Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Great Bard

 " They say best men are moulded out of faults - and for the most - become much more the better better for being alittle bad "

         Measure For Measure 
         Shakespeare / Act V Scene 1

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thought For The Day

 " Who ever decided that Spiritual Development and Financial Success should never mix robbed the World of some of the brightest people , who went elesewhere to make a living "

I write that through the lens of a Martial Arts Instructor , however there are many fields this belief system has applied to , Educators who work with Children come to mind quite quickly.

In the 21st Century their has never been more oppurtunity for well trained Martial Arts Instructors to make a positive and life long effect on all of their Students , the challenge the Industry faces is lack of REAl training for Instructors , along with Owners  and Instructors misguided belief in that  the physical Art itself can  carry the day - when in fact , atleast during the initial stages of training the physical element of punch & kick should perhaps be 40 - 50 % of a new students curriculum - with the remaining 60 - 40 % introduction to methods that will elevate MENTAL PERFORMANCE first , that then leads to a lifetime of High Performing Leaders.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Change it Up

After reviewing my workout journal I realized it had been quite some time since I had done a very simple workout of just two sets with 25 reps of each exercise:
* body weight bulgaian squat
* hamstring rollouts
* bench dips / feet on swiss ball
* cable flyes
* one arm bent row 
* standing bicep curl
* shoulder rehab
* elbow / forearm work
* 1 set of reverse hypers
* 2 sets of Chek crunch's 
* 5 minutes of hip /  groin and leg stretch's

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Life Is

" Life is a process of BECOMING , a combination of states we have to go through. Where People fail is that they wish to elect a state and REMAIN in it . This is a kind of death "

 I often think of that quote by  A. Nia , and always I am reminded that the times ( cycles ) that I have been the most productive and creative are the times when I have been learning and growing the most , generally in a very short period of time.

Tommorrow is Thanksgiving Day , my personal day of celebration to give Thanks to all of the many elements of my life that I  have to be extremly Thank full for , Family , Friends and Students

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Middle of Movember

Well usually by this time New England has started to slide in to the " Dark Season " rain , and darkness by 5 PM , we have had alittle rain , however this week looks like there will be some extra sunshine and warmth , a pretty good combination this time of the year , as well as helping to improve the "New England Spirit ".

This morning as I was wrapping up the indoor portion of my morning routine ( Joint Mobilization & Floor Somatics ) , as I headed to the door , the bird feeder that is on the side deck , directly in the line of sight of the back door , had a giant Blue Jay  enjoying breakfast ( I'd already chased away the resident squirrel ) - yesterday both a male and female Cardnial where in the bushes waiting for a safe moment to feed. So as not to disturb Mr Blue Jay , I took this minute or so to update my blog.

In keeping with the season change my strength  workouts are becoming shorter , less intense , very focused , with more work on "Moving with Awareness" and emphasis on technical skills.

Recently I came across this statement :  " LEARNING HOW TO LEARN ISN"T JUST ABOUT THE METHOD , IT'S AN ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE " that say's alot in a few words and reminds me of the quote by Anais Nia:

" Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it , This is the kiss of death "

How true , and every year in our culture it perhaps becomes easier and easier to remain stuck ,
with " everything you need " right at the end of your finger tips , the computer buttons , the electronic games and of course the great  misused tool - tv.

The Blue Jay was waiting for Mr . Squirrel to get his share , which is everything in his mind , time to finnish with  Qigong and Martial Arts Movement

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13 th

We are having some unusually warm weather here in New Hampshire , much appreciated before the long dark season arrives.

Recently I have been exploring the possibilities of Face Book , my original intentions where as a business tool , however it has been rewarding to re connect with so many old Friends , as well as so many new Friends. Now that Face Book is up and running , we will be adding a Kenpo Ju Jitsu USA Fan Page so Black Belts and Students may reconnect

" You are here to enrich the world - and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand "

As we enter the winter months my workouts will become less intense , more technical , softer, more Somatics , Stretching , Yoga , Tai Chi Speed Forms , along with a " Winter " diet , more root vegtables  , as well as an increase in Beans and warming soups. As I continue to stay on the "low" salt diet I am constantly amazed at just HOW much salt has been added to our diet by the food industry

Monday, November 2, 2009

November , Fall Back

 Spring Ahead - Fall Back, takes on an entirely different meaning in New Hampshire than it does in Houston , the quality of air the last several days is extremley high quality , invigorating and energizing, worth the trade of with the evening coming SO early .

At Master Steve Whites Manchester Karate Schools 25th Aniversary Master Lee Wedlake gifted me a copy of his Kenpo Karate 401 , which didn't make it through the night before I'd read it , and am now reading it the 2nd time. All Kenpo Black Belts should have a copy in there library.

Dan Browns book The Lost Symbol has been an enjoyable read  , and should be completed tonight , at least 3 days a week I drive by his " Office " , certianly would be nice to meet Mr Brown in an informal setting .

This month building on last month , we are working : Hand Combinations , Youtfull Movement , Rolls & Tumbles , Take Downs , Kenpo Ju Jitsu detailing , Chi Gong & Energy Work.

For Strength Training Lower Body Work has consisted of Lunge Work building to "One " legged lunge's , Ham String Roll Out on a Swiss Ball

Upper Body: Low Reps , a variety of exercises : Example : 2 sets bent Row with #55 for 5
then 3 sets of Cable Row with #130 for 5, 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Form and technique

Many years ago I asked Guro Dan Inosanto for advice on how to remain as injury free as possible whilke still keeping , timeing , power , speed , one of his suggestions was creative use of the focus mitts , the other was to change how I trained every decade . Guro Dan is one of GrandMaster Ed Parkers first Black Belts as well as being the Senior Instructor for Bruce Lee , I took his advice to heart , and have discovered for myself that in each decade may be some 5 year " mini" cycles.

This months lesson plan has us working on the nutral bow / forward bow transition , as well as softening up some of the " Hard " movement in both Forms & Techniques . After my time in China Town both observing & training and seemed to me the softer style systems had more older students that moved well than the Hard style systems I'v observed and trained in , if we can't train in our Arts as we gwt older ( and Better ) what good is it.

Two of the movement mantras we are useing this month are " moving with awareness " and " how little  energy can I use to accomplish this movement "

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October Wind Down

After our snow on the Fall colored trees Sunday , we have had some perfect Fall days , high's in the mid 60's , so far this week we' ve hads two private 's outside , air quality was perfect.

Today is an attribute training day as well as strength , working on knife flow , the 4 basic kicks with a spining series, hand & foot flow drills - Strength training this week consists of a circuit:
*45 # Bar Warm Up
* Front Squat
*Ham String Rollouts on the Swiss Ball
*Bench Dips , with variations
*Cable Flye with variations
*Curl and Press
* Hanging Oblique Leg Raises
*Hanging Spinal De Compression
*Negative crunch's with 10 #
* Specific after workout stretch's
This is the last day for this routine , switching on Sunday

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October

Sunday here in New Hampshire not only did we still have great Fall colors still on the tree's we had a good dusting of snow on the red,orange and golden Fall colors , I can't remember ever having seen that ! 

The cord wood was delivered yesterday , looks like a excellent cord , some hefting , spitting and stacking to do , some of the activities that seemed like torture at 16 are now quite enjoyable , handleing of firewood being one of them , for me.

Saturday we had a great experiential workshop on Self Realization : Covering the Tapping Chi Gong Routine along with the 6 Healing Sounds , Joint Mobilization and the Avatar Awareness exercise " Counting Forms"

 " Breathing in ,
   I Know that I am alive
   Breathing out,
   I Smile to my aliveness "

 Morning Routine : Somatic Floor Work - Joint Mobilization ( inside )  then outside for Chi Gong  and Breathing - Forms at Tai Chi Speed , inside for the 6 Healing Sounds.

 If the Quads are still tight from Sunday's front squats , possibly some stick and foam roller work

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mark Twain

Mark Twain nailed it dead on when he said " Travel is Fatal to predjudice , bigotry and narrow mindiness "

Morning routine update

Recentlly I was asked why did I suggest rinsing your mouth out with lime water first thing in the morning ,,,,,,,,  I don't !  If in any of my writings that came across , let me review what I suggest as part of a Healthy Living Morning Routine , when I first get up I rinse my throat out with water , to get rid of any dust that may have been inhaled during the night , then I like to have several glasses of well water with fresh cut lime, often finnishing the last glass as the AM Somatic  Floor routine is completed.

Great workout yesterday: Complex Warm Up - 20 of each of the basic kicks with some speed work
                                             Punch & Kick Drills with movement
#45 Bar = Deadlift -Good morning , Overhead Press- Back Squat - Front Squat - Arm Curl
that completed the warm up
workout: Deadlift
                 Flat Bench
                 One Arm Bent Row
                 Body Weight Dips
                 Standing Overhead Press
                 Bicep Curl
                 Reverse Hyper on Swiss Ball
                 Butt Blaster with #90's
                 2 sets of Hanging Spine Decompression
                 3 Way med ball core work 25 seconds
                 Leg and Hip Stretch
2 sets of 8 with active rest inbetween
65 minutes total time

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fresh Air of Fall

The oatmeal is on , ready to be mixed with raisons, walnuts and real New Hampshire syrup !
The beans are soaking , in 24 hours they will be baked with an old recipe from Laurels Kitchen or as best as I can recall.

A perfect Fall day , the sun is strong , Chi Kung - Forms and Prance of the Tiger technique was a perfect outside morning routine, as on most all days alittle Somatic movement on the floor to wake up the body along with joint mobilization work.

Yesterday was the first weight training day ( other than Body Weight ) in two weeks , felt so great to be back  , here was my welcome back routine:

* Complex Warm Up
* Side - Back - Round House Kicks  on the bar , working form - spining back kick , 20 of each
* Shadow Boxing w ith # 1-2-3-4 Front Kicks working the Boxers square
* Olympic Bar Warm Up = Deadlift - Overhead Press- Good Morning - Back Squat - Front Squat
  Bicep Curl - one arm Deadlift
* Followed by Deadlift's - one arm bent row - standing overhead press- flat bench with d. bells -
  d.bell bicep curl - butt blaster with 95#'s - reverse hyper with body weight - 3 sets of Chek 
  crunch's
* 2 minute groin stretch , 4 minutes of quad & hamstring stretch

Perfect workout  , 55 minutes from start to finnish

 My understanding of FaceBook continues to grow and I am constantly amazed at "it's " ability to connect people , within the next week my intentions are to have a FB page set up for alumni of 
DragonFire Martial Arts and Black Belt Academy's.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The End of September in New England

Here it is almost the end of September , back from the Southwest for 2 weeks now , today is the day the grass is cut for the last time in 2009 ! Here in New Hampshire we have had some spectacular weather , my guess is that the Fall foilage will be outstanding this year , already theres been lots of red with the swamp maples and sumac. 

Yesterday I attended my nephews cross country track event , perfect day for running , got to see both the boy's and the girls , After oatmeal and some writing , pulling together next months newsletter I'll be off for a 60 plus minute bike ride , taking some time off from strength training , Somatics , Forms and timing drills along with teaching , barefoot sprinting on Saturday.

This is going on a month now with a Face Book page , i'm amazed at how many old friends I have been able to connect with as well as new friends , what a great resource

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Epsom Salts , The Organ Mountains and Pine Trees

Anyone who spends any lenth of time around me will here me speak of recovery and it's importance for Martial Artists ( and everyone else ) now that my schedule is getting back on track from the West Texas trip , last night I put 4 cups of Epsom Salts in some pretty warm water and for 20 minutes soaked , with alittle hamstring stretching ( it's a BIG tub ) ,, PERFECT , I barely remember warching Larry King after.

 Restoration is a huge part of recovery and renewal , and it dosn't get much easier than a 20 minute soak in Epsom Salts , I slept great  and even during my Morning Somatic routine felt more flexible than usual after rolling out of bed.

While in New Mexico every morning my Chi Gong routine along with my Forms & Kicks where done with the rising sun and the Organ Mountains ( The Spanish Explorers named them that as they do resemble a pipe organ , at 6,000 plus feet ) Today was my first morning where my Chi Gong and Forms where done with the sun and Pine Trees , was it Mr. Jack La Lane who said there will come atime when you can't so the workout your currently doing so enjoy it while you can. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back in the saddle / good reading

Great trip to West Texas and New Mexico , the sunshine was perfect , now back in New Hampshire , the weather is unbeatable , warm days , cool nights , sleeping with the window open is the best sleeping pill ever ! It's like a pre Indian Summer 

Two great books that I've been talking about since the first time I read each of them , for ANY athlete " Born to Run " is full of wisdom and inspiration , and you will probably be healthier after you read it and apply some of the ideas to your life . 

For Martial Artists and Law Enforcement ( and Parents as well as anyone who travels )  " The Unthinkable " - who survives a disaster and why , this  needs to be part of any modern Martial Arts school curriculum  , along with non deadly pressure point control techniques , which is another whole subject.

This weekend I was able to attend a cycle cross race in Auburn , N.H. , very cool stuff , my good friend Russell Brooks who helps host the event was able to give me a tour and explain the course, check one out if you have the opportunity , a bonus while getting the skinny on Cycle Cross I ran into Peg Donovan and Family , and in a very short time met up with Tim Donovan not only did we get to catch up on Family and life we also took time to remember some of the old , crazy training techniques at Natilus North , human beings duct tapeing themselves to the leg extension machine ! Thats an "old training story " for latter , even Arthur Jones would smile over that one !

Saturday, September 19, 2009

West Texas and New Mexico

What a great trip West , the weather in Texas and New Mexico was around 85 every day , sunny , not a cloud in the sky. Didn't have time to visit any boot shops in El Paso , from the Highway you can see Rocket Buster Boot Company , they have a great on line catalog.
Visited Pecan country , Rock City , which is like a huge natural  Stonehenge in the desert , toured the Fort that the Buffalo Soldiers where stationed at , as well as a magnificent State Park at about 6, 500 hundred feet . Observed several bikes climbing 6,000 ft on the highway without being bothered , they must hit 60 MPH going down hill.
A Friend from Arizona rode his Harley Full Dresser from Mesa out , pretty impressive and comfortable , my eyes still see bikes thru the eyes of a Motto Guzzi Le Mans.
Pictures  will be up soon over on Face Book

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Perfect September Day

Cool Nights and warm days , PERFECT ! Had a great Sprint Session ( 1st in 3 weeks  ) did 8-
 20 second sprints , barefoot , with a 20 second rest . A good hip warm up prior and some static streching after 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moving Meditation

Train don't Drain , Yesterday I was only able to get in 175 Hindu Squats , today was a moving meditation day , a nice easy 90 minute bike ride on a 1973 Schwin Paramount , a perfect early Fall day. Enjoy the long weekend  and remember to keep moving

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurricane Dave anbd Natural Rythmn's

This is our second Hurricane in two weeks , in the last 24 hours the rain has been light but continuous , almost everyone I spoke with today talked about the urge to just stay in and take it easy , important to listen to those natural rythmn's

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hindu Squats

They are not High Tech , however they are effective , I made my goal of 175 Hindu Squats , maybe Saturday will be a Sprint day

The Next Level

Last night we had a great class outside, nice breeze , very few bugs , most of our class time was invested in softening up everyones movement , " Rounding off the Edges " , and creating an awareness of our ability to strike from unique angles.

 Today is a strength  training day , with a goal of 175 Hindu Squats.
With the cooler air in town it is easier to push   a workout , todays goal will take it to a new level for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Leadership

As I pull together Septembers Newletter , several pearls jumped out at me, for anyone that is in a People business this definition of Leadership is great:

" understanding and improving the Positive influence you have on others , for an increase in the success and fullfillment of everyone you are in a position to affect "

Also a quote from Chris Everett , that sounds very similar to Rudyard Kiplings " IF " 

" If you can react the same way to winning & losing that,,,quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life "
                  
2/3rds of the average Americans calories comes from just 4 crops : Rice - Soy - Wheat - Corn, the question to ask , is how far removed is that from your GrandParents & Great GrandParents diet  ?

 The Institue of Medicine published some interesting statistics on Health & Longevity , here they are ;
10% of early deaths are due to substandard medical care 
20%  on Social & Physical enviroment
30% on Genetics 
40% on Behavior

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hindu Squates

It seems like it was just a few years ago ( almost 10 ) when the Academy Staff and myself where doing hundreds of Hindu Squats with a Black Belts goal to perform 60 Squats in 60 seconds , and everyone did, well yesterday I met my goal of 125 Hindu Squats , however they where done in 5 sets of 25 , the last set was timed at 29 seconds .
Today is the start of pulling together all the freehand notes to organize for Septembers Newsletter , the Fall is when we also offer longer articles , some really great material this month , or as Anderson Cooper likes to say Breaking News.
Still exploring and having a blast with Face Book , although there are some people I know I Know ,,, I'm having a bit of a time putting faces to names.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Experimenting with Ads

After some consideration I have deciced to post ads on my blog site , I would like to ask all readers that some of the ad's offer the same services that I do , please visit my website at
www.donmackay.biz  by scrolling all the way down you will come to products offered

August Training

August is moving on quickly , I've got 4 more strength training sessions planned for the month , if the rain lets up 2 bike riding days and  1 group private lesson , I'm finding after 12 months of experimentation that a warm up blend of Forms , Techniques , specific Dynamic Techniques and Shadow Boxing is an excellent warm up prior to lifting , still majority of Body Weight  exercises ,along with some Reverse Hypers, Hyper Extensions , Crunchs with #50 on a Swiss Ball and some Arm Curls.
For the first week of September we have one more group private indoors , then as the bugs dissapear we will be moving back outside for our training

The Beach

Yesterday as Hurricane Bill was heading up to Nova Scotia , a friend and I headed up to North Hampton and Rye Beach to get some fresh ocean air and watch the waves , after some light morning Somatics to wake the body up and a hearty Sunday breakfast of pancakes and eggs it was time to explore , as a regular beach visitor I knew we where in for a different sort of day when we saw traffic jams where I'd never seen them before , a quick U turn and some back roads alowed us to miss most of the traffic , the waves where fantastic , LOTS of people , the surfers where having a blast . We ended up at Odiorne State Park , lots of Family's , and picture takers , everyone we observed was very respectfull of the waves and the Ranger who was on duty , nothing like the ocean air to energize .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

measureable results

Made my goal ! 125 Hindu Squats ( not yet at one per second ,,but close ! ) You have to be able to measure it , one of my dear friends & mentors used to say , "You have to be able to measure it " In my experience one of the very best tools is a timer from Radio Shack ( about $15.00 ) you can time EVERY element of your workout, Friday was a great Body Weight routine with some light arm curls , some reverse hypers and spinal decompressions thrown in , 5 short ( intense ) sets , plus technical work on kicks , forms , techniques and shadow  boxing

Friday, August 21, 2009

Training

After some great Somatic work to wake up the body , some energy drills and some roller work, it's time for a pre workout power breakfast , oatmeal , raisons , walnuts with a touch of real maple syrup.
Today is some technical work Forms , Techniques , kicking skills and some kick boxing drills followed by a body weight workout , goal today is 125 Hindu squats !

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Social Media

Looks like this may not be the last blog on this site , after several years of hearing " are you on facebook " I became a member 48 hours ago and am totaly amazed at how many of the   freinds that I have wondered about over the years that I have been able to contact , amazing , if your the least little bit like me and have not checked it out , do it , a real blast

Friday, August 14, 2009

New blog Site

I'm excited to anounce a new blog site , this will be my last posting all new postings are found at 
HTTP://donmackay.wordpress.com , this month represents the first month of our new facebook page as well , see you there !

Tribute

Last night we had a great " technical " class , after some short but intense conditioning , high intensity Martial Arts burpees we went right into basic Forms and Kenpo Techniques , as a custom I like to dedicate classes to individuals who have had a powerfull impact on the world , and this weeks class was dedicated to Ms. Eunice Shriver , the individual responsible for what became the special Olympics as well as Mr. Les Paul the creator of the solid body electric guitar , two individuals who inspired and changed the world. I encourage everyone to visit You Tube and watch an early Les Paul / Mary Ford recording,  Via Condios

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Joint Mobilization

This entire week is dedicated to body weight training , joint mobilization work , along with weapon destruction timing drills , exotic takedowns ( recorded for future DVD  ) and Kenpo Ju Jitsu review class . This entire month has been an open invitation for all Black Belt alumni to train as guests as part of my celebration of life .As Martial Artist's we have been so fortunate to have acess to so much knowledge and so many technique , and while it is true " How many technique do you need" variety allows us to stay fresh , with timing , performance and fitness.
 The body weight workout this week:
 40 minutes of joint mobilization 6 times a week with somatics and chi energy drills
 3 times a week , rubber band , monster walks and side steps
 Lunges / Hindu Squate
 Push Up varity's
 Dips
 Oblique Crunch's

Attitude

Even our New England rain filled summer is flying by , this time last year I was one week out of the Hospital , after having my system topped off with 4 pints of blood that I was missing , amazing what alittle oxygen and 4 pints of blood can do ! Now a year latter , focus , awareness and perception is much different , and ATTITUDE , I remind my Doctor that he may be in the business of transplanting livers , however it is my job to make sure that he dosn't get to transplant mine. This past weekend I heard from a very special Friend who shared with me that her cancer is in completer remission , ATTITUDE. Another dear friend and fellow cyclist ( who's in great shape ) had a heart attack , and within days after his release was mowing his yard 5 minutes at a time.Two weeks ago after picking up my monthly newsletter at the printers I ran in to another old friend who used to repair my bikes  ( back when an 8 hour ride was " just a ride " ) who in between sharing jokes with me , was telling me of his upcoming bladder removal due to cancer ATTITUDE, every one of my friends you would never know that something major was up , it's the attitude , I can  share this with you it's great to be around.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thoughts have Energy - Wake up Inspired

" Your own self realization is the greatest service you can render the world "

                     Sri Maharashni

 As we mature we travel from the desire " To get a better life for me"
                         To
 " Make the world better because of me "
 Thoughts have energy , Inspire all we come in contact with

 Many years ago in conversation with a lifelong owner of a group of small very prosperous companies , the owner said to me " you know we can get alot done if we don't have to get credit for it " 

 That becomes more and more meaningful to me every year , many years ago I used to experience a bit of sadness as students would move up in to Black Belt , and then move away , it wasn't until one of my Black Belts said " I wouldn't be taking this new job if it wasn't for my Martial Arts Training , Thank You " Then I realized , the Staff and I where doing a better job than I had been aware of, the journey to Black Belt had changed many of of our students allowing them to operate at a much higher frequency and level of performance and that is what it's all about.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

morning routine

Having just finnished a morning routine of Somatic movement for neck, shoulders , back and hips,
some gentle roller work , chi kung and breathing finnishing with head to toe joint mobilization , I always reflect on how much better and healthier people would feel and perform if they had a personal morning routine.
 
As WWOZ 90.7 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Radio Station broadcasts , this weekend is the SATCHMO FEST , some powerfull Louis Armstrong is playing.

 My Power breakfast of Oatmeal , Raisons , walnuts and a dash of fresh maple syrup will stick with me right up to workout time , Mc Canns Oatmeal hands down is KIng , however Quaker oats with condiments makes a tasty  and economical meal

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Training With Wisdom

Well here it is one week to the day when even after feeling alittle twinge in my hip , I decided a good sprinting session would shake iht right out , Wrong , for the last week lots of gentle Somatics and Foam Roller along with several Epsom Salt soaks , Teachable Lesson , still after all these years LISTEN to the body.
Just recently for light reading I picked up an old copy of The Illustrated Man , by Ray Bradbury what a great book , many of the movies very powerfull scenes with Rod Steiger are available on you tube , a great easy reading book ! While re reading the book Born to Run , a real inspirational book that gets you moving even more !

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sprints , Squats , Turkish Get Ups and Foam Rollers

A cool and drizzly New Hampshire morning , almost hard to break a sweat doing 8 - 25 second Sprints , in addition to Sprints I am adding one legged squats , the turkish get up and some intense foam roller work to assist in keeping my sprinting muscles loose. As it has been the better part of 4 years since I have included on a regular basis one legged squats I am giving myself 30 days  to build up comfortably to full range of motion and several sets.

 This month in our Martial Arts Black Belt Class we are reveiwing Kenpo Ju Jitsu , Standing Knife Defense , Ground Knife Defense , Chi Kung Energy Breathing , Youthfull movement and Joint Mobilization along with Rolls , Falls and Take Downs , all outside on grass building to denser surfaces.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Perfect bike day

A perfect day for bike rideing , sunny ,low 80's , for the first time this year I decided to take the 1973 Chrome P-15 Schwin Touring Paramount out , PERFECT , the Paramount was THE bike in its day and its still a joy to ride , a pretty intense and hilly New Hampshire ride and a bike thats almost 40 years old still does its thing nicely.Something to be said for good design and high quality materials.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Short and Sweet

Just finished up a Sprint session , 8- 25 second sprints in barefeet on grass , what a great workout , hi intensity , real life movement.
I'm often curious when I observe younger people at the Gym using the "Kardio" equipment when is the last time they ran up a hill , sprinted or bounded or skipped , these are the motions that keep people youthfull and playfull. Not that those "Kardio" machines don't have their usefullness as older people can hold on and feel safe , it is perhaps to easy to dumb bown the bodies ability to move  youtfully.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mixing it up

Quite frequently I'll obseve an individual at the gym doing the same basic workout every time they train , based on current research we know the body adjusts most quickly to the number of repititions in a workout , variety is important not just from a physical perspective , but also a mental perspective. Experience has shown that frequently people will get injured in the first couple of weeks of training , below is a simplified series of routines that I've used with great success as well as shared with many students.
* Body Weight ( before anything )
* 12 - 10 - 8
* 3 sets of 12
* 6 sets of 5
* 2 sets of 25
* 3 sets of 8
* 6 sets of 3
* 1 set of 12
As longevity of an Athlete  / Martial Artist is of primary concern , any training method that minimizes injury is of utmost importance , the importance of starting a routine with body weight exercise is critical to give joints , tendons and ligaments time to get conditioned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Keeping a Skill Set Sharp / 1,080 kicks a week

We all know that once we have aquired a skill set , it takes us much less time to maintain the skill set than to aquire it in the first place. Several years ago I set out to determine how many kicks daily , weekly , monthly and yearly I would need to repeat to maintain a high quality base level skill set.
 My training routine over the past 24 months has evolved to 12,960 kicks a year , 1,080 kicks per week , individual kicks , not counting kicks in Techniques or Forms. While employing 80% dynamic or active stretching this seems to be sufficent at this time , in the next several weeks my intentions are to add some Thai Pad round work , we'll see if anything changes.
Now that we are going on to our third day ( more or Less ) of sunshine its amazing to watch as peoples moods become so much more pleasant and everyone is motivated to walk, run , bike , get outside

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More Sunshine

Well now that our 27 days ( more or less ) of rain has stopped , we have had two days of sunshine in a row ! Today was a bike riding day , after leading a Somatics class yesterday my body felt loose and ready for the local hills ( that qualify as mountains in some parts of the country ) after a power breakfast of oatmeal with walnuts , raisons and a dash of real maple syrup along with one egg with cheese , onion and tomato. Off for a great ride , lots of other cyclists out there. Back to the house for a bannana  and Stoney field Farm yogurt and 30 minutes of absorbing some vitamin D.
While adhering to the credo " Train don't Drain " all week my strength traing goal has been 6 sets  five reps , on Friday I made 5 sets of five reps , so goal for Monday is six sets of five reps before switching routine

Friday, July 10, 2009

SunShine

The Sun is back , putting smiles on most everyones face ! Thursday was day number two for barefoot sprints , time still slow , however better than the first day , feet feel fine ! This weeks workout is 6 sets of 5 reps 
* Front Squat
*Pull Ups with Body Weight
*Bench Dips
* Flat Bench Press with Dumb Bells
* Hammer Curl
* one arm bent row
Done on a circuit format , no stops between exercises , then a 2 minute rest at the completion of one full set
Fast - Efficent - Not Boring

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Barefoot

Inspired by the book Born to Run , today was my first day of barefoot sprints ( modified ! ) the sun has vanished for a few more days , at noon time the temperature at my local school field was 57 degrees , with a nice freshly cut , very wet grass, six 25 second sprints with a 25 second rest , fast , comfortable and refreshing , feet felt fine . As the week progresses I will add some more speed and reduce the time . 

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Sun is Shining

After what is probably one of New Hampshires  most rainiest  June's in history , July is bringing in the sun! Yesterday I pulled the old  Basso out , filled two water bottles and headed of for a " mystery ride" about three hours  and many hills latter , I was once again reminded on the quiet beauty of a solo bike ride.
Still reading Born to Run , will no doubt re read it , I'm so impressed and motivated that Tuesday I 'm heading out for the first time in a year to run sprints at a local high school field , this time barefoot

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Born To Run

Born To Run , authored by Christopher Mc Dougall , about a hidden tribe , Super Athletes and the Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen is an inspirational book for all of us .

Saturday, June 13, 2009

moving meditation

Today after a " perfect" bike ride , I was reminded of a term I've used alot in the past  to both bike riding and motorcyle riding  ,, MOVING MEDITATION , these days , the 1978 Motto Guzzi Le Mans sits , waiting to be rode , while a restored 1980's Basso , or 1972 Paramount , or even a vintage carbon fiber Trek are the most current tools of choice for a moving meditation , as a Martial Artist running my Forms and old Kata's provides me a different type of moving meditation as does some of the walking meditations we teach and practice.
Riding a bike , walking , running all provide me the relaxation that comes from 60 or more minutes of moving meditation , an experience I don't have at the gym with a dozen different TV stations on .
In fact , today was so great , I'm already thinking of a different ride for Sunday , here in this part of New Hampshire I can be confident the ride will have it's share of hills 1

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jim and Connie Ingram and AmerIndo Silat

This past Friday  I received a call from Connie Ingram explaining that herself and Mr . Ingram where in town to teach a Silat workshop , painfully I had to explain that I to was teaching a workshop that day , and Sunday was spoken  for however I would be glad to drive down on Monday for a courtesy visit . Over ten years ago I attended a Silat workshop  , that had almost as many teachers as participants , great for us , bad for them ,after 2 days of training and taking falls on a concrete cement floor , Mr. Ingrams particular approach to Silat really resonated with myself , about half way through the second day I partnered up with a man named Fred Fullerton , who would latter grow to be a very good friend and who would introduce me to Dave Boylin a superb Martial Artist , with a photographic memory for movement . At the conclusion of the Silat Camp I approaced Mr . Ingram and inquired if he would be interested in doing a Silat workshop in Nashua , N.H. where my Academy was located at that time , he replied that he would be interested and this began ten or more tears of intense workshops in New Hampshire and Rhode Island . At the time the Academy had just switched from the original DragonFire name to Black Belt Academy , we where instituting many cultural and curriculum changes to improve students performance , the new Academy was 14,000 square feet ! With the main workout floor at 7,000
square feet , plenty of room .As I understsood more and more of the Silat  , many Silat methods became integrated into our Kenpo curriculum providing a vibrant and flowing method .
Monday while visiting Mr.Ingram , many of those memories came back to me , Mr. Ingram is currently working on a book about Silat which we hope will be out soon . Many years ago he worked with Mr, Bob Orlando on a Silat book , I always had the feeling that it wasn't quite what he expected. At 80 years of age Mr. Ingram , looks , talks and moves like a man in his forties , if you have the oppurtunity to train with MR.Ingram I highly reccomend the experience , also check out the AMERINDO WEB SITE. What a special hour it was to visit the Ingrams , Mrs Ingram announced that next year would be their 60th wedding aniversary ! No matter how tired you are from training , with Mr. Ingram you always leave refreshed , and feeling good

Sunday, June 7, 2009

working with good people

Saturdays Somatic ( Feldenkrais ) Workshop was well represented with all ages and all levels of experience , we even had one of the old Black Belts attend , Ms Elkins , class was abit over two hours and was dedicated to David Carridine  , the Actor who recently died , his positive influence was responsible for a huge surge in memberships at Martial Schools of all types, in the 1970's. Class was also dedicated to Mr. Tim Roby , recent reciepient of a Kidney transplant , who not only shot video for us he participated as well ! The Somatic movements Rolling Praying Mantis and the Big X where a big hit with everyone.The Somatic movements taught are available on DVD , go www.donmackay.biz for details.Based on feedback there appears to be a desire for a class on a regular basis. Also on Saturday I learned my Silat Instructor Guro Besat Jim Ingram and his wife Connie are outside of Boston doing a semminar series, Monday I will be making a courtesy visit.
Mr Ingrams Silat " AmerIndo " is a very unique system and I have felt blessed to be both a Student and Instructor in this Art

Friday, May 29, 2009

short and sweet

It wasn't that long ago that many Martial Artists and Boxers shunned weight lifting for fear of slowing down and getting tight , now we know with proper training methods a Martial Artist can lift and increase speed , power , flexibility and maintain what I like to refer to as youthfull movement ( with Somatics ) 
Heres this weeks complex :
5 sets that diminish from 6 reps down to 2 , moving as fast as possible from one to the next:
* standing overhead press
* good morning
* Back Squat
* front squat
* Dead Lift
* one arm dead lift right & left sides
walk 6 feet to the bench press 
average total time 3 minutes 30 seconds
once I've completed the that complex then over to the pull up bar same numbers , mixed grips on lat pull up  , set of pull up over to the bench for bench dips back to pull ups 

short and sweet , fast ,check it out or create your own variation , enjoy

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day weekend is the official start of the Tourist season in New Hampshire , that translates to lots of traffic heading North to the Mountains , Lakes and Ocean. Friday was a complex workout day  , talk about a Fast and Simple workout:
* Overhead Shoulder Press
*Good Morning
* Back Squat
* Front Squat
* Dead Lift
* One Handed Dead Lift
than a quick walk six feet to the bench for a bench press , all completed in 3 minutes 30 seconds
6 reps / 5 sets
Saturday a pleasant 60 minute bike ride that starts with about 30 minutes of serious hill climbs
Sunday will be a about 60 minutes of flats , with a quick stop inbetween to grab a cup of Paul Newmans best coffee , a light rain keeps the temperature perfect.
Some outstanding news Instructor Tim Roby received his long awaited Kidney transplant , during our last conversation the Doctors referred to him as the Poster Boy , he was doing so well
and will probably be home on Memorial Day ! It's been along two year wait , we are all happy for him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fast Fun and Simple Workouts

When I visit my local Gym , I observe so many people who have what is sometimes referred to as Gym amnesia ,  in essence each workout is pretty much the same as the last one : Who said it has to be boring , maybe because so many of us call it " working out " my workout this week is Fast,Fun and Simple :
Warm Up : Form s and Techniques  then some Dynamic Movement Warm Ups : Toy Soldiers -
Walking Rotating Twist - Walking Palms - Sumo Squats,
20 - Side - Back and RoundHouse Kicks with emphasis on Form -10 Spinning Back kicks
Jab - Cross - Jab basic boxing drills with # 1-2-3 and 4 Front Kicks , time roughly 15 minutes:
workout: BW nutral grip pull ups
                Full Squat to a standing Shoulder press
                Push ups with hands on a Swiss Ball
                One arm / one leg bent row
                Incline chest press
                swiss ball "Y" raise's
                Tricep rope pull downs / bench dips
                 Butt Blaster with one leg on a medicine ball
                 one arm concentration curl
                 torso cable rotation on knees
time roughly 14 minutes / rest for 2 minutes  / repeat
Fast , Fun and Simple 

Fine Art

 For anyone who appreciates Art , Visit  Guro Al Mc Luckies website at:
www.almcluckie.com

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For a complete listing of available workshops visit www.donmackay.biz or direct inquires to 
info@donmackay.biz

somatics

During the course of workshops and everyday teaching I'm frequently asked exactly what my " morning routine" consists of , one thing I can say is it does change frequently , however the core elements are very similar , generally I start with a Feldenkrais rolling movement , and then move on to Somatic movements that loosen up the back , shoulders and hips , I'll also add some joint mobilzation movement to get the synovial fluid flowing , add some basic chi kung energy methods and some deep breathing an d it's time for breakfast - sounds like alot , never takes more than 20 minutes. And the best part is how good I feel starting every day , which is one of the reasons I encourage everyone to create and experiment with their own unique morning routine.
On Saturday June 6 , I will be leading a Somatic movement workshop , one of the really great things is after our 2 hour session together to see how much more relaxed and effortlessly participants move , if you can join us 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hydrorxy Cut Recall

The Hydroxy cut recall has prompted the F.D.A. to issue an Industry wide recall of all Hydroxy cut products.
It is terrible that an person lost their life and many others received liver damage. What nobody talks about is the 60,000 lives Dr. David Graham of the FDA calculated that VIOX killed , and the drug was voted safe by an FDA panel even though its manufacturer had voluntarily recalled it ! It's estimated that common pain killers like Aspirin and NSAID kill 16,500 people each year and the FDA has never recalled any NSAID's.
The FDA's strong alliance with big pharmacueutical companies is cause for concern for all of us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring at Last

Spring at last in New England , the May Flies have been out for over a week now .The last class we held in a local park , the students came prepared - with bug spray in hand. Today is a strength training day as well as technical training , starting with a dynamic warm up , then Forms and techniques followed by some kickboxing drills , my goal is to be out of the gym in one hour fiveteen minutes ! 
 Today's my Dad's 85 th Birthday , a day to celebrate !
This Thursday we have a Black Belt Training Class at Dr.Boulards office in Nashua , covering combat Ju Jitsu street techniques , Kenpo Club material and Silat entries , several old Black Belts have been invited , sure be great to see them in class !