I did the unthinkable years ago. I got a tattoo of a leprechaun on my shoulder.
’twas taken from a picture in my now out-of-print book, The Martial Art of Wrestling (1996), where there’s a still photo of me shadow-wrestling in the fireman’s carry position.
Turns out that the leprechaun caused me to win the world championships in shuaijiao kung, in Beijing, in 1997. My winning gold had nothing to do with how I trained or how I used my mind. It was all pure luck.
Going further, I added a four-leaf clover to my outer ankle, to reinforce said “luck.” And doing so brought me innumerable gifts and talents, none of which I trained in, worked on or even studied, hehehehehehehe.
Last week three Irish “thugs” showed up at me house. All of them kung fu masters and brick breakers. The main man, Sifu Keith Fanning, sat in my ostentatious abode and told me how the three of them set a world record in Orlando, where they broke 176 bricks in 10 seconds.
After talking for over an hour, Sifu told me how he’s been following me for over 20 years, how he got Combat Conditioning when it first came out, and how most of the people he’s met in Ireland who swear by it, are not martial artists.
How about that?
At this point, John, one of Sifu’s students, says that he warned the head-brick breaker, before they drove up from Miami, “Be careful of meeting your heroes. They usually disappoint.”
“I’m no one’s hero,” I replied.
Then we went outside to do a little fightin’, an Irish pastime, but all of us were a bit disappointed that the fighting failed to commence. Instead, the Sifu and I exchanged ideas for another hour or so, well into the dark of that Hell-o-ween night.
Trick or treaters were in full regalia, going from house to house with mummy and daddy helicoptering. They asked why I don’t have any decorations on the house or in the yard, such as the 12-foot monsters they noted driving into my area.
“I don’t participate. I’m the Grinch of Hell-o-ween,” I said.
After three hours of yakking, we went to a restaurant to eat. As the meal was finished, I was asked, “So when you coming to Dublin?”
In reply I says, “I don’t know. I’ll need to find one helluva an excuse.”
Well, this morning I gets me a message from another Irisher, this one being 43, and female and a former gymnast, and a personal trainer, who no longer lives in Ireland.
She writes, “Hi Matt, I am glad you’re one of the few trainers out there who is spreading the message of the lazy way to workout or easy way to get in shape.
For years being a former Athlete and then getting into personal training I had that problem too where it was ingrained at the back of my head that u need to push beyond failure or till failure, if there’s no pain, so there’s no gain, and pain is weakness leaving the body. But when I switched to leaving few reps in the bank, starting small but being consistent and doing the same for my clients it’s helped tremendously. There needs to be more people like u in this world, especially those who are promoting calisthenics for strength and endurance.”
Emily continuing by asking the question everyone wants to know: “Do you still do Hindu squats and pushups?”
Here my answer: “I can still do Hindu this and that, and bridge and so on, but the majority of my training is in the Power Postures course and the martial arts training I do.”
I might add, I can still do the exercises in Combat Conditioning, and better than ever before, even though I don’t work on them much, and usually only do them when I demonstrate. I also do a fair amount of other exercises on the mat, similar but different from what I teach in Combat Stretching.
Emily then raved about the Power Postures course, which made my day.
So there you have it, the Lucky Leprechaun Fitness Secret.
What is it?
Getting more from doing less in an intelligent and strategic way.
P.S. Here’s the link – PowerPostures.com