Friday, June 21, 2013

Martialist Christian

My understanding of what Christ expects of me as a Christian is found in His words to love God with my whole being and love others as I love myself. There is nothing passive or small about practicing this kind of love.

I practice martial arts for many of the same reasons as other people - to stay in shape and to hang out with friends. However, I ride a bicycle and hike for those same reasons. If exercise and friends was all I am after, I would stick to riding and walking (less bruises). I practice martial arts to learn how to hurt people.

... And yet I am unconflicted as a Martialist Christian.

The Christian Warrior is not only allowed in my ethic, but it thrives. What if I were being hurt? What if it was my girlfriend, or one of my kids, or friend who was in trouble? I would want someone to help - to fight - and not just standby and watch. Christian love requires us to imagine ourselves in another's place and to act. In the New Testament parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan was good because upon finding the man after he was beaten and robbed, he cared for him. Would he have still been the hero of the story, if he had stood by and watched while the man was beat down, and then care for him? No!

Happily my life is not filled with bad guys who are constantly attacking my family and friends. However, it is satisfying to know that I can do a lot as a Christian to help the people around me - including defend them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Keep Getting Older!

As a child, I looked forward to every birthday. About the time I hit 40, I started fighting it every step of the way. At 45, I decided I wanted to be stronger with every successive year. That goal was severely interrupted in 2005, when I blow a disc in my neck and underwent spinal fusion (C5-C7).

Today, I'm a cheeseburger away from 300 lbs and my 50th year is getting close, but I am stronger today than I was before my injury. Last year, I rode a bicycle 360 miles in six days, a century (100 miles in one day) and I am training for another century this May. I've had eight Dog Fights at last year's Gatherings. I can hit harder, lift more weight, and my cardio is better than a lot of younger (and lighter) men.

Am I bragging? Sure, but I'm also very grateful. I was blessed with a supportive wife, kids, friends, and some very good physical therapists and conditioning coaches who have helped me meet my goals.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Altas Stones

I dropped by Kettlebell Ken's house to help him hatch a couple of Atlas Stones from their molds.

The one I'm lifting weighs 182 lbs.

The one on the ground is 238 lbs. I had a lot of trouble with it, but Ken got it off the ground in the picture below.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Personal Best

I was dead-lifting the other day and was feeling like it was time to try something.

245 lbs one-handed (w/ the help of a lifting strap).

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Inch Challenge Dumbbell

Out of curiousity, I made an "Inch Challenge Dumbbell" ... sort of. The true Inch Dumbbell weights 172 lbs with a 2.5 inch diameter handle. The dumbbell gets it's name from Thomas Inch, a strongman of the past. He offered people £200 ($1000) if they could lift it off the ground. As the story goes, he never had to pay out the money.

Mine weighs the same, but the handle is only 1.5 inches in diameter. I can dead-lift it with a 1.5 inch handle, but when I increased the handle to only 2 inches, I couldn't get it off the ground.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wrapping Hands

Wrapping your hands is a good idea for bag work. In my experience, it supports the bones and muscles in the hands and holds the wrist is proper alignment while punching. I like to use the 108 inch Everlast handwraps. IMHO - The longer 170+ inch wraps are too much material. If you like that kind of thing go to

To start, use a towel to spread your fingers. If you don't do this, the wrap is too tight across the knuckles when you make a fist. There are several ways to wrap your hands. This is just my way to do it. I don't wrap the thumb, so I start with the loop around my ring finger and go down to the wrist.

Next wrap the wrist two full times and go to the knuckles across the back of the hand (The number of times the wrist and knuckles are wrapped between transitions is not fixed. This is just what works for my hands).

Now, wrap the knuckles twice. Make sure the wrap actual covers the knuckles and provides some protection while striking. Be aware, it's very easy to wrap your hands too tightly. A comfortable wrap only comes with practice.

Then, go back down to the wrist across the back of the hand and do one full wrap of the wrist. Notice the transitions (between wrist and knuckles) always cross on the back of the hand.

Go back up to the knuckles and wrap one full turn. Apart from taking some extra turns around the knuckles and wrists, my method is simply a figure eight from knuckles to wrist across the back of the hand.

Go back to the wrist across the back of the hand and finish wrapping at the wrist. I like to finish, by wrapping the wrist and knuckles with a final layer of athletic tape to hold the wrap in place.

The most important point about my method is that transitions always cross on the back of the hand. I prefer the back of the hand because it keeps the bulk of the material away from my palm, so I can close my fist completely and comfortably. Also if you transition across the palm, the wrap loosens-up when you close your fist.

When done correctly, this wrap will be like a glove supporting the hand. You can hit the bag/focus mitts and then grapple or Chi Sao and this wrap will not come apart or get in the way.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mystery Makes Sense

Mysticism keeps men sane. The ordinary man has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths along with the contradiction. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic - like his physical sight, he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for it. The whole secret of mysticism is this: a man can understand everything with the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes clear. (Orthodoxy, by G. K. Chesterton)