Tony Ferguson’s horrible deadlift

Here’s a video of Tony Ferguson, a professional athlete and UFC champion, doing a deadlift last year:

There is a reason why I write my books and articles the way I do and this is a part of it:
Martial arts is one of the fields in which even the best have some of the worst training practices.
This video illustrates that clearly.Tony is an excellent fighter, there is no doubt about that. But I see only two explanations for this horrible deadlift:

  • He is trained by an incompetent conditioning coach. There is zero reason to let any client perform a deadlift in this manner, let alone with this much weight. Zeroat all.
    I teach all my clients how to properly hip-hinge without weight or with a broomstick. No exceptions. Technique comes first, weight second. If they don’t like it, they can find another trainer, because I won’t be responsible when they go to snap city and end up hospitalized.
  • He thinks he knows how to deadlift, but never really learned proper technique. Which would mean he is his own conditioning coach. As a professional athlete looking for every edge you can get, that’s just stupid.

I’ve rarely encountered a field other than martial arts where the most counterproductive or antiquainted training exercises and protocols are used by professionals. When I write in-depth about topics, it is precisely to avoid giving you incomplete information that can lead to injuries or worse. I’ve often been criticized for being too wordy, but it doesn’t bother me. Those who think TL;DR is the way to excellence will eventually find out that they missed their shot. Those who keep on studying and try to learn and improve, those are the practitioners who get to the top and stay there.

hip hinge

Showing Barry Eisler the range of motion in a proper hip hinge

There is a corrolary to this: I rarely talk about topics I don’t have experience with or knowledge of. I try to avoid adding bullshit to the already massive amounts of information that are shared all over the internet. So I usually either stay quiet on those topics or refer to others who are more knowledgeable.

I would dare say that if he hasn’t already, Tony could do worse than find a good coach to teach him the basics of the deadlift…

Hand grip strength exercise for martial arts

A while ago, Thomas asked me a question on my Facebook page about something I mentioned on my latest DVD. It concerned a hand grip strength exercise for martial arts and self-defense I explained on there but didn’t show. Just to be clear, I didn’t show it because we needed to keep the amount of footage under control or else the video would be cut up into multiple discs and I wanted to avoid that (more discs is more expensive for both the publisher and the buyer, aka: you.)

I mentioned this exercise in a section about gripping techniques in which hand grip strength plays an important part. These are the tearing, ripping grasping and crushing techniques of the “tiger” mindset I showed.  Now back in the day, hand grip exercises were part and parcel of many traditional styles. There were tons of conditioning drills you needed to do religiously, including toughening the skin, muscle and tendons of your hands and fingers. If you do this kind of training correctly, you can get some scary results with it: I once saw my teacher rip a student’s t-shirt to shreds and draw blood by accident when he didn’t control his technique enough.  And that was when he wasn’t even trying.

You don’t need to get to that point but there is a minimum amount of training necessary to be able to pull off the techniques I showed in my video. That’s where this hand grip strength exercise comes in. All you need is an old newspaper and you’re good to go.

The video is a bit uneven in quality because the sunlight was playing tricks, but here goes:

 

Hand grip strength exercise for martial arts

A couple of things you should know about this hand grip strength exercise: [Read more…]