Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rear neck grip -

Lavallee's curriculum includes some self defense and releases from holds and grabs. The very first one we learn is a release from a rear neck grab (two hands gripping the neck). We also learn a release from a rear choke hold. In my mind, I group these two attacks on the neck together so I have here.

Our curriculum, as I've mentioned before, evolves. Below are videos of releases using the older (for our school) kenpo-based moves and our current approach which is reference-point based.

Kenpo Based Defense from Rear Neck Grab

The reference point system is designed to respond to each attack by engaging and disabling your attacker, not just repelling him to attack you again. Also, the idea of reference points is to respond to each attack by funneling the response into a few well-known fighting maneuvers. The Lavallees self-defense, while similar to jitsu, is most directly derived from Israel-base haganah self defense. It avoids the kenpo self defense problem of there being many dramatically different moves for self defense. A cool-headed well-trained person might remember which defense to use in which situation but most people, once attacked, could get confused by the complexity of responses of the kenpo self defense.

(note - this videos were pulled together from an impromptu practice session after class. They are not performances)

I'd be very interested in your thoughts on which of these is more effective in what situations. And what you know about the heritage of these approaches...

Kenpo-Based Rear Neck Grip Again

Reference Point - Rear Neck Grip

Rear Choke - Kenpo

Rear Choke Reference Point

Rear Choke Cradle Release

Thoughts? Comments?



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to Basics....Videos of Katas...My abs

welcome back Monday, I was back in class after a three week absence. Which was preceded by two weeks in class and before that, another two week absence. So its come-back time for me and with any luck, I'll be there with no interruptions until Christmas.

To welcome me back, the dojo is having a "back-to-basics week". Thanks so much. (The world does spin around me, doesn't it?) Monday night, we went through the basic kata, fast and furious. I loved it. White Belt Appreciation Form, Kempo Kata Short One, Kempo Kata Long One, Kempo Kata Short Two , Bookset, XMA Form One and Short Three. There are now videos and write-ups on each of these posts. OK, I admit. There were not videos on each of these kata when I first posted this article this morning but having gotten a few emails, I made some new videos today (thanks Kathy) and got them up on the site. Anybody want to add any details to the write-ups? Any corrections? Any great pictures of the poses for the beginners to contribute? Come on folks, it's web 2.0 time, you are supposed to participate....

I was proud to find that my memory of these kata was sharp. It helped that when I trained on vacation, I practiced the kata so I'd been through them on my own recently. Also, it helps that I'm still less than a year from earning my black belt when I learned all the kata well enough to do them in my sleep. Actually, I did do them a few times in my sleep as my fiancee told me when I asked her why she had those funny bruises. But I can't say that I was sharp on my stances and details. Way too many of my stances were sort-of hard bows or off-center horse stances.

I once spent some time video taping and watching myself on the details. I think I was trying to get a video of myself for one of the kata blog posts. It really helped with details having the ability to watch myself right afterwards. With some time and a tripod (or friends), I'd like to try that again.

I might have been over-doing this come back. I ran Friday hard (have I mentioned my cactus injury), I travelled Saturday (visiting a kid in camp in Pennsylvania), I ran hard Sunday, Monday morning, and Tuesday morning. I made it to class Monday night and Tuesday night. Tuesday night, I was stiff and moving was hard. It might have been a hot night. In any case, I really worked up a sweat and wasn't moving so great. It didn't help that it was an intense ab night which is never my strong suit and recently, I've been ignoring them.

Which gives me an idea. Maybe this fall, I'll take another of my weaknesses (abdominals) and through (quoting Kyoshi) a "massive action plan" such as hundreds of ab exercises on my own a few times per week, convert this historical weakness into a future area of personal strength.

I've done it in so many other areas, why not abs? Besides, I might start to look good with my shirt off again.....It's been a few years since I have....Of course, it means doing a lot of abs.....to be considered.... (no, this is not me. Not now. Never before....But I did do a hundred sit-ups today so who's to say about the future?



Sunday, July 20, 2008

Coming back...Again

Sunday night - It's now three weeks since I've been in class. I've travelled and at least over the last week, I've tried hard to work out. I've run five of the last seven days including three miles along the Mediterranean Sea, several miles along the Channel, and two runs in very hot South Florida (ie home). Tomorrow: my first day back in class.

How badly am I out of shape? While my runs have been good, I have been more than a little lax on the pushups. And when I do try them, it's not that pretty a picture. Fortunately, this is my last break for a long time (I hope).



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Warriors Collide 6

Updated post on Warriors Collide 6!
Just a quick post since I've taken two (almost three) weeks off to vacation with my kids and honey (Carmen). But, I thought I'd pass on that Warriors Collide 6 tickets are now on sale! For previous related posts:
Steve Lavallees Fight Clinic

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Care of the Equipment---Electrolytes & Revgear

When I was getting my black belt, one of my single biggest problems was "recovery time" after classes. I resolved at the time, to learn about nutrition and to speak to some knowledgeable people to figure out what might help. Well, many article and discussions later, no lights had gone on in my head. I continued to drink lots of water and to feel terrible the day after a major workout.

But, this past weekend. I was in Running Wild buying new running shoes (great store, they really take the time to match you up with the right shoes) and I was asking questions about nutrition and recovery. One store guy asked: "Do you sweat a lot when you work out?".

The answer is that I do. More than anybody else. Dramatically so. He then connected the dots for me and said that I should make a special point of drinking electrolyte drinks right after working out. For most people, short of a 10K or half marathon, it's unimportant but in my case, it made sense (and connected with some other issues that I won't discuss on the blog).

Since then, I drink up after each class and I feel a lot better. Note that since I'm also trying to keep my weight at a reasonable level, I'm careful to be consuming drinks that have low or no calories. I've looked carefully at the sports drinks available at our dojo and the sugar content varies dramatically.

I thought I would also mention a related "care of the equipment" issue. As someone who has a powerful cooling system (eg I sweat), I needed to learn how to keep my sparring gear decent. My current program is that as soon I get home, I bring it into the air conditioning and lay it out in front of a fan for a day. This totally dries it out. The few times when I've left it in the non-air conditioned garage or the car, I had to basically junk it and buy new stuff. Just a tip for some of you who haven't found a way yet.

I'd appreciate more hints on any of these "Care of the Equipment" subjects.