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Maximology Video review

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The Maximology Video Set is a 5 tape set that appears to have been filmed at Coach Sonnon's first CST Instructor's training (Alpha Cadre).


Tape 1 starts with some martial arts drills. The first drill is one in which a person takes turns pushing the major joints of his partner's body to deform the partner's skelatal structure. The goal of the person being pushed is to allow the force to move only the joint affected and to let that force go by. I'm used to practicing complete evasion of attacks, but this is a cool additional level in that it takes evasion to a closer level. It shows how to dissipate force if your initial evasion hasn't worked. This drill is done first with open hands and then with closed fists. Later in the video Coach Sonnon teaches a method of recruiting the shoulder elbow and wrist joints for a punch. He refers to this as Wavelocity. I've been playing with this method of punching and it still doesn't feel natural to me. It looks like something out of a break dancing routine. I'll keep playing with it and let you know if it gets better.


There is one other partner drill in which one partner moves the other parner's body one joint at a time and the partner holds that position until he is moved again or until gravity causes him to fall. I've seen this drill referred to as the marionette drill in some of the articles on Coach Sonnon's site. I think this will be a good drill for a beginning martial arts student who has not already internalized effective principles of breaking a person's balance.


I haven't tried any of the partner drills with my students yet, but will do so and will report back on this as well.


The remainder of tape 1 has variations on some of the exercises from Warrior Wellness. I think that a person really needs the benefit of at least the beginning level of Warrior Wellness before they would be able to get much out of this section due to the relative complexity of the moves.


I've been doing Warrior Wellness for a few weeks now and I really like it. My experience with the introductory level is that it is fairly easy. The intermediate level is significantly more complex and while doable at my current level of skill will require much practice to look and feel natural and fluid. I do think that Warrior Wellness is a great adjunct to any exercise or stretching program regardless of your physical goals or experiences.


Tape 2 is pretty short at 37 minutes while Tape 1 is around 60 minutes. Tape 2 deals entirely with what Coach Sonnon refers to as Core Activation. He talked in Tape 1 about the bridge and about how to increase the sophistication of the movement. In this tape he demonstrates much of that and also of how to increase the sophistication of many abs exercises.


One exercise was to start in a seated position on the floor and to roll back onto the shoulders raising the legs with knees bent over your head and then as you rock back up to a seated position extending forward with your solar plexus to arch your spine. The exercises get more complex from here. To this exercise instead of the arch at the top of the roll come to your feet. Then come to your feet and standup and arch your spine, tighten your glutes and your thighs for a full range of motion. There were several more variations from here.


He also taught several exercises from a spinal arch position and from a position with the feet on the ground over your head. All of these exercises involved rolling to some degree or other and there were many that involved turning your body over laterally from these positions. It is difficult to describe these in words and even when you see them you have to rewind the tape and watch them over a few times to really see what he is doing. Based on some of what I've read on the Rmax site, I think that these exercises are what Coach Sonnon considers Body Flow exercises or possibly Kinetic Chains.


I loved these exercises on tape 2. There were complex enough to be really challenging but not so complex as to be impossible. They also had a feel of play as opposed to a feel of exercise, despite which at the end of the tape I could tell that I had really worked my core. I love Hindu squats and pushups for what they do for me, but doing them is definitely exercise and not play. Doing Coach Sonnen's exercises from Tape 2 felt like I was playing like a little kid not doing another exercise program with set goals and expectations. Martial arts training and riding my bike feel like play as well. Pilates and Combat Conditioning, much as I like them don't feel like play. I actually can't wait to show some of these things to my toddler. I think he will be entertained seeing Daddy roll around on the ground.


There were a few things I didn't like about the tapes. First they appear to have been shot with a consumer level video recorder, which thankfully was on a tripod. The only microphone is the one on the camera and at times Coach Sonnon is difficult to hear. I do wish they had splurged for the personal mike as they did for Warrior Wellness. The video editing is also pretty primitive on these tapes.


Next, there is not much explanation tying one section or one tape to the next. They definitely presuppose that the viewer has prior experience with Coach Sonnon's work. He refers to a manual through the tapes that we as viewer's of the tapes alone don't have the benefit of seeing. I definitely recommend that a person get some experience with Warrior Wellness and read some of the articles at Coach Sonnon's site before viewing these tapes, else they may not make as much sense.


I'll add a review for Tapes 3, 4 & 5 probably this weekend so look for part 2 to this review.


Finally, I'd like to thank our anonymous donor for these tapes and Sean for mainting Taobums and the library so that I've gotten the opportunity to see them. Thanks again to Sean and Trunk for the initial introduction to Coach Sonnon's material. I will definitely pursue it further.


Be Genki,



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