Speaking about training... Meditations on a 7 second KO.

This was an old post from my old blog, but I think it has it's place here:

Two very good boxers in the 178 lbs class square off. The blue corner gets busy right away and starts jabbing the red corner. Red corner ducks and starts bobbing. Blue misses a head shot and red comes up with a left hook that KO's blue! Blue was maybe 10 punches in! It was the only punch that red threw!

While stories like this are nothing new (Liston/Ali fight), it reiterates a very important point:

Superior position, attack placement and timing are generally easier to achieve and a better bet than raw strength, raw speed, or endurance alone.

  • Positioning meaning body positioning in relation to adversary. (Not arm position, weaver, etc.)

  • Attack placement meaning where you hit -"speed is fine, accuracy is final" - the hook from the first match described illustrates this.

  • Timing meaning when you can get inside of the OODA loop of the adversary and take mental advantage.

To further illustrate, my friend Miguel lost his fight in the 2nd. The ref gave him a standing 8 count and then called it after Miguel seemed dazed. Miguels errors were twofold:

1.) Lack of movement - Miguel is a "stand and deliver" kinda stoic Mexican guy. He hardly moves his head and moves his feet very little. Instead of controlling distance and, thereby controlling position, he "parks" his ass near the opponent and tries to pound 'em.

2.) Lack of forcing his "game" or "style" onto the opponent - Again, the opponent had much weaker punches, but controlled the distance and kept breaking Miguel's OODA loop.

So, how does this all tie into training? Simple. Realize that there will always be something that you are doing that will be wanting. Go with the strengths and figure out how to cope with your potential shortcomings - a good coach helps here a lot unless you can be very self-critical without stiffling your progress. Work on fundamentals, like positioning, placement, and timing.

This isn't to say that keeping in shape is a wasted pursuit, but rather that if you can only work on a few things per day, work on the things that pay divideds rather than physique alone.


How Much Is Enough?

"When I am asked what a human-being should devote the majority of his time to, I respond with the word 'training.' You should train more than you sleep."
- Masutatsu Oyama


Caveman Eotech.


Routine Is The Enemy...

I've been giving quite a bit of thought to training recently. Not martial arts and combatives but general fitness training necessary in order to be able to perform the afore mentioned at a reasonable level. The preponderance of new training methodologies is staggering. From weight training, cardio-kickboxing, plyometrics, body weight movements and rapid paced resistance training to various boot camp style workouts. The thing is, they all work. Some better than others but they all deliver results... to a point.

Now, there's a reason for this, they all stress your body and put demands on it that force it to adapt. If you're constantly forcing your body to adapt by placing these demands upon it, it will certainly do so. If that adaptation means building more aerobic capacity, more lean muscle mass or more explosive strength your body will oblige, but it will do so grudgingly. This means than every workout will grow less effective over time as your body adapts to it. Changes in pace, resistance and form will mitigate this and force your body to continue adapting, but ultimately as your body becomes more and more acquainted with the workouts it will adapt less and less since by then it will already be quite well suited to the demands of the training regimen.

This is actually in many ways a very good thing. If you’re training is sport specific, this progressive reduction in adaptation will mean that your body is now better suited for the desired task whether that task is running, jumping, throwing, rowing or any combination of such. The bad news is, that you will now be seeing less and less results from your efforts. The solution is to change not only the individual workouts but also the basic styles of training.

Elite athletes already know this. They add plyometric exercises to their strength training. They perform both general movements and isolation exercises. They train with weights and with bodyweight movements. They vary the rate, order, intensity and duration of exercise. In other words, they continually keep their bodies guessing. Athletes make constantly changing demands on their bodies, forcing them to continue adapting.

The how is fairly easy in theory, more difficult in execution. If you’ve been doing weights, try plyometrics. Then after bit add bodyweight movements. If you even think that your training might be getting stale move to resistance bands. As soon as you’re comfortable with your routine, don’t even wait for a plateau, make a change. Mix and match, but keep your body guessing. In the end, it will thank you.