|Newsletter | January 2009|
IN THIS ISSUE
1 - 2009 starts with a Bang
2 - Bringing the Fun back into fitness
3 - Friday Fight Night
4 - New Look Website
5 - Kettlebell workshops and new class at WGMA
6 - Recommended Products (genuinely recommended, cos we think they’re great)
And quite literally! In the first couple of weeks of this year 3 people were shot in Dublin , plus several other were involved in some kind of knife crime.
Now while I’ll admit, most of us will never find ourselves in a situation whereby we are faced with a weapon, but we do have to accept the fact that it could happen to us. Not everybody that gets shot or shot at is involved in gangland crime, think back to the poor plumber who was in the wrong place at the wrong time just last year in the Blanchardstown, or the lady in the sleepy suburb of Howth.
For those readers who aren’t familiar with Dublin , it is just a small city in a small country. Ireland ’s total population may only be along the same lines as the population of London , it is not without its problems. And its problems are typical of any city in the “civilized” world, pick up your newspaper, wherever you are and you’ll most likely see reports of knife and gun violence not too far from you.
Let’s face it, every man and his dog has access to a blade or stabbing implement. You have a drawer full of them in the kitchen, screwdrivers and chisels in the shed, razors in the bathroom and if you’re anything like me, several pocket knives, hunting knives and more exotic pieces lying around the place. If any of us wanted we could go out armed and dangerous. Pop into any hardware shop and you’ll come out with an array of cutting and stabbing items, they’re cheap and easy to get. Guns are only slightly harder to get hold of. And I’ll be willing to bet you know somebody or at least know somebody who knows somebody who has access to a firearm of some description.
There are even people who will hire you a weapon! I’m not talking about air rifles and pellet guns here, I’m talking about handguns, semi and fully automatic weapons, some are “clean” others have a dark and blood-soaked history. Don’t be under any delusion that these are hard to get. Money talks. Not just in Dublin, but any major town, anywhere.
So what have we, average Joe’s minding our own business, got to fear?
It’s simply the fact that these weapons are so available, so cheap, that we could encounter one at anytime. A friend of mine, who spent time on the wrong side of the tracks in his youth states that there are no hard men anymore, not since 10 year olds started carrying guns. It’s a sad truth, but true none the less.
But are we defenseless? That depends on yourself, your mindset and your training.
What do you do when somebody puts a gun in your face?
Simple answer……………………. whatever they ask!
But if the situation doesn’t deescalate, if the threat doesn’t go away after you comply and you feel your moving into ever deeper water what next? What if Your told to move to an unknown location (known as a secondary location), by foot into an unlit area or in the back of a vehicle, you know your in trouble now. Secondary locations are where the really bad stuff happens.
Now you have to fight, and fight for your life. This is not the time for Self Defence, this is time to launch a counter offensive, take the initiative and do damage, do not hold back, do not stop and then, at your first safe opportunity, escape and get as far away as fast as you can.
But how do you fight a gun? If you’re close enough it is a relatively low threat. If you imagine a laser pointer coming from the barrel, whatever that points at gets hit, nothing else. Bullets travel in straight lines, move to the side or come inside the length of the weapon and you are safe.
The first rule of fighting a gun while unarmed is to get off the line, get inside the range and trap up the weapon/weapon arm to prevent it turning on you. You must then inject a large dose of manual anesthetic into the attacker before he has the time to react fully. Once he’s asleep its time for the 4 minute mile.
That’s very simplistic, I know, but it serves you well to think in simple terms.
In training, get a water pistol and a mate and try out a few scenarios. If you move the barrel and yourself by only a few degree’s you are out of the line of fire (some other poor sod may not be, but that’s not your concern right now). Now get close, control the weapon and pound away, hard and relentless.
If you’re used to training against a knife (assuming you train properly that is) guns are relatively easy. Many top professional soldiers and doormen, some of which I know personally, have stated that they’d much rather face a gun than a knife a close range. These are men that have survived incidents and talk from experience. A knife is capable of causing damage on so many angles, be it cutting with the edge or stabbing with the point that it’s almost impossible to get away un injured unless you’re very lucky. A gun on the other hand is one dimensional, once you’re away from the muzzle, all you have to deal with is a loud bang and a hot flash. If you’re aware of the noise and flash, that’s not such a big deal, so you’ll pick up some minor burns and your ears will ring for a few days, but it’s a small price to pay.
There are several ways to disarm a weapon, but I only teach them to security and Law officers. As a civilian you have no need to disarm, you only need to drop the guy and run, a copper or bouncer will want to arrest and restrain, to this end disarming is a relevant, although risky business. Better just to hit and run.
With all that said, remember that common sense dictates that we don’t get into these situations. Use your awareness skills, stay away from trouble spots and the population most likely to carry a weapon and you should be fine. If caught out, comply with the demands, but never get complacent, you should always be ready to go at the slightest hint that it’s going to turn nasty, you MUST attack first and with utmost violence.
There was a poor woman killed in her home by a petty thief in one of Dublin’s nicer, affluent and relatively crime free areas. If it can happen to her it can happen to you.
Don’t let your guard down.
Since writing this article there has been several more shootings. Remember that awareness and avoidance are your strongest weapons, but don’t ignore the fact that innocent people do sometimes get caught up in the middle of these situations.
Gyms have become soulless places. I spent much of 2008 in a couple of gyms belonging to an Irish chain and some of my time in a privately owned “lifters” gym. Guess where I had most fun? That’s right the lifters gym.
Why, you ask.
The atmosphere in most commercial gyms has gone the way of effective training. The free weight section is small and unkempt, machines take up more floor space than necessary and at least half the floor is made up of Treadmills, Steppers, Stationary bikes, rowing machines and those silly cross trainers.
And then there are the people that use them. IPods on, eyes glues to the many TV screens, these people look like a scene from Orwells classic novel, 1984. I think the contracts these people sign forbid them from any social interaction and frivolry within the confines of the gym. If anyone smiles or makes eye contact, never mind conversation, they get removed and shot.
Get down to the lifters gym and you’ll see complete strangers looking out for each other, cracking jokes between sets and generally building camaraderie.
Which gym produces better results? The modern Orwellian gym 101 or the old school lifters gym?
No question really, old school is best.
Now I have an admission for you, I have never held a commercial gym membership. I prefer to train either at home, outdoors or at Wild Geese HQ. Minimal kit, no IPods, no TV screens. I always get results.
Why? Because making training fun, making it interesting, taking the chore away from it means you’re more likely to stick to it, to work hard and to make progress. And what’s the point of paying some commercial giant a small fortune if you aint going to get results. Many of you reading this may have just spent up on a new membership, if so, sit and rethink. Would you be better in a smaller place, a little of the beaten track, less shiny but with a smell of sweat and an atmosphere of determination, grit and camaraderie?
The chances are you would, plus you’d save a few quid and have more fun.
Failing that do what I do. Buy a kettlebell or two, make yourself a sandbag and learn some bodyweight drills. You may now train in your front room, back garden, the beach, the park or one of my favourites, the kid’s jungle gym.
Yes I said it, I go to kid’s playgrounds and workout. Obviously not when it’s full of kids. Sometime I take the kettlebell or sandbag, otherwise I just use bodyweight. Every time I go the workout is different, sometimes it’s simple circuit of squats, press-ups (do these with your feet elevated on the slide) and pull ups from the monkey bars. Other times are super sets of Pull ups, sandbag clean & press or dips, hanging leg raise, pistol squats.
I may use the swing set for jackknife or pike push-ups. The swing set provides a thick bar for really challenging pull ups. The slide is for incline or decline push ups. The monkey bars are for pull ups, chin ups and all kinds of hanging abdominal work. The hopscotch gives you agility work, the fireman’s pole can be a tough no feet hand over hand climb, the bridges provide bodyweight rows and dips, benches can be jumped onto, imagination is your only limitation. And all that is without taking any kit with you, add sandbags and kettlebells to get really brutal.
Training outdoors, even here in rainy Ireland, is fun, the fresh air is great for you, your not sucking in recycled air conditioned muck and there’s never some skinny-fat twerp with an ego bigger than his biceps getting in your way.
Give it a go, bring the fun back. Even get some mates together and compete a little.
Here’s an outdoor partner workout:
You need a pull up station and some markers, these may be bags, jumpers or other bits of playground kit.
Assign each marker an exercise, for example:
Monkey Bars – Pull up
Slide – Push up
Swing – Jackknifes (for the abs)
Bench – Bodyweight squats
Here’s how it works:
Partner A is on the pull ups, as soon as he starts his set partner B sprints to the first station, eg. the slide and does 10 pushups.
B then sprints back to A where they swop over and A runs to the slide. When A returns to the pull-up station, B runs to station 2, the swing. After his set of Jack knifes he returns to the pull up so A can sprint to the swing.
The pull up guy must do as many as he can until the other guy runs to his station, does his set and runs back. The obvious incentive here is for you to be as quick as possible. If B dawdles while A does pull ups, I’d say A will take his sweet time to punish B with a whole heap of pulls!!
That’s only an idea. Get out there and do something different, just enjoy it!
What better way to end the week than with an open sparring session. Every Friday afternoon we are running an open session for our members to come in and train, spar and test themselves regardless of system and style. All members are welcome as long as their relevant instructor has given them permission.
The idea of the session is not to have another instructional training session, more that students may drop in and work on their own thing, ask senior members and instructors for help and advice and have a spar against anybody present, regardless of style, so long as mutual respect is maintained and guidelines as to control, techniques and contact are adhered to.
Don’t just stick to your own group either, mingle and learn, I hope to see WuZu guys sparring Kick Boxers, Kenpomen sparring Muay Thai, Eskrimador’s sparring everyone all in the name of friendship and advancing themselves and their art.
See you all at between 6 and 8pm on Friday. Times are optional and subject to change, drop in and leave as you want, this is an open session, not a structured class.
A new www.wildgeesema.com is almost upon us, keep an eye open for a dramatic and much needed makeover.
It has been kindly built for us by Sharkey, the man who will be helping market the club taking it from a backstreet venue to a professional studio for Martial Artists and fitness enthusiasts of all ilk’s.
As Girevoy Central, Dublin city I think it’s only right that we work to promote the art of Kettlebell lifting. Now while I love all forms of training (I’m currently working with Power Plate, who’d of thought an old school minimalist like me would take to such a technological marvel!!) I particularly like my Kettlebells and am delighted when others say the same.
To this end I will be running a Kettlebell Foundation workshop every month at Wild Geese HQ, Pearse St, Dublin. The Last Saturday of every month, starting February will be dedicated to teaching the basics of kettlebell lifting, both from strength & conditioning point of view and from a Kettlebell Sports perspective.
As a member of the All Ireland Kettlebell lifting Federation (www.AIKLF.eu) we wish to see the highest standard of kettlebell training be taught and carried out in Ireland. I have already seen the results of second rate instructors and YouTube educated lifters, these people are a danger to themselves and their students. At the AIKLF we have permission from the man himself, Vasily Gincko, to teach Kettlebell lifting. Myself and other members of the AIKLF have all been passed to teach, we did not learn from watching YouTube clips, we were trained in a hands on manner by the world record holder and multiple times world champion himself.
If you wish to avail of this standard of training come down to the workshop and you will learn all you need to begin training at home or in your own gym/studio, safely and effectively.
Should you have your own studio and wish to introduce Kettlebells, drop me a line and we’ll talk about running a workshop at your venue.
Times and costs will be announced on the launch of our new look website www.wildgeesema.com. Numbers will be restricted to ensure quality, so book your places early.
And there’s more……. By popular demand we’re opening a Monday kettlebell fitness class on Monday evening at 7pm sharp. You’re more than welcome to attend both the Monday and Thursday sessions or simply attend one.
See you there
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
+353 87 672 6090