Tag Archives: FSRI

4/21 VA class: Fun With Shoulder Locks

Last Saturday’s class featured an introduction to kneeling shoulder locks. After class, I was going through some of the pictures taken for review purposes, and noticed this uncanny (but unintentional) resemblance to Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam.” During semi-open randori, both students threw their partner in the same direction, and applied the lock at the same time, resulting in the visual pun. Next weekend, we’ll try for da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” out of juji gatame.


FSRI Video: Throws, Pins & Escapes

The Virginia FSRI group has been learning this throw (basic hip spiral/o-goshi) and reviewing falling skills for the last few weeks. The clip shows some different semi-open randori exchanges designed to integrate it with related pin/escape skills.  Continual role switching makes it a bit more challenging and dynamic, but within an environment that’s still conducive to some experimentation (from the 4/7 VA class).

2012 FSRI Summer Camp Info and Registration

There is more info up about the forthcoming FSRI Summer camp at the http://www.tkri.net website. Check back often for details and updates.

FSRI Events Page

General Camp Info and Payment Options



Online payment options are now available on the General Camp Info page, however make sure that if you use this option you remember to print out the registration and release forms and mail them in ASAP and include a copy of your receipt in the same envelope. No registrations will be accepted at the camp site.


2012 FSRI Summer Camp

Mark your calendar!

Join us for a weekend full of great training, informative presentations, comradery and fun in the beautiful Meramec State Park in Sullivan Missouri the weekend of July 6th through the 8th, 2012.

  • Outdoor training with instruction by Senior FSRI Instructors and NASM certified trainers.
  • Tent camping.
  • Campfire talks by special presenters.
  • Shower facilities within walking distance.
  • Camping is within hiking distance of the scenic Meramec River.

You do not need to be affiliated with FRSI to attend.

We will post more information soon.

Resource Links: Recommended Trainers and Recommended Fighting Arts

You may have noticed a few changes as we’ve revamped our blog. One of these is an expanded links section (see sidebar), which now includes categories for Recommended Trainers and Recommended Fighting Arts. The goal of these links is to put readers into contact with individuals and groups that can help them to put some of our conditioning/training topics and research into practice.

The Recommended Trainers category is a listing of fitness professionals that we recommend based on several factors:

  • they utilize up to date, evidence-based best training practices
  • they hold nationally accredited certifications, degrees & relevant credentials in the field (CSCS, NASM, NESTA, ACSM, ATSU HM MS, etc.)
  • they have trained extensively in a fighting art or sport, or have worked extensively with particular fighting arts and sports populations
  • they can provide high quality, activity-specific injury prevention and performance enhancement programming specific to the various fighting arts and sports

These Recommended Trainers are listed by the state that they work in so that readers from around the USA can find FSRI-recommended fitness professionals to help them to enhance their training. Rest assured that we will not endorse any trainer who does not meet our standards.

The Recommended Fighting Arts category contains links to groups, clubs and instructors that meet our criteria for high quality fighting arts practices:

  • the stated goals of training are realistic and achievable (relative to an athletic or self-protection context)
  • the stated methods for achieving those goals are based on sound concepts that are supported by anatomy & physiology, psychology, pedagogy, the nature of violence, and related fields
  • the goals can realistically be developed through the stated training methods
  • the group or instructor prioritize common sense, practical training, evidence-based practice and the development of the student over organizational hierarchies, unsubstantiated opinion, appeals to tradition or history or purely financial motivations

Feel free to recommend additions to this listing, although we will only link to groups that  meet these criteria. Want to be added to the list? Send us an email that describes how your practice meets the points listed above.

DIY Electric Training Knife

FSRI students are familiar with a variety of close-range weapons evasion, control and aggressive response drills. A wooden dowel or flimsy plastic knife is typically used for simulating knives and edged weapons, as well as a variety of wiffle-ball bats and foam sticks. Although these proxies provide a good margin for safety they can encourage a few counter productive habits, particularly among newer students or people new to our methods. These include:

  • grabbing at the “edge” end of the weapon
  • allowing the “edge” of the weapon to rest on their body while attempting to control the attacker’s arms
  • wielding the weapon like a 1930’s movie villain, ie, making threatening  gestures or non-threatening attacks, and not providing serious and committed attacks

A second set of problems is created by the nature of training itself. Knife attacks seldom happen in the ways that entertainment has conditioned us to expect. So training scenarios in which an attacker brandishes a knife from a body length away, and then artfully parries and ripostes his way in to the attack might be fun (or the dreadfully standard lunge-punch with knife from 6 feet out), but aren’t good preparation for the reality of concealed weapons and ambushes. Over the years I’ve developed a number of scenario based drills in which one partner carries a concealed “knife”, which may or may not be known to the other partner. During a verbal escalation scenario, randori or sparring, the weapon may be drawn at random and used. The defending partner usually ends up receiving multiple simulated stabs and slashes before he or she even knows the weapon was pulled, especially in close grappling encounters. It can be an eye-opener, but even with the random nature of these drills it is still very easy for the defender to slip into a complacent attitude towards the possibility of the concealed weapon, or to ignore the contact as they try to apply some cool technique. A few important elements are missing from such drills: fear and urgency. Fear is not an element that should be present in much of training, but it is useful to explore in affective training and for scenarios that attempt to include an element of surprise. In a training setting, fear usually manifests as apprehension.

A few companies make low-voltage training knives that can deliver a jolt to the partner on the receiving end, adding a measure of apprehension to a drill. The sting it delivers is also very, very useful feedback about where the training knife made contact with one’s body and how many times. Unfortunately, these commercially available models are prohibitively expensive, running into the hundreds of dollars. They just aren’t cost-effective for smaller groups, or for groups that may end up breaking them during intense training (this is why we can’t have anything nice). Fortunately, there are other options.

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Knee Osteoarthritis in the Fighting Arts and Combat Sports

Among athletes, knee injury is a predisposing factor towards the development of knee osteoarthritis (OA). (Molloy & Molloy, 2011). Other joints may be at risk for overuse injuries and OA, but it is the knees in particular that seem to occupy a special place in the realm of chronic injuries.  Recognizing the risks of an activity allows for the development of injury-prevention programs specific to it’s demands and conditions. Although many martial artists don’t identify themselves as athletes, the demands of training are inherently athletic and the effects of training on the body are no different from those of athletic training.

Fighting arts and sports pose inherent risks to joint health, particularly acute or chronic injuries associated with the knees. A case by case analysis of the training activities and priorities of the various combat sports and so-called martial arts  would be necessary to discuss the risk of a certain format or style, but several mechanisms of injury are common to many:

  • rapid and asymmetrical loading and unloading of joints during throws, tackles, sweeps, etc.
  • bounding, cutting and darting movements, often under external load or force
  • impact trauma from falls, kicks, sweeps
  • compressive, shearing, tension and torsional trauma from joint manipulations

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