Welcome to our diverse training regime at Ferus Fitness Fight Club in Prague, Czech Republic. The first video shows our strength and conditioning routine. Training sessions range between one to two hours long. We use basic tools such as kettlebells, Exercise balls, rubber resistance bands, Punching bag, and fitness balls (5kg, sand filled). Circuit training consists of one or two minute intervals with twenty to sixty second breaks to prepare for the next exercise.
• 13 minutes 19 seconds
This next video is a private session focusing on various kickboxing combinations. Attention is given to balance, technique, and speed, in order to reach maximize achievable power. Each student works towards reaching that maximum power within their own physiology – body weight, height, and gender.
• 12 minutes 40 seconds
The third session focuses on training younger children on various kickboxing and self defense techniques. In this session we concentrate on fighting stance, balance, as well as punching and kicking techniques. Training can begin as young as six years old.
• 16 minutes 49 seconds
• Martial Arts
If you missed my Martial Arts posts, please click on them here:
• In this Martial Arts • Fighting Science paper we will discuss the psychology and physiology of fighters in combat. This first article investigates the changes in entropy when two opponents fight. Entropy is the measure of “order” in a particular system. In the context of fighting, low entropy means a high level of control. High entropy means low control or high disorder. The exchange between two fighters can be a series of punches, kicks, elbows, knee strikes or even grappling on the ground.
• During a fight the level of entropy increases. In an exchange each opponent has their own “fighter’s curve”. We can visualize this curve in a graph where the y-axis represents entropy, and on the x-axis is time. The longer it takes for an exchange to take place between two opponents the higher the entropy. In other words, both fighters lose some level of control in an exchange. But the rate at which the fighter loses control depends on their experience, technique, “heart”, strength and conditioning.
• Novice fighters are very uncomfortable at high entropy. Martial artists that focus on self-defense also have little tolerance for high entropy. In self defense disciplines, the defender wants to block and strike the attacker. Once that has occurred then they anticipate the end of the fight. Their entropy curve is sharp because a long exchange of strikes is not desirable. Kickboxers or boxers, on the other hand, have a shallow fighter’s curve. They are comfortable with a flurry of combinations, and will even stay in striking range for long periods of time while simultaneously blocking, moving, and counter-striking.
• The problem escalates when a fighter’s curve passes a threshold where they no longer know what’s going on. This is called the “chaos threshold.” High entropy can eventually lead to chaos – especially for inexperienced fighters. In this zone a fighter has lost complete control and tries to survive mainly through instinctive reactions. Once the fighter passes the “chaos threshold” they enter the “chaos zone“. In the chaos zone the fighter is most susceptible to a knockout or sever injury because they’re no longer completely aware of their surroundings. Fear easily takes over in this zone, resulting in the fighter closing their eyes and cover their face. In the chaos zone technique, timing, and power are significantly compromised. With the onset of panic the fighter may “turtle” (enter a fetal position).
• Fear also causes a fighter to hold their breath – either when being attacked, and even when attacking. This accelerates exhaustion because the lungs and muscles are deprived of oxygen during the exact moment when needed the most. I often tell students that if they hold their breath during a fight they will succumb to exhaustion four times faster than if they breathed during each exchange. The physiological reaction of holding your breath results in a sharper fighter’s curve and a quick entry into the chaos zone. When the muscles are starved of oxygen then exhaustion is accelerated and the body becomes paralyzed to attempt any counter attack.
• Experienced fighters learn to keep their eyes open even in the most fierce circumstances. Eyes need to stay open during an attack because the fighter has the best chance of survival if they see all strikes coming. Many knockouts occur because the opponent didn’t see the attack. If their eyes are open, then the body instinctively prepares for impact. Learning to keep your eyes open while being attacked help to create a shallow fighter’s curve.
• A fight is typically a cyclical series of exchanges: movement, exchange, separate, movement, exchange, separate, and repeat. These exchanges may be on the feet. Or on the ground where attacks involve breaking a limb or cutting off oxygen or blood to the brain. Once this happens then the opponent goes “to sleep” (Fight-speak meaning that the brain is deprived of oxygen resulting in the fighter going unconscious). A fight could very well finish on the first exchange.
• At the beginning of a match the fighter’s curve is zero. Throughout a fight the entropy level will never completely return to the same point as the beginning of a fight. This is due to the increased heart rate and less oxygen supplied to muscles as a fight progresses. Exhaustion also leads to a decrease in reaction time to an attack, as well as when attacking. Fear and panic also can contribute to preventing a return to low entropy. Strength, conditioning, technique, experience, and the fighter’s “heart” all help the fighter’s quick recovery to low entropy. Two fighters with equal talent and experience will be differentiated by “heart”. The fighter that has a higher determination to win will have the a psychological advantage.
• Furthermore, a fighter that keeps their cool in an exchange can capitalize on an opponent that has lost their senses (because they have transitioned into the chaos zone), and has begun to panic. Once an opponent enters their chaos zone, then they are the most vulnerable, and a quick finish could be imminent.
• Recovery from high entropy (or from the chaos zone), is for the exchange to finish so that the fighter can regroup and collect their senses. This returns the fighter’s curve to near their starting point and more importantly takes the fighter out of the chaos zone. The trick is to have a fighter’s curve that is gradual on the exchange and then sharp on the recovery. If the fighter feels comfortable during an exchange then they will remain technical in their offense and defense while simultaneously keeping their composure. Recovery from high entropy is quicker if the fighter is conditioned. If the fighter is not in shape then recovery to a lower controlled state is much slower as the heart rate struggles to return to normal and oxygen is replenished in the muscles. There is an added benefit for experienced fighters: Quick recovery to low entropy is more efficient since there is a much smaller recovery delta, when compared to an inexperienced fighter.
• Martial Arts
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Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under the expertise of Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom. More recently he has focused on circuit training, conditioning, Brazilian jiu jitsu and kickboxing. Gabriel teaches both children and adults at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz.
• This training methodology is straight from the workout sessions of Karel Ferus, who runs his own fitness club in Prague. Details can be found at fffc.cz or https://www.facebook.com/www.ferus.cz. If you live in Prague, or plan to visit sometime in the future, feel free to come and train with us. If you are interested in strength & conditioning, core strength, improving your cardio, or just want to learn some self defense, then come by. For more details then feel free to leave me a comment below.
• Czech judo started in the 1930’s. Slovak judo started in 1954, in Bratislava, by Ing. Robert Binder. One year later, judo was established in Košice by Ladislav Magyar. In 1959 Mr. Magyar left and my dad, Vaclav (Vašek) Dusil, was elected to lead the judo “oddiel” of Lokomotíva Košice. The Dusil brothers continued to build on the foundations laid down by Ladislav Magyar. Judo in Košice had steady growth throughout the 1960’s, mainly due to the efforts of Lokomotíva Košice.
• Slovak men won very few medals in the 1950’s and 1960’s at the national level. The Czechs had a twenty year head start on the Slovaks, so the conditions to improve their skills were more developed. The bigger cities on the Czech side of the country meant more judokas, more and better training facilities & coaches and a higher level of competition. Women’s judo, on the other hand, started in the 1950’s in both Czech and Slovak parts of the country, so the gap in the skill levels was much smaller, if any. In the early 1960’s Bratislava dominated women’s judo on a national level. They captured around 50% of the all medals available (six in weight categories across junior and senior age categories, and one for open competition, where there are no weight restrictions).
• In the 1960’s the top countries at the European level were France, Germany, the Netherlands and later the Russians (who “converted” to judo from their version of Sambo, “Samozaschita Bez Oružija”, meaning “self-defense without a weapon”). Czechoslovakian judoka won a few silver and bronze medals in European championships from time to time. In the 2004 Olympic games, in Athens, Greece a Slovak judoka, Jozef Krnáč won an Olympic silver in the 66kg division.
• Košice Judo
If you missed my previous posts on Košice Judo, you will find them here:
• This is my dad performing uchi-mata (内股) on my uncle Robert – Photographed in their training facility. It has since been torn down.
• 2 minutes 47 seconds
• 3 minutes 23 seconds
• This photo was taken at an open air tournament in Nitra, Slovakia. The men’s team beat the local team in the finals.
• 4 minutes 12 seconds
• In this photo my dad is holding his gold medal and diploma for winning the regional senior championships in both under 70kg, as well as the open class (no weight restrictions).
• Publications & Documents
• My dad and I were featured in the local Brampton, Ontario, Canada newspaper. I am photographed here at four years old “throwing” my dad with a Seoi-nage (背負い投げ, or shoulder throw). I vaguely remember this day. Training had finished, and the dojo was dark. We were at the entrance with the newspaper photographer. My dad jumped over me a few times, and it seemed that the photographer wasn’t satisfied. So my dad asked me to hold onto my arm as he jumped over me. And there we have it – a beautifully staged Seoi-nage!
Adolf Kostrian, Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Berco Allman, Csaba Kende, Czechoslovakia, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusan Halasz, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Gabriel Dusil, Hluchan, Igor Fridrich, Ivan Spisak, Janosik Bastam, Joe Nalevanko, Jozef Arvay, Jozef Grusecky, Jozko Lemak, Julia Tothova, Juraj Bialko, Juraj Mazanek, Karol Dusil, Košice, Ladislav Kende, Lokomotiva Košice, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Michal Korytko, Miro Brozek, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pavel Petrivalsky, Pepo Vosecky, Pista Oravec, Pozemné Stavby, Robert Binder, Robert Dusil, Sano Drabcak, Slavia Košice, Slavia Žilina, Slavo Sykorsky, Slezan Opava, Slovak Judo, Stefan Bartus, Ura Nage, Vaclav Dusil, Vašek Dusil, Vinohrady Bratislava, Vlado Babilonsky, Vojtech Agyagos
• In December, I surprised my sister by coming home for Christmas. While in Burlington, Ontario, Canada I had the privilege to train with Alica at the local TapouT MMA gym, Tapoutburlington.com. This is the second of four workouts we had together. On this day we did some strength and conditioning, then we worked on a lot of sparing techniques, and had some fun with Jiu Jitsu. We also did loads of strength & conditioning with a lot of emphasis on core strength. Check out the video below.
• These workouts are straight from the training sessions of Karel Ferus, who runs his own fitness club in Prague. Details can be found at fffc.cz. If you live in Prague, or plan to visit sometime in the future, feel free to come and train with us. If you are interested in strength & conditioning, improving your core strength and cardio, or just want to learn some self defense, then come by for a lesson. For more details feel free to leave me a comment below.
• Last month I surprised my sister by coming home for Christmas. While in Burlington, Ontario, Canada I had the privilege to train with Alica at the local TapouT MMA gym, Tapoutburlington.com. This is the first of four workouts we had together. On this day we did some strength & conditioning, then we worked on kickboxing footwork, kicking techniques, and the hook punches. Check out the video below.
• These workouts are straight from the training sessions of Karel Ferus, who runs his own fitness club in Prague. Details can be found at fffc.cz or https://www.facebook.com/www.ferus.cz. If you live in Prague, or plan to visit sometime in the future, feel free to come and train with us. If you are interested in strength & conditioning, core strength, improving your cardio, or just want to learn some self defense, then come by. For more details then feel free to leave me a comment below.
In the video below you’ll find an advanced core strength drill called the “Dragon Flag”. This exercise was originally popularized by Bruce Lee. It uses muscles from the entire torso, but mainly the core muscles in the lower back and abdominals are working. At Ferus Fitness Fight Club we train a lot on core strength, although no muscles are left behind – we run circuit training drills covering most muscle groups – from the head down to your feet. There is also plenty of cardio training (so bring lots of water, so that you stay hydrated!). For those interested in sparing, there is plenty of that as well.
• 1 minute 45 seconds
Our training philosophy is to leave your ego at the door. Our main goal is to stay healthy, strong, and in-shape. There is no room for tough guys at this gym. We’re all about learning from each other, building confidence, and having a strong balance between the mind and body. The training team currently consists of men and women ranging in ages from 16 up to 46 years old. But all ages are welcome. If you’re interested,then training schedule can be found here. Private lessons outside of these hours are also available upon request. Our trainer, Karel Ferus and I have over 40 years of combined martial arts experience. So we bring a wealth of knowledge to the students. For those that want to learn Karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, or just self defense basics, there is something for everyone. It’s also about learning from each other, no matter what level you’re at – everyone has something to contribute.
Pricing for sessions at the Prague training facility are very reasonable. More details can be found at fffc.cz, or feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below. If you need martial arts equipment, then Karel Ferus has negotiated discounts at the leading martial arts stores in Prague, so we’ve got that covered.
For those interested in something more intense, there is also a full day training camp every three to four months in Žabonosy, Czech Republic – about a one hour drive outside of Prague. Training varies at the camp but normally there are 3 two hour sessions. Lunch and dinner is included in the camp fee.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to my cousin, Richard Kende, who is a black belt in Judo and Jiu Jitsu. He was also a champion judoka in Czechoslovakia throughout the 1980’s. I love him like a brother, and I respect him as an athlete, friend, and entrepreneur. If you’re ever in Sydney, Australia, then take a trip up to The Entrance and stay at the Jetty Motel, which he owns with his wife Martina. The accommodations are awesome, and they consistently get great reviews on TripAdvisor.com. If you want to relax, then Richard is also a professional masseuse! Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more unique, you may be able to convince him to teach you a few martial arts secrets 🙂
For readers snickering at the Dragon Flag as a relatively easy stunt, keep in mind that Bruce Lee did this exercise when he was 135lbs (61kg), and in his early 30’s. Now try it when you’re 200lbs (91kg), and 46 years old 😉
You’re As Young As You Feel
• Martial Arts
If you missed my Martial Arts posts, please click on them here:
• In the 1960’s, Slovak judo clubs were not good enough to advance to the Czechoslovakian league. The Czech’s already had a standardized belt promotion (white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and black belts) and a relegation system. For this reason Slovakia began to set up a separate league in 1967, in order to improve the quality of their teams. Fighters advanced their skills faster when they fought someone at their own level (or slightly higher), rather than an opponent that who would completely dominate them on the mat. Eight Košice clubs organized their own league: Lokomotiva Košice, Slavia Košice, Slávia Prešov, Lokomotiva Zvolen, Slavia Žilina, Vinohrady Bratislava, Pozemné Stavby Bratislava and Martin. At a regional level, Košice dominated men’s judo in Slovakia, and had one of the best women’s team in Czechoslovakia for several years. In forming their own league, Košice gained a lot of experience, since each team fought an opposing team at least three times. Their plan to narrow the gap between Czech and Slovak judo was gradually accomplished throughout the 1960’s and early 70’s.
• During his military service in Opava, Czech Republic, from 1961-63, my uncle had an opportunity to fight for the Slezan Opava team in the Czechoslovakian Team Championship (Slezan Opava were part of the official Judo League of Czechoslovakia). He received special permission from the army to train with a civilian club because the military owned sport clubs in virtually every sport. He returned as the first black belt in Košice judo with a wealth of experience. Csaba Kende, my father and his younger brother were awarded their black belts (Shodan) shortly afterwards. In 1968, my father was one of the first to get his 2nd degree black belt (Nidan).
• Then came the Warsaw Pact invasion, where approximately 500,000 Russian troops invaded Czechoslovakia, on the night of 20–21 August 1968, and within one year nearly half the men’s team from Lokomotiva Košice emigrated. Those who stayed had to re-build the Lokomotiva Košice judo club.
• Košice Judo
• If you missed the previous post on Košice Judo, you will find it here:
• This is my dad and his brother in their back yard, in Košice. The house is still standing, on Moyzesova in Košice, just across from the city’s main police station. It currently houses university facilities. The Dusil’s lived behind the ornamental fence to the right of my dad. Behind them (in the dark “tunnel”, in the photo) was the main entrance to the house. Around ten families lived there.
• 6 minutes 27 seconds
• Top row – x, Dusan Halasz, x, Jozef Grusecky, Joe Nalevanko, Csaba Kende • Next row – Nyaryas, Ivan Spisak, Juraj Mazanek, Vlado Babilonsky, Pavel Petrivalsky, x • Kneeling – x, Urban, Vojtech Agyagos, Hluchan, x • Laying: Vaclav Dusil and Robert Dusil with the emblem of the Lokomotiva Košice Judo Club.
• Ivan Spisak was the junior judo champion with my uncle, in 1961. Hluchan wanted to lead the club in the early 1960’s, during a crisis in leadership. But he did not succeed against the three Dusil brothers.
• 4 minutes 12 seconds
• This parade was for the International Workers’ Day. The photo was taken on the main street of Košice. The communist regime “encouraged” citizens to participate. In other words, they were required to participate in the parade. The judo team did not attend with fellow students or co-workers, but rather as sportsmen, as it was far more fun. My dad is holding the Czechoslovakian flag. Second from the right in Judo sweats and dark glasses is Joseph Nalevanko. Ivan Spisak is scratching his nose, and to the left of him is Dusan Halasz.
• Publications & Documents
Adolf Kostrian, Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Berco Allman, Csaba Kende, Czechoslovakia, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusan Halasz, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Gabriel Dusil, Hluchan, Igor Fridrich, Ivan Spisak, Janosik Bastam, Joe Nalevanko, Jozef Arvay, Jozef Grusecky, Jozko Lemak, Julia Tothova, Juraj Bialko, Juraj Mazanek, Karol Dusil, Košice, Ladislav Kende, Lokomotiva Košice, Maria Collakova-Korytkova, Michal Korytko, Miro Brozek, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pavel Petrivalsky, Pepo Vesecky, Pepo Vosecky, Pista Oravec, Pozemné Stavby, Robert Binder, Robert Dusil, Sano Drabcak, Slavia Košice, Slavia Žilina, Slavo Sykorsky, Slezan Opava, Slovak Judo, Stefan Bartus, Ura Nage, Vaclav Dusil, Vašek Dusil, Vinohrady Bratislava, Vlado Babilonsky, Vojtech Agyagos
• My father, Vaclav (Vašek) Dusil started training judo in 1958, when he was 16. His older brother started in 1959. The youngest of the three started in early 1960. My dad and his older brother were the stars of Košice men’s judo throughout the 60’s, although his younger brother won junior regional titles in both 1961 and 1962. My uncle admitted that he was never as good as his two older brothers, but was a reasonably good coach, and a good organizer. This is one of the reasons why my dad gave him the task of coaching the women’s team in late 1961, when the previous coach, Juraj Mazanek went off to complete his military service. My uncle was also the president of the club from 1962 to 1968, and therefore took care of most of the bureaucracy.
• In 1962, six months after my uncle took over the task of coaching the women’s team, one of the judoka, Julia Tothova won her first gold medal for Košice, at the Czechoslovakian Championships. The following year she also won gold at the the International judo tournament in Bratislava. This event was attended by Austrian, Italian, and Czechoslovak competitors. Julia beat the reigning Austrian champion in the finals, which became a mini-public relations sensation in their home town. Košice was an eastern Slovakian town that was considered a relative backwater compared to Prague or Bratislava. It was their women’s judo team who mostly made the headlines in Košice in the 60’s. From 1962 to 1969 they won no less than 12 individual Czechoslovakian titles plus an unofficial team title. Due to their success the club also received increased funding for the whole judo team, from the Lokomotiva Kosice “brass”. My dad won a bronze medal in the Czechoslovakian Junior Championships in 1960, which according to my uncle, should be considered at least an equivalent achievement to Julia’s gold, due to the higher level of competition on the men’s side.
• A Note to the Reader
• All photos in this blog can be downloaded by just clicking on them. The images will open in a new tab in your browser, where you can then save them to your computer. If you want an even higher quality version (if you want a high resolution print for example) then let me know, as I have the original uncompressed Tiffs.
• If you have anecdotal information related to any photos in this blog, then please send me the details, and I would be happy to add your postscript below the photos. Just send me an email or post your comments at the end of this blog.
• 1961 July • Janošikova Bašta, Slovakia • Judo Team Hike
• This photo was taken of the Kosice Judo team during a hike in Janosikova Basta, around 20km northwest of Košice.
• This photo was taken inside our the training facility. Juraj Bialko won the junior championship (under 18) Eastern Slovakian Regionals in 1961 together with my uncle, Ivan Spisak and Robert Pinter. • Sano (Alexander) Drabcak worked as a waiter when the Russians invaded on the 21st of August 1968 (just before you were born). Within hours the stores were stripped of all groceries. The only items available were spirits and wine. My uncle had nothing for his baby daughter except for sweet tea. Two days after invasion he went to Sano in desperation, and asked for liter of milk for his baby. Sano gave him one. A week later the food supply returned to normal. Some acts of compassion are never forgotten.
• Postscript from me • 2014 October • Of the judo photos that I have restored so far, this is my favorite. It’s my dad in action, so-to-speak. I love his expression, together with Vojtech’s reaction, just as my dad leaps over his back. The press photographer captured the moment perfectly.
• Top row – Juraj Mazanek, Miro Brozek • Standing – Vaclav Dusil, Dusan Halasz, Igor Fridrich, Csaba Kende, Jozef Arvay • Kneeling – Adolf Kostrian, Pepo Vosecky, Jozko Lemak, Jozef Grusecky
• This photo taken inside the judo training facility. Miro Brozek was the president of the men’s judo club for many years after we emigrated to Canada in 1969. Miro was also one of the many attendees to Csaba Kende’s 80th birthday. The men and women’s teams separated as part of Csaba Kende’s reorganisation of the club in the early 1970’s. Jozko frequently visited my dad frequently during our early years in Canada.
• Berco Allman won gold in heavy weight (80+ kg) and Joe Nalevanko won gold in light weight for Slavia Košice (-63kg). Robert Dusil won gold in middle weight (-80kg), Vašek Dusil won gold in welter weight (-70kg), for Lokomotíva Košice. This photo was taken in front of the building which housed a room with soft wrestling mats. This is where the judoka (Judo students) also trained. The building was torn down many years ago.
• Postscript from me • 2014 October • Growing up I saw my dad’s medals, displayed on the wall, on a purple velvet covered plaque. I remember asking him one day, what his medals were for – I must have been six or seven years old. He told me that he won them in judo competitions. But he didn’t say much more than that. Only 40 years later can I truly appreciate my dad’s accomplishments.
Adolf Kostrian, Andrej Collak, Anna Collakova, Berco Allman, Csaba Kende, Czechoslovakia, Darina Poprenakova, Digital Restoration, Dusan Halasz, dusil.com, Edo Novak, Gabriel Dusil, Igor Fridrich, Ivan Spisak, Janosik Bastam, Joe Nalevanko, Jozef Arvay, Jozef Grusecky, Jozko Lemak, Julia Tothova, Juraj Bialko, Juraj Mazanek, Karol Dusil, Košice, Ladislav Kende, Michal Korytko, Miro Brozek, Nyarjas, Orendas, Pepo Vosecky, Robert Dusil, Sano Drabcak, Slavo Sykorsky, Slovak Judo, Vaclav Dusil, Vašek Dusil, Vojtech Agyagos, Zuzka Dusil
• It was awesome to train beside my sister, and teach her a few things that I have learned over the years. Here is a video diary from our training sessions across five days. I can’t wait until we train together again! Love you, Ali 🙂
• I’d like to give a shout–out to my trainer in Prague,Karel Ferus. If you live here, or are visiting Prague sometime in the future, feel free to come by and train with us. If you are interested in strength and conditioning, cardio training, or want to learn how to fight, then come by. If you want to train with us, then feel free to leave me a comment below, or visit these sites for more information: