Monday, December 31, 2007

Taking Stock

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions. Not that I don't have a lot of room for improvement -- I obviously do. It's just that the idea of New Year's resolutions doesn't motivate me.

Nevertheless, this time (the 7th & 8th Days of Christmas) is good for taking stock. I want to do an inventory of my own warrior readiness. Perhaps you'll join me.

Warrior Fitness

How fit am I compared to this time last year? Better, but still not where I want to be. My body composition has improved -- a lot more muscle under the "fat suit". Also, Laura noticed last week that I was wearing a shirt which I used to have a hard time keeping buttoned around the middle. The change is subtle, and it has been so gradual that people who see me from week to week have not even noticed.

Over the past three years or so, my endurance has gone from extremely poor to poor and now to fair. My general condition really deteriorated during the year I spent chained to my desk writing, but if I take the intensity of my workouts up another notch, I think I'll be satisfactory or better in another year. That's still not where I want to be, but I'm not 50 anymore, and as long as I'm improving, I won't complain.

What about you? Are you moving in the fitness direction you want? If not, make just one small change in the right direction. Make it tiny, but make it a change you can live with for the rest of your life.

Warrior Techniques

I have a lot of techniques that I've picked up from my martial arts training. But do I have three techniques that I've developed and honed to a level of mastery? I've really worked on striking with my knees. I can generate power & speed, and I have practiced the technique straight ahead and to either side.

I haven't worked as hard on my palm heel strike. I've done some slow motion practice (which is one method of developing speed, believe it or not). I think I'll concentrate on generating power and on using it from various positions, including seated.

I love the judo chop. It's fast & powerful, and it's most versatile. I think I'll duct tape some padding to our oak tree to practice this technique a few times every day. A little extra padding would allow me to also use it to practice the palm heel strike without hurting my shoulders.

Do you have three good, versatile techniques you could use in a violent encounter? If so, how about adding a fourth? If not, why don't you start by learning one or two and practicing them?

Warrior Body Skills

I have just started working on some balance drills from the AttackProof book and video. My balance has always been poor, and now I'm finally doing something about it. It took me several practice sessions just to do the Ninja Walk and Vacuum Walk the wrong way. Now I have to work on improving to the point where I'm doing them correctly.

Maybe your balance is acceptable (even great), but you may have other body skills that need sharpening. Do you need to work on agility, coordination, timing?

Warrior Weapons Skills

I need to spend more time dry firing both handgun and long gun. At this time, my knife skills are not what they ought to be. My training with a blade was good, but rudimentary and too short. I am thinking about one knife fighting system which utilizes a technique that looks just like one of my favorite empty hand strikes. Perhaps I'll get a hold of some of their training materials this year. In learning to use a knife, I also hope to learn how to better defend against one.

How are your weapons skills? Is this the moment where you decide that you will become master of one type of weapon? Or if you've already reached that level of competence with one, how about adding another type to your repertoire (e.g., if you're a rifleman, become an archer or a knife fighter)?

Scenario Based Training

Maybe this will be the year I find a dedicated practice partner. It's a matter of prayer. I'd like someone with whom I could practice spontaneous reaction drills and do some scenario based training to aid in adrenaline stress conditioning.

Et Cetera

There are other areas where you can take stock, like Warrior Philosophy, Warrior Mindset and Warrior Strategy, but you get the idea. I've tried to be brutally honest about where I need to improve as a warrior, How about you? I'd like to see some comments on your own inventory and steps you've taken or are about to take to improve in just one specific area. Your comment might be just the spark some fellow Christian Martialist needs take his own training program to the next level.


Raquel said...

I'm hoping to make my theoretical flour-grinding exercise regimen more consistent and add in some kind of ab exercises. I lean towards finding a few exercises (perhaps isometric?) I can run through when I happen to think of it, rather than try to carve out specific exercise space and time every day. Any suggestions?

Gravelbelly said...

Your sister already owns the book I'd most highly recommend. It contains no-equipment exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere. It's called Every Woman's Guide to Personal Power by Wendy Pett. It's the women's version to the approach to fitness & training found in Pushing Yourself to Power by John E. Peterson.

Look for the ab exercises.

Raquel said...

I'd forgotten about that one--I'll check it out. Thanks!