Old Man Strength

Updated: December 17, 2016
My son Richard always tells me I have Old Man Strength — what is that exactly? More than anything, it is experience over many years, many street fights , lots of gym, dojo and ring time, building a foundation as solid as oak.  This strength is also keeping your head in the game — pushing forward, continuing to build. It comes from your mindset.
Last week, Richard and his mother informed me my son had his first fender bender. My son is 18 and has some skill as it pertains to the fight game. He can throw some nice powerful hands, stop a takedown, and grapple competently.
This may sound strange, but you can have a lot of technical skill and ability and still not be a great fighter. In fact, you may crumble when you have your first real encounter. Richard is a sweet kid and has never been in a real street fight as far as I know. He’s always trying to do the right thing.
Look, no one wants to come home and have to tell their loved ones they were in a fight. Back in my day it was a good thing and you could have bragging rights. Back in my day when you saw a cop in the neighborhood you ran out to say hi, because they were cool. Today there is so much BS political correctness, everyone is scared to say or do anything. So now we have a society of criminals. Everything has to be a secret, “Don’t get caught or else” So much of your livelihood, your ability to make a living and even get a job, is tied to your everyday behavior as it is defined by some politician trying to line his own pockets by regulating even the air you breath. Anyway enough of my political rant ….back to my thoughts about my son’s first real encounter.
Just imagine a good kid having a run in and some 45 year old white guy who thinks he is living a life caught up somewhere between Duck Dynasty and the Civil War, looking like ZZ Top on crystal meth having road rage. If you aren’t a natural badass and fighting all the time either in the ring, cage, gym or streets, this could set you back and make you either scared or nervous.   First this really pissed me off  when I found the guy was harassing my son for $150.00. At the time of the incident he told my son to “man-up” and trade phone numbers. Of course he didn’t want to call the police or exchange insurance information. This should be a red flag for anyone. Secondly, he placed his hand on the driver’s door preventing my son from opening his door, trapping him. I told my son if this ever happens again, put your car in reverse cut the wheels to the right and run him over. No one has the right to threaten you or trap you. I feel this was an imminent threat. So I spoke with the jerk off and he decided not to pursue this anymore and stopped harassing my son. Anyway, I figured I would add some realistic training techniques into my son’s technical fight training and better prepare him for a street fight encounter. After all there are no rules and when a fight becomes reality, many people, especially inexperienced non-violent people, will be overcome, over whelmed, and their energy will fail, psychologically becoming weak in the knees, panicky and unable to defend themselves.  Strength training does not only refer to the physical aspect, it is how you train your mind as well.
While I have what he terms Old Man Strength,  trust me here, there is no substitute for experience. I figured I would amp up his training and build in steps to reality based training, so if he is ever caught by surprise he will have a definitive edge. So we put on the gloves and added in some fight confusion by throwing punch and kick combinations from both offense and defensive drills, following any punch combination with a quick tie up and set up for a suplex, defined by Wikipedia as an offensive move used in both professional and amateur wrestling. A suplex is a throw that involves lifting the opponent and bridging or rolling to slam the opponent on their back. Though there are many variations, the term suplex (without qualifiers) can also refer specifically to the vertical suplex. The idea is to immediately engage my son in a way that gets physical and forces him to use all his leg and body strength.
The idea is for him to engage with his total body strength, also twisting and turning. To do this correctly you have to use proper lifting techniques causing you to bend at the knees virtually squatting and getting a grip so tight your opponent feels like you are about to break his ribs. I also like to trap one of the arms to prevent to guy from bracing or catching his fall. There are many ways to do a suplex and it requires study and practice. What I am doing with my son is teaching him how to close from the offense or defense by what I term crashing the party. This is a way of creating a frame close to your head and jaw, minimizing any damage from being punched while you effectively close in and grab your opponent for the suplex. He immediately lifts me off my feet and does a 180 and simply sits me down. We run this drills from both directions and sides, lifting and turning to the left and right. He there is a slip up or bad grip, then we go straight to leg trips and sacrifice throws. All of this is fast and somewhat sloppy looking. Face it most fights that get past the first punch get sloppy is a micro second. So first you begin by throwing a combination of punches and have the other person attempt to counter while defending by framing around his head, especially the jaw line. Close the gap by crashing the party and lift and throw. Trust me this will give anyone “Old Man Strength” what I call total body strength. To lift, throw or otherwise man handle another human is totally different than lifting weights. Additional advantages are getting your head semi trapped and punched at. In the real world if a threat is imminent, it is best to strike first and don’t allow yourself to get nervous. Remember always follow up with more techniques, until the threat is over.
Take time to learn how to punch hard and fast without telegraphing and use elbows, knees and head-butts on the inside when you are close. If you fall to the ground scramble to get on top or break away as fast as you can. Winners win from the top. Stay aggressive and don’t allow nervous energy and self-defeating thoughts to creep in, just do it.
— Smokey


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