Level 7 Valued Member
The past few years I have added historical and modern fencing to my judo and thus have found it harder to regularly schedule kettlebell training, although I still do it. I'll just write some things I have learned, that apply to my own body and lifestyle, not necessarily to others' bodies nor experiences, and if anything seems interesting or useful to others, then that would be good:
- Fencing is very different from lifting weights. Swinging heavy kettlebells and deadlifting nearly 400lbs did not seem to prepare me for holding up long 1kg pieces of steel (swords) for hours on end training, nor for the rigours of the body positions, guard postures nor footwork. After 2 years of fencing, I am just now starting to be able to wield the swords with some ease, especially the realistically-weighted historical ones.
- Fencing is a lot faster paced than judo and the footwork is more vigorous, which has ended up making my judo a lot better than it was before I started fencing. This I think is an example of how training something that is not your sport can make you better at your sport, providing that this other thing is a tougher activity. Judo seems like slow motion now to me given how fast paced fencing is. Judo though is tougher in terms of its body rotation movements and application of force, and when it comes to something called infighting in fencing, I seem to have some advantages from my judo career. Effectively judo and fencing to me come together as one now, the theory behind both is exactly the same with distancing, timing, creating opportunities to attack, and leverage advantages and disadvantages, psychology. They are equally complicated and for exactly the same reasons.
- Fencing has taught me to rely on my legs for strength instead of arms, and this has helped me greatly in judo. Legs are far stronger than arms and your balance depends on them anyhow, so may as well rely primarily on them.
- I still believe that walking is an essential activity to keep fit and healthy. It seems that since it is the most natural movement pattern that our body expects us to do a lot of it. When I don't exercise walk I develop imbalances in my physique and experience back and spinal discomfort.
- Staying hydrated is very important. If not, cramps.
- Not eating solid food after 7pm daily has gotten rid of fat and makes me look and feel leaner, it also gets rid of my gastric reflux problem. I eat what I want before 7pm but then after 7pm I eat no solid food at all. I allow myself some milk or juice or coffee or whatever if I need something to keep my stomach comfortable.
- I was going on only 1 meal a day, in the late afternoon for over 3 months this past year (July to October). What I noticed is that while I lost 18kg (I went from 107kg to 89kg) that I plateaued at the 89kg mark and could not lose more. I also was starting to look gaunt and sickly. I then one day got a very painful case of constipation. After this I went back to eating up until 7pm daily, so effectively 2 meals a day. My weight has gone up a bit back to 93-4kg, but I look and feel great.
- I take vitamin D, C and multivitamin pills.
- I train 2 nights judo, 3 nights modern and historical fencing a week, so 5 nights total.
- Some forum members are interesting in learning languages for professional or personal reasons, so I'll add in that I exercise my muscles for speaking languages by reading a lot out loud. I have taken this concept from Strongfirst principles of constantly putting strength first - make your lungs and mouth muscles stronger for the specific language you are trying to master. It totally works. Different languages use your throat, mouth muscles and breathing patterns differently, so you need to exercise these muscles specifically in the context of speaking this target language.
- Also using Strongfirst principles of putting strength first, I have focussed on developing my specific strength systems for my new love which is fencing. Just as the old masters wrote, your theory means nothing unless you are practiced enough and strong enough to implement it in reality.