TLDR After trying Jiu-Jitsu, I've settled on Boxing for my Project
Join a Boxing Gym and commit to training at least twice a week starting January 1.
In the interim, I will learn to properly wrap my hands and begin to shadow box in preparation for class
Why did I choose the project?
Martial arts combine both the mental and the physical. I've never formally studied any type of combative sport, so it is a new challenge. Moreover, boxing has been enjoyed by men throughout history.
Gain skills. Knowing how to properly throw a punch is a life skill.
As for a realistic goal for 10 weeks from now, finishing a simulated amateur match of 3 rounds of 3 minutes seems feasible. Essentially I should have the endurance and basic combos to continually punch for 3 minutes repeatedly.
I live in Los Angeles, specifically Glendale. Everything is locked down. Truth be told, I initially intended to pursue Karate from the info Craig provided in the "Life During Wartime" modules. I looked into a few instructors near me, but they all are doing Zoom classes. I am only interested in training in the flesh.
As far as actual classes being taught in the North-East part of the LA area, I've found Jiu-Jitsu and Boxing. My goal is contingent on gyms remaining in business for the duration of this project.
Physical Limitations and the Jiu-Jitsu Challenge
In an effort to honor the broader goal of pursuing a martial art, I joined my brother at his Jiu-Jitsu class last week. That did not end well for me. I am happy that I went and tested my limits, but certain physical limitations became very apparent.
Long story short, I had my sternum surgically removed and replaced with a titanium plate. My thoracic mobility is limited, and the structural integrity of my ribcage is compromised. I can swing a baseball bat, lift weights, and do most normal activities. I have extreme difficulty with rounding my torso in movements like break falls and rolls. I learned this by actually doing break falls, rolls, and other movements during a Jiu-Jitsu class.
I like your desire to train martial arts. I think all boys should be trained in at least one art. I was lucky in that thanks to my dad watching James Bond and TV shows where karate, judo, and kung fu was used, I always wanted to train martial arts.
I also went to an all boys summer camp where everyone was trained in boxing.
I have a black belt in Ju Jitsu, but a couple years after I received that rank I stopped training Ju Jitsu. It's hard on the body. I was always injured somewhere. And my chiropractor told me once "If I didn't know you trained Ju Jitsu I'd swear you had been in a car wreck every time you come to see me."
I began to notice that most of the Judo & Ju Jitsu teachers I met in their 40s and 50s didn't work out because of bad knees, or backs, or some other injury.
But I have trained with Karate teachers on Okinawa who were in their 70s, 80s, and even one in his 90s who were not only healthy... they moved better than the average 35 year old American. My karate and kobudo teachers are both in their mid 70s and move like cats!
So boxing is the better choice for your body. Especially if you have a pre-existing condition like that.
And one other great thing about boxing....
You'll learn to take a punch to the face! And shake it off and keep moving toward your opponent.
Way too few guys can do that anymore.
Like Mike Tyson said "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth"
From the Project Marksmen thread:
My 10-week project is working on my real-world pistol and rifle skills including draw and shoot, concealed carry/draw/shoot, car scenarios, house clearing, and actual marksmanship.
Why Did I Choose This Project?
With all of the rioting, looting, and demonstrating, I started carrying daily. I want to know that I can deploy and use that gun in real-world scenarios including all of the above.
Ammo is ridiculously expensive these days, so I don't want to use much of what I have for practice. I will do lots of dry-fire, AirSoft (BB) gun, and bore-mounted laser pointer practice to reduce that load.
I have something called an intentional tremor which limits my physical ability to be super accurate. Not much I can do about it, but be aware that it is a challenge to overcome and plan to shoot at closer ranges, which conveniently fits most real-world gunfight scenarios.
Goal met, 5 standing shots in a man-sized target at 50 yards! Also 4 @ 25 yds and 5 at 75 yards. See the legend at the bottom. All unmarked shots were at 75 yards. 3 out of 30 missed the target. Obviously needs more practice for full proficiency.
Another rifle goal met: Have consistently achieved pickup from the table, safety on and open chamber to on-target, safety off, closed chamber, trigger pulled in 5 seconds. Not perfect, but when it's done right, it's well within 5 seconds. Got to the point where I could have a small fumble or two and still make it very close to the buzzer. Final goal is to go from high or low ready with safety on to on-target, safety off, shot dry-fired within 3 seconds. Pretty sure I'll be able to significantly improve on that time.
Draw from holster and shoot an 8" target at 7 yards within 2 seconds. Unmet: Takes 3 seconds.
Same scenario while wearing an open coat/jacket, 3 seconds. Unmet: Takes 4 seconds.
Same scenario while wearing a zipped up coat/jacket, 4 seconds. Unmet: Takes 5 seconds.
See pictures below
For the car, draw and dry-fire 3 seconds open carry and with a zipped up coat/jacket, 5 seconds.
Goal met: open carry in 3 seconds dry-firing around my garage.
Goal improved. Zipped up coat took 4 seconds dry-firing around my garage. Think this is better than standing and firing at the range because of shorter arm travel required.
Be able to shoot a man-sized target at 50 yards 5 out of 5 times while standing. Goal met see pictures above.
Pick it up from the table and be on target within 5 seconds. Goal met.
Go from high or low ready, safety on to on-target, safety off within 3 seconds. Goal improved: took 2 seconds
Room clearing, both pistol and rifle, simply be able to smoothly perform the processes at low speed inside my house. Goal met.
Baseline free firing, no draw, 7 yards
Open carry, 7 yards, 3 seconds, round 1
Open jacket, 7 yards, 4 seconds
Zipped jacket, 7 yards, 5seconds
Open jacket, 7 yards, 3 seconds. Round 2 with much improved accuracy after more warm up and discovering I was consistently shooting high.
Review of my project results, learning, and future steps:
Although I didn't accomplish some of the time goals I set for myself, I'm generally happy with my results.
The most important outcome is that I'm much, much more comfortable with handling both my pistol and rifle, and can use them both much more capably than before this project, especially in real-world situations. That was the primary goal of the project.
Have also significantly expanded my practice environment at home, so I can dry-fire practice almost anywhere.
The biggest things to work on going forward: speed and accuracy of deployment which simply requires practice.
I have also purchased some practice instruction and tools from the guys at Dry Fire Training Cards, and I expect those drills and exercises will help significantly.
Very valuable project, and it continues forward!
What gun did you shoot, optics used, and caliber would be helpful to know.
Great job. You will have to keep working on this as it is a skill that needs to be maintained.
Since Primal Masculinity In A Princess World started I have been checking out various things for My Project.
I looked into a Dance Studio, but it was for children only and not for adults.
I looked into three different gyms in the area. Each one had pros & cons. The best one was at a University. I am an Alumni of this University so can get a discount on the membership. It offers an indoor track, a swimming pool, a weight room with lots of variety for equipment. Free weights also.
I looked into two Yoga Studios.
Today 12/28/2020 I decided to get a membership at a Yoga Studio. They also have a gym and Cross Fit Training. First class I plan to attend is on Tuesday, 12/29/2020. As part of the Membership a Dr. will be presenting Nutritional Information as well.
I decided on the Yoga because I want to improve my flexibility.
The challenge will be to stay focused and motivated.
More on The Research::
I also looked at two Facebook groups that do live Qigong practices on a regular basis. I already do daily Qigong on my own so decided not to join the FB groups (at least not for My Project here).
Where am I?
My low carb diet has been under control for several years.
In 2019 I resumed martial arts practice, Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
In Jan 2020 my wife and I started working with a personal trainer.
What am I doing?
I have added some body weight exercises to my almost-daily exercise routine.
I have my to-do list and my must-do list.
My project is to get my shoulder working again. <Insert shoulder story here>
I will discuss the MRI with the doctor this week and determine a course of action. My 10-week goal is to do one pull-up. Not dead. Can't quit.
Project update -
My project: Learn and develop friction fire skills (making fire by hand using natural materials – more details in my week 1 post)
Why did I choose that particular project?:
Because I have an interest in wilderness skills, and I like the idea that nature does BS you so either I actually learned the skill or I didn't
Because being able to make a fire reliably with basic tools is a practical and potentially life-saving skill set
Because I believe that if I develop a skill set that allows me to produce something of fundamental value for myself at any time it will translate into daily real world confidence and optimism, even if those skills aren't required at any point in time
Because it is both physically demanding and meditative/ the more focus I can put in to the nuances of the technique the less effort I'll have to use while also training my brain to pay attention to details that can make a difference
My goals for the project (copied from week 1 forum):
Start a fire with a hand drill.
Start a fire with a bow drill.
Practice the techniques until they are in muscles memory by week 5.
Learn two new ways of starting fires, pick one to work on next after I accomplish my other goals
Get some callouses on my hands.
Be able to start fires in under 10, 5 and 1 minutes progressively.
Start at least one fire in the rain with either, or both, methods.
Make my own set of bow and hand drill kits.
By the end of 10 weeks I want to be reliably (3x per week) starting fires with each method.
If everything is going well my bonus challenge is to start a fire with my left hand using the bow method.
My challenges: So far my biggest challenge is commitment. I have gotten materials to practice with and have practiced getting the form down about 8 of the last 16 or so days. The days I didn't do anything I was still aware for most of them that the project is still going on, and had the ability to do something, but didn't.
I do not want help yet because I want to try implementing a journaling system to track my daily progress and see if that auto-corrects me first. Otherwise finding a way to hotwire my brain to prefer commitment over avoidance would be great.
Module 3 Revisit:
I am a genius, apparently. Doctors will let me go in one week.
My environment will become better.