Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Supplemental Training for Martial Arts

There are martial artists who train diligently in there chosen art, trying to perfect each movement in order to become as best as they possibly can be. They also supplement this by training there bodies to be able to perform there martial arts movements even better. Is there supplemental training correct though? Could it be altered to benefit them even more?

For example, would a point karate fighter benefit from lifting heavy weight, concentrating on isolating muscle groups like biceps or claves? Of course he would benefit from the training and develop his muscles but it would not do much to benefit his karate fighting. Or at least not as much as performing explosive compound movements would, like jump squats. Doing something like this would make him faster, stronger and more explosive which are the exact requirements for his fighting sport.

In the same way, a Greco Roman wrestler could run marathons every day and surely he would build up a level of stamina which some only dream of. But with the strength required to scramble, clinch and grapple he may find it better to run less and concentrate also on weight training in order to develop the strength required to last during his fights.

The point is that one needs to honestly think about the requirements of there martial art and perform supplemental training that is best suited to it, rather than just train in order to train

So what are the best supplemental training methods? Well all martial artists need strength, speed, flexibility and stamina. These are the building blocks that all can then progress with. With this in mind, some cardio work (running, cycling) stretching exercises and weight training should be in everyone’s regime. Regarding weight training, everyone should aim for fast (but controlled and strict) explosive movements with a weight heavy enough to perform 10-12 reps. Martial artists are not bodybuilders and should aim to develop muscles which are fast and powerful at the same time.

Along with this basic supplemental training one should then look at there art and perform exercises which would benefit them the most. Thai boxers need a high level of body conditioning to take the hard impact of bone crushing strikes, so heavy bag work may help in order to condition shins, elbows, knees etc. Ground fighters need to train in order to develop good hip movement on the floor so solo and partner drills for this may be worth there time. People training for self defence need to develop good awareness and reaction skills so maybe exercises to help develop these areas need to be incorporated.

Each martial art is different and requires a different type of training and one must think about this and try and train as sensible as possible. Obviously it is good to change ones training from time to time in order to fight boredom but again, the training that one does must be beneficial to them.

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