Weapons Workout

Thesemindz

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I had to take my wife to work this morning, so I was up early with a few hours to kill before I had to go to work myself. I wanted to do some training and I wanted to do something a little different, so I went with a weapons workout.

I love working out with weapons. I'm usually an empty handed fighter, that's where I've done most of my training, but I play with weapons all the time and it's always a really great workout. I love the exploration of motion and the unique aspects of each weapon I pick up, and it's a great way to really feel out your body. See what twinges and what needs work. Adding a weapon to the mix really emphasizes all your sloppy circles and tweaked elbows. I always walk away feeling worn out and a lot better.

So today I started with a one handed sword, but I pretty quickly started picking up everything I could find and swinging it around.

One Handed Sword
Two One Handed Swords
Buckler
One Handed Sword and Buckler
Dagger and Buckler
Hand and a Half Sword
Dueling Dagger
Grappling Dagger
Knife
Double Knife
Stick
Double Stick
Hammer
Stick and Hammer
Knife and Hammer
Jo
Bo
Spear
Flexible Cord
Nunchaku
Punch Dagger
Rolling Pin
Coffee Cup

I practiced striking, blocking, and throwing all these weapons in the air and at targets. I realized my left arm is a sea of injury and my off hand needs to be more active. I drilled basics, combinations, and scenarios with each of the weapons, exploring different grips, footwork, and methods of execution.

Like I said, I always love this workout. It's a big part of my training. I would say I do at least two or three hours a week like this. What weapons do you guys like to train with? How much of your training do you devote to these kinds of exercises? Do you prefer to stick with traditional martial arts weapons or do you like to mix it up? Last week I spent some time with a jump rope, a medicine ball, a tonfa, and a mantrap chair. The other day I just grabbed a tactical folder and spent forty five minutes on thrusts and slashes. Do you guys mix it up? Or are you straight empty handed? Like I said, I consider myself an empty handed fighter, but I do love picking up tools.


-Rob
 

Champ-Pain

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I had to take my wife to work this morning, so I was up early with a few hours to kill before I had to go to work myself. I wanted to do some training and I wanted to do something a little different, so I went with a weapons workout.

I love working out with weapons. I'm usually an empty handed fighter, that's where I've done most of my training, but I play with weapons all the time and it's always a really great workout. I love the exploration of motion and the unique aspects of each weapon I pick up, and it's a great way to really feel out your body. See what twinges and what needs work. Adding a weapon to the mix really emphasizes all your sloppy circles and tweaked elbows. I always walk away feeling worn out and a lot better.

So today I started with a one handed sword, but I pretty quickly started picking up everything I could find and swinging it around.

One Handed Sword
Two One Handed Swords
Buckler
One Handed Sword and Buckler
Dagger and Buckler
Hand and a Half Sword
Dueling Dagger
Grappling Dagger
Knife
Double Knife
Stick
Double Stick
Hammer
Stick and Hammer
Knife and Hammer
Jo
Bo
Spear
Flexible Cord
Nunchaku
Punch Dagger
Rolling Pin
Coffee Cup

I practiced striking, blocking, and throwing all these weapons in the air and at targets. I realized my left arm is a sea of injury and my off hand needs to be more active. I drilled basics, combinations, and scenarios with each of the weapons, exploring different grips, footwork, and methods of execution.

Like I said, I always love this workout. It's a big part of my training. I would say I do at least two or three hours a week like this. What weapons do you guys like to train with? How much of your training do you devote to these kinds of exercises? Do you prefer to stick with traditional martial arts weapons or do you like to mix it up? Last week I spent some time with a jump rope, a medicine ball, a tonfa, and a mantrap chair. The other day I just grabbed a tactical folder and spent forty five minutes on thrusts and slashes. Do you guys mix it up? Or are you straight empty handed? Like I said, I consider myself an empty handed fighter, but I do love picking up tools.


-Rob
I'm going to play devil's advocate here. How many of those weapons do you carry around with you for protection and how many are actually available to you in a time of need?

For fun and for show, sure, I get it... but who trains in M/A weapons in order to some day use them in a real life situation, when facing danger from an attacker/attackers, who want to cause you injury and/or death, for whatever reason?
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Rob I think that is absolutely awesome!
I have a feeling your house might more closely resemble some midevil torture chamber then a comfortable home, but that is awesome!
I am jealous that i do not have some of the weapons you do!!
I think diversity in training will do nothing but help you. I might recommend taking time out to hit a shooting range, and do something similar with your own, or rental weapons. Getting a feel for different calibers, and different weapons from revolvers, to semi automatic handguns, shotguns, rifles, assault style weapons, etc.
I will occasionally get a group of friends and we will all bring a range of different firearms and we will go shoot everything, for a few hours.. man thats fun!
 

Flying Crane

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traditional Chinese weaponry is integral to the practice of most Chinese martial arts.

I regularly practice staff, spear, dao (curved Chinese "broadsword") and Jian (Chinese straight sword). These are what I have some training with, and a basis on which to practice.

In addition to this I enjoy archery, and I regularly draw my bows to maintain the necessary strength, since I'm shooting some pretty heavy bows. If you don't maintain it, you do lose that strength. I draw both right and left handed, to balance the strength development.

I know that sifu teaches a number of others, but I've not yet been trained with them.

The thing about weapons training that I feel is really useful is that it reinforces my foundation and basics, and makes all my my kung fu better. It forces me to strive for full body integration in technique. If I try to "muscle" the weapon, it just makes me tired and I cannot keep it up for long. But when I properly engage the full body, I can keep on going. THis is important in the empty hand stuff as well, so it all just reinforces it.

I also train with realistic weaponry, not the lightweight stuff. A workout with this stuff is really taxing, and helps develop a very useful strength without having to actually pump iron, which I personally find boring.

I am curious Rob: do you have training with all those weapons, or is it something you experiment with on your own?
 

Champ-Pain

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I will occasionally get a group of friends and we will all bring a range of different firearms and we will go shoot everything, for a few hours.. man thats fun!
Let me know the next time you and your friends go shoot "EVERYTHING", so I can stay the hell outta the area and outta your way. LOL
 

Ken Morgan

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Are you doing specific weapons kata or are you just incorporating the weapons into your free hand forms? Are you just working out or are you practicing use of the weapons?
 
OP
Thesemindz

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I am curious Rob: do you have training with all those weapons, or is it something you experiment with on your own?

Are you doing specific weapons kata or are you just incorporating the weapons into your free hand forms? Are you just working out or are you practicing use of the weapons?

To answer both of you guys, its a combination of different practices. I learned sets and kata for club, double club, staff, and spear. My old instructor and I also practiced two handed swords, nunchaku, tonfa, knife, and double knife together. I incorporate the basic empty handed motions, along with the eight angles and nine directions and footwork patterns, while exploring further applications of weapons like bucklers and hammers; always taking into account the unique aspects of the weapon. Fencing and Dueling Dagger are the same weapon employed with two different training methodologies. When I'm fencing, I'm focusing on deception, evasion, and cutting. When I'm grappling, I'm focused on using the weapon for leverage and attacking vulnerable targets with the weapon in the on or off hand. I practice draws and redraws, chambering and regripping the weapons including rolls, switches and tosses, transfers, and grip transitions. And of course dropping the weapon.

I haven't had formal training with one handed swords, flexible whips, short staff, or punch dagger, but I have spent a significant amount of my own time playing with and exploring these tools and how to deploy them. Many of the lessons about motion I learn from kenpo inform my exploration of the application of environmental weapons like coffee cups and rolling pins. I was never formally trained with a mantrap chair either, but I've spent more than a few hours practicing with one.

I use the exploration of weapons to help me to learn about my self and my body. And to learn about how to employ everyday items in a violent fashion with careful attention paid to the structure of the weapon. Edge of a knife, head of a hammer, tip of a spear, edge of a mantrap chair, face of a buckler. Whatever weapon you pick up has its own unique aspects that have to be immediately grasped and expressed. I like to mix it up as much as possible to keep me constantly shifting motions and tactics. I also try to spend a significant portion of my weapons training executing empty hand strikes while holding weapons. For instance, punching and kicking with the club in the hand. I find it is easy to get fixated on the weapon, both on offense and defense, and I try to train to incorporate the weapon into a fully functional assault platform.

Sometimes I just do club assist stretches, or practice just holding the weapon and carrying it around. I think it's important to get comfortable and familiar with what it feels like to carry and draw weapons. Sometimes I just pick up the weapon and put it down, again and again, from the edge of a table, or the floor, or the bed. Sometimes I just practice switches, or sinawali, or hooking and manipulating my off arm with a weapon in my hand.

That morning, I wanted to get a sweat on. So there was a lot of stomping and breathing and swinging the weapons and grunting and visualizing real opponents in street and home invasion scenarios. I worked out for almost two hours and felt pretty good when I was done.

You can get a lot of weapon work in pretty easily if you're creative with what you have around the house. I have a spatula I use to do knife work in the living room because I don't want to accidently throw a knife through my flat screen tv. Sometimes I just practice whipping around the earphones from my iphone. My wife has actually had to put her hand on my hand when I unconsciously picked up my silverware wrapped in a napkin at a restaurant once and started spinning it without realizing. Oops.

Like I said, I consider myself an empty hand fighter, but I try to spend a few hours a week with some kind of tool in my hand. Since working with that hammer the other day I've really been taken with it. It's a rubber head mallet style post hammer with a foot long handle. Doing the knife work was starting to get to me a little bit, all the stabbing and slashing, and working with the hammer has an earthier feel to it. It's blunt, and heavy, and the offensive and defensive techniques it lends itself to are less airy. I'm enjoying it.

Will I have a sword in my hand if I get attacked? Well, to be fair I do spend a few hours a week with one in my hand, so I'm more likely to have one than if I didn't do that. But no, probably not. I like to think that all the training I do transcends the limitations of one weapon or tool. I'm not claiming any expertise, but it's the same way I see my empty hand techniques. I know punch defenses, but the whole point is to transcend technique and fight effectively. Whether I'm actually carrying a jo or not, the plan is to be dangerous with anything I might be able to get my hands on, including the earth and my opponent.

It's not perfect. But it's a plan.


-Rob
 

Langenschwert

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Do you guys mix it up? Or are you straight empty handed? Like I said, I consider myself an empty handed fighter, but I do love picking up tools.

I'm mostly a weapons practicioner so that should give you your answer right there!

I do need to work on my one-handed sword (messer, actually) more though. I stick mainly to longsword since the techniques transfer to many other weapons. I'd love to have more time so I could do a lot of sword and buckler as well. As it is, my HEMA training is mostly longsword, dagger (with defence against the dagger) and ringen (grappling).

Best regards,

-Mark
 

Sukerkin

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Same as Mark, I'm solely pursuing an armed art these days (as the right arm damage from a bike accident prevented me from continuing my kung fu training).

I don't train in the expectation of using my skill with a katana/longsword in a self-defence situation ... but it doesn't mean I couldn't if I had to (assuming an attack in my home of course - I don't walk around with my swords after all :D).
 

Mark Lynn

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I'm going to play devil's advocate here. How many of those weapons do you carry around with you for protection and how many are actually available to you in a time of need?

For fun and for show, sure, I get it... but who trains in M/A weapons in order to some day use them in a real life situation, when facing danger from an attacker/attackers, who want to cause you injury and/or death, for whatever reason?

Well, Rob's list of weapons doesn't really contain weapons of just M/A, in facthis list contains several weapons that are more of the weapons of opportunity than strictly M/A weapons. These types of weapons could or would be more available in a real life situation.

From Rob's list
Knife
Double knife
Coffee cup
Rolling Pin
Hammer
Flexible cord

In the construction industry than a Hammer, knife and / or double knife, even a flexible cord could be at your disposal.

In a cooking industry than the knife, double knife, Rolling pin, coffee cup, could be handy.

Hiking in the woods than the walking sticks (staffs) could be used, as well as the knife / double knife, flexible cord, coffee cup etc. etc. could be used.

At home any number of these things might be around your house.

Mark
 

Kemposhot

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Rob I think that is absolutely awesome!
I have a feeling your house might more closely resemble some midevil torture chamber then a comfortable home, but that is awesome!
I am jealous that i do not have some of the weapons you do!!
I think diversity in training will do nothing but help you. I might recommend taking time out to hit a shooting range, and do something similar with your own, or rental weapons. Getting a feel for different calibers, and different weapons from revolvers, to semi automatic handguns, shotguns, rifles, assault style weapons, etc.
I will occasionally get a group of friends and we will all bring a range of different firearms and we will go shoot everything, for a few hours.. man thats fun!

I've done this as well with several of my friends. As long as you're safe its a great way to spend a few hours and can be a lot of fun. Not to mention it allows you to get a feel for many different types of firearms.
 

chinto

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I work out with weapons at least once a month. and well fire arms at the range... when i can. its good to work out with weapons as well as enjoyable.
 

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