Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Himokiri Karate Workout (Grappler Baki)

We're jumping ahead a few episodes in Grappler Baki in order to bring you a workout inspired by Shinogi Koushou, the master of Himokiri (Cord-Cutter) Karate. Using his fingers to attack, he severs nerves in his opponent's body, cutting off various body parts' basic functions... arms, eyes, whatever. However, in order to fight in such a manner, one would have to have forged his fingers into virtual steel bars, capable of ripping through flesh. It is a long and arduous process and not one that many pursue, especially in the long term. However, I think it is necessary to have very strong hands/fingers if you are a martial artist. I thought it went without saying, what with all the grabbing, throwing, and punching we do!


Several of the exercises in this workout are new and some will require special equipment. If you lack this equipment, there are a lot of place you can get them, but I will also offer some alternatives. We'll get to that later. But, first, the workout!
The Himokiri Karate Workout
1. Fingertip Push-ups- MAX with each type* (Remember to check this note at bottom.)
2. Practice Two Finger Pull-ups for 3 Minutes
3. Iron Claw Catch Bag- 200 Reps, both sides
--------------If you drop the bag, do 25 Hindu Squats
4. Iron Palm Bag- 120 Strikes each hand
--------------30 each of Flat Hand Slap, Back Hand Slap, Punch, 5 Finger Strike
5. Diamond Finger- 100 Strikes each hand
6. Shuto Isometric Hold- 3 Times to Failure
7. Horse Stance w/Gripping Jars to Sides- 5 Minutes Total (Keep clock running)
8. 50 Front Kicks with Rear Leg on each side

Notes:
  • For the fingertip push-ups, you'll start with all your fingers for your first set, then minus the pinky on your second set, then minus ring finger... you get the point. However, when you can't complete a set, you go back to using five fingers and start all over again. You do this until you are unable to complete a single rep of the exercise using all your fingers. Towards the end, you'll be doing a lot of 3 or 4 reps sets with your all your fingers, waiting for them to give out.
  • For Two-Finger Pull-ups, use only the index and middle fingers to hold onto the bar when you are performing the exercise. There is no set rep count, just as many as you can do in the alloted time. If you can't do any, try to just hang on for as long as you can.
  • The Iron Claw Catch Bag is a small canvas bag filled with steel shot that is tossed in front of you and snatched out of the air by digging your fingers into it. This is painful at first, but you'll get used to it after a while. On top of that, it generally weighs from 5-8lbs and so a bunch of reps will kill your shoulders. You may do them in sets of 50 or 100 if you prefer, instead of doing all 200 at once. On the flip side, if you feel like doing some extra squats, maybe you should try to do all 200 at once on each side.
  • The Iron Palm Bag is a larger canvas bag that can be filled with a variety of things. I recommend getting an unfilled bag, so you can fill it for yourself. Plus, it's cheaper that way. At first, you're going to use sand in the bag. You'll be on this for a while, to make sure that your hands are properly conditioned. The material in the Iron Palm Bag is supposed to give, much like the majority of the human body gives when you exert force on it. Some people say you should stay on sand for one month, some three, and some a year. However, that's for people who are going to be hitting it all the time. If you would like, you may do so and I recommend 1-3 months, depending on how your hands are feeling. After that, you can move on to very small gravel for 1-3 months. Then, larger gravel for 1-3 months. Finally, you may use steel shot. For those of you just doing this exercise for the workout when you happen to do it, just stick with sand. You can also just go get a bag of sand from a home improvement store and rap it in duct tape.
  • Diamond Finger is a kung fu skill I found in a book. Point and tighten your index finger and poke it against something that will not give, like a piece of wood, concrete, or metal. While the Iron Palm Bag will train your for material that gives, Diamond Finger will train you to deal with harder things. You'll have to hit lightly at first, but you'll be able to hit harder with time.
  • With the Shuto Isometric Hold, form a knife hand with each hand, as if you were going to do a knife-hand strike and tense all the muscles of the hands and forearm. This will strengthen the hand in that position. Hold it as long as you can and release. Wait a few moments, and do it again. Continue for the number of sets listed.
  • We've covered the gripping jars previously.
  • Pick a spot on the wall, and just crank out 50 Front Kicks on each side, without stopping. It's harder than you think.

I'm not going to recommend any particular Iron Palm Bag, but if you go to Google and type in "Iron Palm Bag," there will be a lot of good results. Try to look for a canvas bag that is refillable. Also, look into purchasing some Dit Da Jow. It's an herbal concoction that's supposed to help with healing during training on the Iron Palm Bag. The sites you find will probably have some for sale. I've had good experiences with the ones I've bought and made for myself.

If you have any difficulty finding an Iron Claw Bag, you can attempt to make one for yourself by filling a double-layered ziplock baggie with iron shot and then covering it with a loose layer of duct tape. You don't want to turn it into an unmoveable iron ball. Think more like a hackey sack with bb's in it.




Here are some pics of my bags:







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