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Staying Fight Fit Past Terminal
Notes on Fight Conditioning Past Fifty without Healthcare
I dropped out of the economy to write, making me voluntarily poor. I will not participate in government healthcare at your expense on that count among others. I’m a 19th Century lifestyle volunteer. There is a method to this madness as far as writing goes. I write about ancient and old time athletes who competed before healthcare, before modern medicine, when there was no option to repair a rotator cuff or ACL surgically. When it tore, you became lame. Despite this many fighters fought into late middle age, and well. The how of it is in their training, for their fighting was far more brutal than what we know.
There are things done by modern fighters and contact athletes that ancients and old timers did not train for in order to save their bodies. So yes, in a time machine MMA tourney, the modern guys would have an edge in virtuosity. But if the event was held in pre-antibiotic space, the old timers would win via attrition.
I find myself a combat fossil in my own time, twice the age of the men I fight. I am thirty pounds overweight, fifty-one years old, and think I have a fractured finger on my right hand, and have a fight on July 5th. We are already down to two two-man teams. I can’t crap out, lest the ghost of Liver-Eating Johnson bitch-slaps me for eternity when I get to hell.
How am I training?
Like the old timers of course.
1. No impact cardio. If I run it is a controlled sprint and uphill.
2. I do not work on speed, which can never improve for me at this stage
3. I do not work on power in the run up to a fight for fear of joint and muscle blowups.
4. Light sparring only because of the finger
5. I practice three counts with left and right hand, three times each, every day, with a butterfly sword, done slowly to work on mechanics and to work the muscle through all phases of the stroke in case I get caught in a bind. I’m by far the weakest fighter out their muscularly and need to be able to emerge from binds and clinches without a torn part.
6. I shadowbox every day between articles.
7. I use two 2 kilo dumbbells for a half hour twice a week for my deltoids, biceps, triceps, intercostals and upper back, all the areas where I will be getting hit and taking stress in clinches and binds.
8. I do light-contact sparring drills on Saturday and Sunday and get dinged a little. Mainly I am maintaining my relaxation edge, which is my big advantage over the young bucks as an older fighter.
9. For baseline cardio and lower leg conditioning I practice pedestrianism, which is what the bare knuckle guys did. I take from one to four walks a day from brisk to as fast as possible of a distant from 1.5 to 3 miles at a time.
10. At bus stops I do lower leg exercises.
11. At work I do footwork and guarding exercises as I breakdown freight which actually ups my productivity.
12. I do static and ballistic hamstring stretches, and static calf and pectoral stretches.
Lastly, since I will be one of the two drunk middleweights fighting the two sober heavyweights at the Agonistics Anonymous meet I also practice drinking wine before some of my walks and weightlifting. I do not like how this feels, and am not expecting good things on my part on July 5th. I’m thinking about my fight strategy now, but that will probably go out the window after we start whacking away, so don’t expect a genius-level fight plan.
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alex konstantarasAugust 8, 2014 3:57 AM UTC

i am the one who is honored mr la fond,i am not exaggerating about the times that i have read fighting edge(i just finished reading logic of force for the fifth time). really your familly doesn't know what it misses,in terms of reading pleasure.i am reluctant to spend your precious time with specific personal questions but i will read winter of a fighting life.i haven't done so already, only because i suck at using the computer or ordering things online.i live in the capital of greece, athens and if any time you visit my country i will be very happy to have you as my guest.thank you very much for your fast replies and sorry for any mistakes in my grammar.
responds:August 8, 2014 6:37 AM UTC

Don't sweat the grammar Alex—I could seriously get you a job teaching English composition in Baltimore City.

Thanks for the offer of hospitality—same thing goes if you end up in Baltimore.

Take care Sir.
alex konstantarasAugust 7, 2014 2:54 AM UTC

mr la fond i am alex from greece and imake my living carrying furnitures ,because of this i have little time and multiple injuries for conventional training(physically and skill wise).in your masterpiece the fighting edge (which i have read over 30 times and constantly rereading)you have inspiring suggestions for incidental training,it would be very helpfull if you could expand on these and explain more ways to train for fitness and skill.the best would be an entire book but i know that this is a lot to ask.thanks for the inspiring article.
responds:August 7, 2014 3:28 PM UTC

Alex, I am honored, really. Only one member of my large family has read any of my 31 books.

Here is what I suggest for using this old American bag of bones to advise you on your beat up body.

Email me at jameslafond.com@gmail.com with specific training issues, injuries, goals, and I will write articles tailored to your needs, which will be posted under the Man Cave tag. Your name will be in the subtitle. If you can do a one sentence question, that question will be the subtitle.

I would suggest you read Winter of a Fighting Life, which is available on the Modern Combat page, by James LaFond, who is apparently such a good writer that a Greek reader has read the Fighting Edge 30 times! It is about all of my injuries, how I got them, and what I did about them.

Alex, I am also interested in what part of Greece you come from. I have never been there, but did spend 48 hours drawing a map of the ancient version for The Broken Dance.

Peace.