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This will be a 12 part look into the 12 basics of movement. To summarize the 12 movements are;

Walking – part I

Running – part II

Jumping – part III

Moving on all fours – part IV

Balancing – part V

Climbing – part VI

Lifting – part VII

Carrying – part VIII

Throwing – part IX

Catching – part X



This week we will look into the eleventh of the essential movements.



Where can we even start with defending? Humans have defending our rights, freedoms, words, thoughts, wrongs and so on for millennia. In fact in certain ways, we defended ourselves from the beginning, i.e. Adam and Eve from the devils persuasion?

It used to be we defended ourselves or our kill. Now we defend our property, or even our property rights.

Once the onset of the agricultural age, we no longer needed to defend our fresh kill till we got it back to our camp. (same goes for defending our camp) Now we were met with defending an entire homestead. For that matter defending against someone wanting to encroach on our crops.

We went from versatile and mobile, to stationary and reactive.

Our defense has change just like our health. We have developed a lazier way to defend ourselves. We created guns and shooting weapons, and we continue to create weapons that will shoot from farther and farther away.

The core of defense has remained intact. In fat I would venture a guess and say it has been enhanced. I personally spent several years learning Brazilian Jui Jitsu, Mai Tai Kickboxing, and Submission Grappling. I was a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. I was MMA.

Actually I was a middle aged Dad trying to get in shape. I had retired from Rugby a few years prior and needed something to get me mobile again from a back injury. The movement alone made it worthwhile let alone the combative nature.

It has been many years since I was in a fight.

At least one not orchestrated by someone. Defending yourself goes beyond the dark alley at night scenario. Defending principles can be used in everything in life.

Take for example my last fall on ice? During the arc of my ass to ground movement, I was able to twist in a way to limit the force to my body thus basically tucking into a roll. Using the momentum I sprang back up and became upright again.

Most people think of defense as throwing punches and kicking. But, a true defense is a great offense, which may be a tag line for deodorant though? I found that having the skills to roll around on the ground, stand up and submission tactics all helped me stay limber and think clearer. Sounds weird?

Just like the old Brett “the hitman” Hart routine, where the announcers would pontificate on his ability to think several moves ahead. It is the ultimate multi tasking principle. Of course having a 230lb guy on top of you also helps you think of defending against elbow strikes!

How does this apply to us?

For me this is definitely a partner centric routine. I have done the heavy bag in the garage routine, even on the dining room floor! There is no substitute for a live body on you, or you on it or both of you standing toe to toe and banging (lightly). There is no need for years of experience in submission grappling to enter. Although this will help in hampering injuries from errant elbows, fists, knees and head strikes.

Now if you don’t have a significant other, partner or warm body. I still have something for you.

Heavy bag workout.

This is a workout we did for our warm-ups a lot. Consider you have a three round match. Five minutes per round. Now, take your heavy bag (mine is 70lb, this isn’t an appendage measuring exercise, trust me even 30lb will be too much by the end) and place it on the floor. For the first minute of the round you will be straddling the heavy bag a: like a horse, b: like your pinning them as a wrestler and c: “North/South” or “69” or “private to private” style. This is your ground and pound time. You will throw kicks, fists, knees, elbows and anything else you may have on your persons. At the end of that one minute you will switch to the defense mode for a full minute. Defense mode is taking the heavy bag and holding it up by your knees and ankles. Your hands, arms or feet (let alone the bag) should never touch the bag or the ground. Your hands are going to be used to deflect or defend your face and other objects on your person. The only parts touching the ground will be your lower back and shoulders. As a hint, to alleviate the tedium, move around like a fish by snaking from lower back to shoulders, like you are attempting to evade a strike. You continue this exchange on and off for the full five minutes. Break after this for 30 seconds to a minute. Then do another round and then another.

This may be too advanced for some and it may be too tedium for others. I like it mostly because it is all I have! I have no partner yet to pummel or submit.

Would you like to be my partner?

Hit me up in the comment section. I am looking for folks in the Midwest, preferably in Madison, WI to get together and work out. I want to get a Midwest paleo movement together. There are still plans to develop a Midwest Primal fest so keep your eyes open to this page or our Facebook page for updates.

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