Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pirate Hunter Zoro's Training

Before the Straw Hat Pirates break back out on the scene of the pirate world, they split up for two years in order to train themselves to meet the dangers of the New World head on. Zoro sought out his self-proclaimed rival and the strongest swordsman in the world, Dracule Mihawk, for his tutelage. After proving himself, Zoro embarked on a difficult path that would leave him scarred and immensely powerful upon his return to the crew. 

Zoro's training seemed to be more focused on fighting than anything else, but I sincerely doubt that the man doing handstand push-ups with a gigantic barbell on his feet is skipping gym time. Therefore, this workout is not to designed to be done by itself, but included in an overall program, at least consisting of Zoro's Training and some sort of strength workout. Remember to warm-up before the workout and cool down and stretch afterward.

Three swords, two scars, one badass dude.

Pirate Hunter Zoro's Training

Technical Warm-up
  1. 100 Downward Sword Swings
  2. 100 Horizontal Sword Swings
  3. 100 Sword Thrusts
  4. 2 Minutes Shadow Sword Fighting
Drills and Sparring

Note: If you do not have sword-fighting practice gear and experience with sword-fighting sparring, please do not attempt this. Also, it is recommended that you do this under the supervision of a reputable, certified sword instructor.
  1. Attack/Defense Drills- 3 Minutes
  2. Sparring- 1 Minute
  3. Footwork Drills- 3 Minutes
  4. Sparring- 2 Minutes
  5. Technique Experimentation- 3 Minutes
  6. Sparring- 3 Minutes
--Repeat as many times as desired


Notes:
  • There are a lot of resources out there for sword fighting. You may practice Kendo, a Chinese style of sword, a European style or some other form. I recommend you study as much as possible with whatever style you practice. However, if you do not currently have a style of sword fighting, there are plenty of resources to help you choose and understand them. Best Kendo has some good basic info on Kendo, ARMA is great for European styles, many kung fu schools include sword training in their practice, and here is some from Kali/Escrima. When in doubt, YouTube whatever style you want and practice like crazy!
  • For the technical practice, you can use a wooden or dull-bladed sword. If you use more than one sword (like Zoro) you may use them here as well. Use whatever footwork and striking style is present in your system. Really focus hard during your shadow sword fighting. Imagine your opponent as vividly as possible. Don't focus so much on moving super fast, but on the intensity of your imagination of the movements of an opponent.
  • The drills listed above will vary depending on your style. This is not a race. Your drills can be as slow or as fast as you need them to be in order to burn the movement pattern into you. This is a time for these movements to become second nature. 
  • Your footwork can also include strikes, but the main purpose of this section is to drive home however your style moves as it attacks and defends.
  • Technique experimentation is a time for you and your partner to branch out and see what does and does not work for each of you. It's also a time for you to play with your style and see what is realistic. There are limits to what you can and cannot do. With practice, you will find what those limits are.
  • Sparring NEEDS gear. If you don't have gear or at least foam weapons, DO NOT SPAR! A wooden sword can kill. Don't believe me? Read Musashi.  
  • Your sparring also does not have to be all out. Vary your intensity. The slower spars will allow you to practice your techniques, the faster ones will test your abilities. 
That's all for today! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

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