We’ve done a lot of updating over the past few years, including better equipment, real mats, shelving, and a Mylar “mirror”. Have a look, and let us know what you think!
Here is a quick video to help with forearm and grip training. Improving these areas is important for all forms of martial arts–especially grappling. Take a look, and let us know what you think! (We have some other video updates as well, by the way.) Thanks!
To celebrate this year’s games we had some fun training. All events were meant to improve martial arts skills and included sanchin-style shot put, hammer throw, 40-yard dash, gymnastics, taekwondo on pads, “wrestling” (bjj with pins), and judo. Hopefully next year we’ll add more events and a better camera!
What would happen if you combined military-style PT, an adventure race, and a karate class? You would get the Meriden Martial Arts Club’s first experiment without outdoor ruck march training. We only made it out for a few hours, but we loaded up our backpacks with sand and weigh plates, marched through the local Wallingford Land Trust, did tons of push-ups, pad work, katas, and had lots of fun! Here are some photos and videos; next time we’ll bring a GoPro and some lighting!
Here is an other entry in the informal outdoor equipment series featured on this site. This time, we’re focused on boots. I wrote about training outdoors in minimalist footwear a long while ago–you know, before it was cool. It is important for martial artists–and most other athletes–to train barefoot as much as possible, as strengthening the feet improves striking, balance, and agility among other attributes.
That being said, after many years of training barefoot–or as close as is practical using minimalist shoes–I’ve changed my stance, so to speak, regarding footwear. This is especially true of outdoor training. As we age, it takes longer to recover from workouts: muscles stay sore, joints may ache, and our performance suffers. My greatest weak point as an athlete approaching middle age, however, has been my skin. Cuts and scrapes take much longer to heal. My hands stay dry and crack even after the winter passes. And, worst of all, I repeatedly tear up my feet with barefoot-style training. I had a cut on the bottom of my big toe that took more than a year-and-a-half to fully heal. Through constant abuse through training, hiking, yard work, travel, and by wearing minimalist shoes all day while teaching high school, my once-merely-callused feet look like I’ve been walking on hot coals.
This is the potential dark side to minimalist footwear no one mentions.
Further research and experimentation have helped. Collagen supplementation helps to repair skin damage and to maintain healthy joints. Darn Tough socks are probably the greatest clothing invention since the saber tooth tiger tunic: they’re comfortable, protective, and have a lifetime guarantee. Combining these have really helped my tired dogs. But, I think I waited too long to implement these changes to diet and equipment, and, in addition sustaining a separate foot injury, I decided to finally invest in some boots for outdoor training and other activities.
Over the years, I trashed a few pairs of Timberlands and killed a pair of Cabela’s boots and had nothing to switch to. Here are a few boots I’ve tried this year that are worth talking about. If you suffer from or are developing foot problems, wearing a good pairs of boots–even if only some of the time–can make a big difference.
I’ve done a lot of posts lately about outdoor gear. As I mentioned, preparedness is an offshoot of situational awareness, which, of course, is an essential aspect of martial arts. Being prepared for personal, professional, and family needs that may arise from day to day makes dealing with them easier. Work had me on the road for may years, and I managed to pack for most situations on a limited budget. Now that I travel less, I still see the merits of having the right gear at the right time in a pack that doesn’t fall apart.
I’ve outgrown and/or destroyed many packs over the years. If someone invented a Kevlar-lined Mary Poppins’ purse, a lot of companies would go out of business. I know I’d want one! For now, it’s good to have the bags you need for different training, work, and family scenarios. Here are some of the best I’ve tried so far, and how I use each every day.
Here are a few quick pics from our recent kyu test at the Meriden Martial Arts Club. Thanks to all who tested and helped out. Congrats!
Here’s another review I wrote for MMA Gear Addict. While I love Century products, this one is a miss. You can read the review here, and here’s a quick video that sums it up. I hope you find it helpful. – Bill
Kataaro is a custom martial arts belt and equipment company that I’m consistently impressed with. Their products are excellent as is their customer service and delivery. Better still–all their products are made in the USA!
Here is a quick review of a few belts I ordered from them and how they’ve held up over the years. Take a look; I hope it helps.
The Holy Grail for EDCers everywhere is the fabled “One-Bag Solution”. I think I’ve found it with the GORUCK GR2. I’ve had this bag for about a year now, and it’s served me well during hiking trips, ruck marches, yard work, weight training and calisthenics, vacations and travel, and, of course, every day carry. Check out these pics and videos to see what I mean!
Here are some shots of the GR2 in action. Videos explain the methods to my madness are after the jump.