WAKF & Crossfit Blog

Knees versus Straight Lines

April 24th, 2015

The shortest path between two points is a straight line but annoyingly, when lifting the bar from the ground, it makes a great deal of sense to start with bent knees. Sure, you could stiff legged deadlift the barbell up but then you’d be hard pressed to jump it up to the catch position (it’s nigh impossible to jump when all your joints are locked out).

So the dilemma is this: how do we pick up the bar with bent knees but not arc around our knees but instead bring the bar towards the hips in a (mostly) straight line? There are probably lots of answers to this but the simplest one is to fix your set up. If the bar is too close to your shin (like a deadlift set up) and your weight is in your heels (again, like a deadlift set up) at the start of a clean, then things are liable to get ugly. Instead, start with the bar over the toes (usually the first lace on your shoe) and your weight in your midfoot.

Good setup yields a good lift. Watch this video for more setup details.


April 21st, 2015

For those of you who know the form, watch the last vertical punch that I do in the video. Pay attention to my rear foot. See how it slides back as I punch? Yeah. That’s a mistake. It’s a mistake because my foot moving backwards means there isn’t as much power going forward – into the punch.

The fun part was that a student saw that mistake, not me.

We all make mistakes. Constantly. In sparring, in forms, in life. Mistakes are part of the equation. Noticing them, not beating yourself up about them, taking ownership of them and trying to correct them one at a time is what we do.

Suns Out, Rowers Out

April 20th, 2015

If the rowers seem to run smoother, look cleaner and smell less, blame Erik.

I bet if you ask him nicely, he will show you the photos of all the lint he found trapped inside the flywheels of the rowers. Didn’t know rowers collected lint? Neither did I.

Thanks, Erik!


April 16th, 2015

How do you practice grounding? Okay, first of all, what is grounding?

Grounding is being able to stand firmly in the face of challenge. For tonight we made that challenge trying to punch the pads while someone pushes your from behind. If you haven’t tried it before, it is super fun. It’s also very annoying but in a charming sort of way.

What makes drills like this so valuable is that they are dynamic. You have to constantly adapt to the pressure that your pushing partner is putting on you. And the amazing part is when you get a chance to punch the pads with no one pushing you, you will feel solid as a rock.

Sweep Them!

April 13th, 2015

What do you do when you end up on your butt and the other guy is standing up? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could knock them to the ground and get on top of them? You can!

There are a number of great sweeps specifically designed for a sitting player to bring down a standing opponent. Today we went over two different sweeps: the lumberjack and the tomahawk. The common thread between both of them is that as the bottom player, you need your hands on their ankles (or the bottom of their pants) and you need your feet on their hips. That doesn’t mean you need both those things for ALL guard sweeps against a standing opponent but they are pretty important in terms of having some leverage to use.

Next time your partner stands up out of your guard… don’t panic… sweep them!