The contemporary interpretation of Paracelsus’s famous declaration, for which he is often called the father of toxicology, is that dose and effect move together in a predictably linear fashion, and that lower exposures to a hazardous compound will therefore always generate lower risks. This idea is not just a philosophical abstraction; it is the core assumption underlying the system of chemical-safety testing that arose in the mid-twentieth century. Risk assessors typically look for adverse effects of a compound over a range of high doses and, from there, extrapolate downwards to establish health standards — always assuming, like Paracelsus, that chemicals toxic at high doses are much less risky at lower, real-world levels.
But what if the Paracelsian presumption is wrong? What if, for a large and potent class of compounds, lower doses pose higher risks? A growing number of academic researchers are making just such a claim for endocrine disrupters, a large group of synthetic chemicals able to interact with cellular hormone receptors. These compounds, which range from the common weed killer atrazine and the plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) to the antibacterial agent triclosan (used in cleansers) and the vineyard fungicide vinclozolin, don’t play by the usual rules of toxicology. On the basis of conventional high-dose testing, regulators have set maximum acceptable levels for each of them that assume all doses below that level are safe. But academic researchers who have studied a wider range of doses, including very low ones found in the everyday environment, say that their experiments usually do not generate the tidy, familiar ‘ski-slope’ dose-response graphs of classic toxicology. Instead, most endocrine disrupters have ‘non-monotonic’ dose-response curves, meaning that their slopes change at least once from negative to positive, or vice versa, forming ‘U’ shapes, inverted ‘U’s or even stranger shapes that resemble undulating Chinese dragons.
Royce should focus on more weight training to build up his muscle so that he can get power. He has a good technique, but he should build up more muscle and enhance body function. The stronger body he has, the better fight he could do.
Murilo Bustamante on Global Training Report
Bob Anderson thinks grapplers need to powerlift and train in grappling systems that aren’t their own:
[B]efore they had this idea that all you need to do is jiu jitsu, and your technique will get you through. Well, that’s archaic now. I mean, swimmers will lift weights, you know? You have to cross-train.
It’s often useful to put blinders on for a while, and train one system without regard for anything else. Get really good at sport jiujitsu and some wacky guards, or develop your gi-dependent judo tai-otoshi to an obscene degree, or train muay Thai with no clinch work. It’s useful to work within the context of one lens for a while. But it’s important to look clearly at the whole game. All of grappling…all of fighting…all of athletics.
Bob, of course, says it better:
Stretch yourself, go out and try some things. SAMBO classes would really help your jiu jitsu, on your feet, you know. Just be open, and take care of yourself. I would say train for life, not just for a few months, not just to win a championship, but train for life.
All of jiujitsu…all of physical culture…all of life.
(Rodrigo Gracie, 5:20) If you take Helios’ jiu-jitsu and you compare to to Rolls’ jiu-jitsu, it’s like an old car, and a new car now. He started putting all the attacks together: all the combinations, all the setups. That’s why jiujitsu is so much aggressive now, because of Rolls!
(5:50) He was 30 years ahead of the rest of jiujitsu.
(Carlos Gracie, 5:58) Rolls learned Helio’s jiujitsu but he didn’t buy into the brainwashing that he didn’t need anything else, that what he knew was enough, that he was the best. No. He went looking for more.
It covers in detail I’ve never seen before the friendship between American wrestling coach Bob Anderson and Rolls, which was the source of the “Americana” moniker among jiujitsieros for one variant of ude-garami, which Bob knew as the “Turkey bar”.
In reviewing one of the most influential texts on my training approach, I came across Kelly Baggett, a S&C trainer who is bullish on unilateral lower-body movements and prioritizing bodyweight training:
Take 2 young athletes at the same relative strength levels. Place one of them on a program of bench presses, rows, lat pulldowns, and curls. Place the other one on variations of chins and dips. At the end of one month see which one improves strength the most. Now does that mean I’m saying to kiss the weights good-bye? No! Not at all. I’m just saying that your useable strength will progress much quicker if, when possible, you get strong by mastering your bodyweight either before, or at the same time, you get strong with common weight training movements.
I think I am ready to say that most trainees need a short period of high-rep work to develop endurance, form, and motor recruitment. Right now that sounds like yoga, 20-rep squats, a pull-up progression, a push-up/dip progression, and high-rep (~10?) Romanian deadlifts. Once they can do that, as soon as possible, a 3x5 program is probably ideal.
A few kickboxing combinations are feeling less robotic.
From last class: left, right, lean back out of the way of the return jab, fire back with the cross, lead uppercut load up the rear hand elbow, use that to transition to the round knee.
Today: Jab, right leg kick, left hook as that foot comes down. That felt quite fluid. The rest didn’t feel as right but it was still good: right straight knee, catch opponent’s round kick to the body with my left arm, right straight, lead leg kick to the inner/rear thigh just above the knee.
I saw one of the combinations I’ve been working on in a Jose Aldo analysis. Not bad. (Right straight, move head off line to the left, left body hook, right outside leg kick, if you need to know.)
Class is too short when we don’t spar, so I finish with 5-8 minutes of review on the heavy bag. Jab-cross-left inside leg kick-right hook-left inside leg kick figures heavily, as do all of the above.
Brace yourself; this is awesome. Public works meets physical culture:
Moscow city officials are now offering free rides on the subway to any passenger who does 30 squats before crossing the ticket barrier to enter the metro in an effort to promote physical fitness and sports
That’s as cool as parallel bars at the playground. And their reason for the program is spot-on, as Alexander Zhukov explains:
“We wanted to show that the Olympic Games is not just an international competition that people watch on TV, but that it is also about getting everyone involved in a sporting lifestyle.”
Nailed it. Nice work, Russia. Now stop criminalizing homosexuality.
Training log, 6 Nov. 2013: Achievement: Flow State
Then, pad work: jab, rear hand uppercut, lead hook, rear leg body kick, rear leg knee. Repeat on the opposite side: right straight, lead uppercut, right hook, front leg switch kick, front leg knee.
Then I had a twenty-five minute sparring session that felt like a slice of flourless chocolate cake baked by God. I didn’t want it to ever stop.
I tried to work on the combinations I’ve been learning, which is to say, capping a series of hand strikes with the appropriate leg kick. Those worked great. So did pretty much everything else I’ve been writing down: covering my chin with my shoulder while jabbing was like night and day with avoiding counterpunches, the one…two-three step was a money kick setup, and I felt a lot more natural throwing the lead hook and rear uppercut.
I’m reminded of winning a judo match with the exact procedure we drilled in class, and remarking to my coach in jest, “It’s like these things you taught me actually work!” This stuff works. And it feels so, so good when it does.
My back squat is still not quite right at heavy weights. If powerlifting were my primary goal right now, then I would try to fix it with more back squats. However, lifting is secondary to muay Thai at the moment. I’ve found a solution: front squats (for which my form and depth is impeccable, and going heavy is only ten kilos below my back squat) prefaced by multiple light twenty-rep sets of back squats.
My deadlifts are to the point where I need to take notes from the Nicaraguan Contras on smuggling white powder into the gym. Operation: Secret Chalk will be starting soon.
Georgette Oden, lawyer and jiujitsuka, is doing great work covering the Maldonado/Schultz New Year’s Eve rape trial. She’s updating the BJJ community on the news, but more importantly, she’s providing analysis of the often opaque legal proceedings, and she has become the central place for appeals to the community to stop being fuckwads when they’re being fuckwads.
It’s important to call out anyone who makes a place for these guys to train. Acquittal does not mean innocence, and every one of us is empowered to make our own judgment from the evidence. The evidence is quite clear: a teammate reported that they raped her, and the videotape backs it up. Lloyd Irvin, the instructor of all three, decided to pay for the rapists’ legal defense. There are now BJJ students and instructors who are glad to train with Maldonado, who want to believe him and not the victim, who are eager to dismiss the clear evidence that he is a raping scumbag who should be expelled from jiujitsu. It is important to call that the bullshit that it is.
Training log, Nov 4, 2013: Muay Thai is not karate
One of the two muay Thai instructors uses contrasts with boxing and karate to elucidate muay Thai principles. Part of this might be that two of the most serious students are myself and a powerfully built gentleman who comes from a Shotokan type style, and we both retain some habits. We did some pad work:
Lead with the right straight, follow with a left hook to set up the rear leg leg kick. Kick downwards, turn the hip over, turn the other foot 90 degrees out. Kick through. Under no circumstances should you think of snapping the foot back. Bury the shin in him.
Lead with the rear hand hook, hit the body with the lead hook, finish with the rear leg leg kick. Use each strike to set up the hips for the next.
If your leg kick is checked, be prepared for the immediate high kick return, with the opponent using the one…two-three muay Thai step.
In the clinch, hold your head high and your back straight, to an even greater degree than in judo. Take the inside plum, or come across the top on the outside with one arm and push the face. Use the shoulder check to throw off the opponent’s plum if you have posture. Use your own plum to put his head on your sternum, then take a large pivot step backwards to turn-throw him. If he stays standing, fire the knee immediately.
This instructor is also teaching almost entirely in Turkish, which is working fine for me. I know “şimdi”, left and right, and all the punching and kicking words, and when I make a confused face he translates.
The method used seems subject to many significant limitations—that is, barcoding is apparently not tremendously reliable for the purpose of testing herbal supplements—but holding supplements to the same standards we hold anything else seems to be reasonable.
Currently there are no standards for authentication of herbal products. Although there is considerable evidence of the health benefits of herbal medicine [53,58-66], the industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers, which includes false advertising, product substitution, contamination and use of fillers.
We were born to move. Immobility is to the human body what rust is to the classic car. Stop moving long enough, and your muscles will atrophy. Bones will weaken. Blood will clot. You will find it harder to concentrate and solve problems. Immobility is not merely a state closer to death: it hastens it.
We must design into our lives (and cities) the natural integration of physical activity with our typically inactive modern lives. We need not only to direct our lives towards movement, but to direct ourselves collectively towards making the world a place where movement flourishes.