Archive for August, 2011

Ten Plank Variations for Perfect Toning

Planking Workouts

Planks are one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways to tone your body anywhere you go. They work your abs all over, and if you get creative you can also add glutes, and thighs, triceps, shoulders, upper back and pecs to the list! Here are some of my favorite plank variations (From my Fit Travel Workout) for your next sweat session.

Why Deanimate Your Attacker?

I received thirty five comments about my “No Warning or Wounding Shots” post. It seems that several of my readers did not understand the concept of DEANIMATING your attacker(s). This is not some “Orwellian Double Speak,” it’s actually very important from  neuro linguistic, ethical, legal, strategic and tactical perspectives.

The word and concept of “deanimation” is not my own, I learned it twenty three years ago from my first firearms instructor, the legendary John Farnam, while going through the bodyguard training course at Executive Security International (ESI).

Psychological Hurricane Preparedness

With Hurricane Irene screaming its way toward the East Coast of the United States, I thought it would be good to review some of the things that we could do to psychologically prepare for the impending hurricane. To physically prepare for a hurricane you want to evacuate to high ground away from the shore, make sure that your car is in good working order and totally fueled up, have enough water for at least three days, stock up on food that needs no preparation like sports bars and trail mix etc. Unfortunately, no one ever talks about the mental preparation needed to survive a natural disaster.

Ninjutsu’s Secret Writings

The essence of all martial arts and military strategies is self-​​protection and the prevention of danger. Ninjutsu epitomizes the fullest concept of self-​​protection through martial training in that the ninja art deals with the protection of not only the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well. The way of the ninja is the way of enduring, surviving, and prevailing over all that would destroy one. More than merely delivering strikes and slashes, and deeper in significance than the simple out-​​witting of an enemy; ninjutsu is the way of attaining that which we need while making the world a better place. The skill of the ninja is the art of winning.

Fight Football Season Fat With Game Drills and Stadium Music

It’s my favorite time of year, football season while the weather is still warm. It’s like Christmas in September. As a former Syracuse University cheerleader and football office assistant, I got to see a lot of college practices and pre-​​game warm ups. So in my NYC fitness classes and my Booty Camp DVD (Amazon and Nikkifitness​.com) I created football drills to go with popular football songs to keep you from getting fat this football season!

What Is The Oldest Japanese Martial Art?

Many teachers of NIHON KORYU BUJUTSU “Japanese Old School Martial Arts” claim that their art alone is the oldest of all Japanese Martial Arts (JMA). Some of them, at first seem to have a good case for this claim. The legitimacy of their lineage charts have been corroborated by the top scholars in the field and their arts are mentioned in historical records made by independent historians not directly associated with their school. Some Ryuha legitimately do stretch back over a thousand years into Japanese history.

Soldiers Enhance Workouts With Music

At Fuller Gym, many Task Force Phoenix Soldiers can be found using music during their workouts to improve their physical fitness test scores and weight management.

Pfc. Mario Charles, a logistics clerk with D Company, Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, had been struggling to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test run since November.

Six days a week, sometimes twice a day, he could be found in the gym, running to upbeat music to improve his two-​​mile run time. Focusing on the rapid beat of his rock music pulsing in his ear, and thinking about his newborn baby girl as motivation, he significantly improved his run.

No Warning or Wounding Shots

One of my readers recently told me about a case where a women fired a “warning shot” at a would be attacker who may have had a knife and is now being threatened with arrest by the police. Apparently, the would be attacker was scared away by the warning shot. Although the warning shot tactic seems to have worked in this instance, warning shots in general are a very bad idea. Let’s examine why.

Supplement Safety

Do you find it surprising that over 50% of American adults have reported taking some kind of dietary supplement?  Probably not, since supplements are a multibillion dollar industry that has captured the attention of people of various demographics, including athletes, vegetarians, and those with chronic conditions looking for a natural remedy.  Many people think that taking supplements is a healthy alternative or addition to prescription medications, and fail to realize that over-​​the-​​counter supplements can be as dangerous as they are beneficial.  Few Americans are actually prescribed supplements by a doctor, dietitian, or healthcare provider.  Therefore, most take it upon themselves to determine which ones they need.

Ninja Combat Survival Psychology

There’s a concept in authentic Ninja Martial Arts training known as SHINSHIN SHINGAN, which literally means “god eyes, god mind,” a good transliteration into English is “Obtaining the mind and eyes of God.” this concept can be found in the scrolls of both Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu and Togakure Ryu Ninpo.

At first this may seem like a religious idea, even a blasphemous one by Western standards. However, it most definitely is not. The ancient Japanese understanding of “God” or “Gods” is much more in line with concepts of elemental shamanic cultures throughout the world. It predates the Western monotheistic idea, or more accurately the Middle Eastern concept of the One True God, by thousands of years. The Japanese notion of Shin (as in Shinto) or  KAMI “Spirit” has more to do with an intuitive shamanic understanding, appreciation and reverence for the natural world then the Middle Eastern concept of a single creator of the universe.

Old School Shoulder Training For Thick & Meaty Delts

Nothing tops off a well defined physique like a set of wide, thick shoulders, eh?

It makes your chest look bigger…

Your waist look smaller…

And accents your arms even more!

If you find yourself a bit low on shoulder mass, then here’s an old school shoulder training trick that uses the the grand-​​poo bah of all mass builders as the core exercise.

NikkiFitness Slimnastics: X-​​treme New Workout for Women

There is no shortage of combo workouts out there… dance+martial arts, pilates+rollerblading, even boots that go “boing.” Then there are extreme workouts that separate the body parts so drastically that one day is just for pull-​​ups, the next just 50 ways to do a push-​​up, taking a week and hours of DVDs to get a full body workout in.…

But you shouldn’t have to quit your job to work out full time, combine things that don’t go together, or buy gimmicky equipment! So I decided to design my own no-​​equipment combo workout that is extreme without being ridiculous. I combined training from my college cheerleading and gymnastics days with favorite strengthening yoga poses and vinyasas, then added my boot-​​camp fitness class favorites and personal training results-​​based moves. In fact, I am writing the book on it! Think p90 for females, done in just 30 minutes. Yoga meets cheerleading meets bootcamp!

The Cold Steel Ti-​​Lite Tactical Folding Knives

The Cold Steel TI-​​LITE line of tactical folding knives evoke the sleek speed and rebellious lines of the classic 1950’s-styled switchblade, like the one used by Clint Eastwood in the original “Dirty Harry” film. Unlike most switchblades however, the 4″ versions are legal to carry nearly everywhere within the United States. They feature Japanese made AUS 8A stainless steel blades with a bead blast finish, razor sharp edges and sturdy, needle sharp points. The CNC milled handles are forged from super tough 7075 Aluminum billets and are given an attractive bead blast surface and finished with a protective EDP (Electric Discharge Plating) coating. There’s also two less expensive versions made with super tough Zytel handles. For maximum strength and safety, the Ti-​​Lites are equipped with a patent pending, stainless steel leaf spring lock, proven, in tests, to hold 130 lbs.

Flash Mob Attacks: The New Terrorism

There’s a new wave of crime happening around the world and you need to prepare for it now.

You may have heard of pre-​​arranged “flash mobs” where invitations to silly events are spread virally through Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging.

Normally, this would mean a harmless surprise pillow fight in a downtown square.

Except No Substitutes!

I very rarely go on any of the dozens and dozens of different online martial arts forums, I’d much rather use the time to actual train, instead of reading about people arguing about training. Every once and a while though I’ll be researching a certain topic and the search will turn up a link to a conversation on one of the boards. One of the most commonly asked questions is “where can someone find a training group or school for a specific art in their area?” I came across this very question in regards to authentic Ninja Martial Arts training the other day. The person wanted to know if there was anyone teaching Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu in his area. Apparently there wasn’t. Someone suggested that until he could get to Japan, he should train in Judo and if he wanted striking training, he should train in (Western) Boxing. I couldn’t agree LESS!

The Majapahit Martial Arts

Photo from Kali Majapahit

I’ve done quite extensive research into the Asian Martial Arts. When I first began to research the Filipino and Indonesian Martial Arts I was perplexed at how many similarities there were between the various systems of the two countries. One of my good friends and students was also a senior instructor in the Filipino Martial Arts. He had a huge collection of Filipino and Indonesian Martial Arts videos, which he happily lent to me. It was fascinating to me how many of the empty hand techniques of Filipino Kali, Escrima and Arnis de Mano looked like the empty hand techniques of Indonesian Pentjak Silat and Kuntao. Along those same lines, the stick and knife fighting methods of Indonesia bear a striking resemblance to many of the weaponry methods of the Philippine Islands. When I began to deepen my research I discovered that that centuries ago the islands that make up the present day countries of the Philippines and Indonesia were part of a vast empire known as the Majapahit.

The Top 3 Firearms Myths‏

There are many myths about firearms. Over the last thirty years, I’ve observed three major myths which keep coming up over and over again. They are: #1 The gun is a talisman. #2 You need little to no firearms training. And #3 A gun is a gun is a gun. When I say “myth” I’m really saying that there is a flaw in people’s perception in regards to firearms. Let’s examine these in detail.

The Top 100 Spiritual Power List

WATKINS REVIEW recently published their list of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People” in the world. I found this fascinating because the other two big areas of study that I’ve had a lifelong interest in other than self defense and the martial arts are comparative religion and philosophy as well as integrative healing methods. Many of the people on the list would definitely fit into one of these two categories, a few of them would even fit into both of them.

Nearly one quarter of the list is made up of Buddhist Meditation teachers. This is as it should be, Buddhist Mind Science offers the spiritual aspirant a 2,600 year old tried and true method of calming and investigating the mind.

The Urban Survival Shotgun!

A lot of armed citizens, preppers, and people who simply appreciate versatility in their firearms are discussing weapons for urban survival.  Although it’s tempting to focus on assault rifles or easily-​​concealed handguns, you shouldn’t disregard the type of weapon that is typically the easiest to buy — combat shotguns.  In general, shotguns are very reliable, fairly inexpensive, legal, and extremely powerful.

4 Tips for an Intense Home Workout

Working out in a gym isn’t for everyone.

Maybe you’re short on time, maybe you just can’t stand the Celine Dion being pumped in through the loud speakers.

Whatever the reason, it’s possible to effectively train in a home gym.

But be aware that working out at home isn’t without its potential pitfalls.

It takes an increased level of commitment and self-​​discipline to not skip your workouts in exchange for sitting down on the couch with a bag of chips and get sucked into reruns of The Simpsons.

Here are 4 tips for successfully working out at home: