Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another Year Ends - time for new year resolutions

With the last few days of the year we all set out to introspect. Did we achieve our targets? Keep up with our last years resolutions? What should we look to in the new year? What resolutions to decide on for the new year? and lots more......

Many times we end up realizing that a few months in to the new year the resolution goes for a toss and we may make the same resolution the next year to repeat the cycle again and again every year. I feel we should be very simple and realistic in setting our resolutions. A resolution should be what you as a person wish to do or achieve and not what others wish you to or what everyone considers to be cool. After all it is our life and not theirs. Be honest with yourself, sit and think of the year gone by and the areas or traits that you would like to change. For example - many decide to stop smoking or drinking and they do keep to it for a few days or few months and then get back to their vice again. Do not decide to stop smoking because all say it is bad or because every time you open your cigarette box you read that it causes cancer. Decide to stop smoking because your lungs need air to breathe and not smoke. Stop smoking because you wish to be fit and not dependent on a tobacco filled paper roll. Irrespective of what we decide to resolve for the new year understand why you wish to resolve so. If the reasons are right the chances of you sticking to your resolution are higher. 

For me the resolution is usually very simple - To constantly make an effort to improve from where I was yesterday in all aspects of life. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. 

Will be off to camp for 5 days and shall post again when am back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Train like a house cat or train to be a Tiger - the choice is yours.

I have great respect for all martial arts and martial artists. I do not mean to run down anyone or hurt anyone's sentiments. This post is about my logical view point of how martial arts should be. If for any reason you do not agree with this view point and still feel the way you train is right then I suggest that you never try to defend your self in a real life situation, as you may get severely injured. 

Any Martial Art (especially the old traditional ones) if looked back to the days of its formation has been formed to either train warriors, armies or to train a group of people to fight against those who are suppressing them. From this it is very evident that martial arts are training for realistic combat and not to play around. The traditional martial art training procedures of any martial art has always focused on strengthening the body, mind and spirit. It is believed that it is the martial art training procedures that have in many ways influenced the training programs for specialist defense forces of most countries. 

Nowadays martial arts seems to have become like the academic schools. They have fixed dates for examination and the students have a certain syllabus to complete. Even if the student is not physically and mentally ready for that grade but if he performs the kata properly he gets the grade. Is this Martial Arts? 

There are so many academies and even associations that train in only sports martial art. Am not against that however training like this does over time remove the concept of body conditioning and full contact sparring. How can you defend yourself in a real life situation when you have never trained for a real fight or even taken a number of full power kicks or punches on your body. Do you expect the robber to agree to a 3 or 5 point sport sparring contest with body protection gear and if he gets the points first you will hand over your wallet ? If you train to collect points just by touching then in a real life situation too that is what you would end up doing. Is this Martial Arts?

There are others who with very little knowledge go about calling themselves masters and impart classes and workshops. These people seem to have some knowledge of self defense techniques but their training areas are well stacked with all sorts of body protection gear from abdomen guards to forearm guards and so on. I agree one should avoid injury in training and that is why you could use the gum guard, groin guard and may be some head gear if you are going to attack with full power to the head. Can you take a fall properly on the road? Well they may have never trained outside their mats. An attack on the road can sway in any direction the fight may end up on the ground too. Preparing the body for this brings the need for conditioning and full contact training. If you do not train to get hit or you do not do conditioning then what good is your technique on the street. Even a single punch could end up putting you down on the ground what good is your technique then? Is this Martial Arts? 

If you do not simulate a realistic combat situation with real aggression and power then am sorry to say you are never going to be ready for a real life scenario. 

If you train gently and softly then you are a house cat with some tricks up your sleeves, however if you train traditionally the way martial arts are meant to be well then you are getting trained to be a Tiger.   

Do not waste your time being a house cat with some tricks. I feel very sorry for the students of people who teach a misguided version of martial arts. In my opinion if one has never trained full contact and tries to defend them self from an attacker on the road there is a very good possibility that they will get beaten up more severely than if they would have not tried to show their sport martial art knowledge. 

It is my humble request to all those who are teaching martial arts to think logically and teach the martial arts the traditional way.  You can still compete in sports sparring competitions but at least you are trained the authentic way too. Do not get fooled by classes or teachers who show off flashy moves or big certificates instead go to train from someone who will show you how to take a full powered punch. It is this training that will save you in a realistic situation. It is this kind of traditional training which is MARTIAL ARTS.

Today's Workout - 

A good jog at a decent pace followed up with some shadow boxing and bag work with Prateek. No workout sessions in the evening as am letting the body recover completely for the camp. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Team Jukaado at the Rockathon

A 5 member team from Jukaado took part at the Rockathon organized by GHAC. It was a fun filled way to start the Sunday morning. The Rockathon included trail running, bouldering, rappelling, slack line and lots more. All activity that is fun for an adrenaline addict like me. GHAC is doing a good job in creating awareness of various forms of adventure sports. Moreover they also provide a venue for people who like to take part in adventure sports. 

I am punctual by nature and prefer to be early always than being late. We reached the venue for the Rockathon almost 40 minutes before time. Having nothing to do we started walking through the trails and climbed all over the rock hill formations there. It is the Jukaado way of doing a warm up. We  walked back just in time to join the group leaving for the trail run.

                                           Siddharth, Rohel and Ishaan relaxing before the run. 

                                                        The Spartan with his Vibram's. 

The trial run was fun though a bit short but enjoyable. After the trail run we did a bit of scrambling on some of the rock slopes and some jumping from one rock to another. 

                                         Ishaan, Rohel and Siddharth climbing up the Rock hill.

We would have loved to spend more time running around and climbing rocks but we had to leave early so after Ishaan finished his rappelling we jogged back to the registration area and bid adieu to the wonderful activity organized by GHAC.  

                                           Ishaan rappelling down the rock.      

                                                                    Team Jukaado.

Building ones fitness and improving on the fitness levels is the best way to spend some quality time. You do not only get healthier and fit but also burn up all the collected stress and frustrations ( if you have any ). It is a simple way to re- energize the body, mind and soul while having loads of fun. The rush of adrenaline makes you feel good and confident. Many think that one can only resolve problems or manage teams at work by studying for them. However they are wrong for those who train and are open to trying new avenues of fitness training and adventure sports develop in to people who are determined, witty, bubbling with team spirit and always ready to look at any situation calmly and finding an apt solution to it too.  

There is no better teacher and classroom than nature itself. 

Do study and work but do not neglect the wisdom you could acquire by going out and training.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Am I Really Crazy???

Today evening I happened to meet up with some martial artists and sports coaches. Some I have known for quite a few years others were introduced to me today. We were just going about with some normal conversation and some how a sports coach mentioned about the hard and intensive training that he has witnessed in Jukaado training. This as usual lead the martial artists who met me for the first time to object. They started of as to how powerful and superior their art is. I do not like such conversations and feel sorry that such egoistic people are actually out there imparting training in martial arts to students. I honestly do not believe any martial art is superior or inferior and moreover I strongly believe that there is lots for me to learn still. Jukaado being my dream child also is constantly evolving and adapting new techniques or improvements in execution of already existing techniques.  I did not object and just accepted that I agree with them with regards to the superiority of their art. Was hoping they will end the conversation when I accept their superiority but I was wrong. Some how people like to test themselves on others when in reality one just needs to test if they have improved from where they were yesterday. Having said that one of the martial artists just suddenly lunged forward to grab my collar. May be to boast about his strong grip or to make an effort to further show the superiority of his art. My body just responded really fast and from the sitting position in the very comfortable chair I ended up locking his arm in an arm bar before he could even touch my collar. The martial artist who tried this practices sports martial art ( in my opinion martial arts can never be a sport ) and has never trained in any conditioning, grappling or locking techniques.  The moment I applied the arm bar that person yelled out in pain. It happened so fast that may be because of it being my bodies response to a sudden attack there was a fair amount of power in the movement too. Seeing what just happened a few others started saying that I am crazy and only a mad person would do such an act. While those who know me from years blamed the poor fellow who tried to show off by attacking me suddenly for no reason.

I do not think I am crazy. Yes I may be passionate to improve and train as realistic as one can but am surely not crazy. Crazy are those who like to go about boasting or proving their superiority. It is sad that martial artists behave like this.

 When the seed itself is not mature how will it grow in to a plant that bears fruit. 

It is such people who go about spoiling the image of martial arts and even what a martial artist stands for. Am happy to say that our videos online have got me in touch with quite a few genuine, passionate and true martial artists. Knowing them I am reassured that still there are good and authentic martial artists out there. 

Today's Workout - 

Started the day with a jog at a decent pace followed up with some shadow boxing and bag work with Prateek. 

After the episode in the evening I was in no mood to train for my evening session of workout. Such behavior really puts me off as it is totally against my belief system. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Preparing for Camp

This is a topic which will have all sorts of view points and beliefs. I have been preparing for the very intensive 5 day martial art camps (which is held every 6 months) for about 27 plus years. I have my own system that I follow. Have looked up the topic of preparing for endurance races or boot camps online. Everyone has a different set of suggestions. I feel we are all different and so we should try out the different ways to prepare for such endurance events and then choose the one that we feel suits us the best. 

An intensive martial art camp or a boot camp far surpasses the requirements of some of the toughest ultra endurance events and races. The reason being the multi dimensional workout and use of all the muscles at a martial art or boot camp. One needs to run, crawl, pull, push, lift, fight and lots more thereby using the body and its muscles in totality. So I guess preparing for such events will surely improve complete body fitness levels. While in normal ultra marathons or triathlons the emphasis is on usually the leg and arm muscles. 

I usually push my training a few notches higher a month before the camp. Getting the body used to recovering from strain. This I feel improves and sharpens the recovery process which is very much needed when one is to train for 10 plus hours daily. About 15 days before the camp I begin to start a gradual decline in the intensity of my workout. Allowing the body to heal and recover completely yet not giving it complete rest. A week before the camp I train at a very high intensity on the 7th and 6th day before camp. Then give 4 days of complete rest from any cardio based workout before the camp. This is how I have been preparing for camps from many years. It is a system that works for me. I do not suggest that it will work for all as we are all different. However try it out if you feel it works for you then stick with it. 

 Today's Workout - 

2 hour jog with a 10kg sand bag in the morning. 
The evening workout consisted of 8 sets where 1 set consisted of  - 30 burpees, 30 sit ups, 30 leg raises, 3 minute plank, 30 mawashi geri (round house kicks) and 30 weighted shoulder presses. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jukaado Demo by students at Hillside School Sports Meet 2012.

The last week was a week filled with commotion and lots of practice for the students and teachers of Hillside School. It was exhaustive for all the students to keep rehearsing their drills for the sports meet. The teachers on the other hand had their hands full with the work of arranging for the colourful costumes, fine tunning their respective drills, preparing the various races and so on. I guess all the effort they had all put in showed on the Sports Meet. It was wonderful filled with lots of energy, precision, planning and vibrant colours. The Chief guest for the Sports Meet retired cricketer Mr. Venkatpathy Raju mentioned that it was the best Sports Meet he had ever witnessed. That was a real confidence booster and made all who were part of the Sports Meet feel good to be appreciated. Even the staff who look after the government indoor stadium where we had the Sports Meet mentioned that they have seen many Sports Meets of numerous schools but they felt that the Sports Meet of Hillside School was excellent. Since I was busy running around arranging and helping out during the Sports Meet I could not take the pictures and videos of all the drills, races etc that took place. However each and every aspect of the Sports Meet was just perfect and awesome.

                                            Eagle the mascot for the Sports Meet with me.

It is easy to raise the bar what is difficult is to maintain the level or raise it higher. 

With this in mind we will hopefully work harder next year to present an even more spectacular Sports Meet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kumite with 4 wild monkeys.

This complete episode or experience that I had today surely is hilarious now that it is over but at the moment it was taking place it was really scary and was like an attempted ambush. I was scared of being bitten or scratched by the monkeys as that would need me to rush for a complete rabies vaccination schedule. 

Since the cantonment area is very close by to my house and there being lots of open land with lots of trees wild monkeys do occasionally stray in to the houses. At around 10 am, was relaxing and watching a movie on the tv when I saw a monkey walking by. Got up  and tried to shoo it out of the house and was shocked to see 3 more of them. When I shooed them they all ran in to different rooms. One started eating bread and littering the floor, 2 of them nicely sat in front of the tv and were watching the movie, 3rd one was hiding below the tables and chairs and would suddenly charge for my legs when I passed by and the 4th one was just running around. Armed with only a small stick I decided to secure and close one room at a time and push them out of the house. Well it was easier said then done. Whenever I would try to remove one of the monkeys from a room the others would try to attack me from behind. That was really scary keeping me on my toes running, jumping and shouting to take control of the ambush I was in. At Jukaado we have a training routine that we call Bull Fight where 1 person is attacked by 3 people running and charging at him together. They have to push, throw and wrestle their way out while the 3 of them have to pin the person down. Well today I was in a similar situation only difference was my attackers were 4 monkey's. It was a really exhausting workout especially because of this 1 monkey who kept hiding bellow tables and chairs and would suddenly charge trying to attack my legs. He made me run, jump, kick and even lift furniture to scare him. A complete cross fit workout it was. Tried throwing some food outside the house but they did not move even tried shouting to scare them they returned it back with a unified growl from all of them. Some how when I was jumping to evade a monkey another monkey got kicked by mistake and he fell down giving out cries. Taking advantage of this I started shouting and banging the stick to the ground to make noise. They finally decided to give up and ran out. It took a full 20 minutes for the full experience and have not stood still even for a moment for the 20 minutes. It required me to be very alert and respond instantly to any movement around me. One wrong move would have got me trapped in a corner making it easy for them to bite or scratch me. Moreover I had to always keep a track of where all the 4 monkey's were to anticipate their movements and prevent being attacked by surprise. I am very lucky to have escaped without any injury especially since the monkey's were really very aggressive.

Though the situation was a scary one but it gave me a new idea for training. We could use 4 domesticated, trained, friendly and vaccinated dogs instead of the monkeys. Today after my experience I have realized that the reflexes of animals are very very fast and if one can train with them then am sure their reflexes and speed will also improve many folds. Just yesterday I was talking of divine intervention giving me ideas for training in camp and today I end up fighting with 4 wild monkeys.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ideas for Camp - Surprise awaits that will be remembered for life.

The clock is ticking and another year is about to come to an end. Time surely flies in our fast paced world. At Jukaado we usually end the year with a big bang which at times makes it difficult for few to dance on new years. We have our training camp in the last 5 days of the year.

As the days to the camp edge closer I get all sorts of crazy ideas which sometimes even scare me. It is not that I go about searching for them but some how by some divine intervention the ideas just come to me. I may be walking down the road and suddenly may see something that could be used in our training. It is these ideas that really keeps even the regulars at our camps guessing as to what could suddenly turn out to be a workout the next session. Well I would love to discuss some of the crazy ideas I have thought of but I believe - INSANITY IS A DISH BEST SERVED HOT. The brave ones who will put themselves at my mercy for 5 days are sure in for a surprise that they could never imagine.  I am sure they will be talking about this experience to even their grand children. Depending on their experience they will describe it as a horror story or as an adventure. 

Though I put my students through some really intense training my first priority is always the well being of my students, their safety and to make sure they do get enough time to recoup. 

Today's Workout - 

Started my day with a wonderful 1.5 hour jog followed by some wonderful body conditioning. Today was a busy day with classes and preparing for the sports day demonstration due this Saturday. Could not spare time for a workout in the evening.   

Friday, November 30, 2012

Making time to train on busy work days.

In our fast paced life's we are daily struggling for the want for more time to be able to do things. In all this rat race we often get very involved in our work and daily chores that we end up having very little or at times no time for doing what we like to do. This struggle for personal time gets more of a losing battle especially for those with jobs in the Corporate Sector. I have come across so many students especially working in the IT sector who are over burdened with work and having virtually no time to even think about living. It is like the corporates are converting them into zombies. So much work not only increases their stress levels but am sure over a period of time will also reduce their productivity at work. A senior and wise student of Jukaado calls all IT sector corporate jobs as " Bonded Labour" and seeing the state of many of my students I agree with him. Some of them try their best to get some time out for their lives but their faces show they are exhausted mentally. 

After a long day at work to come home and train may seem out of the question when the body just wants to fall asleep. However a workout will re - energize a stressed out and exhausted mind and body. Finding time to fit in a good workout should not be an option but mandatory just like we need to breathe or drink water. Initially it could be very difficult to do so but over a period of time the benefits of workout will show positive signs on the health of body and mind. If working out after work is not possible then wake up an hour early and go for a run or do any workout you desire to. 

Man started working to meet his daily needs of food, clothing and shelter. However the way things are today man works to reach somewhere hoping to achieve certain materialistic goals which are not necessarily set by them but by the people and society around them. In the end affecting ones FREE WILL.

The last few days have been very busy for me too. With the year coming to an end there is always an increase in personal training clients who wish to get in shape before 31st Dec. Then there are the sports days at schools which need a demonstration in martial arts. All this has made it difficult to find time in the morning to train though I wake up by 3 - 3:30am. However I have been trying to fit in a workout when ever I get some time. 

Today the morning workout was not possible had few hours free in the evening so I did a good workout and it always feels awesome after a really good ( exhausting ) workout.

Today's Workout -   

Did some sets of Okinawan weight training after completing every set I ran down 5 floors and up 5 floors then started the next set of Okinawan weight training. Did 10 such sets and then went for a 1 hour jog with my 10kg sand bag.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Running Wild Barefoot - a review after 2 months of wearing five finger shoes.

It has been a bit over 2 months since I bought my adidas adipure (five finger / toe) shoes. I decided to buy a new pair of shoes after the Half Marathon. Was online one day when I came across a picture of the five finger shoes. They looked unique and comfortable. Researched about them and their benefits on many blogs and websites. Since I did not find any negative reviews I decided to get a pair and try them out. 

The five finger shoes are the best shoes I have ever worn and trained in. There are many websites, blogs and videos online on how to go about allowing a slow transition from cushioned sneakers to barefoot five fingers. I guess it is important to pay attention to them especially if you are not use to training barefoot. In my case I have been training in martial arts barefoot on all sorts of surfaces from mud to gravel, from tiled to asphalt. Have even run on all sorts of surfaces so may be the muscles in my feet and toes were already conditioned and ready for the five finger shoes. For those who have not been training barefoot they should start slowly. I agree getting new shoes creates an excitement to wear them and go for a test run in them immediately. In the case of five fingers go slow. Start with may be walking barefoot at home, after a few days start wearing the five fingers at home and when you go out for small errands. After a few days you could try a jog of about 2 - 3 kms in them. Do not jog long distances in them in the beginning. Increase the jog distance by a few kms every 4 -5 days till you feel totally comfortable without any pains. The slow transition period is required as we have all been walking or running the wrong way , the way our body mechanics were not meant to be used. We have been harming our own bodies and joints walking / running the wrong way. Even I was a believer of always jogging heel to toe but after reading about the five fingers and now having experienced them for 2 months I have changed my views. Our body is meant to move from toe to heel and not heel to toe. If you do not accept what I say just walk around the house or at a park barefoot for 1 hour plus and you will notice that after the initial 15 - 20 minutes body instinct will kick in and you will start walking toe to heel. This is the way we are meant to walk. This is how our bodies are designed. When we jog heel to toe our heels strike the ground hard. The cushioning of the sneakers softens the impact but over a period of time it will start having its impact on the joints like the knees, ankles and surprisingly even the back. I was skeptical myself as to how a cushioned sneaker can harm the back or how the five fingers can improve posture and health of the spine. There is an evident change in my posture now, moreover after a lot of intense training sessions I would sometimes feel a stiffness or strain like feeling in the lower back but that seems to be history now. It feels like a miracle.

Initially they may feel odd to wear and move around in public as you are sure to get a lot of curious eyes staring at the five finger / toe shoes. But the comfort and feel that the shoes provide will make you never want to remove them. I did not require a slow transition period as my body is use to barefoot running / training. I just switched my old sneakers for the five fingers and continued with the same training routine. There was an evident improvement in my body movement, stride and even pace at which I was running in the five fingers. 

There is something that I have not read online and this is my personal opinion based on logic and not science. Once you start the transitioning process I feel one should reduce or stop wearing their well cushioned sneakers. The logic being the five fingers and the sneakers both have different stride patterns as in one propagates toe to heel and the other heel to toe. So when you continue wearing your sneakers while transitioning or even after you have completed the transition to five fingers, you will be causing a constant confusion for the feet and the nervous system with regards on how to walk /run. In view of this logical understanding I recommend reducing or better completely stop wearing sneakers

Today I recommend barefoot running and wearing the five finger shoes to all my students, personal training clients and everyone I know. It is an investment in your health. I seriously recommend that all should move to the five finger shoes. Do not do it because I say so. Look it up online, read about it then decide. The day you do buy and start wearing your five fingers you may never ever buy a normal sneaker ever.  

I ran my 1st timed 10 km run last Sunday in my five fingers and it felt great. Like am an animal on the prowl (LOL).  Five finger's bring out the animal in you. 

I have ordered my second pair of five fingers this time from the company that designed these shoes - Vibram. Have ordered the Vibram KSO's which is a multi purpose five finger shoe. A word of Caution - Vibram does not ship to India at the moment and there are many websites selling fake Vibram's online which look just like the original but are not of the same quality. Only buy from the shops or websites listed on the official Vibram website under the section "store locator".

also check the Vibram website -

Today's Workout -

Today I decided to only run and run wild with my five fingers. Did get up late in the morning but did go for a wonderful 2.5 hour jog in the cantonment area in the evening. It was just awesome ran on asphalt, mud trails and even a bit of stony incline. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hyderabad 10 Km Run.

Today was the Hyderabad 10 km run and how could Jukaadoka's not be there. Today 5 Jukaadoka's including myself ran the 10 km run. 

As usual I get excited knowing that a good workout lies ahead. This excitement makes it difficult to sleep the night before such run's or races or even before the Jukaado Camp's. Even after attending more than 50 plus martial art camps and conducting over 15 Jukaado Camps even today I get very excited with the 5 days of killer training that lies ahead at the camp. When I say killer training I actually mean it. The Jukaado Camp will test a person in all aspects possible. Words can not explain the intensity of the camp. An experience of the Jukaado Camp is truly a life changing experience. Some prefer it as a once in a life time experience others get addicted to the fun at Camp and just keep coming back again and again.  

Coming back to the 10 km run. I had just taken a small nap of 30 minutes as excitement made sleep elude me a night before the run. Team Jukaado participating in the run assembled at the meeting point and headed to the holding area for the run. It was well organized may be it was because Procam International - an international organization was organizing the run. 

The 10 km run started at 6:50 am and after the initial pushing and jostling the crowd was spread out. It was nice to see so many running today however most of the runners were 30 years plus. We need to inculcate fitness training and a healthy lifestyle to the younger generation. That is the best way to safe guard one's health. A student of Jukaado calls fitness training - " The best and cheapest form of Health Insurance "

I have been jogging for an hour 5 days a week. So the 10 km run was not exhausting for me. Have not received the official timing data of my 10 km run but I have completed the 10 km run between 52 -54 minutes. 
                                                 After Completing the 10 km run. 

                                               Our student Spartan after finishing the 10 km run.

                               The complete Team Jukaado that took part today at the 10 km run.
   from right to left - Rohel Dham ( in track pants ), Kuro Oni aka Shiv ( in grey shorts ), Siddharth Dujari  
   (back row with glasses ) , Spartan aka Prateek Kanodia ( too tall so had to kneel down ) and myself.

Though the 10 km run was well organized in most aspects but there is one aspect which I hope they work on when they organize it next year. The roads were closed for vehicles because of the run. It would be nice if the run organizers would arrange for buses to ferry people from the place the roads are closed to the starting point of the run. In the absence of this facility we had to walk about 5 -6 km after the run to reach our bikes. For Jukaadoka's it is not a matter of concern however we should consider that even people of Veteran and Senior Veteran Category take part and making them walk so much after a run is not right according to me.

           We found this multi coloured moth with very aero dynamic wings near the finishing area.
                                                     Did the moth run ( rather fly ) too ?     
On the whole it was a fun filled and wonderful experience. A Sunday well spent I should say. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Playing With Ice. - Ice Makiwara.

Saturday's I do not go for the morning jog and workout to get the much needed rest for the body. However being regular with punching the Makiwara ( which is very hard ) it was just on my mind and was missing the workout with it. 

Was reading a book and suddenly from no where an idea came to me. I went to the kitchen got out an old vessel with a flat base filled it with water up to about 4 - 5 inches and kept it in the freezer. After 30 minutes it was ice but still it had small pockets of water below so kept it in again. After about 1.5 hours in the freezer the water in the vessel was solid and hard ice. 

                                                 Solid  ice in a vessel with salt. 

Brought the ice out sprinkled some salt on it to slow down it's melting process. Placed the vessel on a wooden stool and started to punch it. Initially the fist was slipping as it was a new surface to strike on for me. A few punches later the rhythm set in and I was enjoying striking the hard ice. Ice being very cold and striking it repeatedly made my knuckles red. 

The ice began to crack with the repeated punches that kept landing on it. The salt was really preventing the melting process effectively. 

                                                             Cracks on the ice.

Do not try this unless you have been training in martial arts and have been practicing body conditioning. Always start with a softer object and slowly advance to harder objects. Directly striking hard ice with any prior training could cause a bone to crack. Always consult a qualified instructor before starting any workout. 

Now I have a new makiwara which I can prepare at any time to strike. May be next time will mix the salt in the water it self and then freeze it. 

                                           Knuckles after 5 minutes of punching ice.

I continued punching for about 12minutes or so then the ice just developed lots of cracks and broke. Let it melt a bit and kept it in the freezer again for another round once it hardens.

Today's Workout -  

Besides the 3 sets of  striking the ice for about 12 minutes each set I also did 8 sets today. Tomorrow is the 10km run and am not sure if I will be able to do any sets tomorrow. In 4 days I have completed 76 sets where each set has 570 repetitions. Was aiming for some where between 80 - 100 sets however am happy with 76 sets too. When you have to work then the time one has for training is reduced. Considering the busy days I have 76 sets in 4 days is good. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

An Idea Can Change Your Life!!!!!!!!!!!

It all started when Sravan our student was returning back to his city. Before we bid adieu he suggested that I should look up Spartan Race online. A very dangerous suggestion to a crazy person it was. Saw all the videos on Spartan Race and read as much as I could about the race. I was hooked to obstacle racing. 

At Jukaado we train very hard and try to challenge our body and mind all the time. However the lure of running long distances, over hills with sand bags , through mud and all this while crossing obstacles was difficult to stay away from.


This brought out the need to train with a different approach. It was not only me but many at Jukaado were excited for the new training challenge. Little did they know that I would trouble them so much. However they are a very tough lot, every time they achieve a level I keep a new target ready for them. Sometimes I feel they are more crazier than me, for I already know the workout in store but they just come to train without knowing what is in store for them.  Am blessed with amazing students who are not only ready to train hard but also ready to meet my levels of insanity. 

We started running longer distances with sand bags followed by burpees, lifting and throwing rocks, running up hills, and lots more. Initially I had started running with a 5kg sand bag on the shoulder now am very comfortable running with a 10kg sand bag. 

The only thing that is difficult to conquer is FEAR, everything else is a walk in the park.

Just 15 days after being introduced to Spartan race 2 students of Jukaado - Shiv and Prateek and myself took part in the Hyderabad Heritage Half Marathon. We completed it with a pretty decent time of  2hours 18 minutes. I feel it was a good timing because it was our first half marathon and moreover we had less than a week to prepare for it too. 

Little did I know that this was just the beginning of our tryst with racing. Next month there were 8 Jukaadoka's including myself taking part in a Triathlon. Being new to the racing circuit we got information about the Triathlon just 10 days before the race leaving us with not much time to prepare again. Now just 3 months from the day we were introduced to Spartan Race 5 Jukaadoka's including myself are set to run the 10km race coming up this Sunday. It has been 3 months since we were introduced to Spartan Race and we have taken part and completed 3 races.

An idea can truly change your life. At Jukaado we push the levels of our fitness and endurance way too high. We train to endure and sustain grueling training sessions of between 5 - 8 hours without food or water. May be it was this kind of intense training that has provided us with the ability to complete all these races with not much training time in hand. We now have a student dedicated to looking after Team Jukaado's registrations and to keep a track of upcoming races. He has been very helpful in registering all of us and suggesting on the upcoming races. 

This is what I believe is an wholistic approach to fitness. Hardcore martial artists running and competing with people who train to be runners or triathletes. It is not a sight seen often am sure.

Today's Workout - 

Since am on my challenge to complete between 80 - 100 sets within 5days. I followed the set workout today too. Each set has a total of 570 repetitions of various exercises. Today was able to complete 15 such sets. Did not get enough time to complete them in one go so had to break them up in 2 training sessions. 
8 + 7 = 15 sets.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Training Partner Returns.

I train on my own as well but nothing beats having a fit training partner by your side. Since the last 4 years Swamibabu a student of Jukaado since 2003 has accompanied me during my morning training workout. He feels a change in his fitness levels by adding the morning workout to his routine and tries his best to be regular in the morning in-spite of his very busy work schedule. Last 2 weeks he could not make it in the morning and when he entered the park today morning I was happy to see my partner back.

A training partner helps in many ways. The basic ways would be to keep the motivation going, make training a bit more competitive, does not make you realize how much time you have trained and lots more. Even if you train daily and are very fit there will be days when your body or mind does not wish to push your self to train or you are just feeling lazy. When you have a training partner you will try your best to keep up with the pace of his workout even if you are feeling lazy on that day. In my case sometimes I just wish to sleep in for some more time rather than run around the park at 5am. However knowing that someone will be waiting to train with you at the park ensures that I get out of bed and put on my running shoes.

Try it out find a training partner who is of your same fitness level and have the same interests in workout. Over a period of time both of you will improve your fitness levels while having fun. Training with a partner will make the intensity of the workout seem lesser and more fun.  

Today's workout -
1 hour jog and then had to rush to school. Had 2 personal training clients today. Jogged for 45 minutes with one of them around KBR Park. That was truly fun! Am sure some of my new personal training clients might be wondering if am there to train them or kill them and have fun doing that. When they start getting results without any injury or bad effects on their health they begin to understand my approach.

Did 12 sets of 570 repetitions each. Could not do them at a stretch as had work. So did them in what ever breaks I had in between. The break up was as follows  - 4 sets + 3 sets + 5sets = 12 sets

Monday, November 19, 2012

Addicted to Adrenaline.

Often I visualize that a company will come forward to sponsor some of my students and myself so that we can devote our full time to training. Even think of contacting some TV channels to start a show of Jukaadoka's training all over the world in different martial arts and other forms of very high intensity training. 

Training over a period of many years I feel people get addicted to the adrenaline and constantly crave for it. It is this craving I feel that makes people really miss their workout and strive to train for longer hours. There is a constant effort to find ways and balance our life's in such a way that we get our desired hours of training. I am proud to say am addicted to adrenaline. I think it is the healthiest form of addiction one can have.

Today's Workout - 

1 hour jog with 10kg sand bag followed by some stone throwing, 200 push ups and 200 squats and body conditioning for 30 minutes.

Had to go meet a new personal training client. It is always nice to get a new client who is serious about training but deep down the first thought that comes to me is - My training time will reduce damm it!!! 
( LOL) 

Am planning to do something more insane this week. Last week I challenged myself to 10 sets where each set had 10 different exercises and total counts in 1 set = 570 counts. So I completed 5700 repetitions in a day.  Now this week My target is to complete between 80 - 100 of those sets in just a week. It is not possible for me to devote 5.5 hours to complete 10 sets like the other day so it will truly be a challenge to squeeze in as many sets as I can daily to finish 100 sets within just 7 days.

Today I could complete only 5 sets as I had lots of work today. Lets see how many sets I complete by next Sunday. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fitness - A way of life based on discipline, dedication and commitment

We all live a life that we have. It does not matter what we have or not, WHAT MATTERS IS HOW WE DECIDE TO LIVE IT.

Fitness is truly a way of life. Most people will wonder how can it be a way of life. It is just something I train at the gym for daily or jog or cycle or train in martial arts for. Well then I hope my view on why fitness is a way of life helps open your eyes and make strong your resolve to live this way of life forever.

The 3 most important things needed to keep us on track with any workout or sport are Discipline, Dedication and Commitment. Without these 3 there is a very good chance one will falter and soon wind up his / her workout routine. All the effort they have put in will just be a waste of time and the benefits they had achieved will start  diminishing. However when we keep up with these 3 character traits we will continue to workout and train in a very disciplined, dedicated and committed manner for years to come. Have seen many people who are today in their 70's and have been training all their lives. Even today they live the life of fitness training daily for hours together.

Most think when we start to train to get fit the only achievement is may be some weight loss or a well chiseled body or a natural form of health insurance. Well then you are wrong. If you have been training regularly and seriously for even over a period of 6 months then just look back at your life before you started training and look at it today. There is bound to be a huge difference. When one starts being disciplined, dedicated and committed to living the life of fitness it not only alters them physically but begins to change their heart, mind and way they live too.

It will start slowly like a spider who starts with making a web in a small area and slowly making the web bigger and bigger increasing the area it covers. When we start training we fix a particular time to train. Then it moves to eating healthy and nutritious. Slowly the discipline will bring a change in even those who love to sleep till the sun is high up and shinning bright. Yes given an option I would love to sleep till late too. However thanks to my disciplined lifestyle no matter what I do wake up by 3am daily to meditate and then go for my morning workout. Even on the days I have decided to give the body rest from the morning workout. I will wake up even without the alarm, then it is my decision to get out of bed or take the day of from workout. This happens because my body is set to live by a way of life called FITNESS. Over a period of time the same character traits that you depend on in training will benefit and enrich your life. Now lets see few examples - the discipline in training may affect your discipline with regards to work or the will power that makes you push yourself to train for 5 minutes more when you are totally exhausted will make you more persistent to get some work done which is given to you by your manager or to find a solution or resolve any issue. I can give numerous examples of how gradually fitness will change your complete life. Instead of me giving examples it will be much better to try and live this life for few months and see the changes in your own self.

There will always be excuses. EXCUSES ARE OUR BODIES EFFORT TO RESIST OR HALT CHANGE. I am very old now, this is a more suitable workout for kids, too much running is not meant for me as my family has a history of arthritis, have 2 kids to look after and the list can go on and on. It is our responsibility to find a way out to put all the excuses to rest. Adapting to our surroundings or situations is a very strong Human trait embedded in us right from the stone age. So use it do not let it just sit and rust.

As the well known quote goes " TO BRING CHANGE WE MUST CHANGE FIRST" So are we all ready to strengthen our resolve to change and accept this challenge for the benefit of our own self.

While we are on this topic of Fitness I would like to express my personal opinion on a wholistic approach to fitness. Some only run or cycle long distance, some lift only weights, some train only in a particular style of martial art or play only a specific sport. That is required for professional athletes or sports men who compete professionally. However for the others it is my opinion that the best approach is to try all sorts of workouts.  For example do long runs as well as lift moderate weights as well as play sports as well train in martial arts or yoga etc. By restricting yourself to only one kind of training routine the body never gets a chance to achieve its full potential. In fact in the last 8 -10 years even professional athletes, sportsmen and martial artists have started training in numerous forms of training routines to get better results at the very high competitive levels they need to perform at.  I have always been open to any new training routine or martial art form. There is so much to learn all that is needed is a student who is ready to learn.

If even 1 person reads this and tries to live the way of life called Fitness then I will be happy to have brought some positive change in a fellow human being.

Today's Workout -

Today being a Sunday many sleepy heads avoided coming for our hill run session. Not that Prateek, Shiv and myself did not desire to sleep cozy on this very cold morning. It was very cold and yet I could see the resolve in the 2 students who came for the jog. They did come wearing their jackets though but soon I shall try to strengthen their resistance and make them ready to jog in this really chilly weather wearing only a thin t-shirt and shorts. The best part of jogging in cold weather is once you start sweating and the fire within rises the weather no longer is cold but pleasant. After the 1 hour hill jog and our ritual breakfast we all headed home. Did put in a workout of 1.5 hour in the evening consisting of some conditioning, Okinawan weight training and some techniques.