Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Martial Artists Cross Training with Exercises

Every martial art style has certain training methods that are specific to them. When talking about training methods in this article, it does not mean, judo has throws, or karate has strikes etc, but exercises which are intended to develop the techniques used in that specific style.

For instance, muay thai fighters use shin blocks to defend against low kicks, so they must perform shin conditioning exercises to strengthen them. Jiu jitsu fighters have no need for shin conditioning however, but do have to learn how to move there hips on the ground so shrimps and other movement drills must be performed. Would shrimps be useful to the muay thai fighter? Probably not. Or could they be?

Let’s say that a boxer is taught the sprawl from a wrestler. The sprawl is a defense technique where one kicks there legs backwards and drops there chest towards the floor and is used against shoots and tackles in the grappling world. Now in the squared circle, the boxer will never encounter this type of attack, but he practices it anyway, simply as an exercise, on his own so as he can reap the physical benefits of the sprawl which are cardiovascular enhancement, explosiveness and strength, especially in the legs. He performs sprawls constantly for 3, 2 minute rounds, which prove to provide a great conditioning workout.

As a result, the boxer has added a new training exercise to his routine as well as gaining knowledge of a martial art technique which he can use, should the situation ever arise. By performing it many times as an exercise, it will be much easier for him to perform it as a martial art technique then if he never practiced it.

The same case could be if a grappler practiced punches against a heavy bag so as to strengthen there wrists and build there endurance, which are necessities for grappling. The punches do not have to be of an expert level, but the benefits the grappler will receive will include not only the ones just stated, but also the ability to throw a punch better than someone who has never thrown one before.

The point trying to be made here is that one can benefit so much from training using exercises which have seemed to be specific for a certain style of martial art. Not only will the physical advantages the exercises offer be of value, but most of the time, the exercises also have a combat application and should the need ever arise where one must use the combat application, they stand a better chance of success then someone who has not trained using the exercise.

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Adam @ Low Tech Combat said...

Nice post. Implementing sprawls and heavy bag striking will only benefit any fighter. They are great, practical, compound exercises. And great tools to have in the combat toolkit.

Dan Cosgrove said...

More people need to cross-train and not worry about their art being 'the best'.

Cherry-picking techniques from other martial arts can fill in any gaps in training, or even simply make us more open as martial artists.

MARKS said...

DANCOSGROVE - well put

Rick said...

I agree there should be cross training, but it should be technique usable cross training, not just for fitness. The two are doable together


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