Skip to main content

Rough & Ready by Mark Hatmaker


ROUGH & READY

Old World Strength & Conditioning for Modern Warriors

[The following is a preview of our upcoming book to be released this Fall.]



A Western Apache warrior named Palmer Valor who came of age in the mid-19th century recalled that his mother had encouraged him to swim in icy streams and endure other hardships when he was a boy so that he would be ready to take on any opponent.”-The Way of the Warrior

Looking for a way to get in the best condition of your life? I’m talking real-world strong, life-tempered stamina, truly useful explosiveness and agility.

Of course, you are, we all are.

What if I told you there was a way to do this that required minimal gear [not a barbell in sight], cut out trips to the gym [not to mention gym fees], a way that turned out to be fun [albeit grueling], and oddly inspiring.

Yeah, we’ve all heard those claims before.

Consider this, Lewis and Clark with the Corps of Discovery Expedition made an 8,000-mile roundtrip journey into the wilds of this nation without one trip to a CrossFit gym or one piece of state of the art gear.

Every nook and cranny of the world was settled in, explored by, and survived and thrived in by people who lack the gear most people take on the average fitness walk in the park.

No state of the art shoe technology, no water bottle in hand or Camelbak water-resource on the back, no Fitbit, no wicking clothing.

Our ancestors did what they did by sheer dint of grit.

Today we are often over-geared and under-gritted.

Olaf was more agile and stronger than most men…He could run across the oars outside the vessel while his men were rowing the Serpent.”-King Olaf Tryggvason’s Saga

This book will change that. It will present a variety of unusual training practices used by indigenous peoples and warrior cultures the world over to build strong human beings with stamina to burn.

It will provide detailed how-to’s of these unusual practices, historical snapshots of their use in context, but more importantly it will provide a series of 100 Rough & Ready Conditioning Challenges for you to resurrect some of this old school grit.

The challenges require, in most cases no gear, and where gear is involved it requires items that you might find around the house or toolshed.

The Rough & Ready Challenges are scaled to 3-levels so that you can pick your poison and get to work no matter your current level of conditioning.

The Rough & Ready Challenges provide a welcome bit of novelty and variety in a world where every option seems to be a barbell, a kettlebell, a plyo box, or yet another pull-up repetition.

The Rough & Ready Challenges allow you to get in the best shape of your life utilizing what worked in the past, after all Vikings weren’t going to CrossFit gyms nor were the Apache eluding the US Army with 3 sessions of Zumba per week.

These challenges also offer the intangible satisfaction of connecting with ancestors across the eons and sweating as they did, building strong sprits and forging strong bodies as they did.

Ten strokes with the battle-axes, without intermission, and when these strokes have been given, and the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’, ten cuts with the sword to be given without intermission or change of armour. When the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’, we shall resort to our daggers and give ten stabs with them. Should either party lose or drop his weapon, the other may continue until the judge shall cry out ‘Ho!’”-The dueling challenge issued to the knights of England by Michael d’Orris of Aragon in 1400.

Among the new experiences…

·         Apache Running Protocol and how a mouthful of water can change all exercise intensity.

·         Viking Sprints-How to turn a day at the beach, lake or pool into a cardio-intense strength workout without even knowing how to swim.

·         Spice up your standard running routine with methods of the French-Canadian trappers called coureur de bois [runners of the woods.]

·         Re-gain and/or develop functional strength via several methods we’ve grouped as Farm Boy Strong.

·         Test your agility with Viking Oar Runs.

·         Use varieties of Native American skulking/stalking practices to challenge your strength, agility, and mobility.

·         Build strength and turn up the cardio flames with a Celtic War Hammer Gauntlet.

·         Increase power and explosiveness with Lumberjack practices and learn how one change-in-head position can increase or decrease your power in almost any power endeavor.

·         Increase the strength-building aspect of any run by adding this simple practice from the Chippewa tribe.

·         Improve your jumping ability without plyo-boxes just like the Ancient Hellenes.

·         Improve mental toughness by adding a few environmental training practices from the ancient Spartans.

·         Increase eccentric explosiveness with unusual exercises used by the Inuit and other arctic tribes.

·         Use the Iroquois Crawl to improve your swimming and water confidence.

·         Increase your explosive power and jumping ability with an unusual practice used by Medieval warriors.

·         Set those thighs on fire with a Viking practice called the Receding Run.

·         Rapidly induce relaxation and improve awareness with a sitting-series of sensory-exercises used by “still-hunting” tribes.

·         Hack underwater swimming the Moken “Sea Gypsy” way.

·         And many such tips and hacks culled from warrior cultures of the past.

Over-geared and under-gritted no more!

These are Sparta’s walls.”-King Agesilaus when asked why Sparta lacked fortifications. He gestured to his warriors and declared those three words.


 [For release details see this blog or our free newsletter here.]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Warrior Awareness Drills by Mark Hatmaker

THE Primary Factor in self-protection/self-defense is situational awareness. Keeping in mind that crime is, more often than not, a product of opportunity, if we take steps to reduce opportunity to as close to nil as we can manage we have gone a long way to rendering our physical tactical training needless [that’s a good thing.]
Yes, having defensive tactical skills in the back-pocket is a great ace to carry day-to-day but all the more useful to saving your life or the lives of loved ones is a honed awareness, a ready alertness to what is occurring around you every single day.
Here’s the problem, maintaining such awareness is a Tough job with a capital T as most of our daily lives are safe and mundane [also a good thing] and this very safety allows us to backslide in good awareness practices. Without daily danger-stressors we easily fall into default comfort mode.
A useful practice to return awareness/alertness to the fore is to gamify your awareness, that is, to use a series of specific…

Awareness Drill: The Top-Down Scan by Mark Hatmaker

American Indians, scouts, and indigenous trackers the world over have been observed to survey terrain/territory in the following manner.
A scan of the sky overhead, then towards the horizon, and then finally moving slowly towards the ground.
The reason being that outdoors, what is overhead-the clouds, flying birds, monkeys in trees, the perched jaguar—these overhead conditions change more rapidly than what is at ground level.
It has been observed by sociologists that Western man whether on a hike outdoors or in an urban environment seldom looks up from the ground or above eye-level. [I would wager that today, he seldom looks up from his phone.]
For the next week I suggest, whether indoors or out, we adopt this native tracker habit. As you step into each new environment [or familiar ones for that matter] scan from the top down.
I find that this grounds me in the awareness mindset. For example, I step into my local Wal-Mart [or an unfamiliar box store while travelling] starting at the top, t…

A Conversation with Master Bladesman, James Keating by Mark Hatmaker

For those not in the know…
James Albert Keating: Master at Arms - Astonishingly good with all small weapons. A graduate of the ESI Bodyguard academy. A knife designer of note. A writer of poem, prose and storied tale. Four books to his name so far. Currently residing on a large Arabian horse ranch in the mountains of Oregon. Keating is the owner and operator of the Comtech Training Studio known worldwide as home to a vast array of fighters, fencers and fast guns. Keating has operated the training hall since 1972 when he first began teaching publicly. James Keating has trained in various combative systems since age 10. Just shy of being sixty years of hard work in the martial arts and tactical fields. His 2018 season of training seminars looks as strong as one of his hand made Bowie knives. His beliefs are as follows: "We advance together into the unknown future with the strength of our abilities sustaining us through thick and thin. Skill banishes fear. Skill is the secret, otherw…