Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Holyland- Kamishiro Yuu's Basic Training

Holyland is a pretty cool manga. It's about a kid who tries to find a place in the world for himself by roaming the streets at night. However, in order to do so, he has to be strong enough to defend himself from thugs and gangsters. His determination leads him to inadvertently become the "Thug Hunter," as he uses the basic skill he acquired through reading a boxing book and countless hours of practice, to make sure he can stay in his "Holyland."
There's a lot of levels in the workout... it's a slow process of mastery, but it has been said, if you can master just the basics of combat, you can be a great fighter.

Kamishiro Yuu's Basic Training
(Note: Day Workout- These workouts are meant to be done over the course of a whole day.)
(Note 2: Do not advance to next level until you complete your current level 3 times without failing.)

Level 1
-1000 Jabs (500 each side)

Level 2
-30 Push-ups
-2000 Jabs (1,000 each side)

Level 3:
-2 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-3000 Jabs (1,500 each side)

Level 4:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-4000 Jabs (2,000 each side)

Level 5:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-5000 Jabs (2,500 each side)

Level 6:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-4000 Jabs (2000 each side)
-1000 Jab-Cross (500 each side= 2,000 total punches)

Level 7:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-3000 Jabs (1500 each side)
-2000 Jab-Cross (1,000 each side= 4,000 total punches)

Level 8:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-2000 Jabs (1000 each side)
-3000 Jab-Cross (1,500 each side= 6,000 total punches)

Level 9:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-1000 Jabs (500 each side)
-4000 Jab-Cross (2,000 each side= 8,000 total punches)

Level 10:
-3 x 30 Push-ups 2 Minutes rest in between sets
-5000 Jab-Cross (2,500 each side= 10,000 total punches)


  • Alternatively, you can do the Jab-Cross combination from the beginning, so you don't get in the habit of just throwing a single punch. It's still only 1,000 punches per level, so count appropriately.
  • Essentially, on each level, you do a 1,000 punches per level. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but remember that you have all day and the you are starting at level 1. You can do them in sets of 20, 50, 100, or whatever. As long as you get them done, it doesn't matter. You won't be doing this workout every day, it should be interspersed throughout your schedule in between the other workouts.
  • You may be able to complete Levels 1 and 2 in this first three attempts, but after that, you may have some difficulty with the higher number of reps. Also, you shouldn't start your punches until after you've completed your push-ups for the day. This workout may seem a little boring, but once you get into a rhythm, you'll find it's very meditative.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hanayama's Workout

This is a character workout for Hanayama Kaoru from Grappler Baki. It is a powerlifting/strongman workout. Please note that 5x5 means 5 sets of 5 reps.

Hanayama's Workout A

1. Squats 5 x 5 Reps
2. Bench Press 5 x 5 Reps
3. Pull-ups 5 x 5 Reps
4. Biceps Curls 5 x 5 Reps
5. Sit-ups 5 x 5 Reps
6. Grip Work
-Wrist Curls 2 x 15 Reps
-Reverse Wrist Curls 2 x 15 Reps
-Hand Grippers (if available) to failure
-2 Sets of Grip Hang to Failure

Hanayama's Workout B

1. Deadlift 5 x 5 Reps
2. Overhead Press 5 x 5 Reps
3. Farmer's Walk 5 Sets of 50 Yards
4. Front Carry 5 Sets of 50 Yards
5. Sled Pull 5 Sets of 25 Yards
6. Grip Work
-Wrist Curls 3 x 8 Reps
-Reverse Wrist Curls 3 x 8 Reps
-Hand Grippers (if available) to failure
-2 Sets of Grip Hang to Failure

This workout is about power and grip strength. We've covered the squat, deadlift, and bench earlier in the Dragonball Training Manual, as well as the Front Carry and Farmer's Walk. Some notes:
  • Make sure you get full depth on your squats-- that means the top your thighs should be parallel with the ground at the bottom of the squat.
  • Use a controlled motion on all the lifts, especially the bench press. I've seen too many people bounce the weight off their chests to get the rep out at high speed. Not only is that not doing any good for your strength, it definitely isn't any good for your sternum.
  • Your pull-ups should have a full range of motion, from a split-second hang at the bottom to your chin coming over the bar (or touching your chest to the bar). Any grip is acceptable. Add weight to this exercise with a weightlifting belt, or (if you want it be more difficult) hold a plate in between your knees as you do the pull-up.
  • For the curls, you can use straightbar curls, alternating biceps curls, or (my personal favorite) bands. There are lots of places to get bands, but here's the kind I have. LifelineUSA has a lot of really awesome stuff, so check them out if you get the chance.
  • Hold a plate on your chest or behind your head for the sit-ups. If possible, do them on a decline bench.
  • Make sure that on the deadlift, you have a complete relaxation at the bottom. It's a "dead" lift for a reason.
  • On the overhead press, you can use a barbell or dumbbell, it's up to you.
  • You can use dumbbells or 5 gallon buckets for the Farmer's Walk.
  • For the front carry, I would recommend using some type of sandbag (going to have a post on making your own sandbag soon) or, if you have a bunch of smaller weights (like the old concrete-type weights) you can use a bunch of duct tape to make a makeshift atlas stone.
  • The sled pull is obviously done with a weight sled, but if you don't have one, pulling a tree stump or a tire with weights on it is acceptable also. You won't be going fast on this one, you should really, really have to dig in a pull hard for this exercise, so adjust the weight accordingly. If you're zipping along with the sled on you (good luck with that), you don't have enough weight on it.
  • The grip work is a given for Hanayama's workout. Not only will all these heavy lifts and strongman exercises tax your grip, we've added a little extra at the end of each workout. A quick note on the rest of the exercises: you should not be using any sort of hand wraps (chalk is fine) for these lifts. If you cannot pick up a weight without hand wraps, you shouldn't be lifting with it. You don't have hand wraps in the real world (or weight belts for that matter), so why should you use them in the gym? I understand using a weight belt every now and again for single rep maxes, but anyone you see wearing hand wraps, knee wraps, a belt, and weight lifting gloves all the time isn't going to see much in the way of improvement.
  • On to the grip work (For real, this time)!! The wrist curls should be done with a barbell or a dumbbell, with the rest of your forearm resting on a bench for support. You're really trying to isolate the forearm muscles to strengthen the grip.
  • The grip hang is obvious. Grab onto a pull-up bar and hang there until you can't anymore.
  • Grippers are a must for hand training. I've heard that the best grippers on the market are the Captains of Crush.
  • Control all your lifts.
  • Lift with a partner! You NEED a spotter for this heavy stuff. You wanna die?! Huh?! (Ok, I'm calm now...)
  • The last reps of the last set of 5 should be one that you really have to dig for. If 250lbs is your 5 rep max on squat, put that as your last set and adjust your first sets accordingly. For instance, it could look like. 5 x 135lbs; 5 x 165lbs; 5 x 195; 5 x 225; and 5 x 250. Lift smart. Ask questions in the gym if you can't remember what to do, and research like hell if you're a newbie (or pay for a couple of sessions with a trainer, if you don't have a knowledgeable person to show you proper lifting form).
That's all for now. Hope you enjoyed the new workout. Until next time, good luck and train hard.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Workouts Coming

Working on a lot of new workouts for you guys. I realize that a lot of the workouts I've been putting out there have been running-heavy or full of high reps. Believe me, that's not all we're going to be doing here. Don't get me wrong, endurance and high-rep exercises are great and all, but we're going to need to change it up with higher intensity and less volume, which there is in some of the workout later in some of the series.
So, in order to break the monotony, I'm trying to get those workouts finished up and posted. Most of them will probably be a little further ahead than we are in each of the series' we're following, but they need to be out there. Thanks a lot, and I really hope you are enjoying the workout and seeing some real results.

Thanks guys!

Full Contact Workout

I ran across this manga called "Full Contact." It's pretty cool. It's about a guy who gets sent to live as an in-house disciple for his high school days. I haven't found a whole lot of chapters, but in the small amount that there is, I managed to grab a workout. Here it is.

"Full Contact" Basic Training


1. Run 3 Miles
2. Rest 10 Minutes, stretch
3 Run 3 Miles
3. 3 Sets of MAX Push-ups
4. 3 Sets of MAX Squats


1. Run 6 Miles
2. 100 Push-ups
3. 100 Squats
4. Set of MAX Push-ups
5. Set of MAX Squats


1. Run 6 Miles with sand in pants (5lbs/leg)
2. 100 Push-ups on stools
3. Rest 5 Minutes
4. 50 One Legged Squats on stools (each side)


1. Run 6 Miles with sand in pants (10lbs/leg)
2. 100 Push-ups on stools
3. Rest 5 Minutes
4. 100 Push-ups on stools
5. Rest 5 Minutes
6. 100 One Legged Squats on stools (each side)


1. Run 6 Miles with sand in pants (10lbs/leg)
2. 100 Push-ups on stools
3. Rest 5 Minutes
4. 100 Push-ups on stools
5. Rest 5 Minutes
6. 100 Push-ups on stools
7. Rest 5 Minutes
8. 150 One Legged Squats on stools (each side)

OK, even though this is a "basic training" workout... it's really not. It's hard and it'll kill you if you are out of shape and don't respect the difficulty. That's why the prep level exists and that's why I always tell you, if you can't complete an exercise, then make it easier until you can complete it. Walk or jog, instead of run, do girly push-ups instead of push-ups, or a half squat instead of a full squat. You get it and I've said it before.

Rules before moving on-

  • For this workout, you shouldn't move on until the workout becomes "Do-able." That doesn't mean it's easy, but that means you get through the run being tired, but not dead.
  • The first level has 3 sets of max push-ups and squats. You shouldn't move forward until the combined sets for each exercise equals over 100 reps.
  • For the second level, you should do the push-ups and squats until you reach 100 reps, but you should not move on to the next level until you can do the 100 push-ups and 100 squats without stopping. You'll probably be on this level for a while. The last two sets are there to give you a little extra work.
  • In the third level, here's how you run with sand in your pants. First, tie a shoestring or a rope tightly to the bottom of each pant leg (but not enough to cut circulation), and then pour the proper amount of sand down each leg. If you can, wear either a tight-fitting pair of long-leg briefs or compression shorts (probably the better choice). For the push-ups on stools, place both feet close together on on box or stool and each one of your hands on the edge of a stool. The position of your hands should be your normal push-up width and the boxes should be space far enough to allow your body to pass between them. Make sure your shoulders go below the level of the boxes on each rep. On the one-legged squats, use a 24 inch stool or box, and put the leg that is not pushing out on the floor in front of you. You shouldn't be using your other leg to jump up, but only using the leg on the stool or box to push.
  • The other levels are just repeats of the third level. It will be very, very, very, etc. hard to get to the final level of this workout. As with everything, think about the long term.

That's all for this workout! Till next time, good luck and train hard!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hajime no Ippo- Part V

Rather than give a play-by-play of every fight that happens in Ippo (because you can just watch it for yourself), I'll merely be discussing highlights and themes within the matches. Ippo and Miyata are about to spar after three months of training. Three months can make a world of difference if someone trains hard enough, is taught the proper skills, and gets adequate rest. 12 weeks may not seem like a lot of time, but amazing transformations can happen in this short amount of time. Miyata bears witness to this miracle of training as he meets Ippo in the sparring ring once more.

The young outboxer is pushed hard in the match; so hard, in fact, that he has to resort to clinching in the second round to recover his strength from Ippo's monstrous punch in the first. Clinching is useful for a boxer looking to stall for time or seeking to seal an opponent's punching power. However, the ref usually breaks the clinch shortly after it is made. Clinching takes different roles in other martial arts. Resting in the Muay Thai boxing clinch is just asking to take a knee or an elbow and using it as a means of rest against a grappler will get you tossed or taken down.

This match is a textbook fight between an infighter and an outboxer. The outboxer's main concern is to use his footwork to move in and out and around his opponent, landing as many punches as he can, while evading the power of the infighter. In Miyata's case, he also looking to provoke the infighter into committing to a full power strike, so he can use his counterpunching abilities. The infighter, in contrast, is attempting to get inside the outboxer's range and deliver close blows, hoping to coax the outboxer into a brawl or just to push him into a corner to eliminate the ability to use his footwork. In the end, Ippo pulls an motionless short uppercut out, which barely grazes Miyata's chin, leaving him unable to get up during the 10-count.

A motionless short upper, is essentially a close-range uppercut that is initially thrown as a straight, but turns into an uppercut mid-punch. It is important to throw the punch directly from the guard, so the opponent sees a straight punch coming, but is not-so-pleasantly surprised to recieve a shot from below.

That's all for Ippo, today!

I'm thinking that from now on, the summary-type posts will be less of a synopsis of each episode and more of a breakdown of the main ideas of the episode and the explanations of exercises and techniques. I figure you guys don't need me to spoonfeed you the plot when you can just watch the shows yourself.

Till next time, good luck and train hard!

Real Anime Training and Your Martial Arts Training

If you are doing the Real Anime Training workouts, that's awesome. I recommend, though, that you find a martial arts class to attend. It can be whatever style you want: Tae Kwon Do, Submission Wrestling, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, a Kung Fu Style, or whatever. You don't have to go every single day, two or three times a week is great. I recommend this because Real Anime Training does claim to replace any martial art.

Should you lack the funds to attend a martial arts class (some local clubs are relatively inexpensive), you should still attempt to train on your own. You can do this through rounds of shadowboxing, above and beyond the Real Anime Training workouts, or you can practice any techniques or kata you have learned from martial arts classes you've attended. Plus, there's sparring, which is always a good choice.

Personally, I use shadowboxing as a way to train my martial arts skills when I can't attend class. I use 5 x 5 Minute Rounds and it works great for me, but you pursue whichever path you like.

I should have an Hajime no Ippo post up for you later tonight and maybe another workout. Till then, good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rants and a Workout

1st Rant: The Good

I'm not much for reality television, but one of the only show I actually watch premiered tonight: Season 8 of The Biggest Loser. Apart from all the drama involved in the show, the cool thing is we get to see a lot of different training methods and get to bear witness to the hell that is Jillian and Bob working together. The pain and the anguish on these people's faces as they train raises a strange combination of masochism and appreciation in me. On the one hand, I love to see people getting the crap kicked out of them in the gym, but on the other hand, it's nice for me to be able to witness the mental change that is occuring for these people.

2nd Rant: The Bad

Also, I'm tired of hearing about Kanye and Taylor Swift! Is it any wonder I spend so much time watching anime and working out?! Since that is out of the way, on to the stuff you guys really came here for. :D

The Workout: The Ugly (Cause it's a nasty one)

We're gonna jump ahead just a little bit for an Ippo workout, because most of the next couple episodes is Ippo vs. Miyata. We're going to take a look at Takamura's pre-fight training menu. I'm sure this isn't what he does the entire time, but it's how his training looks right before his fight, when he's cutting weight.

Takamura's Pre-Fight Blitz

1. Run 3 Miles
  • 5 Sprints throughout the run. Keep it up during each sprint, sprint until you physically can't sprint any longer and then return to the run, but before that--
  • Shadowbox hard for 15 seconds before you start back on your run. You can bob, weave, punch, and even kick (if you want to add it in there). Just make sure it's a hard pace.
2. Rounds
  • 3 x 3 Minute Rounds of Heavy Bag work. (Sub. shadowboxing if you don't have a heavy bag.)
  • 3 x 3 Minute Rounds of Speed Bag work. (Sub. practicing your one-two combo)
  • 50 Hindu Squats
  • 3x3 Minute Rounds of Shadowboxing
  • 50 Hindu Squats
  • 3x3 Minute Rounds of Jumping Rope (Sub. shadowboxing if you don't have a jump rope)
3. Run 1 Mile- Go as hard as you possibly can! Sprint the last 100 yards!
4. Cooldown-
  • 3 Minutes of light shadowboxing (use it to loosen up)

This workout is murder. You've got 13 rounds total of three minutes each, 100 Hindu Squats, and 4 miles to run with sprints and shadowboxing included. This workout is all about your ability to endure, not just physically, but mentally. You probably won't be able to complete it on your first time through, if you don't have previous training, because it's just so demanding on your cardio. It goes without saying that you should go hard on everything, unless it says not to.

If you feel like you are going to die or your heart is going to jump out of your chest-- STOP! You should feel the exertion and this workout should be very hard, but if you are done with the run and have absolutely nothing left, just skip straight to the cooldown.

Hey, just be glad I didn't ask you to do this thing for a week straight.

One more thing before we go. There may be some of you out there reading this blog that are in very bad shape or are pretty overweight and may feel a little overwhelmed with the things I am posting. Listen, I don't care what you have to modify to be able to get the workout in, just get it in! If you have to walk instead of run, powerwalk instead of sprint, do girly push-ups, crunches instead of sit-ups, then you do it!! You do whatever it takes for you to get in shape. Don't make excuses about the workout being too difficult, because it's not set in stone. That's the whole reason this blog exists: to make sure that people (who may not even like exercise) are able to draw the inspiration to train from anime characters.

It's nerdy, but-- damn it, it sure is fun.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard.

Monday, September 14, 2009


The World is Yujiro's Playground

As Baki returns to civilization before the match with his father, we get to see a demonstration of Hanma Yujiro's brazen attitude when he tells Strydum that he is going to attack the Prime Minister. And not just that-- Yujiro even calls the police and tells them he is coming for the Prime Minister. The police set up a blockade to defend the politician and, when Yujiro arrives, he informs them that they don't have a sufficient number of people to attempt to protect the Prime Minister. He says they'll need at least 100 people if they hope to have any chance and he even waits for back-up. When all the people get there, he charges right up to the group and pushes the entire crowd back, before jumping them entirely and running into the Prime Minister's mansion. He promptly dispatches a few guards and busts into the Prime Minister's office, who greets the massive man timidly and offering a thanks for showing the weakness of the police force. Yujiro shakes his hand and axe-kicks the man's desk in half.

It's gotta be nice being so bad-ass you can do whatever you want.

"The Reflex is a Lonely Child..."

To further prepare for fighting against Yujiro, Baki wants to test his reflexes against an expert swordsman. However, the swordsman does not want his sword to spill the blood of an innocent young boy, so he refuses. Baki understands and, so, he provokes the swordsman with an attack, which causes the sword-wielding master to strike back. Baki disappears from view, leaving the swordsman confused for a moment (but only for a moment), until Baki comes from out of nowhere with a counter.

Upon waking, the swordsman is obviously at a loss for an explanation, but he assumes the Baki was able the see the sword swing. The young Hanma denies this and, in fact, he says he couldn't see it at all. His eyes were even closed! Instead, he explains, he waited for the sword to barely touch his flesh before using the momentum to flip his body over and land a kick to the swordsman's head. Quite the feat-- enough so, in fact, to convince the older warrior that Baki has a chance against his father.

Reflex training is important in regards to all of your senses. If you cannot see an attack coming, you may be able to hear it. Or, you may be able to react at the very moment someone touches your flesh in, perhaps, an attempted grab. You can train your other senses by practicing your martial art in a darkened (or pitch black) room, a room with a strobe-light going, or loud music playing. That means you could train single techniques, combinations, drill your skills with focus mitts, 3 step sparring, a wooden dummy, two-man sparring sets or just straight up sparring. Go slow at first, whatever you do, because you may get injured if you go full blast right off. Also, if you can get your hands on a Shocknife, you can mimic Baki's training with the sword without the possibility of dying. The Shocknife, I've heard, is an awesome product that actually causes pain similar to the feeling of being cut with a REAL knife. That's so awesome (I know, I'm weird).

Calling on an old acquaintance, Yujiro has his own reflex training prepared. His old friend is a master of the bow and arrow. Interesting enough, he has crafted a bow with a 200kg pull strength (about 440lbs). Yujiro moves several paces away, informs the archer that he'd better intend on killing Yujiro, and waits for the release. As soon as the archer releases the arrow, Yujiro is right in front of him, with the arrow in his hand. That's just crazy.

The rest of the episode is full of drama between Baki's parents, including Baki's mother biting the poor boy on the arm when he attempts to hug her. He ends up walking down the street in a daze, before bumping into Hanayama.

Although Baki is a badass, I'd have to say his life seriously sucks. That's all for this episode. Until next time, good luck and train hard.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Training Schedules

You may have wondered as you read this blog, "How often should I train?" Well, Timmy (I'm assuming your name is Timmy), that is an excellent question, but not one easily answered. The correct answer is that you should train according to how your body responds to exercise. However, if you are not exactly sure on how to go about doing that, allow me to offer a more simplified training schedule.

You can train any number of ways:
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
  • Every other day
  • 2 days on, 1 day off
  • 3 days on, 1 day off
  • A little something every day
Personally, I follow the 3 days on, 1 day off schedule for my Anime Workouts, but you don't have to. Also, I pick my workouts at random. It's more fun for me that way. Once again, you don't have to, but I think it's a good method.

I should have another Baki Training Manual post up for you guys tomorrow and possibly another workout. Till then, good luck and train hard.

Our First Video!

Hope you guys enjoy the videos we have coming up soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Real Anime Training- Always Free

You'll never have to worry about me peddling some fitness course to you guys that I dreamed up over the course of the weekend and that "I'm selling for 240 bucks but is worth over $1,000." I don't play that game. It's a bunch of bull and, honestly, it needs to stop. I believe that information should be free and that includes information about health and fitness.

Anything and everything I bring to you guys will be absolutely free. I might make shirts if we get a little more popular, but nothing crazy. There's honestly been a lot of really good courses out there that I or some friends of mine have purchased, but most of the information in those books could have been found out for a much lower cost or no cost at all. Training manuals, pictures, home made fitness equipment, videos-- if it's Real Anime Training, it's free. Plain and simple.

And I've been trying to come up with a slogan for us, so if you have any ideas, drop me a line at RealAnimeTraining@gmail.com-- love to hear from you. I've been kicking around a couple of 'em, but I'd like to know what you guys think. On that note, anything you guys want to ask, feel free.

Till next time, guys!

Baki's Mountain Training

This workout is based on the training that Baki did up on the mountain in preparation to fight the Yasha Ape.

Baki's Mountain Training

Level One

1. Wood Chopping- 100 Downward Swings
2. 100 Yard Hill Sprint
3. Fingertip Push-ups- MAX Reps
4. Hitting Heavy Bag -5 Minute Round
5. 100 Punches to Tree (as is comfortable)
6. Bodyweight Bench Press- MAX Reps
7. Climb 100 Feet

Level Two

1. Wood Chopping- 200 Downward Swings
2. 2 x 100 Yard Hill Sprint
3. Fingertip Push-ups- 2 Sets of MAX Reps
4. Hitting Heavy Bag -2 x 5 Minute Rounds
5. 100 Punches to Tree (as is comfortable)
6. Bodyweight Bench Press- 2 Sets of MAX Reps
7. Climb 150 Feet

Level Three

1. Wood Chopping- 300 Downward Swings
2. 4 x 100 Yard Hill Sprint
3. Fingertip Push-ups- 3 Sets of MAX Reps
4. Hitting Heavy Bag -3 x 5 Minute Rounds
5. 100 Punches to Tree (as is comfortable)
6. Bodyweight Bench Press- 3 Sets of MAX Reps
7. Climb 200 Feet

Master Level

1. Wood Chopping- 500 Downward Swings
2. 8 x 100 Yard Hill Sprint
3. Fingertip Push-ups- 4 Sets of MAX Reps
4. Hitting Heavy Bag -5 x 5 Minute Rounds
5. 100 Punches to Tree (as is comfortable)
6. Bodyweight Bench Press- 4 Sets of MAX Reps
7. Climb 250 Feet


  • You can try to put a lot of power into your wood chopping swings or go for speed, it's up to you.
  • If you can't find a 100 yard hill, find the biggest hill you can and run it. You should still be doing the distance, though. If you only have a 50 yard hill, 2 sets of 50 will be the first level instead of 1 set of 100 yards.
  • Use less fingers for the push-ups as necessary.
  • "Fight" the heavy bag for the rounds. Use every weapon in your arsenal and try to go hard the whole time.
  • The punches to the tree are obviously not going to be very hard. Do it as hard as is comfortable for you. Eventually (and I'm talking way down the road), you'll be able to hit the tree with a moderate amount of power and then, finally, almost as hard as you can. However, it's going to take a long, long time. If you hit it full-on right of the bat, you'll have a fun few hours in the emergency room waiting for you and several weeks of wearing a cast as well.
  • Counting the weight of the bar, the "bodyweight" bench press, is just that. You'll load weight onto the bar to however much you weigh and do as many reps as you can. If you can't do any, lower the weight until you can get a single rep.
  • When it says, "Climb 100 or 200 Feet" that does not mean straight up without any gear. What that mean is if you have a 10 foot rope, climb it 10 or 20 times. Or if there is a tree nearby that you can climb 20 feet up into, climb it 5 or 10 times. Be safe, use gear if you have it, and have someone with you, if at all possible.
Might have another post up tonight, or I might not. It depends on how fussy the baby is! Anyway, that's all for now. Good luck and train hard!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ryouzanpaku's Fundamental Training

(See History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi- Part II for exercise explanations.)

Ryouzanpaku's Fundamental Training
(Note: This is a "split routine," meaning wait 4-6 hours between the sections.)

1st Section

Run 2.5 Miles
  • When your running time reaches 17 and 1/2 minutes, begin running while pulling tire.
  • When your running time again reaches 17 and 1/2 minutes while pulling the tire, add 10 lbs to the tire and do so every time you complete the distance in 17 and 1/2 minutes until you reach 200 lbs. (I realize it is going to be a physical impossiblity for you to do this, but I'm putting it up here just in case one of you is a Saiya-jin or Clark Kent or something.)
2nd Section (4-6 Hours Later)

Horse Stance with Gripping Jars- 5 Minutes Total
Lunge Steps- 100 Steps Total
Suri Ashi with Gripping Jars- 50 Yards
  • Start with empty jars for both the Horse Stance and Suri Ashi. When you can complete the 5 Minutes without lowering the jars, add some water to them (can be just a cup of water or a 1/4 of the jar, whatever you feel comfortable with). It should be a while before you fill the jars. If your style of martial arts does not use a Horse Stance, a good measure for your body to be in the stance is to start with your feet together. Next, turn your toes out at 45 degrees, then slide your heels out to face away from each other at 45 degrees, then slide your toes out to face away from each other at 45 degrees one more time and, finally, bring your heels out so that the outsides of your feet are at a parallel line with one another. Toes, heels, toes, straight feet.
  • For the Lunge Steps, when you can complete 100 steps (50 left, 50 right) without stopping, add 100 total steps to your training. Even if you cannot do 100 steps without a rest, complete 100 steps if you are at that level. If you are at the 200 level, but can only do 150 without a rest, complete the whole 200 regardless. I'm not really imposing a limit on this exercise, but I doubt anyone will be doing as many as Ma told Kenichi to do.
  • Use the same amount of water for the Suri Ashi that you do for the Horse Stance. When moving with Suri Ashi, don't move your head up and down, but try to stay at the same head height during the movement.

This is definitely a leg intensive workout (although your shoulders and arms may be screaming as well), so be prepared for that. In any case, good luck, have fun, and train hard!

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi- Part II

Kenichi's first day at Ryouzanpaku (remember that in the manga he doesn't go to Ryouzanpaku until after his fight with Daimonji) is a brutal one. Since Sakaki Shio, the Karate master, doesn't want a disciple, Akisame, the Jujitsu master, agrees to teach Kenichi martial arts. The training does not quite go as Kenichi imagined, though, as Akisame starts the highschooler off with physical training. The types of training we see before the fight are these:
  • Horse Stance with Gripping Jars (Nigiri Game)- Gripping jars are used for developing the strength of the fingers, wrists, forearms, and well... pretty much the whole damn arm. The jars are either held out it front of the person or to the sides (as we see in the anime). They may be kept at shoulder height or be lifted in a type of lateral raise. A good low cost option for a gripping jar is an empty gallon pickle jar (you will need two of them) and the bonus is you get to eat all the pickles!
  • Running with a Tire- Akisame, the brilliant and sadistic man that he is, makes Kenichi pull a tire to the park while the Jujitsu master sits on it, whipping and yelling at Kenichi to run faster. I recommend just starting with running, but we'll cover that a little later. A rope may be a little rough on your waist, so if you can fashion a harness out of an old weightlifting belt, or if you just have a sled harness, you'll be in good shape. But, when all else fails, tie the rope around your waist.
  • Gripping Jars with Suri Ashi (Sliding/Gliding Step)- This is the same as the first exercise, except you are moving with the gripping jars. Suri Ashi is a type of movement in several martial arts. The jist of the footwork is that the heels are kept slightly raised and the foot is slid across the ground as if there were a piece of paper in between your feet and the ground. Keep the feet facing straight ahead as you move, whether forward or backward. When moving backward, remember to stay on your toes and not to let the heel hit the ground.
  • Partner Assisted Stretching- Later in the second episode of the anime, Apachai (the Muay Thai master) helps Kenichi stretch by placing his feet on the inside of Kenichi's legs and pulling him forward. If you don't have a partner, simply spreading your legs as far as possible and reaching forward will do. If you are going to stretch for an extended period of time on one particular stretch, break it up into sets of 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Miu decides that she is going to help Kenichi win his fight with Daimonji by teaching him a technique... really, it's a way of stepping in Chinese martial arts. When both feet are facing one another, it is called Kou-ho, and when they are facing forward, it is called Hai-ho. The dynamics of the side-stepping skill are simple, but not necessarily easy to master. Standing with your toes facing each other is awkward at first. Miu give a pretty good explanation of how to execute the skill. As the opponent moves in, one foot is slid around the outside of his lead leg (technically, it could be the other side, as well, but it's more effective if you slide around the lead leg, because it gives you the opponent's back) and strike him from behind.

Now comes the move's application in a real situation. In Kenichi's fight with Daimonji, he is dealing with a very strong, but, ultimately, very slow opponent. This works to Kenichi's advantage, because it allows him to work around Daimonji's horribly telegraphed attacks (he might as well be yelling "Reverse Punch!"). It takes Kenichi a moment to get over his fear, but once he does, he is able to use the sidestep manuever effectively against the larger opponent. However, he is unable to damage Daimonji with any strikes. After a bit, Daimonji is visibly tired, having chased the smaller Kenichi around the dojo for several minutes and he trips over Kenichi's foot in the middle of one of the sidesteps. It is at this moment, Kenichi has an "anime moment" and remembers something in his lesson with Miu about the true nature of the sidestep.

Daimonji comes in for a strike, Kenichi slides his foot behind Daimonji's foot and pushes back on the larger boy's neck and arm, careening him to the mat, head first. The match is over as Daimonji is instantly KO'd. Kenichi concedes, though, as he has broken the rules of a Karate match and used a throw to win. His victory does not go unnoticed and one of the other fighters, Tsukuba, wants to test Kenichi's true abilities.

So, even though Kenichi won, he is now stuck with evading Tsukuba for as long as he can. When we return to Ryouzanpaku, we get to see Ma Kensei, the Kung Fu master, training Kenichi with a lunging exercise. The method Ma uses involves Kenichi squatting down onto his heels, staying on the balls of his feet and the extending a foot out, stepping down the ball of his foot and moving his weight to that foot. He then repeats the process, staying low the entire time. It's a very difficult exercise, but, as Ma says, the foundation of the martial arts is the legs.

It proves impossible for Kenichi to evade Tsukuba forever, as he ends up getting into a short scuffle with the Black Belt karateka, which leaves Kenichi beaten up. Kenichi is upset and, when he returns to Ryouzanpaku, Akisame tells him that the next day they will begin to teach Kenichi techniques. May God have mercy on your soul, Shirahama Kenichi.

And that brings us to the end of episode 3. That's all for this post. I'm about to post the Ryouzanpaku's Fundamental Training workout for you guys in just a little bit. Good luck and train hard!

Of Manga Reads and Movie Reviews

Started reading a couple of really cool manga:
  • Veritas- It's like an old martial arts movie with super powers. (Really recommend.)
  • The Breaker- Haven't gotten very far, but it shows some promise. (I'll let you know later.)
Also, I watched the live action version of Shamo. I was really excited about checking this movie out, because the manga is so badass. I've got mixed feelings about the movie, though. I feel like they tried to do too much in too short a time (which appears to be par for the course in the live action adaptations for manga that I've seen) and, in doing so, had to completely eliminate some characters or collapse the roles of those missing characters into existing characters. Unfortunately, when they combined the characters in this way, they really changed the core "feel" of some of the characters. Truthfully, the movie should have been twice as long to cover the material needed to not feel so rushed, especially toward the end. Once they got to the middle of the film, watching the movie was like looking at nearby stuff out the window of a car going 120 miles an hour.

I should have another post up for you guys sometime later in the day. Till then!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kaio-sama's Training

Thought I'd jump back for a minute and give you guys another Dragonball workout, since I didn't really specify a workout for Kaio-sama's trianing. You could just follow the elaborate scheme laid out in the Dragonball Training Manual, or you could take a little easier path, and just do this workout. :D

Kaio-sama's Training
(Do not move to the next level workout until you have completed the current level three times without failing.)

Level One

Catch Bubbles
100 Yard Zig-zag Run
2 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints
100 Yard Sprint

Then, Hit Gregory
25 Yard Sprint with Sledgehammer
25 Overhead Strikes with Sledgehammer
--4 Rounds of "Hit Gregory"

Level Two

Catch Bubbles
150 Yard Zig-zag Run
3 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints
2 x 100 Yard Sprint

Then, Hit Gregory
25 Yard Sprint with Sledgehammer
25 Overhead Strikes with Sledgehammer
--6 Rounds of "Hit Gregory"

Level Three

Catch Bubbles
200 Yard Zig-zag Run
4 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints
3 x 100 Yard Sprint

Then, Hit Gregory
25 Yard Sprint with Sledgehammer
25 Overhead Strikes with Sledgehammer
--8 Rounds of "Hit Gregory"

Master Level

Catch Bubbles

  • 300 Yard Zig-zag Run
  • 5 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints
  • 4 x 100 Yard Sprint

Then, Hit Gregory

  • 25 Yard Sprint with Sledgehammer
  • 25 Overhead Strikes with Sledgehammer
--10 Rounds of "Hit Gregory"

This is as close as I can get to Kaio-sama's training for Goku without spending thousands of dollars on RC Cars and Planes. Haha.

  • A Zig-zag Run means you look straight ahead, start running at a 45 degree angle to the left or right and, after 5 steps, turn 90 degrees in the opposite direction. Then, you run 5 steps, turn 90 degrees, run 5 steps, turn 90 degrees... you get the picture. Essentially, you are cutting a zig-zag line in between your starting and finishing points. It turns a 100 yard run into something a little longer, and it forces you to make turns abruptly. This is a "run," so it's not an all-out sprint, but it's not a light jog either.
  • If you have a partner for "Catch Bubbles" then that can help with pushing your pace. 
  • We covered 90 Degree Sprints in Rock Lee's Conditioning.
  • When sprinting with the sledgehammer, keep a tight hold on it with BOTH hands, so you don't drop it. You'll want to hit something like a log or a tire. Be careful about bounce in the sledgehammer, especially if you fail to keep a good grip on it.
  • Also, to increase the difficulty you can use heavier sledgehammers. I've seen sledgehammers nearing 200 pounds, so there's always room for progression here.  Not to mention, it's possible that you could be wearing weighted clothing at some point as well.
That's all for today. Good luck and train hard!

Rock Lee Workout Add-On: Weighted Clothing

One more note about the Rock Lee workout. After you can complete the final level of the workout, you may want to increase the difficulty. In order to do so, you may add ankle weights during the jump rope, handwalk, and sprinting portions of the workout.

Start off with 2lb ankle weights. When you can finish the workout on three separate occasions, you can try 5lbs on each leg. Proceed in this manner (+2 and 1/2 pounds per leg) every three successes, until you are at 20 lbs per leg.

I just want to say: This WILL take a long, long time, but if you work hard, train diligently, and get adequate rest, a few years from now you may be at the super advanced level or even adding the ankle weights.

Good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Naruto Training Manual- Part II

We're gonna jump around a little bit with the Naruto Training Manual. The topic for today: Rock Lee. Everybody knows that Rock Lee is a training fanatic. He can't do Ninjutsu or Genjutsu, so he's stuck with just his Taijutsu (hand-to-hand combat). Even though he's limited in this fashion, that didn't stop him from becoming one of the toughest young ninjas in Konoha.

We see more of Rock Lee's training than just about anybody in the anime, except for maybe Naruto. The workout below is tough, but not impossible, especially if you take it slowly and don't try to jump to the higher levels too early. Here we go!

Rock Lee's Conditioning
(Note: Do not go up to the next level workout until you are able to complete your current level's workout on three occasion without failing during any exercise.)

Beginner Level

1. 50 Push-ups
2. 50 Yard Handwalk
3. Jump Rope- 500 Times
4. 50 Straight Punches to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
5. 50 Roundhouse Kicks to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
6. 100 Squats
Pick One:
7. 5 x 50 Yard Sprints
8. 2 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints

Intermediate Level

1. 100 Push-ups
2. 100 Yard Handwalk
3. Jump Rope- 1000 Times
4. 100 Straight Punches to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
5. 100 Roundhouse Kicks to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
6. 200 Squats
Pick One:
7. 6 x 50 Yard Sprints
8. 3 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints

Advanced Level

1. 25 One Leg in Air Push-ups (Each Side) OR 150 Push-ups
2. 150 Yard Handwalk
3. Jump Rope- 1500 Times
4. 150 Straight Punches to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
5. 150 Roundhouse Kicks to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
6. 300 Squats
Pick One:
7. 8 x 50 Yard Sprints
8. 4 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints

Super Advanced Level

1. 25 One Arm Push-ups (Each Side) OR 250 Push-ups
2. 250 Yard Handwalk
3. Jump Rope- 2000 Times
4. 250 Straight Punches to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
5. 250 Roundhouse Kicks to Heavy Bag (Each Side)
6. 500 Squats
Pick One:
7. 10 x 50 Yard Sprints
8. 5 Sets of 90 Degree Sprints

Some Notes on the Workout:

  • Straight Punches means you can do any straight punch: a seiken punch from a horse or forward stance, a 1-2 combination, a forefist, or even a Wing Chun straight punch. Whatever!
  • Roundhouse kicks may be thrown from the lead or rear legs. If you want to do both, that's cool. If you want to do just one, that's fine, too. Just remember to do the left and the right sides.
  • The Handwalk will probably be the exercise that keeps you on a certain level the longest. What you can do (and it wouldn't be considered cheating) is break up the longer distances into sets of 50 yards with a couple of minutes rest in between them. BUT, if you can pull off the 100, 150, or the 250 without your feet touching the ground, you have my applause.
  • You should not stop at all during your jump rope sessions. There are times your foot may catch, but don't stop otherwise, or it doesn't count toward a success.
  • One Leg in the Air Push-ups are just like they sound. Put one of your legs in the air and do a push-up. You'll find that you are pushing more with the arm opposite the leg. Thus, we end up with almost a supported one arm push-up. It's a good transition exercise and will help you bridge the gap between push-ups and one arm push-ups.
  • One Arm Push-ups are tough for two reasons: 1) You are pushing your bodyweight with one less limb and 2) You are having to balance a lot more. To help with this, spread your legs slightly for the exercise. Not too much, because it gives you too much extra help. About shoulder width or just a tiny bit more is acceptable. If you can pull that off, try with your feet closer together. There's always so many ways to make exercises more difficult.
  • When squatting, you may do a "conventional squat," where your feet are just about at shoulder width or a little wider or a "sumo squat," where your feet are pointed at about a 45 degree angle away from your body and are wider than a conventional squat. Remember to breathe in when going down and out when coming up. If your thighs do not at least go parallel with the ground, your squats don't count. You can hold your hands in front of you, behind your head, or cross them in front of your body. Just don't rest on your knees.
  • After each set of sprints, walk the distance back to catch your breath for the next set.
  • 90 Degree Sprints are best done on a baseball diamond. You are essentially "running the bases." We are using this as an option for the workout, because Rock Lee makes alot of quick turns when he is at top fighting speed. 1 Set of a 90 Degree Sprint is one lap around the diamond and back. Remember, this is a SPRINT-- not a run or a jog. Go all out the whole time. After each set, rest until your breathing returns to just about normal before beginning the next set.
I know there was a lot of "do this, but don't do that" in this workout, but I wanna make sure you guys are safe in your training. If you ever have any question about an exercise, feel free to ask in a comment, e-mail me at realanimetraining@gmail.com, or just look it up on the web.

Much like Ryo Narushima's Basic Training, this workout takes into accoung the loooong term, so please try not to get over-eager and jump ahead in the levels, because you might injure yourself. Rock Lee didn't know how to quit or rest, either and he ended up getting really hurt at one point, so take a lesson from the Green Beast of Konoha. Increase your workload gradually and make sure to get adequate rest, because the Lotus doesn't bloom twice in the real world.

Thanks guys! Until next time, have fun and train hard!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hajime no Ippo- Part IV

Three Months to Counter

Ippo is training like a madman for his sparring rematch with Miyata. He only has three months to gain the skills necessary to match a fighter train since he was child. Kamogawa has a plan to deal with Miyata's counter: "Irritation Tactic." The plan is to move in circles around Miyata in order to eliminate the use of the counter entirely (because the counter uses the force of the opponent's power against him). Taking away your opponent's greatest weapon through your own movements or techniques is a very smart way to fight... but Ippo's not the smartest guy. More on this in a moment.

While buying boxing shoes (read: "getting swindled"), Ippo runs into Miyata, who helps him out a little by saving Ippo from buying the most expensive pair of shoes the store owner had, instead suggesting he buy a pair of shoes made for inboxers (at a much lower price, no less!). In return, Ippo offers Miyata a can of juice, which the other fighter reluctantly takes.

It is important to buy the proper equipment for training and competition. Do not just assume that because something is expensive that it is automatically the best. Read reviews, talk to people in your gym or dojo, and ask plenty of questions if you are buying from a local dealer. The quality and usefulness of your training and competition equipment can mean the difference between winning and losing, so just keep that in mind.

Ippo bombards Miyata with a torrent of questions about boxing, before settling on Miyata's father as a topic of conversation. Miyata's father was a very good technical boxer: fast and precise, but his jaw and spirit were shattered in an OPBF title match by a "lucky punch." Miyata promises that he is going to prove that his father's boxing is not wrong and Ippo makes his own decision...

In the next training session with Coach Kamogawa, Ippo tells the Coach that he wants to fight Miyata's counter head-on, which fits in with his love of fighting spirit and courage. You can almost see the joyous masochism in his eyes as he tells Ippo of the impending training schedule. Kamogawa tells Ippo he needs to increase his dashing speed in order to get close enough to Miyata to cut the power of his counter in half, by intercepting it before it is fully extended. The exercises' explanations are listed below the workout. Here's the workout:

(Please note: The exercises are not listed in the same order shown in the anime, but in an order best suited for training.)

Ippo Prepares for Miyata

  • Push-ups- 25 Reps
  • Sit-ups- 25 Reps
  • Hindu Squats- 25 Reps
--3 Rounds, then
  • Neck Bridging- 3 Minutes (Keep the clock running if you have to rest)
  • Headstand- 15 Reps Side to Side, 15 Reps Front to Back (Use hands for support/balance)
  • Roadwork with Sprints- 3 Miles with 5 Sets of Sprints throughout
  • Hill Sprints- 5 Sets (The steeper the hill, the less distance required. Use own judgement.)
  • Pulling Big Tires- 3 x 2 Minute Rounds (1 Minute Rest)
  • Jump Rope- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds (1 Minute Rest)
Choose one of the following:
  • Mitt Hitting- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds (1 Minute Rest)
  • Bag Work- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds (1 Minute Rest)
  • Shadowboxing- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds (1 Minute Rest)


  • Push-ups and Sit-ups we've covered so far, but not Hindu Squats.
  • The Hindu Squat (or baithak) is an exercise utilized by Indian Wrestler's for conditioning purposes. It has made it's way to Japan and is used by many athletes. The Hindu Squat is performed by placing your feet at just about shoulder width, toes facing forward. The bend is from the knees and, as you go down, your back should remain as straight as possible, you will come up onto your toes and, after going all the way down, exploding back up. This exercise is best done at a fairly quick pace. You may do it with your hands behind your head, but it is easier to get a rhythm down if you swing your arms during the movement. As you begin, your arms will be fully extended in front of you at shoulder height, but as you start to go down, pull your arms in like you are rowing, and allow them to pass beyond your body and going down as you go down, finally swinging down at the bottom and coming back up to the front at your starting position. Also, breath out as you go down and in as you come up. Make sure your breath is forceful. You should be able to find a video on Youtube if you need further explanation.
  • Neck Bridging is a very useful exercise for the developing the strength in the neck, spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings. In the anime, it show Ippo doing the neck bridge on the top of his head. It has come to my attention that this is improper form and the bridge should actually be done on the forehead, with the nose touching the ground. This may look easy, but it is not. You will probably need your hands for support at the beginning and I bet you won't be able to hold it for more than 15 or 20 seconds with any considerable amount of your bodyweight on your neck. When you can go a full 3 minutes without rest, it's time to add weight. Please, no more than ten or so pounds at a time. You will not be starting with a guy sitting on your chest, but you may be able to hold two 5lb dumbbells up in each hand. Go easy, but rest assured, this is essential for amazing core strength.
  • Headstands are great for neck strength, but please be careful. Use your hands for support and always use a wall for support, as well. You won't stay just straight up and down; instead, you will lean as far as you comfortably can to the left and right for the rep count listed and then front and back for the rep count. BE CAREFUL!
  • Roadwork with Sprints- First off, start with an all-out sprint (after a quick warm-up and stretch, of course) to start out your run. Then, continue running. When you feel your breath returning to a steady pace (for running, that is), throw out another sprint. Do so, until you get to five. I recommend saving your final sprint for the last leg of your mileage.
  • Hill Sprints- After you are sufficiently rested (say 15, 20 minutes-- during which you should stretch, and perhaps drink a small protein/recovery drink), find a hill and commence your sprints. Let's say 100 Meters is the base for a flat land sprint, if the hill has a low grade, do 75-100 Meters. Moderate grade, do 50-75 Meters. High grade, do 25-50 Meters. Use your own judgement. If you're feeling up for it, just pick as big a hill you can find and go at it. Rest in between sets the amount of time it takes for your breathing to return to about a normal rate.
  • Pulling a Big Tire- Ok, it doesn't have to be a big tire. You can pull an SUV for all I care. The point is, you are going to use a rope, a harness, a chain, or whatever to drag a very heavy object. If you have big tires, use 'em. If you have a weight sled, good for you. If you are struggling to find big tires, use one normal tire, put some boards on the inside of it, preferrably bolted on, and load some weights on it. Hell, you can even pull logs. Just pull something heavy for the time and rounds listed in the workout.
  • Jump Rope- Jumping or skipping rope is a very useful tool for developing rhythm, timing, footwork, and endurance. If you are beginner rope jumper, take the following into account: 1) Don't jump too high, you only need to clear the rope. 2) The jumps should be mainly from the lower portion of the legs, with a very slight bend in the knees, unless you are doing fancy footowork or something. 3) The jumps should be quick and on time with the rotation of the rope. 4) If you have never jumped rope before, try just jumping on one foot for awhile (alternate every now and then, or course). This will help keep you from "double jumping," which is jumping twice for every one revolution of the rope.
  • We've covered shadowboxing and mittwork, but I just want to say one thing about heavy bag work. Remember to move around the bag as you hit. You should be imagining an opponent as you work the bag, so it's like you are blending shadowboxing into another exercise. You may also, however, just hit the bag as hard and as fast as you can for the time duration (still try to move, though), in order to build stamina.
Honestly, this is a KILLER workout, so I understand if you think you may not be up for it. If you feel a little overwhelmed, try just doing the workout up to the sprints a couple of times and then, when you're feeling a little more confident in your fitness, try the whole thing. However, this is not something you're going to do every day. Try to change up your training by jumping in between Anime Training workouts. Dragonball one day, Baki another, then Naruto, Ippo, DBZ, Ippo, you get the idea.

Thanks guys. Until next time, have fun and train hard!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shamo- Part I: Ryo Narushima's Basic Training


(Warning: Shamo contains a lot of blood, nudity, and sexual content. Please read the manga with that in mind.)

Shamo is about a 16 year old boy who goes to prison after killing both of his parents with a knife. I know what you're thinking: "What the hell does that have to with training!?" Yeah, that's what I said, too. Even so, Shamo is one of the coolest fighting manga I've come across. I'm not going to go into the story a lot, because a lot of it is drama not related to training or fighting, so I'll just skip to the good stuff. :D

While in prison, Ryo (the main character) attends a Karate class taught by an adult convict named Kurokawa. In this class, he learns the vital skills necessary to keep him alive in a place where everyone wants to kill the kid who stabbed his parents to death. The first skill he teaches Ryo is the Seiken.

To perform the Seiken close each of your fingers, starting with your pinky, placing the tip of the finger at it's own base. When all of the fingers are closed, squeeze the forefinger to tighten the fist. The punch is thrown from the waist, the hand rotating from palm up to palm down and ending by striking with the knuckles of the forefinger and middlefinger. The opposite hand comes back to your waist as the punch goes out.

Here is a list of the Karate techniques that Ryo is seen practicing:
  • Middle Straight Punch (Chudan Seiken Zuki)
  • Backfist (Riken)
  • Knife-Hand Strike (Shuto)
  • High Block (Seiken Jodan Uke)
  • Inside to Outside Middle Block (Seiken Chudan Uchi Uke)
  • Low Block (Gedan Burai Uke)
  • Middle and Low Block (Seiken Uchi Uke Gedan Burai)
  • Front Kick (Mae Geri)
  • Side Blade Kick (Sokuto Geri)
  • Roundhouse Kick (Mawashi Geri)
  • Sideward Elbow (Yoko Enpi Uchi)
There are a fair amount of techniques listed here and if you are unfamiliar with them, Youtube has a lot of good videos to demonstrate the proper execution of these skills. You'll probably be better off putting in the Japanese name for the technique, rather than sifting through all the English-named techniques hoping it matches up with the original. The proper stance for practice will be covered in the videos you find.

Ryo Narushima's Basic Training: The Workout

  1. Middle Straight Punch
  2. Backfist
  3. Shuto
  4. High Block
  5. Middle Block
  6. Low Block
  7. Middle and Low Block
  8. Front Kick
  9. Side Blade Kick
  10. Roundhouse Kick
  11. Sideward Elbow
  12. Fingertip Push-ups*
  13. Knuckle Push-ups
  14. Sit-ups
This workout is really all about reps. Don't forget to warm-up and stretch. The goal here is to build muscle memory, endurance, and strength in these movements. That means, you have to do a LOT of reps. I'll lay out the levels for you for the workout.

Beginners: 25 Reps of every exercise. Strikes and blocks should be done left and right sides.
Intermediate: 50 Reps of every exercise. Strikes and blocks should be done left and right.
Advanced: 100 Reps of every exercise. Strikes and blocks should be done left and right.
Very Advanced: 200 Reps of every exercise. Strikes and blocks should be done left/right.
SUPER Advanced: 500 Reps of every exercise. Strikes and blocks... yadda yadda yadda.

I recommend you start at beginner, unless you are already a shodan or nidan, because you already know what you're doing here. Osu!

The obvious question is: When do you move from beginner to intermediate and so forth? The answer is that there is no definite time frame, but if the beginner workout is killing you, you won't get anything out of attempting the SUPER Advanced version. Something that may help you figure out when you're ready is whether or not you are able to complete the push-ups and sit-ups without stopping. Don't expect to reach advanced, very advanced, or super advanced quickly. This is taking the long term into consideration, here. However... if you are capable of doing the very advanced or super advanced workouts, you'll definitely be a whole lot tougher.

*NOTE: Fingertip push-ups do not always have to follow the rep count. You could do 25 fingertip push-ups as a beginner, 25 minus the pinky as an intermediate, 25 minus the pinky and ring for advanced, 25 using just the thumb and forefinger for very advanced, and 25 with just your thumb or forefinger for super advanced. You can also start attempting handstand fingertip push-ups once you are doing pretty well at the advanced level.

That's all for today. Good luck and train hard!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hajime no Ippo- Part III

Beware Old Men with Canes

On his way to the Kamogawa boxing gym, Ippo has the "pleasure" of being introduced to his two sempai, Aoki and Kimura. They decide to take Ippo under their wings and show him the ropes of boxing (More puns! Yay!). Luckily, Takamura intervenes and saves the young newbie. However, Coach Kamogawa attacks Takamura with his deadly cane of Old Man DOOM and takes over from there. Out in the gym, Kamogawa tells Ippo to put on the gloves for mitt hitting.

Focus Mitts

Focus mitts are very useful tools for developing accuracy, coordination between attack and movement, and rhthym. The "feeder," or the person holding the mitts, should hold up which mitt they want the fighter to hit. If the feeder holds up his left hand, the fighter should hit with his own left and if the feeder holds up his right hand, the fighter should hit with the right as well. This is, of course, from each person's perspective. Remember, you are mirrors of own another, so your attacks will cross your body to hit the mitts.

Coach Kamogawa holds the mitts in such a way as to build muscle memory for Ippo: the mitts are held up where the fighter will actually hit in a fight. Some feeders will often hold the mitts too far away from their bodies to the left or right, creating unrealistic hitting points and forging bad habits for a fighter's strikes.

If you are just starting to hit the mitts, please take it slowly, especially if your feeder is new to the process as well. Don't be in a rush and end up punching your friend in the nose. Take your time and enjoy the learning process. Start with just the jab and cross (1-2 combination) if you are a beginner and just get use to throwing punches. You'll see that continuously hitting the mitts will take a lot out of you if you are not use to it.

Boxing Rounds (Among Other Things)

Boxing rounds are three minutes in length with a one minute rest period in between. If you like, you can use this as a template for your own training or you can pick another time frame. For instance, some Karate matches only have a two minute fight time (some only have a one minute fight time) and Professional Mixed Martial Arts matches generally have five minute rounds. Whatever you do, try to push yourself the whole time. Obviously the tempo will be different in a one minute round rather than a five minute round, but you shouldn't go at a snail's pace just because you've got five minutes to get the job done.

"One Good Punch"

Miyata comes in and Kamogawa takes the opportunity to stokes the fires of rivalry a little bit. He tells Ippo that his punch is good enough to take out Miyata (Ippo fervently disagrees) and, not only that, but Kamogawa says that technical boxing is worthless. I doubt he truly believes that, but he's trying to build Ippo's confidence in his style and (I'm sure) to piss off Miyata a little. A powerful, unrelenting attack can often destroy a very technical fighter. That is not to say that technical boxing is worthless.

On the contrary, if a technical fighter is also very powerful, that's double for him. It really comes down to how you are choosing to fight. If you choose to fight (with boxing as an example) as an infighter, then you need to learn how to deal with outboxers as such and vice versa. If you choose to fight (with mma as an example) as a striker only, you need to learn how to effectively fight a grappler or a mixed fighter. The more you know as a fighter, the better, but it is true that some people are more suited to certain styles than others. Pick how you want to fight, train hard, and fight to your limit!


The uppercut can be a very powerful attack for two reasons: 1) The uppercut comes from below, catching the opponent off guard and hitting him from an angle he might not be ready for. 2) The uppercut utilizes the power from the legs, the torso's twist, and the rising power of the body through the fist.

Kamogawa wants to teach Ippo the uppercut as a way to defeat Miyata's counter. Much to the old man's surprise, though, Ippo took to the uppercut like a fish to water. Try to work the uppercut into your mitt work after you acquire some skill with the straight punches. You can do an uppercut with the lead or rear hand. To throw an uppercut, lower the the hand toward the waist, turn the waist, and explode up with the legs and arm.


Kamogawa can't always watch over Ippo's training, so, on the day's he's out, he tells Ippo he should do some shadowboxing. Shadowboxing is essentially fighting an imaginary opponent. You can make him as skilled or unskilled as necessary, but your should use your shadowboxing time to work on whatever you need to work on. Sometimes you need to train your defense and sometimes offense. Whatever it is, imagine an opponent that will help you accomplish that goal. If you are going to fight a particular opponent, try to build an image of that opponent's fighting style through watching him spar, fight a match or shadowbox. This will allow you to get a good image for your shadowboxing sessions. Work hard at it, whatever you do.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

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