Task Related Fitness Training By Dennis Martin
|While any training is good, CQC involves
specific requirements. Close combat is a high-intensity activity, with a
total energy output, utilising gross motor skills.
Anaerobic training is essential.
The effects of sudden violent confrontation have to be felt to be believed. A good friend who is a very fit doorman told me "I train regularly, but in this fight I threw only three techniques and was totally knackered and couldn't speak".
We need specific, hard anaerobic work to build, support and maintain Combative fitness. In future issues we will be discussing such training in detail, including such routines as the Meyer building program, CQB circuits and partner drills. However, to start this series I want to emphasise the importance of the fitness value of the combatives techniques themselves. Bruce Siddle, founder of PPCT has taught this subject to many prestigious agencies, including UK special forces. He has developed an integrated approach which includes diet, nutritional supplements and weight training. Following his presentation I asked him about the value of impact training on pads, mitts and heavy bags for anaerobic fitness and he confirmed that it was excellent. So this article will discuss heavy, full-force impact-target striking as the basis for our task related training.
It was an eye opener! We had guys with all sorts of high grades in the martial arts, as well as serving members of the military, security personnel and applicants with no prior formal training. I remember really bracing to hold the pad for a heavyweight 5th Dan TKD stylist expecting real force, only to find he hit like a feather. The next guy in line, with no previous training hit really hard. Over the years this was repeated on almost every course. We did have martial artists who could deliver impact, but we found they had always trained on pads or bags before. By the way, those early pads were quite soft and easy to penetrate. I've still got one lying around somewhere and daren't bring it to train with our Combatives group.... it would be as useless as holding a pillow today.
There are numerous types of impact training devices offered. Here are the main ones we find useful :-
Kick Pads - Also called "shields".
Full length, filled with closed-cell foam and fitted with strapping to
hold the pad in various ways. Essential for full power kicking and knee
|Half-Shield - A smaller, square version of the pad. Quite versatile, can be used for kicks and knee strikes or held for elbows, hammerfists and other strikes. I think I'd prefer to buy two half-shields rather than one full kick pad if finances were tight.|
|Thai Pads - These strap to the
arms and are held at the appropriate angle for kicks or hand strikes. Especially
good for close-in knee work. Also heavy elbow drills and Axehands are ideal
on the Thai Pads. I prefer the leather versions, more expensive but worth
Focus Mitts - Well known in
boxing as "spot mitts" these are excellent for working combinations,
incorporating movement and changing target angles. Again, go for a quality
|Body Shield - These are a kind of deeply padded protective armour which is strapped to the chest and abdomen. The wearer's hands are free, so he can play the role of attacker while the trainee defends and counter-strikes to the armour. We find this especially useful in counter-weapon training.|
|There are other devices, but these
are the ones we find most useful. We have a couple of devices, which we
have made ourselves as nothing commercially available fits the bill. For
Chinjab training we built up a "head and face" onto old focus
mitts. This gave us the realistic angle required to replicate attacking
the shelf of the jaw. Our targets also include "eyes" which can
be clawed on the follow up face-claw attack. We have also salvaged a damaged
kick-pad and produced two smaller units, for placing on the ground to work
on stamping kicks. By the way, it is a good idea to inspect your pads/mitts
regularly and prevent splits and rips by judicious applications of duct
tape. This will double the life of your equipment.
The pads I use in my own training are excellent, really well made giving great feedback. However, while training in Clint Oosthuizen's CQC class while in South Africa, I noticed that I was finding the pad work unusually tiring. I came to the conclusion that the local pads, being filled with wool, absorb the strike and give very little back. They seem to suck the energy from your strikes. It's rather like running on deep sand rather than on an Olympic track, I'm definately going to obtain some wool filled pads to add to our training over here.
Do You Train With Dummies?
|Dennis Martin teaches regular
COMBATIVES SKILLS and TACTIAL BLADECRAFT courses. For readers in the Merseyside
area interested in practical, task-oriented training there is a small CQC
group which trains regularly. Details via our address below.
Any individuals wanting to attend or any organisations wishing to book a course contact :
CQB Services (mailing list),
17 Dumbrees Road,
Please include a stamped addressed envelope. Alternatively E-mail : RealityCheckUK@hotmail.com