SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

Yeah, but less Seriously

July 14th, 2024

We are, for better or worse, stuck inside these mortal bodies. Given that, it makes sense to put some effort into maintaining a decent state of physicality so that you can have some fun during your brief sojourn on planet earth.
So yeah, physical fitness is serious business. It is, in the end, the only business we have. If your physical fitness reaches zero… then you’re no more. Given all that, we use CrossFit as a methodology to do out best while also realizing that if you take anything too seriously, especially things that are serious, you ruin it… and if you treat everything as a joke, you also ruin everything.
CrossFit is hard. Put some comedy in your seriousness and some seriousness in your comedy. You’ll last longer, or at least die smiling.

A Padded Difference

July 11th, 2024

Look at all those pads. Padded mats, padded gloves, padded shin guards.
Why so many pads? So we can play.
Is it still a real fight? Absolutely not. So is it martial arts? Absolutely yes. We make sure to be clear with all our students (young and old) that the games we play are just that – games. They are related to fighting, of course, but they are also designed to reduce the risk of injury and thus… aren’t fighting.

But then if it isn’t fighting, how is it martial arts? It’s a tricky balance, isn’t it? You’ve got to figure out how to train the things that might happen in a fight but not so hard you get hurt because then you can’t train. Plus you can’t train all the things that might happen because anything could happen. Add on to all that if you take any of it too seriously, it gets very boring and who wants to come back day after day to boring stuff.
So put on the pads and let’s play.

Do the CrossFitters Get a Theme?

July 10th, 2024

Yes they do. It’s not fair that the martial arts people have all the fun. The CrossFitters get the super cool themes… like July’s theme: bagel jokes.
I mean, also we focus on two movements for 10 weeks at a time, test on the first week, do work for 8 weeks, and then retest on the 10th week but that’s the boring stuff. Bring on the bagel jokes.

July Striking Theme: Lead Hook

July 9th, 2024

If those wrasslers get to have a theme, then the punchy people should get one too… and so July became the month of lead hooks.
Although throwing a good punch seems like it should be easy, it isn’t. It takes years of practice to get good at all the pieces that add up to a quality strike and even after all that, if you’re just practicing into the bag then you probably will still be lousy and figuring out when to use it in sparring or a self defense situation.
Putting aside the harsh truth that any movement art takes time and effort to get good at, let’s just look at this strange fact instead: the lead hook is going to be thrown with your non-dominant hand. This won’t always be true, of course, you might be one of those oddballs that plays in the opposite stance that you’re “supposed to” or one of those heroes that can switch smoothly between both stances but well let’s ignore those people for now too and focus on the majority of people (who will be throwing a lead hook with their off hand.)
As we all know, learning new stuff with your off hand is hard. So it follows that the lead hook is going to be hard. Which is why so many people don’t invest much time in it, which is why people are bad at it, which is why we are focusing on it… so we can get less bad!
Yay for getting less bad at things. I think it helps to acknowledge why things are hard, plus it makes you feel even more awesome when you improve.

I Wanna Spar the Coach!

July 8th, 2024

All the kids want to spar the coaches in class. Why is that?
Well, I think it’s because we’re super fun but also because we have really good control. Add on to that the fact that we’re much bigger than them and if they slip up and wallop us, we can usually (some of the kids hit hard) take the shot without too much trouble.
With all that in mind, we sell it to the kids. Try to make it so everyone wants to spar YOU as much as they want to spar us. They get it. That means getting confident with your skills, having fun, and having great control… all three of which are incredibly awesome goals.