SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

Round and Round We Go

June 2nd, 2024
My head is spinning…

What have we done over the last three weeks? Lots of combinations in the MDP classes, work on the butterfly guard in BJJ, keeping our hands up in kids class during sparring, and apparently, some sort of amazing double scorpion kick.

Membership Bonuses

May 29th, 2024

Being part of the gym is amazing enough but we’ve got all sorts of community partners who work with us to give members discounts on cool stuff.

Emma is both a gym member and a community partner who offers cool stuff. What cool stuff? Acupuncture.

If you’re a member and you go see her, she’ll give you $20 off her normal rate of $100 an hour. I see her every month for my back and it is a huge help. So if you’ve got an owie, go in and get needled!

Summer Strength!

May 17th, 2024

It’s not officially summer, but it’s never too soon to offer a special, right? Well here it is. Pay $100 today and you can train at the gym all the way through August 31st in any/all the classes you want.

For clarity: $100 gets you access to our entire schedule: yoga, crossfit, martial arts, kids classes. So much savings. Our normal monthly rate is $160, so you’re saving at least $380 and more than that for every day in May you squeeze in.

There are two limits to this awesome deal. One, you have to be a new student who hasn’t taken classes with us before. Two, you have to be 8 years old or older (sorry, 4-7 year olds, our younger kids program is bursting at the seams.

Click here to seal the summer deal. (And yes, even though it’s under “adult intros” it works for kids ages 8 and up.)

Membership Benefits

May 4th, 2024

As you can see, we’ve added a new membership benefit: if you’re a paying gym member, you get $20 off a massage with one of our favorite LMTs, George Bare of Vital Integrity Massage.

Pretty cool stuff, obviously, but did you know you also get access to our whole schedule? That’s right. CrossFit classes, Yoga classes, all the various martial arts classes. If you are a paying member, they are ALL open to you. I mean, I guess don’t go to the kids class for 4 year olds unless you are actually a four year old child, but you get the idea (I hope.)

If you’ve got kids, you also get a discount on our kids camps and free access to our movie nights. You also get access to our book club meetings because, well, our gym is full of people who love to read.

Most importantly, you get to hang out with amazing people and learn awesome things.


An Even Fuller Range of Motion

April 27th, 2024

One of the constant reminders you’ll hear at the gym is that you should be moving your body through a “full range of motion.” It’s a great idea… but what does it mean?

Ideally, it means we should be strong throughout the range of motion of a muscle. So if we’re using that exemplar of muscles, the biceps, it means we want to be strong when the elbow joint is all the way closed (fist as close to the shoulder as possible), when the elbow joint is all the way open (the arm is flat), and all points in between. The theory goes that if you’re weak anywhere in that range of motion, that is the place you’re going to get hurt, so in your training you should strive to move through a full range of motion.

Alright, so if that’s true, then why stop at the floor with a deadlift? Why not stand on a box and keep lowering the weight down until the hip joint is all the way closed? Well, turns out most of us are a lot stronger lifting from the floor than when we stand on a box and it’s nice to be stronger through that (usually) more functional range of motion (we’re not picking things out of holes as often as we are picking things up off the ground) so it would be kind of a bummer to do lighter weights in that bigger range of motion.

But what about the rule?! Full range of motion all day all the time! Maybe. I think there’s strong (pun intended) practical benefits to getting stronger in that functional range of motion where you pick things up from the ground but I also think standing on a box and gaining strength in that greater range of motion is also awesome. Why not? Life will inevitably require us to lift something out of a hole at some point so we might as well not suck at it.

One way to ease into this extra range of motion is to use smaller, metal weights like 25s. It’s kind of shocking how much harder it is to move through that extra range of motion. Go light, but give it a whirl, and then the day you’ve got to reach down and heft that random toddler from an extremely shallow well, you’ll thank me.