17 December 2013

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever: Mas "Bare-Handed Slayer of Bulls" Oyama

You ever get so pissed off at a cow that you spend a couple of years in the woods beating inanimate objects to undeath, seething with rage that the fact that cows are just, you know, sitting there, chewing and pooping and mooing, living their lives without the slightest flicker of intelligence behind their big, wet, cow eyes, and then descend from the mountains and tear a swath trough the bovine community, knocking out ungulates like they raped your mom in a 7-11 while smiling at the security camera?


Me neither, but Mas Oyama did.

Well, at least, that's how the story goes.  In reality, Oyama just chopped the horn off a single pet ox one time after beating the confused animal for some time and the Japanophile press decided that Oyama was to become a fearless killer of horned, male ruminants.  Irrespective of how meaty-delicious animals Sosai Masutatsu Oyama killed barehanded in the name of his beloved karate, no one in their right mind will debate the fact that Mas Oyama was one bad motherfucker.

Born in Japanese-occupied Korea, which was an avowedly shitty place, Oyama was forced to move as a child to an even shittier place- what can only be described as hell on Earth, Japanese-occupied Manchuria.  Bear in mind that at this point Japanese soldiers raped anything that would hold still long enough to get their cocks into it in Manchuria during world war two, and the Japanese had a team of "doctors" in the same vein of medicine that the dude from Human Centipede was a "doctor" roaming the countryside in search of people on whom they could test theories that basically amounted to seeing how long it would take you to die if they sewed a dog's head into your groin in place of your cock.  After learning the rudiments of kempo from an itinerant worker who ostensibly hoped this would help a small boy retain the structural integrity of his anal sphincter, Oyama adopted the name "Oyama Masutatsu", which was a transliteration of an ancient Korean kingdom Oyama would knew would piss off the Japanese, and moved to Japan to piss off the Japanese even more.  From there, Oyama embarked upon what could only be described as a hate-fueled journey through Japan with only one goal- to shed as much Japanese blood as humanly possible with his bare hands.

So Nei Chu knew a thing or to about bringin' dat swole.

In Japan, Oyama started collecting black belts in every style of martial arts he could that no Knockout-obsessed gangbanger in the world would find himself with saggy pants if Oyama could help it.  After pulling down multiple-dan black belts in Okinawan and Shotokan karate, Oyama did the same in judo, studied boxing, and then happened upon another Korean ex-pat martial arts badass in the form of So Nei Chu.  A goju-ryu master, So Nei Chu was also a bit of a meathead, and began adding a great deal of strength training to the already stocky Oyama's training routine.  Under So Nei Chu, Oyama started focusing heavily on hojo undo, which are traditional Japanese kareteka strengthening exercises that include the use of barbells and more cinderblock lifting than you could possibly find in Marky Mark's Good Vibrations video.  Since I've already covered this and have not only never seen the implements but have never used them, check this shit out if you want a primer on hojo undo.

The really great man can only be produced through continuous heavy training.
-So Nei Chu

Yo!  It's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme!

Discontented with his training and the fact that the people who fucked his people in the ear were now being fucked in the ear by gaijin, Oyama did what any sensible person would do and fled to the mountains.  There, he built a shack and proceded to train for 14 months in an effort to hone himself into the most brutal killing machine the world had ever seen, at least until the martial arts epic Gymkata was released.  After climbing the mountain on which the great unwashed asshole swordsman Mushashi penned The Book Of Five Rings,  Oyama proceded to build a shack in which he'd live for six months with one of his students and then another six months alone after his student peaced the fuck out (understandably) from stir-craziness.  Having spent a great deal of time building up his conditioning under So Nei Chu (who was also the financial backer for Oyama's homage to the Unibomber), Oyama spent twelve hours a day using trees as makiwara, riping the bark off trees with his fingers (a trick he learned from So Nei Chu, who learned it from the dude who invented their style), punching rocks, meditating under freezing waterfalls, channeling his inner Dean Karnazes for a shitload of trail running, and doing more stone and tree trunk lifting than a drunken Scot in the months before a Highland Games festival. Thus, when Oyama's funding ran out, he descended from the mountains a man with whom no part of nature wanted to fuck and handily destroyed the competition in an all-Japan karate competition.  Feeling like that simply wasn't enough awesome and filled with so much hatred for modern society that he even made Julius Evola wonder what the fuck had gotten up his ass, Oyama returned to the mountains for another 18 months of 12 hour a day training with no days off, because overtraining is fuck pussies and Oyama apparently gave less than zero fucks about Mark Rippetoe's eventual opinion on the matter.

Back in civilization, Oyama went back to doing what he did best- beating the brakes off everyone he could.  Before he founded his own school, Oyama was the assistant instructor at the home of goju-ryu with none other than Masahiko Kimura, legendary judoka who's one of the godfathers of modern mma.  Kimura and Oyama trained together constantly, and Oyama's physique was that much the better for it.  Kimura had by this point developed a pants-shittingly awesome practice we could all stand to adopt called "San-bai no Do-ryoku (Triple Effort)."  This method consisted of him just tripling the effort of his competition to ensure that he would never lose.  Having heard his opponents were training three hours a day, Kimura started training nine.  This, he believed, would turn him into a real life Ultron- he'd me insanely confident and virtually indestructible, as his mind and body would exist to do nothing other than to propel him onto victory.  Thus, this brutal lunatic would awake in the middle of the night to train, and lacking a hair shirt and a knotted whip, decided that as penance for a lackluster performance (after winning his first championship) he had to do 500 pushups, one kilometer of bunny hops and 500 karate strikes before hitting the hay.  At 5'6", 185 lbs, Kimura was pretty much unstoppable- he honed his throwing strength by practicing it on trees (ripping them out of the ground) and dragged Oyama through workouts like this:

Dem pecs.

Pushups or Hindu Push-ups- 1,000 
Bunny Hop- 1 km
Headstand- 3 x 3 Minutes
Judo Practice- 100 Throws
One-Arm Barbell Clean and Press- 15 Reps each side OR Bench Press- 3 Sets: 3, 2, and 1 Reps
Situps off Partner's Back or Decline Situps- 200 
Squats with Partner/Log/Barbell/Sandbag (150-200lbs)- 200 
Judo Practice- 100 Submissions
Shuto (Knife-hand Strikes)- 500
Judo Practice- 100 Entries
Judo Randori- "X" x 3 Minute Rounds
Practice Throws (particularly Uchi-mata) Against a Tree- 1 Hour
Additional Judo Practice- 1 Hour

According to a couple of sources, another influence on Oyama at this time was Japanese strongman Takemaru Wakaki.  Though I could not find much in the way of information on Wakaki, you can see he was a middleweight strongman and bridged the gap between the truly old schoolers (Saxon, Strongfort, Hackenschmidt, etc) and the Grimek era.  As such, the name of the game was volume, and Oyama's routines definitely reflected that.  Though he was about as reluctant to give a definitive program as the team for Half Life 2: Episode 3, here's what Oyama himself said he did on a daily basis in his seminal work, My Karate:

Running- 4km per day
Rope-skipping- 20 minutes per day
Dumbell shoulder press- 200 reps
Dips- 100 reps
Pushups (on knuckles)- 300 reps
Inclined push ups- 100 reps
Jumping side kick over 4 foot vaulting horse
Incline dumbell bench press- 200 reps
Bench Press (175 pounds)- 500 reps

Exercises requiring a partner:
Hitting bag with upper elbow and side of elbow- 200 times each
Practicing jumping kick with bag
Exercises for neck (with partner)
Leg exercise (squat with partner on back)
Back and Abdomen exercises with partner

Think it couldn't work?  Think again.  Oyama used this conditioning routine to found one of the first truly hybrid styles of the Far East, Kyokushinkaikan, a style in which you have to fight 100 guys in a row, bare knuckles, to achieve the highest belt status.  Oyama was the first to do so, and since then only 13 other people have managed to pull it off (and all of them went directly to the hospital, from what I understand).  Oyama is also alleged to have defeated over 270 opponents, and his one punch slaughter technique earned Oyama the nickname "The Godhand."  

If he hit you, you broke. If you blocked a rib punch, your arm was broken or dislocated. If you didn't block, your rib was broken.

I honestly don't know who was more excited in this pic, but I can tell you I am fully erect.

Thus, when it's not giving its best fighters rhabdo, Oyama's baby has given the world Bloodsport (Oyama invented the kumite), Street Fighters Ken and Ryu, Tekken's Jim Kazama, knockdown karate, K-1, Marius Pudzianowski (he's a European kyokushin champ), Dolph Lundgren (who was also a European kyokushin champ), just about every useful karate style ever, mixed martial arts (Oyama taught Kimura striking, and Kimura went on to beat Helio Gracie's ass in one of the first mma fights), and threw some big brass balls on the universe as a whole.  Thus, the next time you think you've done enough in training- think a-fucking again and find some way to do more.

Or imagine she will fuck you if you hit a 3.5x bodyweight raw squat.

Keaveney, Liam.  Mas Oyama.  Original link dead, but taken from British Karate Kyokushinkai
Magazine.  Excerpt from http://www.kyokushin4life.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6971&highlight=wakaki+takemaru&page=2

Kimura, Masahiko.  My Judo.  JudoInfo.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://judoinfo.com/kimura2.htm

Mas Oyama.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.mutekikyokushin.com/content_bio_masoyama.html

The Mas Oyama Workout.  Pierced Visions.  7 Jan 2010.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.

Ross, Steven.  Masahiko Kimura's Training.  Real Anime Training. 2 Apr 2013.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://real-anime-training.blogspot.com/2013/04/judo-in-anime-and-manga-masahiko.html

Tsui, Dom.  Masahiko Kimua Training.  26 May 2011.  Web.  16 Dec 2013.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/455237-masahiko-kimura-training/

Young, Robert.  How Kyokushin Karate Master Kenji Yamaki Endured the 100-Man Kumite.  Black Belt.  25 Nov2013.  Web.  17 Dec 2013.  http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/kyokushin/how-kyukoshin-karate-master-kenji-yamaki-endured-the-100-man-kumite/

07 December 2013

In Death Ground, Fight- Part 2

Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is death ground.  In death ground, fight. 
"Suppose an army invading hostile territory without the aid of local guides:—it falls into a fatal snare and is at the enemy's mercy. A ravine on the left, a mountain on the right, a pathway so perilous that the horses have to be roped together and the chariots carried in slings, no passage open in front, retreat cut off behind, no choice but to proceed in single file. Then, before there is time to range our soldiers in order of battle, the enemy is overwhelming strength suddenly appears on the scene. Advancing, we can nowhere take a breathing-space; retreating, we have no haven of refuge. We seek a pitched battle, but in vain; yet standing on the defensive, none of us has a moment's respite. If we simply maintain our ground, whole days and months will crawl by; the moment we make a move, we have to sustain the enemy's attacks on front and rear. The country is wild, destitute of water and plants; the army is lacking in the necessaries of life, the horses are jaded and the men worn-out, all the resources of strength and skill unavailing, the pass so narrow that a single man defending it can check the onset of ten thousand; all means of offense in the hands of the enemy, all points of vantage already forfeited by ourselves:—in this terrible plight, even though we had the most valiant soldiers and the keenest of weapons, how could they be employed with the slightest effect?"
You know what you do in this case?  Fucking ATTACK.  We've all been in this position in the gym- broken/torn whatevers/horrible illness/etc.  Something that not only cripples you physically but cripples you psychologically.  I've had it happen twice in the last year, first with walking pneumonia and then with the broken hand/torn bicep combo.  In both cases, it wasn't just the fact that I couldn't train the way I liked, but the fact that I'd been proven mortal by the universe at large.  Though that might seem preposterous to most people, if you think of yourself as mortal and consider your own mortality, you will never transcend mediocrity, never rise out of the muck, never crawl over the assembled, teeming,unwashed, blind, stinking masses to grab the brass ring.  Thus, a catastrophic setback initially freaks me the fuck out and throws me into whatever my best impression of "depressed" is.  I, however, have never allowed myself to get sad for all that long- like they said in the original Red Dawn, I "let it turn into something else".  Instead of getting sad, I get mad at myself for being a Fucking Awesome Guy and get insanely, ripshit angry.  I get angry at everything- the sun, the fact that a book I love has a shitty cover, the fact that my dog pointedly ignores certain command, pants (because fuck pants), my crippled body, everyone driving a car, EVERYTHING.  Then, I channel that energy into creativity.

Yes, creativity.  It might come as a great shock to everyone under 25 who's reading this, but the gym is the perfect place for you to express your creativity.  If you're not creative, you're going to be a shitty lifter, plain and simple.  Allow me to explain- in order to be a great lifter, you have got to get creative to overcome hurdles, train around injuries, get lean, fix weaknesses, and sculpt your body however you want it to look.  If you just do what you're told, you're going to suck- it's just that simple.  Lifting is not a science- it's an art.  For those of you who are going to expose your utter blindness to the truth and irrefutable ignorance, consider that just as science influences and supports art (the creation of colors and mediums, explaining why certain art appeals to the majority, etc), science also influences and supports lifting... but lifting cannot, will not, and never could be made into a science because there are too many independent variables involved in programming, exercise selection, and loading for anyone to accurately utilize science or math in their calculation.

Skeptical?  I have taken advice from people on a number of occasion, and it has always ended in disaster.  One time I didn't cum for almost a year because getting off would "hurt my gainz".  No only did my gainz suffer, but my dick developed schizophrenia and would not respond to normal commands when called into battle.  If I could have found the old fuck who gave me that advice, I'd have sent everyone in his family a fucking nailbomb.  Likewise for when my squat stalled and someone suggested that since Bill Kazmeier only did 10-12 reps in the off-season, I should too.  My squat literally dropped 50 lbs over three months and it took the better part of a year to make a five pound PR over my previous plateau weight.  People, as it turns out, know precisely fuck all about what will make you strong.

I'ma dig a ditch, bitch, and throw your ass in.

Speaking of knowing exactly fuckall, there is one major caveat to what I am suggesting- if you're under the age of 27 at this moment and happen to ever find yourself injured, you might as well quit lifting and eat a fucking bullet.  Not since Al Qaeda conquered the assembled unwashed and uneducated dirt merchants of Afghanistan has there been a less well-educated or more pompous, self-aggrandizing, entitled pack of dogmatic, uninteresting, dickless, brainless fucktards than the under-27 crowd of "powerlifters" fucking up any decent discourse on the subject of lifting on whatever public forum they currently choose.  So wedded to the idea that they have to adhere to a "program" lest they fail to achieve the baseline mediocrity for which they so desperately wish in order to impress the other saddie bitches yammering on about the program du jour, they're completely incapable of enacting a damage control system of "improvise, adapt, and overcome" to train around an injury.  Frankly, I've no idea how these assholes manage to get out of bed and get their fucking shoes on ("Thanks for tying them, mom!  I'll get it before I turn 30!  I promise!"), but that set of actions certainly stretches the limits of their autonomy to the breaking point.  They'd be more likely to transmogrify themselves into a rape monster in the form of winged bag of pulsating ectoplasm covered with turgid 10" cocks than they would be capable of determining a course by which they could train around an injury.

Hate those motherfuckers about this much.

If that offended you, good.  Anyone who defends that generation of lifters will join them in the fucking camps.  Lest you worry, we know your work capacity isn't going to allow for much slave labor, as your CNS allegedly has less balls than a geriatric AIDS patient covered in cancerous goiters.  Nope, we're just going to lead you fucking lemmings to the edge of a deep pit (dug with bulldozers, because again, you fuckers would fall down dead of exhaustion from digging a potted plant out of the ground) and shove you in, where you can lament the fact you never did a fucking pullup with all of the other assholes in your generation as you starve to death.

I always had the desire to inflict pain on others and to have others inflict pain on me. I always seemed to enjoy everything that hurt. The desire to inflict pain, that is all that is uppermost.
-Albert Fish

For the rest of you, what's important is that you get creative and tried new shit.  That is the only thing you can do when you get injured, because when you're facing a serious injury, improvisation is all you have.  Consider my latest clusterfuck- confronted with the issue of a torn bicep and broken bone in my right hand which still hurts like a fuck), I was reduced to unilateral pulls that did not involve my palm with my right hand, nothing with my left, and machine leg training.  As such, I simply started training legs as much as possible, alternating between machine squats and leg extensions/leg curls.  Then, on alternating days, I did explosive unilateral pulldowns, curls, one arm pullups, and triceps pressdowns.  Once I had surgery, I added in two non-unilateral movements that I basically invented myself- band crossovers with the bands on my biceps rather than in my hands (to remove the load from my bicep) and band rows with the bands over my triceps.  You might be thinking to yourself, "that's not gonna do shit", but you know what?  It's more than the average person does, and I was trying to keep my back as conditioned as humanly possible.

For anyone who wants a new goal, how about a triple bodyweight one arm dead?  Pete Cortese: 370 lbs. at 116 lbs.

As my arm healed, I started doing one arm deadlifts with the other arm to keep moving heavy weight, and at 5 weeks cautiously started squatting again, working up to a double with 585 in my first squat session in 7 weeks just fucking because.  That week I also started benching again, working with a wide grip to refrain from compressing my bicep too much, adding in a bunch of machine bench presses just to get my volume up.  I also added overhead presses, starting light and not going to lockout just to keep the strain and stretch off my bicep, and gradually (over a week and a half) worked to full lockout.  At the same time, I remained cognizant of the strain holding a bar at lockout on my bicep, so I simply put the bar as for over head as possible without retearing my bicep and dumped it.  Clearly, none of this should be Earth-shattering- it's just a combination of a bit of creativity and not being a fucking bitch.  Pursuant to the latter bit, I've perhaps taken nine days off in the last two months (I had surgery exactly two months ago)... so it seems your body and your CNS is capable of handling both recovery from surgery and heavy, frequent training without giving you cancer of the IDS provided you feed it plenty of food and remember to avoid being a bitch.

To most of you, that strikes you as a waste of time.  Leg extensions?  Band crossovers?  WHAT'S THE CARRYOVER, BRO?  The carryover is you're a fucking retard and your parents fucking hate you, bro.  Every time I'm asked what the carryover is from one exercise to another I want to burn the world and fuck on the ashes just a little bit more.  I want spray random passers-by with acid.  I want to grab a small child by the feet and beat an entire college campus to death with its corpse.  I want to breathe smoke.  You know why?  BECAUSE THE CARRYOVER IS THAT ANY TIME YOU MAKE YOURSELF STRONGER, YOU'RE FUCKING STRONGER.  Te aforementioned question is a tacit admission that 1) the questioner does not like lifting weights, and 2) knows precisely fuckall about strength training, 3) that person is beneath your contempt and should be treated as thought they just crawled bare-ass naked out of a public porta-potty with their mouth wide open and a baby doll stuffed up their ass.

If you think I am alone in acting in that manner, I am not.  The progenitor of the modern bodybuilding competition and basically the person you have to blame for the popularity of physical culture in the US, Bernarr MacFadden, was a harder motherfucker than you will probably ever be at age 12.  Having grown up in an environment wherein he was constantly being reminded that his death from tuberculosis was eminent and wherein his mom dropped dead of the same disease and his dad peace out when he was a baby, Bernarr decided to get hard.  Essentially an orphan and had no money to join a gym, so he did what he could- too poor to join a gym at age 12, he bought a set of dumbbells he used religiously every morning until he couldn't lift them, replacing them with heavier dumbbells when he needed a bigger challenge.  As if that weren't enough, he took nothing but physically demanding jobs, with the thought that desk jobs would lead him to his death... and he was still a tween.  

Harder Than You Crew circa 1900.

That's right, a twelve year old kid out-harded you.  He idolized the badass motherfuckers he saw coming out of mines and loathed the bitches he saw in banks, so he started carrying a lead ingot everywhere he went at age 15 so he wouldn't go soft as he worked for the company that eventually became Dunn and Bradstreet.  As he grew older and got more wealthy, his penchant for experimentation expanded, and he became a renowned wrestler and strongman weighting only about 150 lbs due to a fanatical, round the clock lifting program and in spite of a near vegetarian diet.  MacFadden wasn't busy worrying about carryover, his CNS, loading protocols for the squat versus the bench, what particular minute adjustment to his bench form he could agonize over, or any of the other stupid shit with which "lifters" find themselves preoccupied these days.  He made himself stronger so that he would be stronger, in spite of whatever bullshit life happened to throw in his way, be it poverty or pneumonia.

In summary, this shit couldn't be any easier.  You're backed into a corner by life, so you fight your way the fuck out and leave nothing alive.  Pretty fucking simple, frankly.  Everyone who's been worth a shit in the past has done it, and so will we, if we aspire to even being mere shadows of our much tougher forbears.  Time to stop making excuses and harden the fuck up people.  

Don't forget- we've got forums now, in case you assholes want to bitch about how I just touched your inner child in its no no place.

Adams, Mark.  Mr. America.  New York:  Harper Collins, 2009.
Gentle, David.  Some Amazing Feats of Grip Strength.  Bob Whelan.  Web.  7 Dec 2013.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/gripstrength.html
Sun Tzu's Art of War.  Web.  3 Nov 2013.  http://suntzusaid.com/book/11