WAKF & Crossfit Blog

Theme of the Week: Spine

November 24th, 2014

This week we’ll be looking back… or rather at our backs. Almost everyone who has trained for a while has had a back injury. Even those who haven’t know how not fun back injuries are. This week we’ll look at how to safely use our backs in martial arts and how to keep our backs healthy through a variety of stretches, strengthening moves and posture work.

Also, swinging around axes and swords is fun. We’ve got them, so we might as well use them.

Lock Out Your Elbows

November 24th, 2014

As you change directions, slam down your feet and pull under to the squat, there is (at least) one more thing you must remember: lock out your elbows. If you don’t, you’ll catch the snatch with bent elbows and everything will quake and quiver. Your stance will feel off. Your shoulders will be angry. This is because the bar is not stable. When your elbows are bent, the weight has room to rattle around and given gravity, it will.

Snatch balances are, among other things, a great drill to work on elbow lock out. You dive under the bar and you slam the arms into place. The jerk is also a fantastic lift to work this idea. If you get locked elbows quickly, the lift feels like leg work. If you don’t lock out your elbows, there is a hefty shoulder press coming your way.

Go elbows, go!

Cap’n Jack Sparrow
Part 1: Barbell Technique
Squat clean
Front squat
Part 2: Gymnastic Technique
Alternate 8
A: double unders
B: pistols
Part 3: Conditioning
Box jumps (24″)
Push press (115/83)

Check the whiteboard for numbers.


November 23rd, 2014

Some classes go well. Some go badly. Most classes, by definition, are average. I’d like to think that our average classes are amazing, but I’m fairly biased.

Today, however, was one of the best kids classes ever at WAKF. We had 5 teachers and 7 students. I can’t even begin to express how awesome it made it to teach today. With that many helpers, we had a coach for every pair of students sparring.

This means that the students not only got the content of the class but individual feedback from a coach who had eyes ONLY on them. Awesome stuff.

First Squat

November 20th, 2014

If you want to be able to snatch properly, you need an overhead squat. Likewise, if you want to clean properly, you need a front squat. You can power snatch and avoid the overhead squat and you can also power clean and avoid the front squat but you are missing out on more of the more demanding coordination pieces of the lift by doing so.

The bummer, of course, is that overhead squats are downright demoralizing for the average human being for about 3-6 months. You can’t get down all the way. Your elbows bend. Your shoulders hurt. You drop the bar a bunch. You can’t put any weight on the bar. Sigh. Like everything else, persistance and practice will get you gains. It is one of millions of lessons on patience.

Part 1: Strength
4 sets of 5 pause overhead squats
Part 2: Mobility
2/2 minutes glute smash and floss
2/2 minutes boxed pigeon
Part 3: Conditioning
4 rounds for time
5/5 cartwheels
5 deadlifts (275/183)
10 toes to bar

Check the whiteboard for numbers.

Escape to a Better Place

November 20th, 2014

There are few people in the world who want to get put in an armbar. Unfortunately, it is not always obvious how to get out of an armbar. One method is to “shuck” it. This method works well when you are inside of someone’s guard and they have put you in that miserable position of needing to tap or letting your arm snap.

Never fear! An escape is here. Drive into their leg with your head and shoulder. If they have left you a little bit of space, you’ll find that you can drive their knees together, much like a smash pass and wind up in side control. You’ve moved from almost tapping to being on top, which is a pretty awesome change of events.