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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:15 pm 
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My teacher George has this wonderful talent for envisioning a problem completed before the solution has been found. It is this talent that brings him to me to say "Bill, I want you to do this. No problem, right?

:shocked!:

That being said...

The problem with doing something like this and doing it right means you need to consider many issues. These are the issues I see.

1) The test must be objective

2) The test must be simple to execute

3) This is Uechi Ryu, which IMO has everything in it that you could conceive a fighter needs. I see thrusting. I see grabbing/grappling. I see kicking. So a fitness test necessarily needs to demonstrate that you have the whole package. It isn't in and of itself a guarantee that you can do anything in particular. But it shows that you are fit in every way that's meaningful to a fighter.

4) There must be a way to adjust for age and - with upper body issues - gender.

5) The test ideally should tap into the experience of doing things like this in the past.

6) There has to be a scoring and scaling system.

I got together with Rich Castanet and had more than a few conversations about this. I knew what I did not want - a test where there is no "truth" in what you are doing. A punch is not a punch is not a punch, and same for kicks. I go on the wisdom of a well-known strength coach and former world champion powerlifter. In his eyes, fitness training was fitness training, strength training was strength training, and sport training was sport training. He kept to basics, and didn't muck things up too much.

Rich and I reviewed the fitness tests that they give to various branches of the service. The Marines do max pullups, max situps, and then a 3-mile run. The Army does max pushups, max situps, and a 2-mile run. Hmm... Good stuff, but each is missing something. Then he told me about an experimental test he and a bunch of grunts in Quantico were put through. You know... Fifty-something-year-old Rich walks to camp one day, and they say "Hey Rich, we need you to go through this test with the guys so we can get some benchmark data. No problem, right?" It didn't seem so, until he and the 20-something-year-old grunts went through it.

:shocked!: :shocked!: :shocked!:

Hmm... Now THAT test took some thinking, and was pretty close to what I wanted. It was designed to be a single test that all branches of the service could go through. No weighting for age or sex. No special considerations.

They didn't adopt it but... It gave me enough ideas to pick a prototype.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Yes, it caused quite a burn in my then 49 year old body.

To build a data base they used their captive audience of new 2nd Lts in the 21 to 25 year old range. Since there were not many 'older' Marines on deck they asked me to join in to see what to expect from a senior citizen.

I will not elaborate but with no prior conditioning for this event it was a challenge. After experiencing it and then changing my training a bit my performance improved significantly.

The best part is that the whole thing can be done in well under 30 minutes. A well paced setup with well conditioned people can probably be completed in 20 minutes.

Try it, you will like it. :wink:

Rich

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:32 pm 
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There may still be issues with implementing this test. I need a few simple pieces of equipment, a few good judges, some space on a playing field, etc. But I think this can be done at Massachusettes Maritime Academy,

Here is the test, with a few details to be figured out later.

Stage 1: Maximum push-ups that can be done in a minute. These will be flat-handed pushups, with elbows rubbing against the body (sort of like karate fist pushups). I'm still debating on whether or not to ask for fist pushups. Right now I think not, but opinions welcome here.

Quickly go to stage 2.

Stage 2: Maximum pull-ups that can be done in a minute. (This is the one I want to do a little more research on.) You get one shot here. Once your feet touch the ground, you are done.

Quickly go to stage 3:

Stage 3: Maximum sit-ups that can be done in a minute. These will be bent-knee situps with a partner holding your feet.

Quickly go to stage 4:

Stage 4: You get one minute to do 2 tries at a standing broad jump. Your best effort is your score.

Quickly go to stage 5:

Stage 5: Maximum number of "squats" that can be done in a minute. A squat is to be done down to thigh-parallel, and then stand completely up. Any squat that doesn't go down that far, or goes all the way down does not count. Judge will stop you if form gets unacceptable.

Quicly go to stage 6:

Stage 6: A one-mile run.

And that's it!

This test shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes to do.

A word of caution here. A mile run after doing max squats in a minute is no picnic! Once you do it, you'll quickly conclude that a 3-mile run would have been much more desireable.

But it isn't supposed to be a picnic, folks. We're looking for people who can demonstrate their commitment to total fitness. This test covers just about all the basics. You have to be able to do it all.

Comments are welcome.

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:46 pm 
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Do the pull-ups have to start from a dead hang and return to a dead hang each time?

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 Post subject: SCORING
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:54 pm 
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The problem here is that we have no data. Sure, I can look at Army and Marine tables for doing tests like these, and see what kinds of scores I might give. I know what a good mile-run time is.

But context is everything. This test - similar to but not the same as the one Rich went through - is designed to keep you burning from beginning to end. There is no letup. By the time you start the run, you're going to be hurting unless you're in good shape. If you ARE in good shape, your lungs and heart will be able to keep up, you'll endure the lactic acid burn, and you'll be able to shift the load from one muscle group to the next.

The way I see it, the first time doing it means you are in a special group. If you finish the test, you get credit. But remember - finishing means you have to do all the parts (including at least one pull-up) and do the run.

Part of my job will be taking data. What I would like to do at camp is to take the results from everyone running through the test - in context - and then pick "winners" in each category. I see separate male and female categories. I also see a possibility for camp of breaking things up into age categories if necessary. But as long as you do the test, your raw result is your raw result is your raw result.

If ever I get enough data on this test, I will be able to figure out special levels of achievement.

Meanwhile... This is how I will score it at camp.

* The raw results will be number of pushups, number of pull-ups, number of sit-ups, length of best broad jump (in any unit system), number of squats, and time of one-mile run.

* The one-mile run time will be converted to seconds, and multiplied by minus one. Thus a higher number (less negative) is a better number.

* All results FOR A GROUP will be converted to Z-scores. To get the Z-score of a group of numbers, you subtract all numbers by the mean of the group, and divide by the standard deviation of the group. This gives you a group of numbers with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one. Zero means you were average for the group in that category. A one means you were a standard deviation unit better than the mean.

* The final score for "the day" will be the average of all your Z-score results.

* The best score for the day will be the best average Z-score for all the six categories. This means that if you want to "win" in your group for the day (and get recognition), you ideally need to do better than average in all categories. Really hose up one category (vs. the group) and your "top tier" status is in jeopardy.

Over time I can get more and more people taking this test if it works out well. This way I will save all results. I can retroactively find someone to be in an "elite" category once I've got enough people going through the test.

And I have no problem with people trying this every year. We R&D people are greedy; more data are ALWAYS better. ;)

- Bill


Last edited by Bill Glasheen on Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:58 pm 
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Dana wrote:
Do the pull-ups have to start from a dead hang and return to a dead hang each time?

I can't think of another way of doing this that isn't subjective, Dana.

Rich and I discussed this a bit, and I may research it a bit more. As you know, women on average don't have the upper body strength to do very many pull-ups. There are alternate tests for a category like this like a hanging flex (or something like it). If that's easy to judge objectively, I can go for it. If enough women can do at least one pull-up, I'd rather stick with that. Simple is good.

Comments? Opinions?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:07 pm 
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As Bill pointed out, the object is to do all of this in a continuous fashion. The only rest is the time it takes to move to the next station.

The pullups should be done from a dead hang, but from what I see in real life a little cheating is acceptable.

One note to Bill is that you could do zero pullups and move on. You just get a zero in that part of the test. In the three part PT test the Marines currently do there is a minimum requirement for males. But, this is your event so do as you please.

To make this even more interesting was to crab walk or bear crawl or a buddy drag or some other evil thing on the way to the next station. They are creative at the MCMAP.

The event Bill did not include is hard to explain but it is an absolute core body buster.

Rich

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:21 pm 
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Yes it was, Rich. I like it... But I see Uechi as needing pulling power and strong lats. That's why I got rid of the extra abdominal exercise in favor of a pulling exercise - the very ones that The Marines expect of their recruits. Plus... I didn't know if I could get the right equipment to do that.

I agree, Rich, we can take a zero for a pull-up score. But if I'm going to do a category, I need a distribution. We need some women to do one or more pull-ups. From what I see in the climbing gyms around here (Peak Experiences), I know it can be done by some.

I've always felt we don't ask enough of women, and patronize them by expecting less than their potential. Doing a decent pull-up is a combination of having good biceps, good grip, good lats, and not being too heavy. There's nothing wrong with that from my perspective.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:12 pm 
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I will be maintaining an on-line honor role of people who score a passing (whatever that might be) grade and the list will show the team members names by their scores... best on top. . . which will make the test somewhat competitive.

If you think it appropriate, we can have honor roles for men, women, children and seniors! :)

People who score over a certain point, will be awarded a newly created shoulder patch, which should be something anyone will be proud to earn and wear.

As we create the standards, there is no reason not to allow dojo to conduct their own "FireDragon" Team tests.

Fred Channel has volunteered to head up this program, with Bill Glasheen in charge of the test content and other administrative details.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:46 pm 
Is this test in conjuction with a dan test or is it simply a fitness test?

BTW, my best mile was 4:59 in 1992.


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 Post subject: No link to testing...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:58 pm 
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As I may have mentioned in an earlier thread, I wanted to make a performance test part of our black belt testing, but was shot down by a committee. So, this test is something new for us. Although it is sponsored and overseen by the IUKF, we welcome and encourage every martial artist to try out for the FireDragon Team. I hope that our shoulder patch will become something that is proudly worn by all, regardless of system, style, organization, dojo or teacher.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:01 pm 
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For Dana per the USMC:

" a. Pullups/Chinups. The participant may be assisted to the
bar by a step up, by being lifted, or by jumping. The force of
the jump will not be used to continue on into to the first pullup/
chinup. The bar is grasped with both palms facing either forward
or to the rear, the arms are fully extended, and the feet are
free of the ground. One repetition consists of raising the body
with the arms until the chin is above the bar and lowering it
until the arms are fully extended again. Repeat as many times as
possible. Kicking motions such that the feet and/or knees do not
raise above the waist level are permitted as long as the pullup
remains a vertical movement. The body will be kept from swinging
by an assistant holding an extended arm across the front of the
knees of the Marine on the bar. Hand position may be changed
during the exercise providing the individual does not dismount
the bar or receive assistance from another party. Resting is
permitted in the up or down position but resting with the chin
supported by the bar is prohibited."


GEM: Do I get an 'emeritus' patch?

Tony: You are fast!

Rich

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:02 am 
Rich, that was in '92. It takes me 10 minutes to do a mile now.. hah hah


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:30 am 
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Hi Bill,

Broad Jumping: I haven't grown taller since the last time you saw me. And my friend and dojo mate Rob Parsons (all 6 foot plus) certainly hasn't shrunk any either. Any type of weighing system for us from Lilliput, in comparison to our Gulliver brethren?

And are sit-ups like you described safe long term? Just wondering....

Cheers,
Gene


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:45 pm 
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Bill,
Interesting choice having a lat exercise such as the pull up.
My least favorite exercise in the bunch.
I do lat pulldowns in the gym because I can't do enough of those pullups to feel I get anything out of them. One thing I do sometimes is have a helper lift the bottom of the feet to help out a little.

Will the pushups be straight through without any breaks? I am in favor of a regular palm pushup.

F.

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