WAKF & Crossfit Blog


October 21st, 2014

I think we should do more Turkish get ups. The more I do them the more I notice how much they transfer to all the other overhead skill work we do. A person with a good Turkish get up has a good understanding of how to use shoulder structure to stay under the weight. This same understanding should, in theory, apply to using structure to support the weight in a snatch or jerk.

Therefore, I’ll program more of them and we’ll see if it has the amazing rippling skill effect that I’m hoping for.

Fall of Constantinople
Part 1: Strength
4 sets of 5 overhead pause squats
Part 2: Gymnastic technique
Alternate 8
A: ring dips
B: pistols
Part 3: Conditioning (15 min cap)
4 rounds for time
15 Turkish sit ups (20/14)
15 box jumps (24)
3/3 Turkish get ups (45/33 barbell)

Check the whiteboard for numbers.

Theme of the Week: Self Defense

October 21st, 2014

What should you know about self defense? What are the relevant skills to keeping out of trouble? What are the relevant skills to getting out of trouble?

At the center of it all is awareness. If you can’t see the threat, you can’t do anything about it. All the skills, tools and strategies will fail if you do not first open your senses to the incoming data. Don’t expect. Don’t predict. Perceive what is actually there.

If it sounds easy, you’ve got a leg up on the rest of us. It is far too tempting to sink into the whirlpools and pitfalls of one’s own thought processes. Focus out. Look at what is happening. Who is around you? What are they up to? Where is your nearest escape route if things suddenly go funky?

The good news is while self defense situations are rare, paying attention is constantly interesting. You’ll be amazed at the things you notice when you take the time to notice.


October 20th, 2014

With the complicated workouts, sometimes you lose a moment or two in confusion. What lift is next? How many reps do I do?

Set yourself up correctly. Write down the movements on the floor if you need to. Load the bar so that it unloads perfectly into the next movement.

Why? What if you don’t care about your time?

The workouts are supposed to mimic our ability to handle real life stress. Dealing with life means having good organizational skills. Dealing with some of the complicated workouts we do requires organization skills. Get organized and finish the work faster.

Battle of Stalingrad
Part 1: Barbell Technique
4 sets of 5 touch and go clean and jerks
Then do a final AMRAP set with 80% of your heaviest weight from the above 4 sets.
Part 2: Gymnastic Technique
Alternate 8
A: Skin to cat to back lever
B: Double unders
Part 3: Conditioning
3 minute AMRAP
1 lap bear walk
5 chest to bar pull ups
10 deadlifts (225/155)
1 min rest
3 min AMRAP
1 lap broad jump
5 handstand push ups
10 cleans (135/95)
1 min rest
3 min AMRAP
1 lap bear walk
5 handstand push ups
10 thrusters (95/65)
1 min rest
3 min AMRAP
1 lap broad jump
5 chest to bar pull ups
10 snatches (75/45)

Check the whiteboard for numbers.

Mind the Gap

October 19th, 2014

There is a rift that can develop in any art between new students and students who have been around for a while. This rift need not be a problem but it can often be a problem if folks lose a sense of perspective.

In all arts, skill is important. Technique matters. This is easy to see once one is immersed in the art but difficult to see from the outside. Sometimes technique just looks like brute strength. Sometimes technique looks like magic (something we could never duplicate). It becomes obvious how people on both side of the equation could struggle.

If you’re new, trust us that skill matters. Do the drills, learn the techniques. Learning to move well IS part of fitness. Capacity and endurance are not the end all be all. Strategy matters. Understanding, knowledge and the ability to apply them matter.

If you’ve been around for a while, remember how silly and annoying all the drilling seemed initially. You just want to get in shape. You just want to sweat and move. Isn’t that what this is all about? Remember what it what like to be new and have patience. The people who get it will stick around. Those who don’t, won’t but we will be able to say that we gave everyone our earnest best.

Don’t let the gap become a rift. Keep perspective.

Battle of Alesia
Part 1: Barbell Technique
2 high hang snatches
Part 2: Conditioning
With 15 minutes on the clock do
4 rounds
8 snatches (95/65)
12 strict toes to bar
Then run 500m
Then with the remaining time, AMRAP wall ball (20/14)

Check the whiteboard to see how I misspelled the battle name and also for numbers.

Survival Mode

October 16th, 2014

Your body has some basic protocols for surviving. For example, when you get scared, you get a dump of chemicals into your body (including adrenaline) and those chemicals give you a burst of strength. Another example of an automatic survival mechanism is when you go into shock, the body concentrates the blood in the core of the body and moves it away from the extremities. If you have a wound of some kind, this is a very cool system because it means you don’t bleed as much.

All these automatic systems aren’t very useful in the context of BJJ. In fact, the body’s response often short circuits our attempts to perform good techniques. We panic, we forget what we are trying to do and we sometimes tap out simply because we are panicking and exhausted.

So what should you focus on as a new student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? My suggestion in today’s class was to learn the positional hierarchy. This means gaining a basic understanding of what the worst position in BJJ is, what the best position in BJJ is and the various shades inbetween. I gave a simplified version but if you want a bigger picture, plus more insights on what to focus on as a white belt, read this article from the grapplearts website.