Legs Week and TRX FORCE KIT

TRX Practice

I received my TRX FORCE Kit earlier this week and spent a bit of time doing the first of the FORCE workout program. Look for a full review of the TRX and training program in the next couple of weeks. Today in the morning I did the TRX FORCE Week 1 – Day 1 workout. I’ve not started tracking anything yet, just wanted to start getting used to the exercises and transitions. I plan to start the Force program for real next week.

ABD Legs Week!!!

Wall Squat

Wall Squat


I hit ABD Norwich for a double single class. Had planned on the double but my shoulder was just starting to act up at the end of the first class so I decided not to push it. This week is the best my shoulder’s been in the past couple of months. I’m at 13 classes and I’m almost caught back up with all my classes. I’m good for stripe testing next week, and if I keep up 2x / week, I should be in good shape for stripe testing and then belt testing at the end of June. This is legs week, so that means squats, squats, squats. One legged, wall, jumping, it was all in there.

Muay Thai

Our focused practice was the cut kick. We used the jump forward and focus on swinging the leg down method. This was similar to the kicks we worked on during the Jake Steinman Muay Thai Seminar. Since this is a Muay Thai quarter, Wed/Thur classes mean sparring for BBT students. This was nice easy sparring, Master McShane said it should be easy enough that no one hates sparring after this. We rotated through three partners. I think I’m getting better at not chasing to block a punch; it’s a bad habit I have that I’ve been trying to fix. My other bad habit is trying to block kicks with my arm instead of bringing my knee up.

Here’s a video showing how we were working on the cut kick

Krav Maga

Worked on all the month 2 material. Defense against front knife threat to the throat, both same side and cross body. The defenses are starting to flow a bit smoother and becoming a bit more automatic.

Weekly Training Update – May 5-11

(CC BY-SA 2.0) by Orse

(CC BY-SA 2.0) by Orse

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been training consistently, just haven’t kept up with my training journal. If you check out the latest weight loss update, you’ll see that I’ve put a bit of weight back on. I’ve read many times that journaling is a real help in achieving and maintaining weight loss. Obviously eating wrong is the root cause of the weight gain, but I do think I make better choices when I know I’ll be recording my progress at week’s end.

Training

I made it to ABD Norwich for three classes and one sparring session this week. It was arms week and I felt like I had jello at the end of each class. As usual we also worked on core strength, this week low/high planks and a single leg raise/crunch type movement. The crunch’s left me with horrible back spasm for a couple of days. I know from experience that my hip flexors are a weak spot and I hit them pretty good this week. Good news was that once the spasms went away after the first class of the week, I had no more spasm during the rest of the week. The muscles are a little sore, but that’s OK.

Krav Maga

This quarter is focused on knife defense. This week was knife to the throat from the front. Still feels very clumsy and awkward. Need to keep practicing. Next week is a different knife to throat defense defense, different based on which side of the throat the attacker is holding the knife on.

Muay Thai

This quarter is a Muay Thai quarter, so lots of time spent on Muay Thai basics. This week was throwing knees, especially focussing on the hip extension to punch the knee forward. My mind know’s what the body should be doing, but the body doesn’t always go along for the ride… I think I’m starring to overcome the cave man syndrome when somebody holds up a set of pads for me. This past week I focussed on good technique over power, and actually got feedback that I was kicking and throwing knees pretty hard.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

After tweaking my shoulder during the Neiman Gracie seminar, I think I’ll finally be back to BJJ next week. Regular class, plus being diligent about my physical therapy exercises and stretches seem to finally be having the desired effect.

Friday Afternoon Training

Training

ABD Norwich for the Friday afternoon class. Same basic class as Monday, still legs week so plenty of squats, snow boards, etc.

I bruised my hand holding the tombstone for groin kicks. I’ve got to find a different way to hold the pad, because I’m not holding it securely, Mr. Angel actually kicked it out of my hand twice, and I’m taking all the force of the kicks where my thumb meets my palm.

Jeet Kune Do & Kali Seminar

Tonight was the Jeet Kune Do and Kali seminar at ABD Norwich.

Christopher Smith from IMB Academy was the guest instructor for tonights seminar. We spent the first hour learning some Kali basics with one and two sticks. I had never worked with sticks before, so the basics were exactly what I needed. After some warm-up drills, we practiced six basic strikes on our partners, without actually hitting them. Then we got into the defense against the six strikes. The key on defense was to either form the letter T or X with your stick and the attackers. Finally we learned a couple of disarm techniques, both offensive and defensive. I think Chris did a great job packing a lot of material into an hour.

The second hour Chris went into Jeet Kune Do. He views Jeet Kune Do more as a philosophy of fighting and less as a specific style. We worked on some of the principles of being aggressive, closing the distance while attacking and attacking simultaneously. What felt very weird was that Chris had us use a stance with our strong side forward, which is opposite what I’m used to. The final part was a quick introduction to hand locking and how to combine that with a counter attack. We worked on blocking a round house punch and countering at the same time with a punch to the head. From this Chris asked to improvise whatever continuation we wanted to for the counter attack; each training pair then shared with the rest of the class what they came up with. It was pretty obvious that one of the primary things we train at ABD is Krav Maga. I think just about everybody’s counter attack included getting into the point of reference and the working from there.

The two hours Chris spent with us flew by. He was a great instructor, explained things well and only had us do pushups if we dropped a stick accidentally. I hope Master McShane is able to bring him back again for another seminar.

Krav Maga and Legs Week

Training

My first night as an ABD Norwich BBT student. It’s legs week, so lots of squats, jump shots, frog squats, and squatting knees.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai was the first half of the new sequence for this quarter. I learned that in addition to practicing the strikes and kicks, I also need to start practicing as if I was holding pads. I didn’t do a horrible job, but a couple of times I forgot about something.

Krav Maga

Worked on our gun defenses to the head and chest. I need to pay more attention to two things on the gun to chest defense. First, I keep putting my hand back into the line of fire as I go to disarm, and second I’m not always aware of where the muzzle is pointed as I controll the barrel. Final drill was to go from blocking and returing punches to groin kicks. That was the first round. For the second round we added a frog jump shot when switching from block/punch to kick.

Moved Out of Basic And Into BBT

Feeling 100% better than I did yesterday, I took the day off yesterday because I did not feel well. I absolutely hate using my time off because I’m actually sick.

Training

Wow, what a surprise at ABD Norwich this afternoon. Mr. Angel asked to speak with me in the back, I assumed it was related to an email I had sent to Master McShane earlier in the day. Mr. Angel told me it was obvious I had been working hard and practicing, I started to think I wasn’t doing a good enough job and he was going to tell me so. Instead I got a great surprise. I was promoted to Black Belt Training (BBT). At ABD there are two groups of students, Basic and BBT. Basic is where everyone starts and learns the fundamentals of the ABD system. Once the Basics are down you can be moved into BBT when the instructors feel you are ready. I’m very exited and looking forward to the BBT training, which also means I can participate in sparring, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the BBT only seminars.

Class itself was pretty much the same intervals and final drill as Tuesday’s Late Class, except that I worked with the BBT students on Muay Thai and Krav Maga. I got to work on gun defense during Krav Maga and a new, longer, Muay Thai sequence.

Krav Maga at the Late Class

Training

Decided to try the 8pm class tonight. I liked the smaller class size, though the bigger classes don’t bother me. I also like that I had an extra hour to get other things done at home. When I take the 7pm class I find that I get nothing done after I get home from class. Taking the late class will mean getting to bed later than normal. I’ll have to see how I feel in the morning before I decide if the 8pm class with be something I do on a regular basis.

Month 1 continues… One area I think I have improved in is the warmup. I’m now making it through entire warmups without stopping, even when jumping jacks are involved. Even did the shoulder taps, think high plank and touch hand to opposite shoulder, from a real plank position. Shoulder is feeling stronger every time, but I’m still being very cautious about pushing it too far.

Intervals

Intervals tonight were sit-ups with a medicine ball and sit-ups with wall shots with a medicine ball. High planks and roll the ball between your hands and pushups with one hand on the medicine ball. Leg flutters and Russian twists, with the medicine ball.

Had two issues during the intervals. My lower back is still tightening up during some of the ab exercises, in this case leg flutters. Not surprisingly, leg flutters have the body in much the same position as Vees and scoops. The good news is the tightness goes away very quickly and I seem to go a little longer each time before the tightness sets in. The other issue was with pushups with a hand on the medicine ball. I did a few on each side from a real pushup position, then dropped to my knees to keep doing them. I think I could have pushed out a one or two more real ones, but I’m not sure it would have been worth the risk to my shoulder. Regular pushups and planks I’m not too worried about hurting my shoulder again, but anything where I load the shoulders differently I’m still very cautious of. But, I also need to be careful that I don’t start using the shoulder as an excuse for not giving 100%.

Muay Thai

Continued to work on the new Muay Thai sequence. Tonight we practiced the second part of the first half; duck and weave, left hook, right cross. Since we are Krav Maga focused this quarter we were wearing MMA style gloves. I either need to punch different or get some hand wraps. My hand is shifting a bit in the gloves when I punch and the back of my knuckles started to feel pretty raw.

Krav Maga

Practiced the 360° defense and defense against a haymaker punch. Definitely need some practice on the haymaker defense. In my initial attempts I was trying to pull in the attackers arm, grab the shoulder and throw a knee simultaneously, when in reality they should be discrete actions, which is not to say they happen slowly. I was also pulling the attackers arm in in such a way that I was pinching their arm between my arm and the flesh on the side of my chest. Very painful for me and I’m sure I’ll have a good bruise their in a day or two. I think I need to either hook the arm better as I pull it in, pulling it up more into my own armpit or pull the attackers arm lower on my body and then lock it in. Pulling the attackers arm down a bit may also help pull them off balance.

Krav Maga Déjà Vu

Trained at ABD Norwich again tonight. Two nights in a row was not as bad as I though it would be.

Class was identical to yesterdays. See Start of a New Krav Maga Quarter for my thoughts on tonights workout, and yes holding the low squat position was still the worse part.

Start of a New Krav Maga Quarter

Training

First night back to ABD Norwich since the belt test last Wednesday. Little did I know that I would be having flashbacks to the 650 squats before the night was over…

Intervals

Since it’s the 1st week of the 1st month of the quarter, the intensity has scaled back down. I didn’t realize just how high the intensity was over the last several weeks until tonight’s class. Really noticed a differences in my performance during the intervals tonight.

Had a bit of trouble with 2 of the intervals. During the scoops and vees interval my lower back tightened up something fierce, to the point where I could not get my legs up to a proper height. I’ve noticed this tends to happen when doing scoops in particular. The other interval that gave me a problem was the walking planks and twisting push ups. I was able to do all rounds of the walking plank, but only got one real round of the twisting push up. My shoulder, the one I spend a month in physical therapy for, was the limitation on doing those. The good news is that every time we do planks or push ups I’m able to do a few more than last time.

The worst interval was squats and holding a low squat position. While fond memories of last weeks belt test did come rushing back, the squats weren’t that bad. Holding the low squat position was the real challenge. Master McShane told us that if we weren’t shaking, then we weren’t doing them right. I’m pretty sure I did them right.

Muay Thai

Started working on the new Muay Thai sequence, 2 jabs and a cross. Mr. Angel was working with the beginner students and friends that had come to class, it’s buddy week and you can bring a friend to class. I noticed that his feedback to me on my punches was much more focused and specific than before. So instead of the correction to twist my hips when I throw a punch, I’m getting more subtle corrections like straightening my wrist a little more. I take this as a positive sign that I’m starting to get the fundamentals down.

Krav Maga

The block the punch drill was much harder than it looked. The drill consisted of your partner throwing, slowly, jabs and crosses at your head and you blocking with the same side arm. Somewhere along the way I must have learned to block differently, because I kept blocking with the opposite hand. I have a feeling it’s going to take a fair amount of practice to engrain the new method in my head and get my muscle memory readjusted.

The blocking drill fed into our first Krav Maga technique, defense against a straight punch. The only advantage here was that the punch was always a right cross, so blocking properly was quite a bit easier. Similar to the beginning of last quarter, everything feels very clunky and requires a lot of thought. The next 3 months should help smooth everything out and make it more automatic.

The final drill of the night was a lot of fun. Actually, any time you get to smack your training partner about the head and neck with mitts, it’s a fun drill. Basically, the defender would protect their head and face with their hands on their head and elbows down and together, while the attacker hit with the mitts; the hits were actually not that hard. The cue to counter attack was 3 swift hits from the attacker. When that happened we would counter back with jabs, crosses and knees. What made it tough was as the interval went on the number of strikes increase, from 2 punches, then 4, then 8, then 16. During round 2, we added a couple of knees after the punches. I thought it was a great drill, especially for working on the transition from defending to attacking.

Belt Testing at ABD

Note: This post is dated the day of the belt test, but was actually posted after everyone had finished belt testing, so as not to give anything away about what to expect in the test.

Paul throwing a right roundhouse Muay Thai kickPaul in Krav Maga point of reference throwing a knee

It was belt testing tonight. Nice small class tonight, only 8 of us total.

Training

To start class we did jumping jack ladders with squats in between. So it was 100 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 90 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 80 jumping jacks, 10 squats……

Class was a mix of 2m rounds of our Muay Thai routine and 2m of Krav Maga. I lost track but think we did 3 rounds total of the Muay Thai and 1 round of the Krav Maga. Beginners got a little break while the BBT students did some 2m sparring rounds. Because of the small class size there was only one pair sparring at a time, so we all got to watch the sparring.

Class ended with another set of ladders, this time 100 squats, 10 jumping jacs, 90 squats, 10 jumping jacks…..

In total we did 650 jumping jacks and 650 squats. My legs are shot and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that…..

I did pass my belt test, no longer a plain white belt. I’m now a white/yellow belt!