Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What a difference a day (or week) makes!

After a week of not following my schedule due to a number of confounding factors such as research work for college and both arms aching from either giving blood or the shoulder which is still aching, I have noticed a few things.

Boxing with Graham on Thursday for fifteen minutes left me completely knackered. I think this is actually from doing too much that evening as I ran 3 miles, completed a magic 50 and then went and did that sparring. Nonetheless, I wouldn't normally be as tired as I was but having taken that week off, I really noticed it. I actually felt sick and that's not happened since I was training for my fight!

I'm back into it now and I've just completed my 5x5 upper body workout of dips and pull ups which I am pleased to say is becoming much easier. I'm going to have to start adding more weight soon but for the moment I'm gonna just add one rep so it is 6x5 instead to see if that  makes it harder. I didn't do this yesterday because my shoulder is still giving me aching pain.

I have a child protection course tonight so will probably go for a run after that. I'll have to remain disciplined and start doing my sprint interval training tomorrow. No excuses now as I have time and it is not icy cold outside anymore either.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm a bit disappointed in my self that I haven't completed my sprints but I did do everything else and I do have a reason (NOT an excuse) for not doing sprints on Wednesday.

ON Friday I completed my 5x5 upper body workout and it isn't getting easier yet so I'm happy to stay with the 6kg just now. I can increase the weight with graham's dumbell weights whenever I need to, so that is handy. Instead of 10 seconds rest I gave myself 30 seconds again which made it slightly easier. I've now established that I can do it with minimal rest (10/15 seconds) so I will now be using this minimal rest period to make the exercise tougher for myself.

Graham and Steve from my Muay Thai club are fighting on 6 June and I'll hopefully be cornering them and wrapping their hands which will give me more experience. I like cornering fights, I get more nervous cornering than I did fighting because it is completely out of my hands, but it is a good, albeit different buzz.

Finally, playing a gig tonight! Vulsellum are playing with Vulturyon from Sweden, Bloodshot Dawn from England, Cryptic Hate, Nerrus Kor and Threshold Sicks at Hustlers with doors opening at 5pm. It is £5 on the door. Really looking forward to playing this as we have 2 new songs to play and this will be the first time anyone has heard them!

So, busy weekend again!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Open letter to BJ Penn

Dude, you are a great fighter... in your own weight class. Georges beat you like a naughty child, No amount of BJJ wiles could have stopped that beating. You were soundly beaten by a bigger, stronger, faster fighter who many think is one of the best pound for pound fighters that the mixed matrial arts world has ever seen. And nobody is sure if this is his prime or whether the best is yet to come. So go back to lighweight and maintain your dominance there. People wanna see you fight Kenny Florian, not Georges St Pierre in a court room, through lawyers and paper. It just smacks of denial. Again, you are a great fighter in your own weight class so get back there and dominate like you can. Are we going to see you try to take on Anderson Silva next? Please stop this because it is getting embarrasing.

Lots of love

Kieran McNairn

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today I bought Hagakure - The Book of the Samurai from a charity shop for 50p. I'm about halkway throygh and surprised to find that I agree with a lot of the stuff in there. Not the bits about dying instead of living and living in reverence to your master but some of the things it says really rings true with a modern interpretation of a warrior, especially in the ring (or cage if you are that way inclined):

"There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to exerything."

I think if this book is read in the right way it can be adapted easily to the modern warrior and I look forward to finishing it so I can freely dip in and out of its wisdom over the coming years.

I did not run today or train Thai boxing because I slept funny and now have a creak in my neck although I did complete my magic 50 routine yesterday without much problem. It sounds silly but I can't throw a punch and sitting hurts, never mind running. It is just too painful to do anything physical so I have spend the day reading my history class notes and a few other books, Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival" and a funny one called "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" which is a blow by blow account of how full of shit the man is. I agree with Moore's overall points in a number of his works but the methods he uses to portray them and the downright lies he tells astound me and quite frankly piss me off. It is funny to read an expose of his work but I have tired of reading rebuttals from an American right wing perspective to be honest.

To finish, here are some pics of my home-made weight belt, using a canvas belt and two hand weights.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Well, I haven't really done any exercise this weekend but it has still been productive.

Firstly, Graham and I have moved garages. His dad wasn't using his when we moved in a laid the mats and underlay but now he needs the space for spare carpets as he runs a carpet shop. I only just remembered that my dad also has a garage that he doesn't use so with his approval, we have moved in there instead. The underlay and jigsaw mats have now been laid and our tyre, heater and shelfs with various stuff (buddha, skipping ropes, weights, med ball etc) will be going in tomorrow morning before we both hit the magic 50 as I've decided to switch the 5x5 and the magic 50 round just now.

I've started running everywhere instead of cycling. I want to cycle to Dundee at some point when I have spare time but the bike needs some good maintenance so I'll have to stop using it just now. This weekend I've ran around 5km in total going up to my parents and back, coming back from various places etc. As I've been running shorter distances I've been practicing my breathing - in deeply through the nose and out through the mouth and it feels a bit more comfortable now.

I'm pretty disappointed that Kieran Keddle didn't make weight for his title fight last night. I mean come on, if you have a world title fight you can't come in overweight and try to run it off on the day then call it off because you are dehydrated and still over weight! That's pretty lame. The event as a whole was actually pretty good but it was weird seeing the clinch being continually broken up and the fighters attempting it time after time through instinct but aside from that it was entertaining and certainly a change from having to choose between boxing and MMA. I might start looking out for more K-1/K-1 rule shows.

Well, that's about it for now. Tomorrow I start my new schedule which I hope to stick to, the main motivation behind starting this blog was so that I would be shamed into doing things I say I'm gonna do instead of just saying I'll do things and not doing it! Heavy period coming up with college just now, I have psychology research project (2500 word report), criminology report (4,000 words), sociology assessment, history assessment plus Thatcherism essay (2,000 words), graded research project (2,500 words) as well as my final exam. All that in the next few months! And people don't believe me when I say I am a very busy chap... Add in training, muay thai, parkour and gigging.... But hey, this is the life I chose.


Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm posting this to encourage everyone reading this watch this:


Too many "this" in that sentence eh... Seriously, gonna be a good event, worth watching!

I tweeted earlier that I ran my 5k in 23 mins, last night the same route took me 20 mins! It works out at 5k or 3.09 miles. I'm gonna try to keep on improving this time until it is at around 15 mins then I'll increase the distance.

I completed my 5x5 workout yesterdy as well and tried to give myself minim rest time between sets and I really noticed the difference. I took 10 seconds this time whereas last time it was 30 seconds.

Finally, done some boxing last night, still working on counter punching. I have really long arms so I should be using my jab much more effectively than I do now. I did see that moving in angles around Graham made me much harder to hit. I lso got in some good body shots. Bas Rutten would be proud.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've written out a list of things I want to do every week:

Monday - 5x5

Tuesday - 5k run

Wednesday - sprints

Thursday - 5k run

Friday - lower body - magic 50 circuit

The 5x5 is both pullups and dips - five with only bodyweight, five with 3kg added, five with 6kg added, five with 3kg added and finish with five with only bodyweight.

Magic 50 is something Ross Enamit came up with. It is snatches, swings and burpees. Five snatches with one dumbell on left hand followed by five on right hand, straight onto the same thing with swings and finish with ten burpees. Do that five times with minimal rest bewteen sets (I used ten seconds). It is pretty intense actually. I've been using my hand weights instead of dumbells but I might get some instead because 6kg will be pretty easy aafter a while.

Tuesdsay and Thursday is Thai class and I'm not scheduling grappling and parkour because college work and other time constraints will make sure I have to jam that stuff in when I can! Similarly, the circuits Graham and I have been playing with outside - med ball and tyre training - will take place of either my Monday or Friday depending on when Graham can come out and train. We still need to relay the mats in his garage and tidy it up so we can use that for grappling so that needs to be done too.

Class last night was pretty good, had a really good workout to start up with after warming up and the padwork was really good. Basic but really got your sweat on! The only combo we worked in the hour was: jab - cross, left hook - right hook - left uppercut - right uppercut - left knee - right knee - right kick. It flows pretty well but you need to have good technique to get the kick right at the end and keep going with the punches at the start. Following this we were shown a new technique by Colin. It was actually a new technique, I've never seen or heard of it but it was bloody great! I'm not sharing until I can get pictures :p We finished with sparring and Graham and I done 10 mins of hard sparring. I was trying to work lateral movement and counter attacking, but apparently so was Graham so it was interesting!

Finally here is my arms - 

Watchmen tonight :D

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I posted this the other day over at the Glasgow Parkour forums and decided this would be a good blog and educational for those people who don't have too much parkour experience. I'll post my weekly training at the end of the week as I now have an idea about what I want to do in terms of conditioning.

I've been thing recently about what I am doing with my various training activities such as fighting, parkour, self improvement in general. I've often explained this to people as an extension of the parkour philosophy, applying it to my whole life but I've realised this is wrong and I have been thinking wrong for ages. The reason I chose to do all this stuff was to give my life purpose which I lacked at the time and I was primarily inspired by parkour, hence the confusion. In reality though, it was Erwan's posts on the parkour.net forum and my research into what he preached: Méthode Naturelle. It is this which influenced my decision to train in various manners.

Méthode Naturelle focuses on ten fundamental utilities; walking, running, jumping, quadrupedal movement, climbing, balancing, throwing, lifting, self-defense and swimming. This was influenced by Hébert's experiences in the army. I have adapted his méthode naturelle philosophy to suit my own lifestyle and the current society. For example, throwing or quadrupedal movement aren't imperative utilities in my life so I am not particularly interested in specifically focusing my attention on those. I feel that méthode naturelle would be better if it was more flexible to suit the individual rather than being general. I understand why these particular utilities were chosen by Hébert but I cannot justify training quadrupedal movement for example, in this day and age and in my life because it is not particularly useful and thus not a fundamental utility for me, despite my body being able to do it.

Of course, I'm only focusing on the physical and ignoring the virile and moral utilities in my previous paragraph but my training does not ignore these aspects. I am constantly trying to do things which will scare me so that I am more courageous, trying to act in a way which I feel to be morally correct. I meditate and do breathing exercises and plan on researching more into this. I have been studying altruism and try to live my life in an altruistic manner. I try to control my emotions and thoughts and have discipline.

Because of this, the reason I do parkour is different to the next traceur. The preference I give to movements and techniques and the way I perform them will generally be the same as most traceurs and there are a finite number of movements you can perform in many situations. When traceurs talk about their own parkour, half of them don't really understand what they are saying and the other half are grossly mistaken by everyone. Of course, individual creativity will give traceurs their individual style and this is what a lot of people think is meant by "your own parkour". I feel this view is borne from a misunderstanding of Foucan's statement regarding "your own way" and "following your own path".

Sure, the way you move is part of your own parkour path and your own way but your parkour journey is mostly a mental one, coloured by your life choices and decisions - why you do parkour, what you do when you "do parkour", what you get out of parkour etc. My parkour is flavoured by Méthode Naturelle moreso than many other traceurs but I feel it is important that you recognise the path you are on and the purpose for walking it.

In conclusion I would like to explain that the point in this post is to hopefully inform people of what I feel is meant by the phrase "your parkour", to inform people of my own parkour as an example but most importantly, to gain feedback and input from other traceurs on this topic, that's an important aspect of parkour too! If you agree or disagree then please share these thoughts. Share - learn - live better.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Just a quick post to say that I've added a Twitter widget to my page on the right hand site. Sometimes I tweet rubbish and sometimes it is, well I actually just post loads of crap! However, if you want to read my crap with a character limit then I'm over at twitter.com/thekieran

Also, a quick shout out to Mike, BJ and Aberdeen David who all share similar goals to me. We will get to fighting and rolling soon! Mike - I'll start reading up on the kimura for sure, I am also now somewhat familiar with the americana arm lock and the peruvian necktie. Obviously I'm still a total n00b but I'm increasing my BJJ "vocabulary, so to speak. I think next time me and Graham get to grappling I want to drill positioning and using my hips properly. Will also need to work on sweeps because I have next to no experience and have only read a little about sweeps. Got my hands on the very old "Gracie Jui Jitsu Basics" 3 part video so I'll see what Rorion has to say about sweeping!

Thanks for reading and hopefully I'll have some videos up in the next month or so encompassing all the training I do in the parkour spirit.

"Etre fort pour être utile"
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Today I fashioned a weight belt by hanging hand weights from a canvas belt. I wanted to start doing pull ups and dips but also wanted to add weight so this worked pretty well.  I started with pull ups and decided to do 5x5 of both exercises. The first 5 was just bodyweight, 2nd 5 was with 3kg handweight, 3rd was with both my handweights (6kg), 4th with a single handweight and the last 5 was just bodyweight again. I tried to make sure I was performing each rep consistently and without rushing them or trying to do them too fast. Between each set I rested 30 seconds, partially to get the weights on/off the belt but also to shake off my stiff shoulders. My shoulders are way too weak...

I done the same weight rotation with dips and the final five were easily the hardest, despite coming down from 6kg extra to only bodyweight. To finish this session I threw 25 left punches and 25 right punches with one 3kg handweight, focusing on proper technique and making sure my shoulder didn't get ripped out or whatever. This was harder for me than it sounds since my triceps and shoulders are quite under-developed. I'll post a pic soon of my arms/shoulders so you can see what I mean.

I'm gonna start doing this with my runs as well as Ross Enamit's "magic 50" circuit.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Trining last night was tough simply because my stomach was really painful. I think it was simply something like wind but I also has diarrhea so maybe it was just an upset stomach. Anyway, I completed most of the class but stopped on the last combo Colin shouted out because I felt sick moreso than at any point during my fight training.

After 10 mins of sitting out I joined in with the technique sparring that everyone was doing. It was basically a loose drill where one opponent kicks and you have to block it in some way then counter with a kick. We counter with a kick rather than a punch because of the heirarchy of scoring in matches which dictates that a counter must be an attack which is of equal or greater power than the original attack. It goes like this - punch - knee - kick - elbow (roughly), obviously depending on your distance etc.

Dean and Chris play rugby and are as a result both strong guys. Dean has a twinge from rugby training that was playing up during this technique sparring so Chris asked me to fill in for him. It was great fun because we were both cautious of the other guy but were also keen to attack and counter. Both our legs got battered from round kicks and peck kicks and we both landed one or two body kicks too. My main problem was that some of my kicks were telegraphed or too slow and were caught with me ending up on my arse! After Chris had enough I started the same type of sparring with Graham. We both know each other's game inside out by now but that makes it even more fun! I know how he blocks and moves away and he knew he had to change it up to be able to catch me and the same goes for me. I really like this type of sparring as isolating your kicks gives you the opportunity to increase your speed and accuracy in a real setting but you don't have to worry about having to get punched in the face!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Graham and I decided to hire out a hall in the local sports centre so that we could try out some grappling basics such as takedowns, bridging, sprawling and some basic submissions as well as controlling your opponent.

We worked on single and double leg takedowns and then picked a few submissions we would like to try from Ken Shamrock's "Beyong the Lion's Den" book. Think what you will about Ken but his tutorials are amazing.

We we at it for an hour and managed to practice takedowns, sprawling, kneebar and triangle. It was outstanding fun and hopefully we'll be doing it again soon. We've set each other the homework of trying to theoretically know another hold that we can try out next time. I really want to guillotine him so that might be mine! He totally by accident caught me in an armbar too! Well, he only half knew what he was doing so it was half by accident that I was in the right place etc.

Only downside is that he poked me in the eye with his thumb and I have a wee tear beside my tear duct. Have to make sure that doesn't get worse according to Lynn. If you have any ideas about fairly easy holds or something let me know.