top of page

If I Rewrote Fighting Back Today, What Would I Do Different?

After mentioning on facebook that my Fighting Back ebook just turned 10 years old, the following question came in:

“........ is there anything on it you would change or update with what you know now ?”

This was a comment left on a Facebook post from an old mate and fellow coach, Gan Power down in Tramore, Waterford.

Gan has long been a supporter of my work and has my eBooks, most of which he has printed for ease of access. I know this because he showed me when I visits gym.

It brought a bit of a lump to my throat,  especially as Gan is no slouch as a coach, he knows what's what.

Anyhow,  it's 10 years now since Fighting Back was released.

It's an eBook that came about discussing why so many BJJ lads have back pain and what we could do to prevent it.

When I sat down to write, I only intended to write a blog post. But it got longer and more detailed, culminating in the eBook.

But in the 10 years since, have I changed my thinking?

The core principles, no.

The details of applying those principles, yes.

In the time since publishing the book, I have completed the Anatomy in Motion training,  HRV training,  NKT level 1 training and more.

And I've had a decade more of training and rehabbing people.

And where BJJ is concerned, I've helped people stand on all three positions on the European Championships podium, medal in Abu Dhabi and recently Silvia became Wold Championship in Las Vegas. 

It's been a busy 10 years.

Where I've probably changed the most is looking at warm up protocols as rehab opportunities.

Nobody likes warming up and nobody likes doing rehab.

Myself included 

This is where the idea behind the 100 rep warm ups came in.

Can I use 10 minutes to hit the big rocks in people's movement ability?

In that 10 minutes can I also get the blood pumping and the athlete to switch on mentally?

The answer is yes, I can.

Anatomy in Motion is a method of studying joint action and interaction that gives freedom to create exercises based on these actions. 

When joints move, they stretch load muscles.

This stretch load sends signals into the brain which improves communication between those mechanoreceptors and the brain (at least that's the current working theory)

So we can use large dynamic range of motion drills with relatively few details, usually talking about the foot and the hand as they are the ends of the chain, and the body almost by magic figures out what to do with all the joints in between.

And when the joints move, so do the muscles.

In theory it's simple.

In application it's simple.

Understanding all this is head wrecking but also awesome.

The 100 rep warm ups have granted flexibility to guys who come in stiff and tight, it's cleared hip, knee, back pains, it's elongated careers. 

If there was a crowning glory in all that I've done, I would put these warm ups up there. 

We can personalise them based on individual assessments as I do with my Online Training clients or we can stick with the generic ones that are free to follow on YouTube. (Playlist link:

The other chapters I'd add to the book would possibly be about energy system targeted work.

Energy system work is both over and under rated depending on who you talk to.

I think it's important. After all, you get good at what you practise (SAID principal), so practise working at different heart rates for different durations to emphasise the different energy systems. 

We don’t need to go into great detail on the why's and how's of energy system work, back in school there was only one lad in the biology class who knew the Krebs cycle (which underpins aerobic metabolism) and he only memorised it to win a bet!!

But we can understand that a well developed aerobic system is essential for long term health and for recovery,  brute strength and power (anaerobic) is essential for putting the hurt on your opponents,  but the middle energy systems, the alactic or creatine-phosphate system is likely the most useful to a fighter.

But it's also the one that is least trainable, and runs the risk of burning out the athlete when over emphasised. 

This makes it tricky for martial artists as there is no single season to prep for, competitions come almost randomly across the year.  There maybe 2 or 3 within a couple of months then nothing for ages after.

It's tough to genuinely peak for 

So we pick out a small handful of events, and we peak only for those.

The rest we consider as training events, tests.

The good news is the middle energy system is highly influenced by the other two that sit either side of it.

So build a big fuel tank (aerobic), build strength and power (anaerobic) and the middle system will work better automatically,  then we can do 4-6 weeks to peak that system which should leave you primed and not burned out.

It's deceptively simple

But absolutely not easy

But once you experience the results of a rehab / AiM based warm up with a well thought out training plan that takes energy systems into consideration,  I think you’ll be happy.

Now, am I going to rewrite Fighting Back, or write a follow up?

Not right now.

That's not my headspace right now.

But I have a bit of space in my online training roster if you want my help, and there are programs available in my ebooks and on my TrainHeroic app which are very reasonably priced.

Keep the questions and comments coming in, I enjoy answering them and the feedback coming back from you guys lets me know you enjoy me answering them.

So don't be shy, hit reply right now and let's hear from you.

Chat soon


8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Are Turkish Get Ups Useless

Recently there has been a chat about the Turkish Get Up Many coaches are set against it. Most think it's over rated Some think it'll cure cancer But most recently has been Mike Israetel from Renaissan

Managing Chronic Fatigue

The question coming in today is from a guy asking for his name to be withheld. So, we’ll call him Bob. For no reason other than that’s the first name that popped into my head. Bob writes: “Morning Dav

Can I Get Stronger Without Lifting Heavier?

We have a very short question that warrants a very long answer today, so strap in...... Sarah asks, “I'm training at home and don't have room for more equipment, how can I progress?” This is a great q


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page