Welcome to Old-School Training

This is the most hardcore we’ve ever been in our lives.

We arrived in Gothenburg on 17 May (nearly 2 weeks ago now) to train with Kali de Mano founder Claes Johansson.

13282531_10153710905807075_1434893477_o.jpgAnd in that time, we have been training:
3-7 hours every single dayOne day off on Sundays, then it’s back to business. We get a minimum of 3 hours’ personal training every morning, and an additional 3-4 hours of group classes in the evenings. Apparently (so we are told), this is professional-level training.

We have been eating:
Discovered on day 8 that we were under-eating for said athletic training level. Had several days of grumpy underfed snarling before someone innocently remarked that since we were training so much, we must be eating a lot! Which we weren’t. It’s crazy how our bodies never told us.

We have been sleeping:
On day 10, I took a nap after lunch at 3pm. When I woke up, it was 9.30pm.
Me: “NO WAY.”
Body: “OHH YES. You bet we needed that.”
And the next day, I am fine and Ingo is not. (Then that day, his turn to chalk up a ludicrous number of sleep hours too.)

So yes. With the immense load of mental and physical learning… need sleep. A lot.

Also, we moved house 3 times in 5 days. (Long story short: We are certainly being blessed and protected.) And reconnected with Kali de Mano friends (yay!).

We’re committed to the training, but I personally think our commitment is overshadowed by that of our teacher. Claes Johansson is a teacher right out of Wuxia (historical Chinese martial arts) novels. He commits himself a million percent to our improvement: drilling us hard, constantly correcting, monitoring every aspect of our training including diet and sleep.

Claes gives us a million percent.

Our classes are clear: technical training, physical training, even personal development, spirituality, coaching in teaching techniques. For the last 2 weeks we have been doing more of stick training; kickboxing has been coming more into play in the last half week or so.

I can’t emphasise enough how much we have already improved in just the first 1.5 weeks! Our sticks flow like water down a stream, like mucus during a flu. I can personally attest for certain that in my life, I’ve never before moved this well with a stick (or indeed sticks, plural). Our progress is an enormous, solid testimonial to Claes’ teaching.

We can’t post videos to this blog (cos we’re too cheapass to pay for it), but trust me when I tell you that just the videos of day 2 alone, compared to the videos from day 10, show  a distinct difference. And these are just the first weeks. It feels simultaneously as if it’s all been happening super quickly, and been happening forever. Guess that’s what you get with intense experience and rapid growth.

IMG_0378.jpgAs Claes repeatedly says: Want the glory? Pay for it now.

=== Read more ===

Would you like to know what happens to hands, when you train this much with sticks every day?


  • I grew water-filled blisters after the very first day.
  • The second day, my sticks were slipping in my grip, and I realised it was from the blisters popping and the pus juices running down the sticks while I wielded them. I’ll say it again. Pus juices. Dripping down sticks.
  • By the fourth day, it was blood. New skin tore.
  • Apart from these the biggest blisters, I’ve also been sprouting new mushroom pieces of hard skin all over the hands.
  • I’ve been wearing plasters since.  I’m told that after tomorrow, my hands will be so hardcore, I won’t be needing them any more.

Yes, we are feeling welcomed into the Kali de Mano family.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s