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Rough ‘n’ Ready Observations from a Spit & Polish Warrior by Mark Hatmaker

This is Lieutenant-General John “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne on the rabble that was encountered during the American Revolution.

“It is not to be expected that the rebel Americans will risk a general combat or a pitched battle, or even stand at all, except behind intrenchments as at Boston. Accustomed to felling of timber and to grubbing up trees, they are very ready at earthworks and palisading, and will cover and intrench themselves wherever they are for a short time left unmolested with surprising alacrity…Composed as the American army is, together with the strength of the country, full of woods, swamps, stone walls, and other inclosures and hiding places, it may be said of it that every private man will in action be his own general, who will turn every tree and bush into a kind of temporary fortress, and from whence, he has fired his shot with all deliberation, coolness, and uncertainty which hidden safety inspires, he will skip as it were to the next, and so on for a long time till…
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Around the Corner by Mark Hatmaker

In four weeks we do the photo-shoot for the long-promised volume Boxing Like the Champs, Round Two. Consumers of the 1st book and the companion DVD-set Boxing like the Champs can expect more deeply researched fistic malice. [All available at our little ol’ website store.]

The publisher tells me it will see wide release this Fall.

Coming Up Sooner in the Pipeline: The Suakhet’u.

First, what The Suakhet’u is not…

·It is non martial arts or combat sports related.
·It is not a strenuous physical endeavor.

What is The Suakhet’u?

·It is an audio-visual course detailing a morning enlivening/awakening practice culled from various American Indigenous traditions.
·Although there is some “sitting” involved, it is not meditation.
·Although there are specific breathing methods involved, they are not “exercises.”
·The Suakhet’u is not about withdrawal to inward realms.
·It is not about “forgetting” the self.
·The Suakhet’u is an expansion of the world via simple yet tangible sensory awareness practices.

·It is …

The Striker’s Shoulder: Slams, Butts, & Grinds by Mark Hatmaker

Rough ‘n’ Tumble, scufflin’, illegal boxing, boombattle, and all the various and sundry names that go to describe the all-in melee that is truly no-holds-barred, no-strikes-off-the-table uses the entire body as a weapon.

Let’s take a brief sojourn with just one of those weapons—The Shoulder.

Due to obvious range restrictions, the shoulder is part of the closed-quarters arsenal. 

[Notice, in deference to the origin of the word, I call it “closed quarters” in the piratical naval melee sense and not the modern and incorrect perversion to “close quarters.” Yeah, I’m that guy, a stickler for the details. Consider this, if the name ain’t right, what else might be wrong? If a guy calls a jab “a fisty puncher” and is oblivious to the word “jab” we’d suspect something was a bit awry in the boxing research, would we not?]

To the Shoulder!

We’ve got three broad ways to use it [Slams, Butts, & Grinds] and essentially only two attack paths [Inward & Upward.]

First let’s talk a drill that will al…

Old School PT Grinder: The Pulp Throw Relay by Mark Hatmaker

Oh, Crew, looking to get outside the comfy smooth gym and test your real mettle with activities and objects that haven’t been designed to make hefting them easier so you can skip grade-school reveling in the WOD participation trophy hamster wheel?

Then, belly up to the bar for a PT Challenge from ye olde days of lumberjack and woodsman prowess.

Pulp wood was a designation for bucked lengths not quite up to par for lumber use.

For our purposes, and those into Woodsman and Lumber Sports Competitions, grab yourself 4 lengths of log four feet in length with an approximate weight of 30-40 pounds per.

If you don’t have logs available, you can hit the resource that is Home Depot and pick up a couple of 6 x 6 pressure treated timbers. They come in 8-foot lengths so a wee middle cut to each gives you a PT resource that will last. [They’ll be a bit on the light side but they will serve the log-bereft.]

The Course

·Lay out your four pieces of pulp wood.
·Measure out 20’.
·Place two stakes 4 feet apart.


Luther McCarthy’s “Betsy” by Mark Hatmaker

[Excerpted from the upcoming book Boxing Like the Champs, Round Two.]

Due to his untimely death few recall the man that was Luther McCarthy. 

Let’s rectify that.

First, his name. 21st-Century sources list his name as Luther McCarty with no “h” following the letter “t.” Every single one of my resources from 1911 to1931 have the spelling as McCarthy. These sources being closer to the time this fine boxer walked the planet, I’ll stick with them.

Born in Hitchcock County, Nebraska March 20th, 1892, he was called “Luck” by his family. Raised on a ranch he came up in the cowboy lifestyle and could ride and rope well. During his brief career he would appear on the vaudeville stage and regale the audience with his lariat abilities. 

His Nebraska origins, and cowboy skills led to the ring names of “The Cowboy” or “The Fighting Cowboy.”

McCarthy was a big powerful man, well over six feet tall, some sources have him as tall as 6’4”. He possessed an 80” reach and used that to great effect whipping jabs…

The Lumberjack Tabata, [Battle] Ax Mechanics & “Don’t Be a Rubber Maid” by Mark Hatmaker

This offering is an Old-School PT Challenge, a mini tutorial on form, and a bit of a finger wag at an aspect of “functional” training.

First the PT Challenge: The Lumberjack Tabata


·An Eastern Single-Bit Ax [you can go double-bit but you won’t be shifting surfaces.]
·A downed log to work [or if you’ve got a tree that needs to be felled, you’ve got a twofer—conditioning and chores—you’re welcome.]
·A timer set to Tabata Intervals.

The Protocol

·Hit that timer and chop furiously for 20 seconds.
·Rest for a strict 10 seconds.
·Then back on the stick for 20 more seconds.
·You do this for a total of 8 work rounds giving you a total of 2 minutes and 40 seconds of work.

For those unfamiliar with Tabata rounds and that seemingly paltry work ethic, if you’re playing honestly the soul will cry as soon as you start your second 20-second interval. The 10-second “rest” will quickly reveal itself as woefully insufficient BUT do not allow that to sandbag following rounds.

Chop HARD, Chop FAST.

For my hi…