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Showing posts from April, 2018

Historical Combat Balance & Power Training by Mark Hatmaker

Footwork is a mainstay of combat sports and martial reality. The feet are the deuce-and-a-halfs that get your munitions to the field of battle.
The feet are your mode of retreat to get out of harm’s way.
Your feet are the two pegs you use to cut angles to better deflect, diminish, evade an attacker’s gambit and apply your own meanness.
Footwork is, was, and will always be vital to matters martial.
But…Just as important is what you can do on your feet while basically standing stock still.
How much heft can you generate from this on-point position?
There is a huge archive of material from the historical record showing how much emphasis was placed on static stances, but this static base was seemingly not the primary focus of static-stance drills.
It seems that static balance in-the-midst-of-power was the treasured attribute. The ability to deliver “Oomph!” while retaining poise.
The historical record presents us with more than a few drills that seek to develop this. We also find a handful of “s…

Rough & Ready by Mark Hatmaker

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 thi…

A Viking Case for Low-Line Kicking by Mark Hatmaker

For today’s historical-combat exercise let’s follow a weave of martial endeavor that moves from the American Frontier Rough & Tumble strategy of “Attacking the Buckler” to a bit of Viking archeology, to some “chicken or the egg” bragging rights for which came first between a French martial art and one of the Emerald Isle, and end with what all this historical and archaeological speculation has to do with modern day approaches to self-protection.

Let’s start our journey in the wilds of the American Frontier. A rough and tumble land that sparked a fighting style of the same name. A fighting style that was all -encompassing and vicious in war, and a bit more restrained [but still mighty vicious] for “friendly” competition.
The early days of frontier survival called for ready skill with musket, tomahawk, and whatever else was close at hand. When nothing was close at hand, the violence fell to the hands themselves plus other natural weapons of the body.
The rough and tumble style was/is …

A Chat With Li'l Ol' Me & Fernan Vargas

Hey Crew, this is a conversation I had with Fernan Vargas in his excellent book AmericanCombat Masters. The book is chockful of interviews with some thoughtful folk; I have excised some of my own Q&A in hopes that if you find this interview or any of the other fine folks involved of interest you put the dollars in Mr. Vargas’s pocket.
Big thanks to Fernan for the insightful questions and the yakkity-yak opportunity!
What martial arts have you studied? And to what degree?
Oh, man, it’s been almost exclusively boxing and wrestling in whatever form I was digging at the moment. I have dabbled in many other arts with good folks thru the years, but with only so many hours in the day I always ballparked on what held my attention most, the old-school stuff. 
Which martial art is your primary discipline?
Throwing hands, twisting limbs, gouging eyes that is, boxing, wrestling, and rough and tumble.

How do you view your art a self defense art? A sport? Or a method for promoting health and welln…