Shield Lifting

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 by John Wood
One very interesting training technique in Traditional Iranian Martial Arts is known as Sang Gereftan or Shield Lifting. Large rectangular pieces of hard wood are affixed with handles and then alternately raised and lowered by an athlete laying on his back. The shields are used as a training technique by themselves to build upper body strength but there are and have been tournaments held in their use. A very good score would be 72 repetitions in seven minutes although some athletes have been able to do as many as 120.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Eagle Claw!

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 by John Wood
One very interesting exercises for building grip strength is to grasp the opening of a large clay jar with each hand. As you get stronger, simply fill the jar with additional sand or rocks to increase weight to make the movement more difficult. This method is simple, but very effective, and martial artists have been using it for centuries.

This type of training had many names, for example, in Okinawan Karate, as a part of “Hojo Undo (supplementary exercises) they are referred to as Nigiri Game, or gripping jars. The fellow above is from 1906, and seems to have things pretty well taken care of in the grip department from using this exercise.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Unspunnen Stone

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Many cultures have a long tradition of Stone Lifting. Another great example of this is the Unspunnen Stone of Switzerland. The stone is so named for the Unspunnenfest, a cultural festival held near the ruins of the old Unspunnen Castle near Interlaken, Switzerland. This festival, which began officially in 1805, features a celebration of Swiss culture with competitions in yodeling, wrestling, and, of course, stone throwing. Unspunnenfest takes place roughly every 10 years or so, with the most recent event occurring in 2006. As for the the Unspunnen Stone itself, it weighs 184 lbs., and the object of the Steinstossen event is to hurl it as far as possible. Pictured above is Markus Maire, a 35-year old Swiss carpenter who won the 2006 event with an overhead throw of 3.89 meters (12.76 feet).

Traditional Indian Club Training

Posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 by John Wood
The swinging of “jori and gada” (heavy Indian clubs and maces) holds a special place in the ancient art of Kushti – (Traditional Indian Wrestling and Physical Culture Training.)

In the akharas (wrestling gyms) these traditional implements are decorated in many unique ways. Some are painted with lively decorative patterns, others, used only by the most skilled masters, are studded with nails. Some of these decorative Indian clubs weigh as much as 35kg (about pounds.)

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Stone Lifting in Tibet

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 by John Wood

Every culture has it’s own “meaning” for strength. Here are a few interesting pictures from a stone lifting contest held at the 7th National Ethnic Games in Yinchuan, Northwest China’s Ningxia Province which took place in 2003.

At the games, which are held every four years like the Olympics, over 3,700 ethnic athletes from 34 delegations competed.

The rules of the stone lifting contest are a bit unlike most stone lifting contests you probably have ever heard of… these Tibetan giants lift the stones any way they can, usually to hold in their arms, placed on shoulders or put up on their backs.

From there, they walk along in a circular path and the one who walks the most circles wins.

The stone pictured was said to weigh 160 kg (352 lbs.).

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Mustafa Toosi

Posted on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by John Wood

Mustafa Toosi, the great Iranian wrestling champion, won the modern Pahlevani competition, in 1944-45, 1945-46 and 1946-47. Here Toosi holds a pair of traditional heavy clubs known as Meels. Each of these Meels are about 4 feet long and weigh around 60 pounds (27 kg). It’s an impressive feat just to be able to hold them in this position, let alone swing them.