Courage and strength make your enemies hesitate

Competition Mindset


I’m in a room with a couple dozen fighters and staff. On the other side of the double doors are more than 100 people eager to watch the finals of Longpoint 2017. Someone calls my name and I stage just on the other side of those doors, moments away from all those eyes.

What if I don’t do well?

My heart rate jumps up in anticipation of the fight. I look out, I step out, I look down.

Do I even deserve to be here?

I stand across the mat from my opponent. They announce us, but I barely hear it. I can’t make eye contact.

He trained more than me.

Negative thoughts race through my head, anxiety that I can’t uphold the standard of someone who has gotten this far, that everyone knows I shouldn’t even be on the mat, that if I don’t get these two points all the ones before are meaningless. I worry so much about doing well that when the fight starts I forget to DO.

I promptly get thrown. Continue reading

Hey, if your Vom Tag is drifting, you should probably be lifting.

Go the distance!

So in the end, all the strength and explosiveness does us no good if we can’t stay in the game long enough to put use to it. The exact type of conditioning you need to achieve this, depends on what it is you are competing in, or what your daily life demands.

Football / Hockey / Rugby, are examples of high explosive force, low duration endurance sports. Short plays, lots of action.

Baseball / Soccer are examples of long duration sports, that require spurts of explosive force.

MMA, and other combat sports are a unique mixture of these effects. Your striking power, power to win a fight comes from explosive force development, however you need great stamina it stay in a fight long enough to win it.

So lets talk about how we condition. We need to understand energy systems first.

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Biomechanics of lifting. Also known as why is this so hard?

First thing we need to consider in biomechanics is our own ratios of limb to torso length. This breaks down into a few basic categories:

  • Long Femur/Short Back/Long Arms
  • Long Femur/Short Back/Short Arms
  • Short Femur/Short Back/Long Arms
  • Short Femur/Long Back/Short Arms
  • Short Femur/Long Back/Long Arms

These will effect how we lift. Longer femur lifters will always struggle with things like squats, and conventional deadlifts. Regardless of their actual height. Shorter femur lifters will find these positions easy to be in. Taking a wider stance normally compensates for this.. Just as a long arm lifter will take a wider grip in the bench press. The idea is always to get the bar as close to your body as possible. Reduce total range of motion.
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Move fast hit hard!

Original Article: https://www.strongerthanyesterday.org/single-post/2017/09/26/Move-Fast-Hit-Hard

   Power. It is the holy grail of martial arts, and sports development. You can be strong, but lack power, you can be fast, but lack power. Power is after all the ability to create maximum force in minimum time. A boxer needs to have powerful punches, a swordsman needs powerful cuts, a quarterback needs a powerful throw, hockey player’s powerful shots. Everyone needs powerful legs. The question is not need though; it is how to achieve this power. Well let’s get to it.

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How To Get Jacked!

   A common goal among any gym goers is to build more muscle, it could be to support a performance goal, simply look better, or they are pursuing the path of bodybuilding. Muscle growth is an important factor in weight loss, and sport performance.  More muscle means more power. So lets get into, how do we optimize our muscle growth.

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The Beasts Inside

  In martial arts we deal with many types. Especially in such a new movement like HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). Everything from the fanboy, to the grizzled veteran of combat pursuits and everyone in between. This means we get people at all levels of base capacity and skill, fitness levels, and overall potential. Our challenge as instructors and the leaders of the community is to help all these people develop into the fighter they want to be. That could be a tournament champion or just a part-timer who shows up when they can, maybe someone who loves the art but hates competitions, all types. This article is going to focus on one thing though, and this holds true for all sports and physical pursuits, but as HEMA is my greatest familiarity, I will write it in context to that. That one thing, one truth, is the difference between the raven (the sport skill development, the art of the sport) and the wolf (the body used to perform the sport, the athleticism of the body)

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   We should not train like powerlifters! There I said it. Bring on the hate. Power lifting is an amazing sport, full of amazing lifters. However, it is not a type of training that is for everyone. For athletes, moms just wanting to move better, dads wanting to stay healthy, power lifting and its style of training is not the best option. On that note, neither is bodybuilding, or long distance running, or yoga, or anything. The truth is it is somewhere in the middle of all that.

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Strength as our primary goal

In theory, the majority of clients come to us because they feel something needs to change in their life. Weight loss, quality of life, confidence, being healthier, all are things commonly said. Through experience, however, most trainers have learned it goes a lot deeper than that. Humans by nature all want to look better, both in clothes and out. They want to move better, with less pain, and perform better in their sports, or simply daily life. The strength-training model can help with all of these.

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HEMA Butts and Puffy Pants

As soon as HEMA Strong started publishing blog posts, comments started rolling in asking for a guide on how to “make my butt look good in my fencing pants/puffy pants”.

I initially thought “uh, well, I don’t know, that wasn’t what I had in mind”. But then I saw that “HEMA Butts” was a thing: https://hemabutts.tumblr.com/ and remembered that confidence is a part of performance psychology. So if your butt looking great in your fencing pants, puffy or not, makes you confident, then it can indirectly impact your performance when fighting.

Here we are then, a HEMA Strong guide on making your butt look good in your puffy pants.

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