The “Soapie” Diaries (collected diary entries)


On 14th August I began teaching a new private student. For reasons known only really to the student and me I have called the notes taken from these sessions "The Soapie Diaries". The student's primary objective was not to learn martial arts or self-protection. She wanted to improve her all-round fitness and was open to learn whatever I had to teach. It was an unusual mandate for me, but I decided to use the opportunity to try out my combat conditioning programme.

All sessions are different. A student will go over some of the same exercises and the same skills, but routines will always be different. This is to maintain interest and to never allow the student to be comforable. All sessions are very short and high intensity in nature.


We began with a beginner's Tabata session. Here the student was introduced to one of the best forms of high intensity interval training. She completed a five minute warm-up, eight 20 second rounds of activity and five minutes warm-down.

5 minutes hill running

20 seconds sprawl/dumbbell burpee

20 seconds straight hand strikes

20 seconds knees to heavy bag

20 seconds woodchoppers with car tyre

20 seconds sledgehammer

20 seconds box jumps

20 seconds tyre drags

30 seconds car tyre overhead throws

5 minutes pad-work



The workout took place inside a house. To vary my student's training, we did a type of aerobic warm-up with kickboxing and BJJ movements. We even put some music on to keep things going. I worked on basic boxing and kickboxing combinations, ground work techniques, mixed in with basic exercises, the farmer’s walk and step-up farmer’s walk using objects around the household. We finished with some stretching.



First Round

1 minute bear crawls

1 minute crab crawls

1 minute gorillas

1 minute sit-throughs

1 minute frog jumps


Second Round

1 minute seals

1 minute snaking

1 minute lizard crawls

1 minute side-snaking


Third Round

1 minute horse stance hold

1 minute extended press-up hold

1 minute one foot balance hold

1 minute plank

Finished with a series of stretching exercises



As an introduction to the 300 workout, my student did the 150 workout – 10 sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise.

5 minutes warm-up agility drills

Press-up burpees with dumbbells

Woodchoppers with dumbbell

Step-ups with dumbells

Uppercuts with dumbbells

Knee pins with dumbbells

Squats with dumbbells

Knee lift rotations

Sprawl/knee strike combination

Tuck jumps

 Stretch out



I took my student through an intensive training session, focusing a lot on self-defence techniques.


100 reps rapid straight strikes

100 reps rapid hooks

100 reps knee strikes

100 reps round kicks

100 triple strike high and low with ratton stick

20 sprawls

20 sit throughs


We then did some work from the fence followed by transitions from various postures.


20 groin kicks

10 squats with 7kg medicine ball

10 lunges with 7kg medicine ball

10 woodchoppers with 7kg medicine ball


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