized by Sensei Paul Allan 7th Dan Shotokan, http://www.silverspringskarate.com/begin/philo.htm

 

And currently will provide instruction in:-

  • Shotokan
  • Taekwondo
  • Koryu Uchinadi
  • MMA
  • Fitness for combat athlethics
  • Health and wellness
  • Aikido
  • Sport Karate
  • Kobudo

[With more to be confirmed.]

 

As an example, here was the schedule/plan for the May 2009 camp,

http://www.unitedkaicamp.com/camp%20schedule%202009.pdf

 

Venue/current details and the option to express interest in the September 2009 camp can be found at this link, http://www.silverspringskarate.com/ukai/register1.php

 

Otherwise please contact Sensei Paul Allan directly,

 

+353 (0) 86  8112281

info@silverspringskarate.com

 

 

Regards

 

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

 

September International Karate Camp – UKAI – Cork Ireland

The first European/Asian UKAI autumn will take place (for the first time) in Cork, Ireland on the 5th and 6th of September 2009.

 

It will be a two day camp with the most senior of American and European karate instructors.

 

This camp is organized by Sensei Paul Allan 7th Dan Shotokan, http://www.silverspringskarate.com/begin/philo.htm

 

And currently will provide instruction in:-

  • Shotokan
  • Taekwondo
  • Koryu Uchinadi
  • MMA
  • Fitness for combat athlethics
  • Health and wellness
  • Aikido
  • Sport Karate
  • Kobudo

[With more to be confirmed.]

 

As an example, here was the schedule/plan for the May 2009 camp,

http://www.unitedkaicamp.com/camp%20schedule%202009.pdf

 

Venue/current details and the option to express interest in the September 2009 camp can be found at this link, http://www.silverspringskarate.com/ukai/register1.php

 

Otherwise please contact Sensei Paul Allan directly,

 

+353 (0) 86  8112281

info@silverspringskarate.com

 

 

Regards

 

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

 

Train your legs for a knockout punch

I’ve spoken about this in a previous blog post, but it has come up again and again since then, so here goes…..

 

If you are a fighter, you must train your legs.

In Tai Chi circles there is much talk of borrowing force from the ground to generate power. If we westernise this they are basically going along with the physics explanation that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If I press into the ground with X amount of force, it pushes back with X amount of force. And if the ground pushes me, I move forward with intent!

 

When I want to throw a knockout punch, I press my rear foot into the ground, this then gives me a solid surface to push off (or if you like, it pushes me)with my foot & calf muscles, allowing me to extend my hip, turn my waist, drive the shoulder forward and finally propel my arm to extend at speed into the other geezers mush and he goes to sleep.

With out the action of the leg extending, I’d loose a massive amount of power.

So hopefully we can see that it is necessary to replace some of the time spent on push ups and crunches with some time on power.

 

While the pushups etc are useful, fighters do need to have massive reserves of strength endurance, it’s not the be all and end all. Plus, we can replace the push ups with some higher value drills that will still reap massive amounts of stamina.

 

But first, why do fighters not train legs? It’s because of the bodybuilding approach taken by almost every gym goer. This leads to stiff, swollen muscles and little functional carryover to the ring. Kickboxers are terrified that a set of squats will lead to them being restricted to low kicks only (not necessarily a bad thing for non ring sport MA’ers)

This simply won’t happen with the correct application of training techniques.

 

My choice of strength drills for the fighter are simple:

1.       Deadlifts – absolutely, without a doubt, essential for any man or woman planning to get into a ring. For training the hip extensor muscles (hamstrings & buttocks) the dead will not be beaten, and when you can extend your hip powerfully, you will hit powerfully.

2.       Front Squats – I personally prefer these to back squats, due to the fact that we have no squat rack, which takes up to much space anyway. Why not just clean the bar up the shoulders and squat.

3.       Bulgarian split squats – Like a lunge but with the rear foot elevated on a bench or stability ball.

4.       Single leg Romanian Deadlifts – The benefits of the dead but with extra balance and stability issues.

5.       Pistol Squats – The No Equipment, No excuses favourite.

Incorporate them into a gym program using multiple sets of low reps (1-5reps max). I then recommend finishing the workout with some high rep work that will get the blood pumping and work the conditioning.

My fighters conditioning drills of choice are again simple:

1.       Thrusters – With a bar/pair of dumbbells/kettlebells in the rack position on the shoulders, do a deep squat, then explode up extending both the legs and arms.

2.       Swings – Kettlebells are best, but a dumbbell works. This mimics the deadlift explosively training the hip extensors to fire powerfully even while fatigued.

3.       1 Kettlebell Clean & Jerk – Done for high reps this is a rear test of character. The bell is cleaned using the hip extensors then fired up to lockout mainly with the calves and quads, the shoulder takes up the slack at the end, just like a punch.

4.       Burpees – The No Equipment, No excuses method – Drop into a push up then jump into the air. To really go nuts, jump to a pull up bar, or clean a pair of dumbbells/kettlebells. Brutal.

5.       Heavy bag – simply do a few rounds on the bag.

For best (or evilest) effect do these with the aid of a countdown timer. Training with timed sets is a brutally humbling experience but it will get you fit in a hurry.

 

Cool off and do some light stretching/mobility work. The combination of the heavy deads/squats followed by the high rep lower body/full body work will train the muscles to not only generate a huge amount of power, but to keep doing it over and over. Every punch you throw will start to come from the ground, and the other guy will notice (when he wakes up that is!)

 

Regards

 

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

Fight or Fight

This year there will be a team of fighters from Ireland going over to compete in the first International Mixed Martial Arts Event to be held in Egypt.

 

If you or any of your fighters feel that they are good enough to represent their nation then go to www.rcf.ie

 

Team selection will take place at the Wild Geese studio (subject to change)

 

 

Train your legs for a knockout punch

I’ve spoken about this in a previous blog post, but it has come up again and again since then, so here goes…..

 

If you are a fighter, you must train your legs.

In Tai Chi circles there is much talk of borrowing force from the ground to generate power. If we westernise this they are basically going along with the physics explanation that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If I press into the ground with X amount of force, it pushes back with X amount of force. And if the ground pushes me, I move forward with intent!

 

When I want to throw a knockout punch, I press my rear foot into the ground, this then gives me a solid surface to push off (or if you like, it pushes me)with my foot & calf muscles, allowing me to extend my hip, turn my waist, drive the shoulder forward and finally propel my arm to extend at speed into the other geezers mush and he goes to sleep.

With out the action of the leg extending, I’d loose a massive amount of power.

So hopefully we can see that it is necessary to replace some of the time spent on push ups and crunches with some time on power.

 

While the pushups etc are useful, fighters do need to have massive reserves of strength endurance, it’s not the be all and end all. Plus, we can replace the push ups with some higher value drills that will still reap massive amounts of stamina.

 

But first, why do fighters not train legs? It’s because of the bodybuilding approach taken by almost every gym goer. This leads to stiff, swollen muscles and little functional carryover to the ring. Kickboxers are terrified that a set of squats will lead to them being restricted to low kicks only (not necessarily a bad thing for non ring sport MA’ers)

This simply won’t happen with the correct application of training techniques.

 

My choice of strength drills for the fighter are simple:

1.       Deadlifts – absolutely, without a doubt, essential for any man or woman planning to get into a ring. For training the hip extensor muscles (hamstrings & buttocks) the dead will not be beaten, and when you can extend your hip powerfully, you will hit powerfully.

2.       Front Squats – I personally prefer these to back squats, due to the fact that we have no squat rack, which takes up to much space anyway. Why not just clean the bar up the shoulders and squat.

3.       Bulgarian split squats – Like a lunge but with the rear foot elevated on a bench or stability ball.

4.       Single leg Romanian Deadlifts – The benefits of the dead but with extra balance and stability issues.

5.       Pistol Squats – The No Equipment, No excuses favourite.

Incorporate them into a gym program using multiple sets of low reps (1-5reps max). I then recommend finishing the workout with some high rep work that will get the blood pumping and work the conditioning.

My fighters conditioning drills of choice are again simple:

1.       Thrusters – With a bar/pair of dumbbells/kettlebells in the rack position on the shoulders, do a deep squat, then explode up extending both the legs and arms.

2.       Swings – Kettlebells are best, but a dumbbell works. This mimics the deadlift explosively training the hip extensors to fire powerfully even while fatigued.

3.       1 Kettlebell Clean & Jerk – Done for high reps this is a rear test of character. The bell is cleaned using the hip extensors then fired up to lockout mainly with the calves and quads, the shoulder takes up the slack at the end, just like a punch.

4.       Burpees – The No Equipment, No excuses method – Drop into a push up then jump into the air. To really go nuts, jump to a pull up bar, or clean a pair of dumbbells/kettlebells. Brutal.

5.       Heavy bag – simply do a few rounds on the bag.

For best (or evilest) effect do these with the aid of a countdown timer. Training with timed sets is a brutally humbling experience but it will get you fit in a hurry.

 

Cool off and do some light stretching/mobility work. The combination of the heavy deads/squats followed by the high rep lower body/full body work will train the muscles to not only generate a huge amount of power, but to keep doing it over and over. Every punch you throw will start to come from the ground, and the other guy will notice (when he wakes up that is!)

 

Regards

 

Wild Geese

every cause but our own

Kenpo / Eskrima / BJJ / Strength & Conditioning
www.wildgeesema.com/ wildgeesema.blogspot.com

info@wildgeesema.com

+353 87 672 6090

Facebook / Twitter / RSS feed

 

 

….it's an Attitude