What’s Old-School Training Look Like?

We’re currently into week 4 of our old-school training here in Gothenburg, Sweden, with Kali de Mano, under Claes Johansson.This is what our lives look like now:IMG_0531.jpg

Walk to our training point. We walk nearly everywhere here in Sweden; averaging about 40 min walking a day. In the city (living in a central area). Not a big deal for the Swedes or the Swiss; a big deal for the Singaporean.

8am – 11am
We meet the badass Claes for our daily private training session. Sometimes it’s 4 hours instead of 3. Sometimes we join in the private sessions of other students. Always, it is intense.

11.30am – 2pm
Cook + eat. We cook all our own meals: it’s generally cleaner, healthier, in much vaster quantities, and much, much cheaper. Yee Han practices being a good wifey and insists on doing most of the cooking. Eating is usually accompanied by Battlestar Galactica (long story).

2pm – 4pm
Sundry things. Clean dishes, do laundry (unsurprisingly, training generates laundry), go grocery shopping, do housework, recovery yoga, shower, talk to family, and nap.

Napping is essential! We need the rest both to recover physically and to reset mentally. On days when don’t get a nap after the 3-hour morning session, we are noticeably less able to function for the rest of the day; and of course if there’s training in the evening, learning takes a huge hit.IMG_0465.jpg

4pm – 5pm
Set out for group evening training. Walking! (and trams)

5pm – 9pm
There are typically 3 sessions: an extra session for advanced students from 5-6pm, the proper group class from 6-7.30pm, and then an extra optional session after that, open to all, which can last between 1-1.5 hours.

9pm – 12am
Travel home (walking + trams). Shower, eat dinner, and afterward we usually have a massage session for each other before we go to bed. The massage session is essential! Imagine a banshee being sporadically squeezed like a rubber ducky. That’s what it sounds like.


In Slottskogen on a typical weekend, looking noble cos that’s how we roll

Evening group training sessions are twice a week. Once a week at least, we meet Claes in the afternoon, and for several hours we expand our mental universe: topics generally revolve around martial arts, teaching, business, personal development, spirituality. Occasionally we have a social outing, meeting with a friend/friends, barbecue… Summer is coming, and so are the parties! On weekends, for recovery, we usually just go for a long walk (~2 hours) in Slottskogen (huge park in the middle of the city), and do some yoga.

We’ve been intending to go for Jiu Jitsu training on some weekday evenings, but so far, those days are still needed to give our bodies time to recover. The burning sensation in the muscles is very real. A little past our fourth week here, and we’re starting to see a little wear and tear. For example, my hands + forearm muscles are getting a little over-taxed; I’m beginning to see early signs of tennis elbow (which Claes is very attentive to); Ingo needs massage daily to recover his shoulder mobility.

For recovery, we use a few simple yoga postures to stretch out our continually tensed muscles (the reverse prayer pose, for example, is our big favourite for stretching out the shoulders and wrists from stick work). And then of course, since we’re two, massage is gratefully (and noisily) undertaken.

We keep a detailed diary of what we train in every day (diligently updated every single day by Ingo. He is The Most Disciplined Man in the World).

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Yep. This should give you a general idea.

Peace out. Off to sleep some more.