Are You Ready For A Night on the Town?


friday-night-workout-weights-04072011It’s friday!

This means most of you will come into me nice and early to get your training out of the way for the day, then as soon as the whistle blows to finish work, you’ll be into your glad rags and out on the town.

And fair play, you possibly earned it.

Possibly.

For the best part of 10 years I was one of those people you walked past with barely a nod on the way in and out of your pub of choice. I stood in the shadows around the dance floor as you danced, oblivious of the people around you.
For ten years I was a Doorman, not just in Dublin either, but in Andorra in the Pyrenees  Dubai in the UAE and Canberra in Australia.

And regardless of the location, the story always went the same.

Each and every shift, myself and the other lads would watch as the alcohol kicked in, guards dropped, egos inflated and before we knew it we’d be in. If we got there in time we’d be diffusing a situation, if we didn’t we’d be pulling two or more bodies apart and physically removing them from the venue.

A lot of the time it was just something stupid, a silly argument that got heated. Sometimes it was more sinister.

bouncer_02

Even on the route home after a shift, I’d see the same things happening on the street. I’ve seen pickpockets tailing some of the people that had left the bar not long before I did. One night I turned a corner and saw a woman on her own with three youths attempting to snatch her handbag. They succeeded, but ran the wrong way. They ran towards me, when they should have run the other way.

Now I’m not writing this for the glory, look at me the hero doorman, no I’m kind of reminiscing over people innocently landing themselves in bother or people setting themselves up as victims almost inviting a predatory attack.
I’m thinking, could these events been avoided or handled differently.

And the answer is a resounding yes.

With a few simple pointers, these people may never have gotten into these situations.

I’m also looking at the Central Statistics Office website at the Assault figures and seeing the number rise year on year going from just over 13 thousand to over 15 thousand cases. Cases of trespass have nearly doubled from 2004 to 2007 and has continued to rise.

This is why from time to time I run a workshop looking at the simple and basic elements of self defence.
It’s kind of what the cool kids call “Reality Based Self Defence” or “Self Protection”
I’m not cool and rather call a spade a spade, so to me the title of “Basic Self Defence Skills” is good enough.

The next one of these will take place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.
You have the chance to join me from 1000 – 1600 on Sunday 5th for Basic Self Defence Skills and again on Monday 6th for Rapid Response Knife Defence.

Here’s some of what we’ll look at:

Sunday 5th May:Basic Self Defence Skills

  • Environmental Awareness
  • Situational Awareness
  • Avoid/Evade/Confront Continuum
  • Fundamental Body Mechanics for Power Generation
  • The Three Fundamental Arm/Hand Strikes
  • Wedge Defence

 

rapid responseMonday 6th May: Rapid Response Knife Defence Skills

  • Flinch Response
  • Blocking, Parrying, Passing &Trapping Skills
  • “Safe” position
  • Counter Offensive techniques from safe position
  • Simultaneous Cover & Counter

Each day will cost €50, or attend both for €70.
No entries will be taken on the day, so drop me a line about putting down a deposit.

This workshop will not turn you into Jason Bourne, but it will give you the baseline skills, which if practiced and applied can and will keep you and those you care about safe from harm.
I won’t try to baffle you with bullshit.
I will teach you high quality, time proven and field tested information.
This is not a martial arts course, it is pure self defence, like martial arts used to be before competitions were created.

Till then, enjoy your weekend.

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com

 

Extreme Training Proves to be Harmful, Who Knew?


I just came across an interesting article highlighted through the power of facebook.
This isn’t an unusual occurrence, quite often I open facebook, scroll through the home page and within a few minutes I have a dozen windows open each one featuring a new article on fitness or strength & conditioning.

But this one caught me, I figured it was worth, not only sharing, but actually discussing.

If you click on the image below you can read the article, for those who can’t be bothered I’ll highlight the key points below:

Click the image to read the full article

  • Running can take a toll on the heart that essentially eliminates the benefits of exercise.
  • But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot—more than 20 to 25 miles a week—lost that mortality advantage.
  • no mortality benefit for those who ran faster than 8 miles per hour, while those who ran slower reaped significant mortality benefits.
  • “Chronic extreme exercise appears to cause excessive ‘wear-and-tear’ on the heart,”
  • “If you are running more than 15 miles a week, you are doing it for some reason other than health,” said Dr. Kenneth Cooper (the blokey who kickstarted the whole aerobics thing)

So what can we take from this?

The key point as I see it is the word “extreme”
Anything taken to the extreme will be detrimental, maybe not immediately, but certainly over time.
Look at any high level sports meet and you’ll see broken people all over the place. Hell, I’m one of the broken people, I took body to the limit far too many times over the years to be anything other than broken!

Perhaps this is why I choose to train my guys the way I train them. I’m all for extreme challenges, I’ve a rake of endurance athletes training under me, I’ve high level martial artists and generally a generally nuts population who all attend WG-Fit on a regular basis, most of whom would happily train themselves into an early grave and do so with a smile.
But my job, as coach, is to moderate them.

And this is the key factor for anyone training for health and longevity.
Yes, if you’re a professional athlete, health is secondary to performance. You know that you push and push and eventually you won’t be able to push any further, but that’s the nature of the beast. The best know to retire before the sport eats them up entirely.

If you’re not a pro, then why?
Why not take a more moderate approach, build up, back off, build up again, back off again. Some call this periodisation, I call it common sense.
If you’re an endurance athlete, such as those I used to admire back when I lived in the English Lake District, mix up your training. The guys in the Lakes would simply go out and run, it’s a lesson that took a while for me to understand, but eventually I got it. Running isn’t exercise, it’s a natural function of being alive, so enjoy it.
Take the time to look around, enjoy the scenery (this why I no longer run much, if I returned to the mountains I’d definitely be lacing up once more), enjoy the experience of flowing with the terrain.

I do find that many involved in more tactical sports, and by that I don’t mean these pseudo military crap that are all over the inter web right now, I mean sports that have tactics involved, skills. Sports that are about more than just all out effort.
These guys spend about half their time just practising and the other half training.

What’s the difference?

Lets talk about a fighter as an example.

pic courtesy of Ce’s The Day Photography

I watch our Muay Thai lads training every day. They work for 2 hours, 4-6 days per week. That will easily equate to the training volume undertaken by a fairly serious endurance athlete.
But here’s the difference. Most of the training is done at a relatively leisurely pace. They are practicing skills, and for practice to be effective it must be perfect. So fatigue must be avoided.
Now a couple of times a week they push harder, but most of the time it is practice practice practice. The training really escalates as a fight approaches, then when it’s over, rest.

How many gym goers or endurance athletes take this same approach?
How many take the time to simply practice running, to perfect their technique?

Very few I’ll bet.
And it’s a safe bet, because I was the same.
It took spending time with some older runners, men who were in their 50’s and were awesome, for me to learn that you don’t always need to push. Sometimes you just go out and enjoy the process. And you know what? Like the thai boxer perfecting his kick on the bag for an hour, half pace, no power, then getting into the ring and delivering a bone jarring kick. Your running or whatever sport you’re into, will improve.

Sometimes playing is more important than training.

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com

Closed minds and open gullets


I watched last nights episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, he’s over in LA trying to help improve the quality of food served, especially in the schools.
Usually I have the TV on in the background and rarely pay any attention to it, but I have to say, I was glued to this show. I just could not believe the closed minded attitude of the people he was trying to help.
I could not believe the food that was being given to kids in school, the fact that they were being given flavoured milk loaded with sugar at break time because “milk is healthy”
I could not believe that the powers that be were only interested in money, not health.

The whole show left me sick.

Very often what starts in the US makes its way over here.
God help our species, it’s already in an obesity epidemic. “Adult Onset Diabetes” had to be renamed to “Type II Diabetes” because kids started getting it due to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Young men are being diagnosed with the female post menopausal condition of Osteoporosis as a result of poor nutrition and lack of exercise

Check this out:

•    In Ireland, 47% of people report being overweight or obese (13% obese, 34% overweight; SLÁN 2003).
•    Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of overweight and obesity in men in the EU and the seventh highest prevalence among women.

There’s more:

Obesity in Europe is five times more common now, than it was after the Second World War. Recent trends highlight that the number of obese people is doubling every 10 years and the problem is becoming increasingly prevalent in younger people. Increases in obesity over the past 30 years have been paralleled by a dramatic rise in the prevalence of diabetes. In Ireland the prevalence of obesity is greater in men than in women. 14% of men and 12% of women are obese and in certain regions this figure rises to 18% and 15% respectively. This places Ireland in a unique position compared to other developed countries
Obesity – People who are more than 10 pounds overweight have a higher risk for osteoarthritis, especially in weight-bearing joints like the knees. Pressure on joints from the excess weight causes cartilage to break down faster than usual.

(If you want to see where this info came from click here)

Peoples attitudes need to change.

Parents, educate your kids on food and food choices. I you don’t know, find out, it isn’t hard.

Ignorance is NOT bliss.

If you need help with nutrition there is an amazing resource for tracking your food intake available on the excellent LiveStrong website. Simple enter what you eat and drink and it gives you a full nutritional breakdown. There are also plenty of articles, recipes and people willing to give you a dig out.

As for exercise, well I’ll help with that, but only if you’re willing to push your boundaries each and every session.

There are no excuses.
Take control of your life.

Regards

Dave
http://www.wg-fit.com

Postural Awareness Workshop – 29th May


Highly respectes Rolfing practitioner, Tony Walsh, is giving up an afternoon to talk, demonstrate and teach various techniques that will improve postural alignment.

Rolfing is the brain child of Ida Rolf, one of the originators of Physical Therapy.
Almost every branch of hands on therapy owes it’s roots to the work of Ida Rolf.

This workshop is aimed at athletes and fighters, it will not only help the fighters posture but also help them move the body as a unit to become more mobile and more powerful.

Contact info@wildgeesema.com to book a place.

Date: Saturday, 29 May 2010
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Location: Wild Geese Martial Arts
Street: 14 magennis Place, Pearse St
Town/City: Dublin, Ireland

Shoulder Health & Improved Posture


Evolution

Take a look at the picture.

While it maybe humorous, it is alarmingly close to the truth (as all good humour is..)

The last image, the guy sat at the desk, hunched over a keyboard is how many of us spend 8 hours or more every day. Imagine the havoc that will play on your posture.

Now, ok, you go to the gym, but really is an hour in the gym going to undo 8 hours of sitting at desk? And is your program helping or is it hindering your progress?

I’m not going to go inot the ins and outs of program design here, but I will pass on a tip I have on good authority with regards to program design:

Pull more than you push – Eric Cressey (www.ericcressey.com)

That means all you bench press addicts better add in some chins, Dumbell/Kettlebell cleans and rows into your routines quick sharp.

But for ongoing general shoulder health we have to take basic good habits out of the gym and into our daily grind. We Continue reading

Switching On


Martial Arts, ultimately, is about fighting.
Put whatever philosophical spin on it you like and you will still never get away from the fact that spending hours learning to punch, kick, choke and dislocate is the pursuit of violence.

I’ve no problem with that, the skills I’ve learnt over the years have on several occasions pulled me out of a tight spot. I know all the official Wild Geese Martial Arts instructors around the world can say exactly the same.

Unfortunately there are many who can’t. (upon rereading that last sentence, it actually may be better saying “fortunately”, as getting into a fight isn’t really something to be proud of. Avoiding a fight, is.)

Most of us have heard of at least one story where Johnny Black Belt had his arse handed to him on the street. Yet this same martial arts “expert” is practically untouchable in the Dojo or the ring.
So what happened? Why could he not be as efficient outside as he is in his home ground.

Continue reading