Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Mats

Finally, we've got mats. I lucked out a few days ago while looking through Craigs List (hoping I might find a Concept II rower) and came across a listing for wrestling mats - lucky me. We've been looking into mats for awhile and had decided on Zebra Mats, which would have cost around $500 for a 10x15 area (minimum order). The mats I found on Craigs List were 11x11, a little smaller but about half the price and no shipping to worry about.

We are going to start up some basic drills and technique practice for ground fighting during our next workout.

Friday, September 19, 2008


The insane training schedule of a pro Muay Thai gym.

I’ve had some questions recently about training in Thailand, a lofty but worthwhile goal. In the past, 10 years ago, I had a few training partners that went every year or so and they loved it. As result, I recently decided to look into training routines and costs for training over there, the first gym I thought of is Kaewsamrit Gym .

Morning Session 6 a.m.
  • 10-12 kilometer run.
  • Pad session 3-4 (5 minute) rounds with one round focusing on boxing and elbows only.
  • Bag work 4 (5 minute) rounds
  • 30 minutes of clinch and knee work
  • general conditioning work such as pull-ups, 300 sit-ups
  • light warm down (I’m not to sure what they consider light)
  • 10 a.m. morning meal followed by rest period

Afternoon Session 3 p.m
  • skipping for 30 minutes
  • Pad work with trainer 5-6 (5 minute rounds) with 1-2 rounds focusing on boxing and elbows only.
  • Bagwork 5 rounds of 5 minute duration
  • Technical sparing 3 rounds of 5 minute duration
  • 30 minutes of Clinch and knee work
  • light jog of 2-3 kilometers
  • 300 knees on heavy bag and 100 kicks
  • general conditioning work such as pull-ups and 300 sit-ups.
  • Followed by light warm down.
They post at the end of the routine that “This is routine followed by the top Thai boxers in the gym and foreign students are not expected to reach this level straight away and are given time to build up to a level comfortable for them”.

The cost for training at Kaewsamrit is about 30 US dollars a day for the first 15 days. Pretty inexpensive for the hour of training.

Youtube Videos of Kaewsamrit

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Crossfit Will County

Today I visited Crossfit Will County since they had an open house and I thought it would be a good excuse to stop by. Luckily the open house was during the only time today that it wasn’t raining. While Crossfit Will County (CFWC) is not a fighting gym I do feel Crossfit is the best approach for general conditioning for fighters and just to illustrate my point there was a wrestler and MMA competitor at the open house.

CFWC is owned and operated by John and Shannon Edmondson, and their affiliate is the only one in this area of Illinois (the next closest is in St. Charles) and I’m lucky enough to be fairly close to them. I first met John and Shannon earlier this year before they got certified and became an affiliate – John put me through a brutal workout consisting of 5 rounds of ring dips, tire flips, kettlebell swings (and 2 other exercises that I can’t remember since I can’t find my workout log for the first part of this year) – it wasn’t my first Crossfit workout but it was my first with another Crossfitter.

At the open house John did a great job of introducing the concepts and approach of Crossfit: fitness defined as “Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains”, and Crossfit’s approach to attaining this fitness “Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity”.

After introducing the concepts they put some lucky people through some abbreviated, but still tough, workouts. The first one was consisted of continuous 1 minute rounds of: rowing (on concept II rower), push press, air squats and ketttlebell swings followed by a 1 minute rest and repeated. The other mini workout I missed but know included Turkish Getups and Burpee’s.

If you want to greatly improve your conditioning, (enabling you to fight harder and longer), I encourage you to check out Crossfit Will County, you won’t be sorry.

To learn more about Crossfit check out What is Crossfit?.

For another brief review of the CFWC check out Trinity Training Group‘s blog.

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Friday, September 12, 2008


Beta-alanine is a promising supplement for combat athletes, the research is encouraging but not a lot has been published so far. I am intrigued by beta-alanine and its potential for improving high intensity workouts, especially work capacity and that is the reason for this experiment. If it is able to significantly improve work capacity, by delaying fatique, it would certainly increase fighting capacity. As a result, I decided to be my own guinea pig. My experiment will run for 3 ½ weeks (limited by my supply of beta-alanine). To test whether it is effective at improving work capacity I’m using a benchmark workout from Crossfit –Fran which consists of back to back sets of Pull-ups and Thrusters at 21, 15, 9 reps per set and done for time. I did “Fran” this morning using 75 pounds for Thrusters and started supplements after the workout. After my 25 day trial I will perform Fran again and compare times. My diet and training will be no different than it is currently (low/reduced carb diet, and workouts of boxing, muay thai and Crossfit).

My supplements over the next 3 ½ weeks will be as follows:
4800mg/day, day’s 1-7
3200mg/day, day’s 8-25
10g/day, day’s 1-7
5g/day, day’s 8-25

This is purely a “Case Study” since I’m the only subject and I’m not controlling for every conceivable factor (knowing I’m on the supplement I may push harder than usual and over train or just be more vigilant about my training and diet). It’ll be interesting to see the results.

Baseline “Fran” from this morning: 9:40 minutes
I’ll post final results on October 8th – after performing “Fran” again.

If you have any possitive or negative experience with beta-alanine and fight training share by posting to "Comments" below.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


I made my first visit to a local fight gym Combat-Do last Tuesday evening. I first heard about this gym from a neighbor friend of mine who is a High School wrestler – his wrestling club was using their mats for practice on the weekends. He gave me a big thumbs up about Master Bob and the grappling training at the school – that was enough to make me want to check it out. At that time, the location was new and it took me a few trips over searching for the address to find it (the location didn’t have its own phone number at the time). After finding the location I had to find out when they held classes – they didn’t list their Plainfield location until earlier this summer (I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I had just called the Cicero phone number). Well, it’s taken me awhile but I finally got there last week for an evening MMA class.

Workout: Combat-Do is owned and run by Master Bob Schirmer a very experienced and dedicated instructor. I originally set out just to contact the school but missed everyone at lunchtime and after calling and reaching Master Bob I was set to come in at 6:30 for the MMA class. I have heard many good things about Master Bob by word of mouth and he lived up to all of it. He runs a tough class; we did literally hundreds of push-ups, sit-ups and flutter kicks. General conditioning also consisted of sprint work interspersed with push-ups, sit-ups, flutter kicks, jumping jacks, etc. So, without a question you will get an amazing workout.

Trainers: The class I was in was run by Master Bob so I can certainly state that instruction was excellent. Other people who helped out the class at points were also effective and attentive instructors.

Equipment: The school has a boxing ring, MMA Cage, wrestling mats (that’s where the workout I attended was held) in addition to hanging thai heavy bags, focus mitts, thai pads, kicking pads, a large tire for flipping and sledgehammer work, etc. All in all a very well equipped gym.

Type of Fighting: Combat-Do does not focus exclusively on stand up or grappling, they train both but there is a concentration on grappling (jujitsu/judo etc.) at least in the MMA class I was in. In addition to conditioning a good portion of my workout consisted of low and high thai kicks on kicking pads, stand up Greco Roman wrestling drills, and Jiu-Jitsu throws and submissions.

Sparring: While we didn’t do any sparring in the class I was in they do spar at the gym (hence the ring and cage).

Competition: Not only do they encourage competition in judo/jujitsu (which is easier to enter into at my age group – there are enough competitors that age and experience level allows you to be matched with people of the same level of experience) but they also host competitions annually or semiannually the Combat-Do Fighting Challenge and the Midwest Jiu-Jitsu Tournament (which are both being held this month). The video below is from Combat-Do Fighting Challenge 9:

Cost for training: For MMA training costs range from $150 to $175 a month, which is comparable to other gyms I have been to. This covers you for any and all classes that you attend at either location as well as open gym time for training. If you have more than one family member training additional members are discounted.

In addition to MMA classes they also offer Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing and children’s classes (outside of training with me, this is where I really want my daughter Callie train).

If you live in Plainfield or Cicero this is a group you can really learn a lot from, I wholeheartedly recommend Combat-Do and intend on working out there in the future when my schedule allows it.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Local gyms and upcoming posts

I’ve been away for a bit, both literally and figuratively, but I’m back and set to make up for it this week. Some upcoming things to look for:
  • Reviews of local gyms and trainers
  • New videos on focus mitt training and glove drills
In and around Plainfield we have a number of gyms that focus on fighting (boxing, kickboxing and grappling) and I’m set to visit them all and give you some information on their training methods, how they run workouts, open gym time (important if you want to work technique or conditioning outside of class using the gyms equipment), what their focus is (stand up, ground, competition, conditioning etc.) as well as information on their fees.
In reading my reviews I will be using the following list for giving you information on the gyms I visit:
  1. A great workout/conditioning
  2. Trainer’s – good instructors
  3. Equipment – what they use to train. While this isn’t a pre-requisite for a good gym (many great gyms produce great fighters with minimal equipment) it is something that many people look for.
  4. Type of fighting: Stand-up fighting- boxing, kickboxing, Grappling – wrestling, jui-jitsu, judo, etc.
  5. Sparring – contact, light contact, non-contact, stand up, grappling
  6. Competition – do they host competitions, train fighters for competition, competitive fighters train at the gym
  7. Price: while there are inexpensive gyms most offer training at a premium price (you pay for the experience of the instructors). Schools that run strictly conditioning and those training competitive fighters run from as low as $30 up to $200 a month
Most gyms are able to fulfill #1 on the list above (workout/conditioning). While my concentration is preparation for fighting and I feel preparing for competition (whether you actually compete or not) is important since this is the best preparation for real combat – I know that many others prefer a different approach so I will strive to be clear in my reviews as to what different gyms offer.

If you wish me to feature your gym or training group please contact me via email (available at my "About Me" link on the side bar.
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