Latham CrossFit – A part of The Chinese Martial Arts Academy!

My name is Lucas Geller. I am the owner of a new martial arts school in Albany, NY- The Chinese Martial Arts Academy.  I teach Kids Kungfu, Adult Freestyle Chinese Kickboxing (Sanshou), and Taichi.  In one day I train 5 year olds to become super heroes, tattooed bodybuilders sport fighting and help seniors in their pursuit of longevity.  Let me explain to you why I know Crossfit will be a powerful addition to our current course offerings.

I’d like to take you back a few years.  I started karate at 5 years old, but it wasn’t until I began training in Wushu (Chinese Kungfu) at age 13 that I found my passion for martial arts.  By 16, I was waking up at 3:30am to begin each day with 2 hours of running, stretching, and martial arts practice before school.  After school the training continued. It was a dedication few others could understand but I was consumed.

By the age of 26 I had spent almost 4 years in China training with the elite professional martial arts teams.  During this time, I became a member of the USA Wushu Team and won a silver medal at the Pan-American Wushu Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

As a serious martial artist, conditioning has always been a central aspect of my practice.  To be well rounded my regimen has always included a variety of sprinting/plyometrics, compound strength training exercises (deadlift, ATG squat, pull up and bench press), gymnastics oriented body weight strength training (parallel bar, uneven bar, rope climbing, etc.) and explosive power/hang versions of Olympic lifts.  It was hard to explain my training regimen to those unfamiliar with professional martial arts strength programs, which is to say until I found Crossfit.

After I finished school, earning my MA in Chinese from The Ohio State University and returned to the States I decided to take a break from Wushu and began Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).  During this time I trained at two gyms DC area which both offered Crossfit (Capital Jiujitsu and Lloyd Irvin’s NOVA MMA).  It wasn’t exactly how we trained in China, but it wasn’t far off.  In fact, after more analysis, it was BETTER!

Chinese martial artists are professional martial artists.  The Chinese only do very basic exercises (deadlift, squat, pull up, bench press, sprints and plyo’s).  However, they begin their training at a very young age, train daily and at a high intensity.  This is a powerful combination.  However, there is very little variation, and limited ways of measuring progress.  Crossfit’s emphasis on both constant variation and not only increasing weighted loads, but also decreasing rest time and timing both rounds and complete workouts – and comparing them to previous results, ensures  greater progress.  The seemingly ‘chaotic’ approach is actually a much more systematic methodology.

Last year I decided to follow my passion and open my own martial arts school, The Chinese Martial Arts Academy.  In teaching martial arts, I realize that one of the limiting factors in performing techniques correctly and a frequent cause of injury, is simply a lack of physical conditioning.  Executing explosive jump kicks, and double leg takedowns requires not only correct technique, but also prerequisite endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility as well!

For the sake of my students, and the health of the general public in the local community, we need to show them the alternative to running on a treadmill and doing curls in a squat rack.  I need to offer the highest quality conditioning component available. This is why we need Crossfit.

In addition to offering Kids Kungfu, Adult Kungfu Kickboxing (Sanshou/Sanda) and Taichi, we will be offering strength and conditioning program as well.  My plan is to turn the generic strength and conditioning for martial artists program into a full-fledged Crossfit program.

I initially chose Crossfit because I believe strongly in the science which supports the training protocol and because I know from personal experience that it works.  I have chosen Crossfit because I believe the online community and resources surrounding Crossfit are invaluable to those in search of fitness and happiness.  With Crossfit as a central component to the course offerings at The Chinese Martial Arts Academy, I am confident that CMAA is on our way to giving back to our community, by providing a positive and healthy environment for people of all ages to pursue their interest in fitness and wellbeing.     

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