Thursday, July 18, 2013

ComTech Visit


I made the journey up to Milton-Freewater, Oregon (hop, skip and jump from Walla Walla, Washington) to spend a couple days training with Master At Arms James A. Keating.

I was introduced to ComTech methods/concepts in the late 90's, via a friend in Australia (thanks, Pete).
Basically, he had done a Riddle of Steel and brought many of the training ideas back with him. This helped me to learn more of the idea of concepts vs. techniques, and brought many of my kung fu forms and training to a viable, 'live' status.

Over the years, I have corresponded with Mr. Keating, on training (knife, empty hands) and some general life philosophies. I have followed his web site (it is on my daily checks) and avidly studied his video offerings.

Finally, this year my schedule smoothed out a bit, and I fit in two days training (actually, two days, plus an evening prior with his regular scheduled class). Well worth it, wish I had done it years ago.

I am used to traveling, arranging my own transportation, lodging, meals, etc. When Mr. Keating offered to pick me up, tell me the places to go, etc., I was a bit amused. Apparently, many people are not so independent. :-)

Our training ranged far and wide - from basic knife concepts (see his latest offerings on 'Knife Coach' for an idea of where we started), to some empty handed kung fu investigations, to fencing and some energy concepts. Not a bit was steeped in the spiritual 'woo-woo' that sometimes come into play - strictly practical, straight forward explanation/applications.

This helped bring a lot of the disparate training systems I have done (traditional Chinese Kung Fu, SCARS/TFT, MMA) and helped me merge them together better. I feel I have so much to keep working on, but now have had a bit of help reading the map ahead. And as I age, the emphasis seems to be to work more on the yielding and softer side of the arts, vice relying on strength. (As I tell my Tai Chi partners - I am relaxed, what are you talking about?)

At no time was I belittled as to having no skill, or treated as anything but a professional. And treated as a friend. His students I met (Andy, Kevin, Jay - forgive me if I mess up names) were all of the same caliber - no egos were allowed in the training hall, just a desire to learn and practice.

I highly recommend everyone check out his websites, video offerings (some on his youtube channel) and prepare for a bit of mind expanding (in a good way). And get your butt up off the couch, seek out ComTech instruction to help prepare you for life.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Physical Fitness

Just a couple thoughts on fitness, to start my blogging back up again. If you like it, spread the word, let's get more readers...

I spend a lot of time traveling, living out of hotel (or smaller) rooms. Thus, I tend to favor workout routines that take little space and/or equipment.

Below are some of the routines I have used over the last  15 or 20 years, for varying lengths of time. Remember, variety can be the spice of life - shake up your normal routine every so often and expand your comfort zones.

Combat Conditioning (ala Matt Furey)

Consisting of a core of three exercises (Hindu Squats, Hindu pushups, Bridging) and with multiple variations on the theme, this fits the requirements of no equipment and little space. It can be done by building the reps of each exercise (one set each), or doing multiple sets in a circuit.

Mr. Furey started his 'empire' on this basic course, and expanded into martial arts, exercise and mind/personal development videos.

The only drawback with Combat Conditioning is the lack of variety in the basic workout - do this for a month and it will be hard to keep motivation up.

TacFit (Scott Sonnon and rmaxinternational)

Coach Sonnon provides a wide variety of exercise programs, under his TacFit umbrella. His products seem to be evolving, from simple FlowFit to TacFit 26 (sorry if the terms are not 100% correct). With a wide variety of exercise modalities, the boredom factor is much harder to come by.

My favorite program is TacFit Commando - at the time, a huge offering of supplementary videos and books, covering nutrition, recovery, the exercises, etc. His basic TF Commando routine (and much of the other items) is based on a 4 day mini-wave, done for 7 sessions. For the math geniuses - it's pretty much a month per session. TF Commando has 3 levels, and 3 levels per level - totaling 9 months of workouts. Recovery (mobility and yoga-ish routines) are incorporated, which is helpful as we age and do not recover as quickly as we used to.

Subscribe to his newsletter ( - his company offers deals around holidays, and at random times - a good way to get the material at substantial savings.

Convict Conditioning (ala Paul Wade)

A newcomer to the scene, Mr. Wade has brought 6 basic exercises and challenges people to do them as strength exercises - strict form, relatively low repetitions (and done slowly) and time for recovery. He offers a variety of routines (a daily routine, 3x weekly rotuine, etc.) and leaves it up to you to do the hard work.

There is a tendency with Convict Conditioning to jump ahead of the progressions (I can do the basic pushup - why regress to a wall push?). In my opinion, this would be a mistake - use the progressions to develop the perfect technique, which will make all the difference later on in your efforts.


In the past, I often combined parts of fitness routines (yoga on some days, cardio on others, strength (pullups, calistehnics) interspersed, along with martial arts workouts). This is what the TacFit folks call 'cocktailing' and really doesn't allow for a good recovery phase - something that being young I didn't need (unlike now).

I am currently doing TacFit again (3rd time) - with the addition of some yoga in the mornings. I have also added the Mobility and Recovery portions of TacFit ROPE to the Mobility and Recovery days of TF Commando (bumping those workouts to about 30 minutes per day).

My only gripe about the above exercise routines is the hype and advertising that go into them. I understand it, gotta attract attention and all that. Just goes against my grain to advertise with hyperbole. Probably why I am a struggling entrepeneur?

Any exercise is good - get off the couch. Limit your internet time to my blogs, and get moving. Comments always welcome.