Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hajime no Ippo- Building Up the Dempsey Roll

This workout is based on the training Ippo did in order to strengthen the Dempsey Roll before his third and fourth title defenses. He did a lot of training on his own to increase the speed, but Coach Kamogawa pointed out that he neglected the technique's devastating power, so he revamped the fledgling Champion's training to better suit the perfection of the Dempsey Roll.

Building Up the Dempsey Roll


  • 3 Mile Run, 7 Sprints Throughout (Shadowbox 15 seconds at the end of each sprint)
  • Weaving Practice- 5 x 1 Minute Rounds
  • Shadowboxing- 3 x 3 Minute Rounds
4-6 Hours Later
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 100 Sit-ups
  • 3 Minutes Neck Bridging
  • 3 Minutes Headstand Work
  • Zig-Zag Hill Sprints- 5 x 100 Yards
  • Catching Tennis Balls- 300 Balls
  • Twist and Reach- 300 Touches
  • One Legged Toe Squats- 30 Reps Each Side
  • Shadowboxing- 10 x 3 Minute Rounds
  • Heavy Bagwork- 3 Minutes
  • Sparring- 3 Minutes
  • 3 Mile Run, as fast as possible (Focus on pushing with your big toe)

  • Weaving practice is essentially just the figure-8 movement of the Dempsey Roll. Try to push the speed as best you can for the minute. The rest period is also 1 Minute.
  • For Zig-Zag Hill Sprints, you should find sprint up a hill at a 45-degree angle and then turn 90 degrees in the other direction. The width of the Zig-Zag should be about the width of a road, or about 20 feet. The point of the exercise is to build the ability to shift your weight and make quick changes in direction.
  • For Tennis Ball Catching, have a partner throw tennis balls to either side of you, alternating sides. Your goal is to catch and drop each one. You should catch the ball, not just knock it out of the air. Eventually, you should be doing this very quickly. The key will be twisting at the waist and shifting your weight on your feet.
  • For the Twist and Reach, you will reach to the right with your left hand and to the left with your right hand to a point that is almost out of your reach, so that you really have to shift your body to reach it. This training should also be done in a fairly quick manner. The key to shifting your body weight will be your ability to stay on the balls of your feet or your toes.
  • The One Legged Toe Squats are rough. If you can't do them at first, try doing them with both legs. After you feel comfortable with that, you can attempt them with one leg. You'll need to bend your upper body a little more forward to counter-balance yourself since you'll really only be on your toes (ideally, just your big toe).  After you can successfully complete the required reps on each side, you can bite down on a cloth tied to a small dumbbell (start with a light weight, like 2 or 3 pounds). After you can do the reps with that dumbbell, you can hold a small dumbbell in each hand, as well. 
  • If you don't have a sparring partner, you can do more bagwork or shadowbox. 
  • On the last run, I really want you to focus on kicking off the ground with your big toe. Trying to drive yourself forward with every step. It will be more tiring to run this way, but you are doing it for a reason-- to build the strength of your big toe, which will strengthen your ability to shift your weight and transmit power from the ground. 

That's all for today guys. For those of you at this level, I hope you enjoy this one. If you aren't there yet, just keep pushing!! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Street Fighter- Fei Long Add-on #1

This add-on is meant to be done with one of the three main Fei Long workouts. It is not necessary that you use an one of these add-ons, but it just to throw in some variety and to make things more challenging when you need them to be. So, here's the first one!

Street Fighter- Fei Long Add-on #1

  1. 500 Punches
  2. Sit-ups- 6 Sets
  3. Side Bend- 6 Sets
  4. Leg Raises- 6 Sets
  5. Flag- 2 Sets
  6. Twist- 6 Sets
  7. Back Bend- 2 Sets
  8. Splits Stretch- 2 Minutes
  9. Front Kick Stretch- 1 Minute each side
  10. Side Kick Stretch- 1 Minute each side
  11. Splits Stretch- 1 Minute
  • For the punches, they can be done in the air, a heavy bag, into sand, or whatever your level of conditioning will allow. The can also be any type of punch that you like, but stick with one type for each workout. And it's 500 reps total, not on each side.
  • Sit-ups can be done on the ground, on a decline bench, or hanging depending on your fitness or your current level of fatigue/soreness. You could also hold a weight if you like. If you are going to do less reps, you should generally use weight or a decline bench to increase the difficulty. Otherwise, you can stick with just bodyweight.
  • The side bends can be done with weight or without. If you are going to do them with weight, you can either hold a dumbbell in one hand for a number of reps and then switch, or you can have a barbell (just the bar) across your back and alternate left and right sides.
  • Bruce Lee's Flag
  • Twists can be done with just your arms swinging or a stick across your shoulders. If you are going to use weight, you can hold a weight in your hands in front of your body, remembering to just twist at the waist and not swing your arms around too much. 
  • For back bends, you put your hands on your hips, just above your glutes and bend back as far as you can without falling over.
  • You'll notice that there are no set reps or weights for any of these. This is primarily so that you can modify it to fit your needs for that particular day.

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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Retsu Kaioh's Training- Part 8

Yet more 72 Arts of Shaolin madness!

#20: Sluice Shutter Weighing 1000 JINs- This is a fairly simple, full-body exercise. The first stage does not require any equipment at all. To perform the first stage, you begin in a horse stance (like you didn't see that coming), both hands lifted high above your head and your palms facing upward like you are holding something above your head (or starting an awkward, squatting Genki Dama). When you can stay in this stance for half an hour with relative ease, it is time to move to the second stage.

The second stage of this exercise, you will maintain the same stance, but this time you will be holding a 22-33lb (10-15kg) weight above your head. The author references a stone drum, but I imagine anything with sufficient width to be held with both hands at the same time will be effective. In the same fashion as before, when you are able to hold the position for half and hour with relative ease, you begin to add weight in increments until you reach 220lbs (100kg). When you are able to hold this weight in the stance for half an hour without "gasp[ing] for breath" and "not sweat[ing]" you may move to the third stage. However, I imagine it will be quite some time before you make it to the third stage.

In the third stage, the stone drum (or other weight) is replaced with a "sluice shutter," which would essentially be something used to block off water in a sewer of some sort. In order to build this, the other says that slots should be put into two wooden posts and long rectangular slabs of stone weighing about 15kg a piece should be slid into them, along with the initial slab weight 100kg and gradually add the 15kg slabs to the 100kg slabs. The slab should be positioned above the ground in the slots about 1.3 meters above the ground, or about 4 feet. You squat underneath the weight and lift it up into our initial stance to continue training.  However, this seems like an awful lot of cost and work to me, so I have another solution. Replace the "sluice shutter" with a Smith Machine (pictured below) and you get around having to figure out where you're going to get slabs of stone and all that jazz... also, you're less likely to kill yourself with home-constructed equipment if you aren't used to it. In any case, eventually, after a long time of training, you should be able to hold a weight of 250kg (or about 550lbs) or more. The ideal point of this training is to get to be able to hold 1,000 JINs (500kg or 1,100lbs) in this fashion. This, I think is truly bordering on the limits of human capabilities and I think would take quite some time (and natural talent) to achieve.

#21: Covering with a Gold Bell- This is apparently the most important "hard" exercise of all the 72 Arts, according to the author. The author says you start hitting your body, front and back, with a mallet made of "stuff." I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, so I imagine a softer rubber mallet will suffice. Eventually (the author says "a long time"), the pain of striking yourself with this should disappear and you can replace that mallet with a wooden one and repeat the training until you feel no pain. When this occurs, you can use an iron mallet and continue until you feel no pain from any of the blows.  Apparently, if you practice for two to three years, your torso become strong like stone or iron and you can take attacks all day long. The author says to use tinctures to cure bruises of muscles and bones from training like this. He is probably referencing some type of dit da jow, but if you don't have access to any herbal things like that, you can use things like horse liniment or Bio-Freeze if you start to feel banged up. Also, massaging bruised areas can help.

#22: Exercise "Finger Lock"- At the first stage of this skill, squeeze together two fingers- your middle and forefinger and press the tips up against your bent thumb tip. Your fingers should make a circle in this fashion. Press them together with "force like a cook taking seasoning" and keep them in that position for a little while and then have a rest. Repeat the exercise. This is one of the exercises that can be done in your spare time without any concern for limiting reps or anything. Think about using the strength of your whole arm in this training.

After a year of training, take a piece of wood 4cm (2.5 inches or so) and squeeze it between your fingers as if you are trying to press a hold through the wood. It can take up to two years to accomplish this in your training. After you are able to do so, move up to an iron plate. The goal of this is to be able to dent the metal with your fingers, which at this point, you've mastered the skill and should be able to severely damage an opponent merely by grabbing him.

That's all for today. I hope you guys are enjoying all of the crazy Kung Fu exercises. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Street Fighter- Fei Long's Circuit Training

The next workout in the Fei Long series is based on a circuit training routine used by Bruce Lee during his life. This particular routine is supposed to simultaneously tax your muscles and cardiovascular system, much in the same way that real-world activities may do. There are four versions, but I collapsed them into two.

Fei Long's Circuit Training

Version A:
  1. Rope Jumping- 1 Minute
  2. Forward Bend and Stretch- 1 Minute
  3. Hindu Push-ups- 1 Minute
  4. Jumping Jacks- 1 Minute
  5. Hindu Squats- 1 Minute
  6. High Kick Leg Swing - 1 Minute (each side)
  7. Waist Twisting- 1 Minute
  8. Barbell Wrist Curls- 1 Minute
  9. Roman Chair Sit-ups- 1 Minute
  10. Knee Drawing- 1 Minute
  11. Dumbbell Side Bends- 1 Minute
  12. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls- 1 Minute
Version B:
  1. Butterfly Groin Stretch- 1 Minute
  2. Side Leg Raise- 1 Minute
  3. Jumping Squat- 1 Minute
  4. Shoulder Circles- 1 Minute
  5. Alternating Splits- 1 Minute
  6. Leg Stretch- 2 Minutes
  7. Leg Raise- 1 Minute
  8. Barbell Reverse Curl- 1 Minute
  9. Sit-up Twist- 1 Minute
  10. Leverage Bar Twist- 1 Minute
  11. Alternate Leg Raise- 1 Minute
  12. Wrist Roller- 1 Minute
  • We've previously covered a lot of the exercises in this routine, so I'll just cover the new ones. If you have any questions about how to do the ones that I am not covering, just use the search function on the side bar to look up how to do them. 
  • For High Kick Leg Swing, you will lock your leg and swing it up in front of you as high as you can. Your other leg can have a slight bend to it, if you need it. Careful at first, if you aren't used to this movement. You don't want to end up pulling a muscle. 
  • For the Waist Twist, you'll hold a stick on your shoulders when you twist your body from side to side.
  • For Roman Chair Sit-ups all that is required is that your body go beyond normal range of motion for a "on-the-ground" sit-up. You can use a decline bench or an actual Roman Chair, if you have one. 
  • For Knee Drawing, you will lay on your back, with your hands under your buttocks, your feet a few inches off the ground. Bending at the knees, pull your legs up to your stomach and them extend them back out with your feet still a few inches off the ground.
  • For the Side Leg Raise, you will lift your leg as high as you can to the side, like you were trying to throw a side kick, and hold it for 30 seconds on each side.
  • For Alternating Splits, you start with one leg forward and one leg back. Simultaneously, you shift the rear leg to the front and front leg to the rear. Do this repeatedly for the time allotted, in as fast a manner as possible. 
  • For the Leg Stretch, you place your foot on something like a chair or higher and then bend forward for the stretch for 30 seconds. Then, you shift to a side kick position raised up and lean over to stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • For Leg Raises, lay on your back with your legs straight and knees locked about 3-4 inches from the ground. Raise your legs until they are 90 degrees with your torso and then lower them back to about 3-4 inches off the ground.
  • In the Sit-up Twist, you complete a normal sit-up motion, but you alternate touching your opposite knee and elbow together on each rep. 
  • For the Leverage Bar Twist, use a dumbbell with the weights taken off one side and grasp on to the empty side. Place your arm on a bench or across your knee and move the weight in a windshield wiper motion for 30 seconds on each side.
  • Alternate Leg Raises are also called "Butterfly Kicks" sometimes. Essentially, you are flat on your back, hands under your buttocks, with both feet 3-4 inches off the ground. Raise one leg to about 12 inches and then alternate moving the two legs from starting position to the 12 inch height. 
  • A wrist roller is just a thick-handled bar with a rope or cord attached to it with a weight on the other end. You hold your arm out at shoulder height and roll it up and then back down and then reverse directions. You should be able to roll and unroll it 2 times either way in 1 minute. If you can't do it, lower the weight. If you are doing more than that, increase the weight. Don't bend your elbows while doing this exercise. 
That's all for today, guys. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

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