A QUICK NOTE ABOUT THE MASKS
In addition, we are based in Northern Virginia--the heart of America's national security and defense communities. Because of this, some of our students may work in security related fields that could make them more attractive targets for kidnappings, terrorism, or various forms of exploitation. And we don't want to compromise ANYONE'S security for the sake of our own advertising. Therefore, it has become our policy to put masks on or block out the faces of ALL of our students who are shown in pictures or videos online. We also won't share our students' emails or sensitive information with anyone. We want our students to be able to trust that we will always protect their identities and their privacy--no matter who they are.
Welcome to your first lesson! Mastering "Drill 1" is your first step toward building a superior level of mental, physical, and spiritual fitness! It may only appear to be a small step, but it's actually a giant leap. It's the beginning of a world-class self-defense program that includes training with improvised weapons (such as the stick), empty handed self-defense, and other emergency survival skills. Remember that it takes time to build skills. Thus, you're about to embark upon a journey. It will be the ultimate challenge in patience, willpower, toughness, and skill. Don't worry, we'll be guiding you along the way. Just DON'T QUIT! In the warrior code, quitting is the ultimate shame and dishonor.
These initial form and fitness drills are like a keystone. They are designed to build your body, your coordination and enhance your brain in specific ways. Thus, once you've learned them, don't ever stop doing them. The more you practice, the more you're going to see positive results in a wide range of areas such as core strength and neurological processing speed. These drills will also have you mastering the basics needed to fight with a stick (or any other object that can be wielded as an improvised weapon).
Learning by watching videos might seem challenging at first. But it CAN be done! Take your laptop, iPad, or phone to a park, beach, the gym, or even a mountaintop. Watch the videos, watch them again, pause them, slow them down and go frame by frame, then mimic the student-demonstrator in the videos. Next, take videos of yourself or do the drills in front of a mirror so you can make comparisons. Try to match the movements of the demonstrator exactly at first while keeping in mind that you will develop your own movement style according to your own body type in the future.
It helps to run the movements through your head often and to write them down in the beginning. Don't take shortcuts! Work slowly! Don't allow yourself to feel rushed. Mastering the basics one step at a time is the way to faster learning and ultimate mastery. Keep in mind that it takes thousands of repetitions of any move before you'll be ready to perform it under the extreme stress of a real attack. MASTER THE BASICS!
The videos have been broken up into very short lesson segments in order to make both video streaming and mental digestion easier. Practice each step as much as you can throughout the week. Five minutes a day is better than nothing, but shoot for a MINIMUM of 15 minutes of training per day.
As you become increasingly familiar with this material, try to seek out our instructors for in-person training. Due to threats from terrorists and other criminals, we can't put out everything online. But if more good people practice what we're putting out, the world will be a safer place. You'll likely find a training location near you in the future. However, keep in mind that in the old days, students would literally cross the oceans looking for the best teacher. That's the real warrior mindset. Luckily, the invention of the internet means you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to go searching for a teacher.
THE CUTTING EDGE OF FITNESS, SELF-DEFENSE, and BRAIN SCIENCES
The four foundational "pillars" of survival are PROPER MINDSET, SITUATIONAL AWARENESS, SKILL PROFICIENCY, and PHYSICAL FITNESS. However, a lot of time and effort will be wasted teaching skill proficiency (tactics and techniques) if we don't also build the mental, physical, and spiritual attributes required to learn and perform them efficiently and effectively. Some of those attributes include speed, power, endurance, timing, balance, coordination, dexterity, flexibility, mental focus, memory and more. Luckily, the mentally and physically challenging stick-fighting drills we provide are a natural and practical form of "neuroplasticity" enhancement training. They re-wire the neuronal connections in your brain and strengthen the neural connections in your body, building all of the aforementioned attributes simultaneously, while also building up your ability to pick up an improvised weapon and use it to defend yourself in an emergency situation.
Keep in mind that neuroplasticity enhancement training gradually enhances the brain over time, but you must do your exercises every day--increasing the challenge as you go. As you become more proficient with the stick and you begin see the positive changes in your body and mental cognition, your confidence level is going to go up drastically. We know that your newfound confidence, fitness, mental acuity, and skills will translate into success in whatever you wish to accomplish in your life--and it could save your life or the lives of others.
We recommend combining these drills with some jogging or walking. Some simple knuckle push-ups will further build up your punching power if you intend to do our follow-on empty hand self-defense training, and pull-ups should round out your workout program nicely. KEEP IT SIMPLE! Learning to fight is complicated enough--but it's a practical skill. There's a lot of wacky workout programs out there that are impractical. Don't make your life more complicated! Also, if you only have time for one workout, these drills should ALWAYS be the first choice because they provide more benefits (mental, physical, and skill-related) in a shorter amount of time than other activities.
HOW TO BEGIN AND WHAT EQUIPMENT TO USE
Loosen up your body a bit and do some very simple stretches, then begin practicing our drills slowly and smoothly with a light stick (a broom handle from Home Depot or Lowes makes for a perfect practice stick--keep it simple). Don't use a heavy stick in the beginning because it will take some time for your muscles and connective tissues to get used to the new movements. Also, these drills are demonstrated both slowly and at a faster pace. DON'T GO FAST YET! The faster presentation is there to give you an idea of the goal you're working towards. Give yourself weeks if not months of slow practice, mastering the form before you begin to speed up.
A broom handle approximately 5 ft long will do for most people, but the length can vary--remember, we train to use IMPROVISED weapons that are readily available in most places--you should be able to wield a stick-shaped object of any length or weight (within reason). Once the form is perfected, you can begin increasing the speed that you move as well as the weight of the stick for a more intense workout. Our drills can be done at a moderate pace for a longer period of time--this is a great aerobic endurance workout. They can also be done very rapidly for a short duration--a kind of full body sprint that will build the perfect combination of speed and power! We have recorded some incredible calorie burns with heart rate monitoring equipment. UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN PHYSICAL LIMITS AND TRAIN AT YOUR OWN RISK.
"From knowing one thing, know 10,000 things" --Miyamoto Musashi
The Warrior Spirit Team