To gain the most amount of muscular strength, i am a firm believer that training with heavy weights is the best way to achieve it. Pushing or pulling a resistance (eg weights) creates a whole lot of strength, fast. But sometimes a well equipped weight training gym is not available. When this is the case, training using your own body weight with exercises such as press ups, chin ups, one legged squats etc are an alternative to weights. A very efficient way of performing these exercises to to do them slowly. When doing press ups for example, from the starting position take about 4 -10 seconds for your chest to reach the floor and the same when returning back to the starting position. It has been found that great benefits can be achieved when training in this manner, and more strength can be obtained than when doing the exercises at normal speed.
Friday, 30 November 2007
Thursday, 29 November 2007
Everyone at some stage during sparring or a competitive fight will get tired. It is not physically possible not to. When you get tired, mentally you do not think or react as fast, and physically it can be extremely more difficult to move than when you are fresh. A lot of training is spent mastering techniques and fighting ability, but not much time is spent training once tiredness kicks in. This is strange to me as it is something that always happens, so you must prepare for it in my opinion. Unfortunately there are not many things that you can do when you are tired because of the fact that you are ....tired. Personally i think the most important thing to do is not show your opponent that you have run out of steam. If your opponent thinks that you are tired he/she wil probably try and end the fight but rushing you with lots of techniques. Signs of fatigue include, breathing heavily from the mouth, a drop of the guard, a half hearted attempt at throwing strikes, not bending thoroughly when attempting throws, straightening of legs and being flat footed. There are more, but these seem to be the main signs in most people. When you are tired, you must save the little energy you have, so its recommended only to throw strikes when you see good openings. If you are a fighter who attacks a lot when fresh this may be a sign to your opponent that you are tired and theirs nothing really you can do about that. Always keep your guard high. Your arms will feel very heavy, but a hard punch or kick to the jaw will feel even heavier. Get used to always breathing from your nose. In your daily training, when working on the bag, sparring, groundfighting or anything else, always concentrate on breathing from your nose. (Weight lifting is the only time when you must breath from your mouth in my opinion). If you get used to breathing from your nose, you may be able to keep it up, even when you are tired. When someone tries to take you down by shooting at your legs SPRAWL. Don't let them get the take down. Sprawls are easy and you don't need much energy for them. Just drop your weight down on your opponents back when he goes for your legs as you kick your own legs behind you. If you are unfortunate to find yourself on the floor groundfighting, stay close to your opponent. Hug him/her tight to prevent major strikes or most submission attempts, and wait for an opening to gain control. When groundfighting you tend to use up more energy than when striking so this is where guts and determination will be proven or not. As you can see you become a very defensive fighter when tired and this is inevitable, but BE DEFENSIVE, which means defend. The consequences are getting knocked out, or if its a street fight, maybe worse.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
The amount of times i have had people tell me that they think karate is a joke, is uncountable. When asked why, they say that it only involves marching up and down like robots, in long deep stances, with one hand always chambered at the hip, and the other performing a very unrealistic block or punch. What they have obviously witnessed is karate basic training or Kihon. Then the best part is when they say, "you cant use that in a real fight".
What they fail to understand though, is that Kihon trainings sole intention is not to teach self defence techniques. I have been training Karate for a number of years and completely agree that if in a self defence situation, a lunge punch was executed while chambering the non punching arm at the hip and stepping forward into a long front stance, then the consequences would not feel good and you would probably find yourself eating a punch or two in the process. Kihon trainings main purpose is teach other fighting necessities such as, rotating the hips when striking, distance needed when attacking and defending, balance not just when kicking but also when striking and even grappling. Kihon training also helps condition the muscles used for self defence (which is nearly all of them) and when Kihon training with a partner, it will also help condition and harden the body when blocking and striking. Kihon means Basic, implying that you learn the basics of self defence when performing Kihon. The techniques are not specifically for self defence, but the techniques do lead to others which are used for self defence, so without a good solid grasp of Kihon techniques, you will never learn how to defend yourself properly. Kihon is a part of karate just like bag work, grappling, sparring and kata should be. Keep practising Kihon and you will notice that all other parts of your training shall improve.
The Mighty Front Kick
The Backfist (Uraken)
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
For anybody wanting to get into supreme top shape, weather to excel as a martial artist, or just to become more fit and muscular, i recommend a book written by Arnold Schwarzenegger called The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.
For beginners and advanced exercisers, this book is amazing. It contains everything a person needs to know, including information on training principles, training methods, diet and nutrition, analysis's on different injuries and much much more. Instead of buying different books which cover all these aspects, i advise this one book by Arnie. The advantage with this encyclopedia compared to others, is that is written by one of the best bodybuilders of all time who won the Mr Olympia competition 7 times. His experience and prowess in the sport is apparent in this book and because of his reputation, you can not help but keep reading more of what he has to say. If you are looking for a book which will help you achieve your fitness goals, this is the book for you.
Monday, 26 November 2007
When martial artists, or any person involved in physical training spends a certain time period using the same workout routine, boredom will soon develop. This boredom can involve the person being mentally bored of doing the same repetitive workout. Training the same exercises, at the same time, on the same days for instance can create boredom that can sometimes be so off putting that the person may even skip workouts. There is also the physical boredom that develops in your muscles. When training the biceps for example, if preacher curls are the only exercise used, with the same weight, for the same amount of reps and sets, then the muscle will eventually get used to the training and will stop growing and developing. The key is to change your workout every now and then. Train on different days at different times during the day, concentrate more on weights sometimes and then change to concentrate on cardio. Do heavy weights for a period, then train light weights explosively. For a week or two solely focus on martial arts without any further training, then do nothing for a week or so. These are just a few suggestions from the top of my head. Sit down from time to time and plan different workouts which suit your personal requirements that will also help fight boredom when training. My advice is to write down different workouts as they can be used again. Good luck!
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Gaining speed in martial arts is a hard sought after process which can only be obtained with constant practice of techniques. One good way to work speed in punches is by practising in water. Training in a swimming pool, and in water up to about chest level, start throwing punches. Practise single punches and also in combinations. Because you are in water it will be hard to use proper body movement but that doesn't matter. Concentrate on throwing punches as fast as possible for a period of time. Apart from obtaining great speed with this practise it is also an excellent cardiovascular workout. Because body movement will become sloppy, training in water, make sure to practice punches out of water straight after so as not continue being sloppy.
Friday, 2 November 2007
For those of you that are unfortunate to not live near warm sunny beaches, with dry clean sand then I'm afraid you will have to wait until the next time you go on holiday to try this one. Training on sand is so beneficial to every type of martial artist and ten seconds into it and I'm sure the differences will be noticed from when training on a hard durable floor. When training in your dojo, home or wherever it is you normally train, its very easy to take for granted that the floor helps you with movement. Try getting up and jumping from side to side. If you stop to analyze the process of moving, you should notice that in order for this to happen, you have to push into the ground with your feet, so as to drive your legs to start the movement. This pushing into the ground with your feet is also achieved when walking, running, jumping, kicking and lunging. When a grappler moves when ground fighting, not only will he/she use his feet to push, creating movement, but also the hands are used. Having a hard floor surface makes this movement process a whole lot easier, but on dry sand it becomes harder as the surface is not durable and very soft and to move, you have to dig your feet (or hands) into the sand slightly so as to create the momentum needed to move. For this reason polymetric training becomes a whole lot harder but greater rewards can be obtained. Sparring on sand, either striking, grappling or both, becomes an extremely heavy, and hard workout, as the muscles are used more, but it is another out of the many other hundreds of great ways to improve the leg and arm muscles and stamina. So if you are one of the lucky ones that live near the golden beaches of the world, take advantage of this unique training method.
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