Okay, I put this exercise together a score of years ago, and it has proven to be one of the best Martial Arts Body Conditioning System ever. Oddly, I’ve seen bits and pieces of it in various arts, Drunken Kung Fu, Capoeira, that sort of style, but nobody has ever put the whole thing together. Too bad, it really is easy and fun.
First thing, spot the four corners of a box on the ground. Then position your hands and feet on the corners. You should find yourself in a rather wide push up posture.
Now, change your right foot for your left hand. Over or under, I don’t care which way you go, I just want you to twist your body so it is facing in a new direction. You should end up looking upwards.
Now, continue moving. Don’t go backwards, keep going in the initial direction, do a dozen moves before you reverse direction. And, when you have worked both directions to a frothy pitch, return to the beginning posture and change the left foot and the right hand.
Doing this is going to work your shoulders like you wouldn’t believe, and it is going to strengthen your core muscles like nobodies business. Now, to pick up the exercise, add some kicks. Front or back, somebody pushes you to the ground and you can do some low level kicking that’ll knock the coconuts right out of their trees.
Now, to bring this home, and to avoid injury by trying to catch yourself if you are pushed to the ground, do shoulder rolls, forward and backward, into the box. That’s what I call this position, ‘The Box.’ And I call the whole exercise the ‘Monkey in the Box.’
So somebody attacks you from the rear, and you roll and are suddenly thrusting a kicking back towards his shortcomings. He is going to be one shaken up thug. He was pouncing, stuffing his wallet in his mind, and suddenly he is going to find himself grabbing what goes for his manhood and hurting.
There is more to this drill than I have described here, of course, and the real fun comes when you start playing with it and ‘open the box’ to find all the goodies. Kicks, projections, some rolling takedowns that are extremely nasty, and so on. Mind you, I don’t always advocate going to the ground, but if you find yourself there, or if you just want the Best Martial Arts Body Conditioning System on the planet, the Monkey in the Box is gig for you.