IN THIS ISSUE
1 - An Interview with Wild Geese Judo Coach, Donal Tannam
2 - Wild Geese Pro Shop
3 - Boil the Frog
4 - Praetorian Training
5 - On The Blog
1- An Interview with Wild Geese Judo Coach, Donal Tannam
It's a cold February night as I walk towards the Wild Geese Martial Arts club. It’s nestled down a lane way between Pearse Street and the once bustling financial district. It's eerily quiet along the strip; it was a hive of activity at one stage.
My destination is an interview with Donal Tannam, the Judo instructor at the club. Like many casualties of the economic quagmire, Donal is finding alternative ways and means of fighting the dreaded downturn. His story is an inspiration because so many of his generation have suffered and surrendered, as a result of abandonment and the blatant disloyalty of big business in Ireland.
As I wait respectfully for the kids class to conclude Donal keeps them busy with advice and humour until they are effectively out the front door. His enthusiasm is self evident. We sit down on an old couch in temporary residence within the Dojo and etiquette demands no shoes are worn whilst on the mat.
(Donal pictured on the right receiving a Bronze at the 2009 World Masters in Atlanta, USA)
My story begins.
Donal began his Judo in 1977, training in Parkgate Street under Olympian Mr Liam Carroll. He steadily rose within the ranks until marriage and college whisked him away from training. Turning his attention to Architecture in the 1980's Donal began working with a firm in a decade where unemployment was rife and the building boom was a far flung dream. Employment in the 80's was an achievement in itself, however what was looming on the horizon caught a nation unawares.
We were about to undergo an economic seismic shift on a scale never before seen.
Within a decade Donal was working to capacity. Property prices inflated and demand for buildings spiralled like a growing snowball hurtling down Mount Everest. Problem was, Mount Everest has a bottom.
Donal spoke about a frenzied stress as deadline after deadline was rolled out. Stress levels along with a desire for healthier days led Donal back to Judo. So with his Son in hand he returned to training at the Daigokan Club in Killester and began his pursuit of the coveted black belt. Along the way he found a knack for instructing and a focus which honed his mind and released the pressure of a hectic profession.
Carried over from his training in Judo, Donal is an advocate of efficient technique over brute strength. This efficiency led him to draft manuals within his professional life to promote alternative proficient work practices. In between twenty four hour working days, weeks of straight slog and ferocious demands of the Celtic tiger economy Donal Tannam achieved his black belt.
Within my own limited knowledge, this is no mean feat. Ten fights must be won within a fixed period, along with various other assessments.
However, the years went by quickly and the bubble began to deflate. He sensed the decline in the building trade and offered to cut back on his hours before the axe fell. It was refused. After twenty five years service Donal was forced into redundancy. He recalls deadlines and pressure right up until the end.
Martial Arts, for me, is a test against every doubt we posses. To suddenly become redundant after a long career is a hurdle that would fell many but Donal chose differently.
I remind myself that I'm sitting with a World Masters double bronze medallist who achieved a black belt at thirty eight, when most people are winding down. He is a Judoka of great humility and perseverance. Although in his fifties, he is an avid competitor who still fights for the sheer love of the sport.
The Wild Geese Judo Club has grown sizeably since its foundation less than a year ago and plans are afoot to build a solid foundation built on very capable players and a more than capable instructor. Quality over quantity is his motto. Efficiency over muscle, and at it's the core is the implied principle of fortitude. Life’s lessons have moulded a person with focus, a Judoka with tenacity and a gentleman into the fold. It’s heartening to see the club flourish whilst rising above a wave of gloom which is washing over many blue collar victims, none more prevalent or saddening as the casualties of the construction industry.
Donal is one of many Martial Artists I will meet to ascertain the positive aspects of their training. In a discipline steeped in struggle one can't help but be susceptible to empowerment. In a gloomy era we can take heart from such tales and as you limp home from another arduous session, or nurse a swollen hand, remember, through struggle comes growth. Adversity will test many and the tools bestowed through intense discipline will equip you for the unknown. The mental toughness ingrained through years of discipline can only fortify the practitioner.
Whilst many are turning to quick fixes and instant gratification to cope with a sudden plunge in fortunes, a little gem, like so many Dojos, lays in wait - down a narrow lane way just off Pearse Street. All fighters welcome.
Jonathon is a freelance author, Tae Kwon Do black belt and Judo beginner. He will be performing a series of interviews with the Wild Geese coaching team.
2- Wild Geese Pro Shop
Wild Geese Martial Arts training gear is now available!
We’ve searched for the highest quality of goods and I think we’ve succedded in finding a manufacturer that has the same high standards you have come to expect from Wild Geese.
In stock we have:
14oz Boxing Gloves
Wild Geese Hoodies
Shin & Insteps (These were snapped up in a heartbeat and are currently sold out! We’ll have more in soon)
All are available through our shop page
Much of the kit is flying out the door, the shin pads are already sold out and the Boxing Gloves are nearly all gone. The feedback we’re getting from the fighters using the gear is all good.
One heavyweight kick boxer states:
"3 days per week, hard bag work and sparring over the last month and they still look brand new. They’re as good as my old Top Pro gloves”
On our next order we will be offering even more gear. We’ve been testing a JuJitsu uniform, using it in both Judo and BJJ classes, so far it still looks brand new. We’ll also be bringing in Cotton T-shirts with a broader range of designs on them.
Which brings me to my next offer:
Bespoke training apparel.
If you have your own club logo and wish to have Hoodies, Tshirts, rash guards etc branded up, please drop us a line. There is a minimum order of 25 pieces per design but I can assure you the price and quality will not disappoint.
To arrange to have your own designs on your training gear, simple send through the logo as jpeg or similar, along with some design info, such as placement, colours, etc. Let us know what items you wish to have the design on, T shirt, Gi, Hoodie etc. And then we’ll get back to you with the best price.
Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
3- Boil the Frog
by Charles Staley, B.Sc., MSS
Acute, catastrophic injuries resulting from weight training are thankfully, rare.
For those of us with chronic, painful, “non-descript” injuries however, that fact is less than comforting. There’s nothing more frustrating than that all-too-familiar “it doesn’t hurt until I lift” pain.
Sometimes, these injuries take the form of chronic inflammatory problems such as medialepichondialitis (tennis elbow), a shoulder that clicks, low back spasm, heel pain, the list goes on and on. Often, these injuries are unnoticed during normal day to day activities, but as soon as you try to run or lift, or anything else, there it is again. This leads to the observation that weight training doesn’t cause injuries, it reveals them.
In this article I’m going to outline a training method that, more times than not, will allow you to re-establish your training without flaring up those injuries. I call it the “boil the frog” method. But first, let’s look at a few things you really should consider if the opening paragraphs of this article sound like you.
1. Get a complete physical. Blood work, the whole nine yards. Make sure your hormones are balanced, that you don’t have any glaring nutritional deficiencies, stuff like that. Incidentally, very few people seem to appreciate that health SCREENING is not preventative— screening by itself won’t improve your health. It just tells you what’s wrong. Nevertheless, it’s important to rule out as many factors as possible before you start examining things in more detail.
2. Massage does a lot more than “relieve tired muscels,” as the miss spelled sign at my local 24-Hour Fitness Center states. A good soft-tissue therapist can assess your “basic” soft-tissue health— is your muscle tissue healthy, or is it loaded with spasm and trigger points? This is an important step because if you’ve got spasmed tissue, your training efforts will just lead to further spasm and scar tissue. Here’s what happens: a spasm is basically a hyper-contracted chunk of muscle— in other words, it’s contracting on it’s own volition, not because you’re asking it to contract. Over time, that little chunk of muscle becomes ischemic— meaning, it’s not getting sufficient oxygen.
Eventually, that leads to tissue death and ultimately, a scar. Now you’re screwed, because when you train that muscle, there’s less tissue available to do the same job, and the borders of that scar tend to tear, then spasm, then lose oxygen, then scar, etc., etc. Bottom line— if you don’t have spasmed tissue addressed with massage, it just gets bigger and bigger.
3. Seek to achieve an “anti-inflammatory diet.” Avoid processed carbohydrates, and make sure you’re getting adequate protein, water, and EFA’s. If you don’t know how to eat, go to www.JohnBerardi.com or www.metabolicDiet.com.
4. Don’t ignore flexibility and aerobic exercise. You don’t have to make a career out of it, but resistance training tends to be “anti-circulatory” (when you contract a muscle more than about 75% of it’s maximum force, it actually shuts off it’s own blood supply) as well as “procontracture” (meaning, tends to shorten muscle tissue).
Now It’s Time to Boil That Frog
There’s an old parable about what happens when you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water— it’s jumps out! However, as the parable teaches us, if you put the frog in some warm water, it just sits there fat and happy. Now what you do is slowly, ever so slowly, turn up the temperature until the water boils, and the frog never knows the difference.
OK, I know, probably at some point the frog will jump out, but don’t miss the point of the story: if you apply a stress very consistently and gradually, and provide adequate resources for recovery, the organism (body, muscle, tendon, whatever), will learn to tolerate it.
Now keep in mind, some problems are not fixable, no matter what you do. For example, if you have no meniscus cartilage in your knee, you’ll probably never become a marathon runner (on the other hand, I know of at least one instance of a one-legged athlete squatting over 600 pounds in official competition!) But if your injuries have ANY possibility of healing, I have a way to do that.
Why Charles Couldn’t Squat, And How He Fixed It
Here’s a practical example of how this principle actually worked for me: In 1986 I had a total open synovectomy on my right knee to (hopefully) solve a nasty case of synovial osteo-chondramotosis. In plain English, the synovial lining of my knee was, for whatever reason, producing little pieces of calcium that would break off and start wandering around in my knee joint.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the surgery worked, but left me with only about 110 degrees of flexion in that knee. So after about 5-6 years of weight training, I created a hip imbalance that over time, rendered me unable to squat without constantly tearing my left adductor muscle(s). You cannot imagine (OK, maybe you can) the frustration I experienced, not being able to squat, deadlift, or perform any lower body movement without having 4-5 days of massive soreness in my left adductor (if it was both adductors, I probably would have been happy!).
In any event, I initiated an experiment. One day, I squatted the empty bar for 3 sets of 5 reps, confident that this ridiculously minor load would have no adverse effect.
I was wrong. The next morning, I lightly tore my left adductor sitting down on the toilet. I was livid and frustrated beyond description. But I persevered. Six days later, my adductor felt fine, so I grabbed that bar and did one single set of 5 reps— 1/3 the load of the previous workout.
Next day, hmmm. A little bit of soreness in the left adductor. As soon as that soreness was gone (about 2 days later), I did 45 for 2 sets of 5. Again, this resulted in light soreness. So 2 days later I did 2x5 again, and FINALLY, this load did not injure me at all.
Gradually, I worked my way up, and to reach the conclusion of the story, today I can squat 450. I won’t win too many power meets with that squat, but for a 44 year old geek with a knee that (according to my surgeon) shouldn’t permit me to even walk, I consider it a victory.
10 Steps For Training Pain-Free
If your goals mean enough to you can you can delay gratification, I believe you can experience similar results in your own training. There are a number of ways you can set up your training cycle. You can use whatever your favorite weekly training split, but consider these suggestions:
1. Use the widest possible variety of exercises, stressing varied positions and joint angles. Especially stress positions that you don’t tend to use for fear of injury.
2. At the beginning use loads that you’re SURE will not provoke your injury. This might in some cases mean doing stuff like curling no weight for 5 sets of 5 (yes, I’m serious).
3. Progress VERY gradually. In the case of the empty curls, work up to 5x6, then 5x7, etc. When you hit 5x10, start curling a 2.5 pound plate for 5x5. Then 5x6, etc., etc.
4. Because the loads are so light, you won’t really need to rest between sets much at all.
5. Because the loads are so light, you should be able to train frequently— probably every day. The body’s most unique feature is it’s ability to adapt— more frequent training “teaches” the body to accept constant challenge.
6. If at any time you re-injure yourself, wait until your symptoms subside and drop the previous workout’s volume by 1/2. In other words, if 4x6 caused re-injury, wait for it to heal and then do 4x3. If that goes OK, start climbing your way back up.
7. Be flexible and creative. If something on your schedule hurts right at the outset, make a pain-free substitution right then, on the fly.
8. Understanding pain symptomology: Sometimes you’ll know if you’re hurting yourself right when you’re performing the offending exercise. Sometimes you won’t know until the next day. Pay attention and become sensitive to these issues.
9. Despite my earlier advice about stretching, don’t stretch a sore, torn or “tweaked” muscle— you’ll only injure it further.
10. Start right, finish right: Light aerobic activity before and after the workout will make tissues warm and more pliable (pre-workout), and will enhance circulatory oxygenation and cellular nutrition (post-workout). Don’t cut corners, EVER.
The Tortoise and The Hare
Ever wondered why parables always involve animals? Me too. Anyway, the slow but steady approach must be your constant mantra if you want to keep training in the wake of chronic injuries. The guy squatting 800 on the rack across the gym might be mere moments from an injury anyway. Seek slow, continuous, steady challenge every day— your injured tissues don’t like big surprises, they like predictability. Treat your body with a velvet glove instead of an iron fist, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.
Charles Staley is quite simply, the man. Check out his site www.charlesstaley.com where you will have access to reams of free articles on strength, conditioning, nutrition etc from himself and his excellent team
4 - Praetorian Training
Praetorian Training is the new joint venture between ESTS International (UK) and Delta Arsenal LLC (USA). This provides you with the best of both worlds. We will provide you with our high-quality courses at the brand new training facilities in Meriden, Connecticut, USA at affordable, realistic prices.
We will cater for Law Enforcement, Military, Private Companies and Private individuals with courses in Close Protection (Bodyguard) / Executive Protection, Personal Security Detail (PSD) and Specialist Maritime Security. Keep an eye out for the new and informative US training website 'Praetorian Training' planning to launch at the end of May 2010. We will be at the facilities from April 29th until May 3rd 2010 to meet with anyone from the area interested in the courses.
Delta Arsenal - Pro Arms Tactical Shop:
Delta Arsenal are opening their new 'Pro Arms Shop' on the 23rd of April. At the new Pro Arms Shop they are kitted out to provide high quality service to the absolute novice as well as the combat hardened operator. They will help you find the right tactical kit and show you how to use the products, through training or service. At the opening amongst others names like COLT, Mossberg, Point Blank Body Armor and more will provide product demo's.
You can also email us at the following email address: email@example.com.
Stephen Richards CMAS
Director of International Operations
Certified Master Antiterrorism Specialist (CMAS)
Certified Maritime Security Specialist (SSO & CSO)
ESTS International Contact Information:
Reception: +44 (0) 161 618 1043
Fax: +44 (0) 161 618 1496
5 - This month on the Blog
If you have questions or comments on any of
the blog posts, or even if you’d like to suggest a topic of your
own hit the comments button under the post or drop us a line on
7 - RECOMMENDED LINKS & PRODUCTS
All Proceeds go to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society
This CD contains articles from the leading fitness specialists of our day including:
Adam Campbell; Alan Aragon; Bill Hartman; Bob Youngs; Brian Grasso; Chad Waterbury; Charles Staley; Chris Mohr; Chris Shugart; Craig Ballantyne; Dan John; Dave Tate; Dax Moy; The Doorman; Eric Cressey; Gray Cook; Brett Jones; Harry Selkow; Jack Reape; James Smith; Jason C Brown; Jim "Smitty" Smith; Jason Ferruggia; Jimmy Smith; Joe DeFranco; Joe Dowdell; Joe Stankowski; John Alvino; John Berardi; Julia Ladewski; Keith Scott; Lee Taft; Lori Incledon; Lou Schuler; Lyle McDonald; Mark Philippi; Michael Stare; Mike Boyle; Mike Mahler; Mike Mejia; Mike Robertson; Mike Rousell; Nick Grantham; Pat Beith; Pavel Tsatsouline; Rachel Cosgrove; Robert Dos Remedios; Ryan Lee; Steve Shafley; Susan Hill; TC Luoma; Todd Hamer; Tony Gentilcore; Tony Reynolds and Zach Even-Esh
We originally intended to publish this collection as a book. However - at over 800 pages - costs were prohibitive and we went with the CD option to maximize our contribution.
Minimalist Strength Training without bulk or fancy equipment
Power To The People, Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American
A pretentious title but a truly fantastic book. Goes into great detail on how to perform the Deadlift safely and how to progress to massive amounts of strength without bulking up or wasting hours in the gym. I personally put 20kg’s onto my deadlift in only a few months of using the programme.
Check it out for your self Here: http://tinyurl.com/deadlift
All the best
The Wild Geese
Doce Pares Ireland / Kenpo Karate / Self Protection / Security Training
www.wildgeesema.com / wildgeesema.blogspot.com
+353 87 672 6090