Joined: 25 Jun 2001
Location: Northern California, U.S.A.
|Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2001 1:00 am Post subject:
|Well, I'm off to do some intense training for the next month, two months, maybe more and I'll not be around to contribute my long rants much anymore, if at all. I just thought a last post about something that's of interest to any martial artist and maybe have some people share some ideas to help themselves and other's develop greater speed and strength techniques.
Other than weights, cardiovascular exercise, etc. what type of things do people do to gain greater speed, endurance and strength? Also, for what part of the body, for what action and what are the benefits?
An example, one of many I will suggest, is training with Mou Sou techniques, sticking hands, etc. Also, of course, stretching, sparring, really hitting a target or heavy bag, speed bag, etc. is helpful and fun.
Different aspects of training I notice a lot of people over look, is how tired they are when training. People will be tired, not feeling well, etc. and train... and this can cause you to be sloppy if you do that too much. Some people get too tensed up and therefore become distracted. What times of the day, more than other's, do you practice?
I'll start by saying, be sure to properly warm up and stretch, but we all know this! Of course, before practicing, it's best to not exert yourself with doing anything such as sex, or do anything that's bad for the body, including drugs, drinking alcohol or smoking. These can make a big difference. Also, don't practice on am empty stomach, or a completely full stomach either.
Another thing, don't be stupid and chew gum, tobacco or food or anything else that will be in your mouth an interrupt your breathing. This includes drinking water. If you are huffing and thirsty, let your body catch up first, don't chug down water while you're huffing, this will interrupt your breathing and can cause damage to your lungs. Just sip some, wet your throat until you stop huffing. I see people make that mistake a lot.
Remember to take off anything that will interfere, annoy, distract you or cause injury to others while sparring, such as rings and watches. I find myself asking people to take jewelry all the time. Also, don't just sit down or lay down if you're huffing from exertion. Let your body cool down at the right pace. If you're doing anything that involves twisting or any waist power, which includes a lot of things, be sure to wear a belt (the original purpose of them!), fairly tightly around your waist to prevent any internal jolting and injury to your organs.
Also, don't hit or do any technique with too much force, until you have it down, as this will too reduce injury when putting too much force into an action that you're not familiar enough with. Now, onto techniques, general one's anyway, that I practice or suggest:
I try and practice techniques, not only in whole, but parts of my body, individually, combined and in whole as well. Such things as, hand techniques. Strengthening and gaining speed, punching, grabbing, etc. Of course, a good way is to practice hand techniques on a bag, which helps improve speed, accuracy, power and balance. These are important for any technique, any part of your body and any form or action, partly and entirely. Working on different areas individually can sometimes and usually does greatly improve all these things.
The hands and fingers are very important to work, themselves. Obviously this improves things to do with blocks, grabs, hooking, locking, clasping, Chin Na techniques, and more. Speed and power are important there as well. Things you can do:
Get a heavy or semi heavy object, like a rock, a brick, whatever. The idea is to develop power in grasping. You drop and catch this object, obviously before it hits the ground and alternate with reaching techniques. Such as, drop it, don't bend or lean and grab it. Do the same, but drop down to catch it, such as if you were evading, ducking or doing a sweep or other technique lower down. Also, try putting in some move(s) after dropping it and still catching it before it hits the ground. To say, drop it, throw your hands up, to the side, forward, whatever, and catch it. Try some strikes, maybe some kicks after it's dropped and catch it. Often, people try to see how many times they can clap and try to build it up to 2, 3 or 4 times from the time the object is dropped, to the time it's caught. As you improve, the weight of the object can be greater.
Pushups never fail to improve the strength of the fingers and hands. Pushups on the finger tips, of course. Again, try to pop yourself up, see how many times you can clap. You can do the same thing, alternatively, with laying on your back and side, pushing yourself up with your hands, fingers or even elbows and do the same. You can also try what's known as empty air techniques to help build grasping power. The idea is to basically, have your hands in different positions, to your side, for example.
You then execute a reasonable block (imagine someone punching at you), you then take your fingers, point them up, down or sideways, as if hooking and/or grasping the blocked hand and slowly do this with as much power can you can and grasp as tightly as you can and return the hand to the original position or next position. Repeat with the other hand. You can really feel this in your hands and how it's improving your grasping power.
The idea, of course, is to get used to blocking and then grasping the attacker's punching arm you just blocked -- in which you'll train to do all sorts of nifty things with. You can also strike out with one or both hands facing forward, make a circle clockwise (mirrored of the other hand), having them come in and cross and clench them hard (your forearm and hands should be at about 90 degrees in the angle). You force your hands open and closed, slowly, with as much power as you can get. The idea is strength and speed and by repeating this, you should try for about 180 fists in about 30 seconds.
Also, wrists, arms and shoulders are important. You want to get used to acting strong and fast to grabs to your opponent to better control them. This also complements the power and speed you gain in the hands and fingers. One technique, is to get a long bar, rod, stick, broom handle, whatever, hold it at about the center (or at the center) and move it up and down while keeping your arm stationary, or as much as it can be. Also, try twisting it, while remaining stationary. Try and work your way to the end of the rod and be able to hold it on one end and do these same techniques. This will increase the difficulty. Of course, the larger the gauge and heavier the rod, the better or different the results will be.
You can and should also try some techniques where you have a partner, using one or two rods, bamboo or whatever, some type of pole(s), which can help you build up your wrists and arms. You sort of swing and twist the rods, giving more tension to the other person's end and they do to you as well. A twisting tug-of-war, if you will. You can do this while turning, facing them, from the side or behind, adding tension, almost trying to twist it out of their hands, without any more effort than twisting the rods and/or your body. Of course, you can also try pole climbing, rope climbing and various exercises with weights and weight bars (with and without weights). There's too many of those to try and cover.
Onto Mou Sou (rubbing hands, some call it). This is not only to help build speed and grasping and whatnot, but it helps you get a "feel" for what the other person will do, given your arms and hands are met, be it by a block, grab, or whatever, so you can feel what they are going to do, where their hands or arms, etc. are going to go and act and counter accordingly and quickly, with speed and strength. This, if worked on and developed properly, can greatly increase your speed and dexterity and give you a great advantage. Of course, many martial arts styles teach some type of this technique and base a lot of things off of it. Anyway, here's some cool things;
You face your opponent (yes, you need another person, although there are ways to practice this on your own), have your right leg facing forward. One person puts their arm out, hand/fingers pointing up, hooking (sort of) and the other puts his/her arm on top of theirs (their left, for example, on top of their opponents' right), crossing it, hooking down (fingers pointed down). Now, the person with their fingers pointed up, tries to move over top of the person's arm/hand on top, grasping it and pull them towards them. The other person, tries to get out of that grasp and overtake the other person's, grasp them and pull them towards them. Back and forth, repeating. You get power and you get a feel for what someone's going to do and you will be quicker than the other person. One person tries to get their wrist unhooked, while the other tried to hook them.
What you do, is you jerk the hooked arm to you, using your waist power. Once you pull them back to you, you can successfully hook their wrist. However, once that's done, the other person turns their hand up and does what the other just did and you repeat. Do this as fast and quickly as possible, without stopping. If done properly, you can really feel it applied and when you apply it on someone else. This builds up a lot of speed, because each person is consistently attempting to break free to maintain the lock.
You can practice this yourself, by grabbing your right wrist with your left hand, by putting your right hand up, palm of hand facing you, arm pointing straight up, bring your left hand in front of it with your left hand's elbow facing out to the left and up at about 75 degrees. Put your left hand over top of the right hand's wrist with your thumb over top and the fingers underneath. Then turn your left hand under while moving against the right arm/wrist and grab over top, fully and firmly. Keep the resistance with both wrists and hands. Once you do that, move your right hand under the left hand's wrist and grab over top. Repeat this with resistance while pulling down and to you and the other out and pointing up. I'm not very confident that this is making much sense. In fact, this is something that people are almost certainly going to have to have applied and physically shown to them, if they aren't familiar with this particular technique, let alone any along these lines -- but I'm trying.
Speaking of, there's some good stability techniques I'd like to cover, but these would be very difficult to try and explain and I feel that I'd failed to explain the above well enough in text as it is.
Anyway, lots of hand drills should be practices for grabs, pulling, punching, pushing, throwing, thrusting, blocking, holding, lifting, twisting, pressing, etc. Body movements are important as well, definitely. Don't forget stepping, strategies, even your eyes. Your fingers, shoulders, wrists, legs, knee's, etc. Also practice being thrown, practice falling, anything that you can take advantage by being used to by training and preparing, that will and can happen to you in a fight.
To build the wrists and forearms, you can get a bar, tie a rope to it and put weight on the end. You basically turn/twist the bar, slowly, holding your arms straight out at shoulder height, and wind and unwind the bar to raise and lower the weights. You can do the same, having your arm to the side, with one single arm, a shorter bar, same technique.
Another thing you can do, is toss a sand bag. You throw it up, using different moves to come around and grab it again and toss it back up, and repeat. This adds resistance to techniques and moves, forms, etc. You can toss it around your back, between your legs, to the side, above, etc. And you can also do this and other exercises with another person.
Obviously adding weight to moves and exercises adds the resistance to improve strength and speed. Carrying more weight when doing things that involve balance can also benefit you. Also, balancing, and doing moves and sparring, is very beneficial. A cool thing too, is post training, and I mean with a post, as in a pole. You can practice things such as striking with the inside of your forearms, which is useful for blocking kicks, striking with the palms, again, for blocking, and striking, pushing, etc. Same with elbows, and definitely great for hooking techniques, wrapping around, pushing, evading, etc. It will get you very used to getting out of the way and in close techniques to lock and throw people, as well as push them out of the way, or yourself and watch them fly by into your line of attack.
Other things, would include crouching and fighting low, doing various techniques, rather than just standing or whatever. Definitely practice timing, distance, angles, get ready and able to attack, counter or evade, given any position, be it you are there or put there or pushed, thrown off balance, of knocked to there or that position. Get used to trapping techniques, close in and all sides, close and far. Get a perspective. Get used to weapons, locks and all of it. I guess as I've been writing this, I find it near impossible to explain or give any examples, suggestions, tips or anything on any type of techniques in particular, let alone to try and explain how they are done and definitely to explain why. Sorry about that, I guess this is all obvious stuff and I have so much I'd like to share and explain, but it's so difficult without being there in person. There's simply too much to try and explain or cover anyway, but I was wondering what other's do, if they are able to explain and outline the techniques, which I've obviously failed to do.
Definitely explore different things, even if it's of a style you don't like, because it can have some beneficial exercises, training or theories that might open up some new ideas to build speed, strength and accuracy. Well, speaking of, I'm going to go and have some fun now. I'm going to basically be in hiatus training pretty intensely for a few months. I can only talk about stuff for so long, before I have to bury myself in it. So, have a good time everyone, I'll be gone and busy. If anyone gets near Northern California and wants to get together and train or spar, definitely get in touch with me. Thanks.
Tim Greer -> firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 530-222-7244
I study any and every style and I'm always looking to spar!!
Also, if I'm not around for a while, I'm just away training. :-)