SP ARCHIVES: Going for broke

Rob Dick wrote: Ref your Going for broke – Letting Go, statement on the Visualization post.

I know this isn’t something I do, I only go as hard as the people I’m training with.
To be honest I’m coasting a lot of the time.
Now I don’t think for one minute I’m anything special or in great condition, my strength & conditioning are just ok average , and I’ve been training a long long time, this seems to allow me to coast with most guys, which I understand is bloody lazy really.

So here’s my point, when I train alone mixed cicuits ect, for 5-6 rounds of 5 mins, I do really push myself, but if I’m training in the club at G&A, or Coventry, I know I’m there for upto 4 hours sometimes, if I went balls the wall, I’d be done in 30 minutes – 45 max.

So on the longer sessions, I generally get 3 a week, how should I be approaching the training ?
When I train with you I’m there to learn, take as much in as I can, take it away, and practise & work it.
On my club sessions we spar / grapple / drill, but we arn’t going balls to the wall, they are tough sessions, but I’m not leaving knackered, should I be ?

If I approach every session super high intensity, arn’t I going to burn out, deplete my nervous system, and get ill basically.

Or do I just need a kick up the arse !

Steve wrote: What I’m referring to is this. A lot of guys, when they physically try to do a move, they hold back. They’re holding back something, emotionally, physically. They’re not letting go. They talk about total body movement, but they’re unable to perform a total body movement. They talk about explosiveness, but they don’t explode. They just pop. And when they do manage to make an explosive movement, it has no real connection to fighting. It’s just a move they’ve practiced in isolation. Then they look around for approval as if they’ve done something really wonderful, without realising that they’ve got to be able to keep doing that explosion over and over and over again to win a fight.

What I bring to the table is that I’m able to produce these explosive movements with emotional content to them, and that’s the impression I try to pass on. You only have to pick up on it and get a handle on it, and now it’s yours. That’s why I often say to throw a ball, or smash a medicine ball into the ground, or do something completely different to what your practicing in martial arts, so that you can see how your body naturally expresses an explosive movement pattern, upon which your survival in former times would have been based. A lot of people just get into doing movements.

In the same way, a lot of people just get into doing the training with no real purpose to it. The training becomes an established pattern, just another routine in their life, predictable and reasonably safe.

The Sunday sessions are a patchwork quilt made up of modules that I feel you need to understand. So some of the training is high intensity, some is low. But there has to be those moments in your personal training where you really do push it, to find out mentally and physiolocially what are you capable of. To set a benchmark.

With reference to me coming out of the session drenched in sweat, what I’m saying is that as a teacher I’m putting everything I’ve got into it. So that I can leave that impression with you, of the level of intensity you should be training at. With regards to what works for you, you’ll have to find your own level. I’m not going to prescribe that.

Like, for example, when I trained 8-10 hours a day in Japan and even afterwards when I returned to the UK, training 6-7 days a week, I quite often pissed and shit blood. That wasn’t something I was trying to achieve, that was just a consequence of the level of exertion of self-testing I was putting myself through. And when I look back at it, the results didn’t justify the effort I put in. But, what I found out was that I could go to a level that a lot of people couldn’t. That gave me a big advantage.

When you reach that kind of level of training, something inside you dies. And after that, nothing can touch you. Nothing anybody does to you, no hardship. Nothing can touch you. It’s a spiritual forging, if you like, through the severe training of the body.

And the Japanese often talk about this, but I never met anybody over there who did it. I had to initiate that process myself.

And it would have to come from within you. Because if you were to beast anybody in that way, some of the things I got up to, it would be considered torture. You couldn’t do that to another person. But you could do it to yourself, and the mind that you get out of it is one that is extremely strong and focused. It’s a kind of survival mind.

A lot of people find themselves in a survival situation, and it’s hit or miss whether they can find a way to get through it. I actually self-imposed that. Trish and I have often discussed it in the context of childbirth, and the difference between the kind of extremes that I would push myself to and the kind of extremes that she experienced in a difficult labour. It seems to be about control. We both had mental tricks that we’d used to get through, but the difference was that she had no choice and I did. I deliberately set out to push myself past my own limits. It’s a kind of self-experimental process, and I’ve always been that way.

I see guys come to a training session, and they bring what I would consider a four-course meal to snack on in the break. I can see why from a sports nutrition standpoint people do that, but for me it’s an alien concept. I’d do everything to deny myself any comfort. Drinks, food, heat, rest, warm clothes—I’d deprive myself intentionally of all of that. It was a test.

And you do get a great concentration of mind out of that. You can still focus on what you have to do in adversity.

I must reiterate that I would never prescribe the kinds of things that I did to other people. I’m describing it, not endorsing it. It’s just the story of where I’ve been, and maybe it explains why I sometimes get annoyed when people big themselves up as martial artists, and in my book they’ve really done nothing. They haven’t even stepped through the door.

RobMac wrote:I’ve never had the priviledge of being in the marines, I bottled out some 20 years ago of joining. I’ve said before about some of the ex-marines I’ve worked with on the buildings sites, (one in particular 60 year old and can still work harder than most 20 year olds) and they have got this mindset. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they go through 9 months of hardship etc and from what they say come out the other end different people. It’s no different with training, you need to come out the other end a different person.

Julian wrote: Reminds me on something I read in the Hagakure. The samurai meditates how spears and arrows, diseases, etc. destroying their body. When you do it long enough I think you pretty much feel invincible. Because when your body can withstand this what else could hurt you…

Steve wrote: Rob with regard to this spiritual forging, I always saw it as a very individual thing and not something somebody was pushing me to do, as often is the case in the military. It’s sometimes harder to drive yourself than to let yourself be driven. But you have to do that in a fight. You have to be leading from the front, especially if the strategy is to take the fight to the man.

Having come out of the military, and having a father who trained Tough Tactics which was quite brutal training, I can compare my own training which was led by me with the kind of training I’d experienced and witnessed in the military. And what I’m talking about gives a different mindset. It’s more of a lone wolf mindset.

When you’ve got to produce that extra effort and you are the drill sergeant telling you to go up that hill one more time, you are depriving yourself not being deprived–that’s different. It’s self-denial all the way.