Thursday, 24 April 2008

Yoga for the Martial Arts

Flexibility, core strength and endurance are probably the three main attributes a good martial artists should have. For striking and grappling, they are needed to ensure that a basic foundation for fighting can be achieved. Timing, distance, speed, agility and other secondary attributes, can all be worked as long as the three primary ones are obtained.

The following clips show one of Agustin Aguerreberry, a yoga practitioner for seven years showing some advanced yoga techniques and positions and one of legendary MMA fighter, Royce Gracie sparring.

When viewed, it is clear how yoga and not just grappling, but martial arts are easily adaptable with each other.

Everyone knows that being flexible is a must for martial arts. The high kicks, suppleness of the lower back and waist when punching and evading blows, being able to scramble and roll when ground fighting, and having the flexibility to apply certain submissions such as the triangle choke all require flexibility in the body and yoga certainly proves it offers this.

When fighting, you need to be able to have the cardiovascular stamina and muscle stamina to carry on fighting even when tired. Failure to do this could lead to defeat. The yoga positions demonstrated require this type of strength and stamina so this ties in well with the martial artists needs.

But the main similarity which I think is shown with the two videos is the relaxed state of both Agustin and Royce. Royce is seen to be very relaxed, almost as if playing with a child, and Agustin demonstrates the same relaxation and concentration on breathing when flowing through each of his movements. This relaxation can aid in all of the main attributes for the martial arts. When tense you are not as flexible and agile as you can be, you easily spend all of your endurance and stamina and you are not able to think clearly as you would like.

I have never done a day of yoga in my life, but by what I see in these two videos is that yoga can very beneficial for martial artists. If anyone has any experiences with yoga and martial arts, we would love to hear from you and weather the two compliment each other.


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Dan Prager said...

That Augustin was very impressive.

I did some Iyengar classes about ten years ago and found it both useful and interesting. Some things were quite easy; others very challenging.

Regardless, even the exploration of some of the basic poses can have application to martial arts. For example: The warrior poses taught me some things about leg extension that one day I was suddenly able to apply in (for example) the judo throw harai goshi.

queens yoga said...

This video clip is really helpful for practicing Yoga at home. It will make a very flexible body.

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