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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2466


PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:01 pm    Post subject: Stretching and Running Reply with quote

My happiest times lately is when stretching out, legs and all, outside with the guys among adults in a fitness park.

The feeling of stetching, releasing built up stress and tension feels incredibly liberating like nothing else possible on earth..

Am I feeeling something unique as a human being, as many around me are seemingly so tense and rigid in comparison?

Come on, as working out among other outdoor gym bros (something like a universal language) in the calethetics park they are cool, or (cholo,) with me and I with them, as living in Spain, live and let live is tolerated?

As a Brit living in Spain spending many hours stretching, in the park as they (Spaniards) stop nearby (as they are runners) a while as to not get a cramp for a little strech, for me missing the bigger picture.

Yes runners get a high from from releasing endorphins that makes them happy to not feel any pain but they have much more to adopt if they only knew how.

That look at me at times as an alien or from another world, similar to an octopus without limbs.

They (runners) prop up a leg on a metal bar, very stiff (that seperates runners from the calethetics exercise equipment area) a leg as tense as a 2x4 piece of wood in a 45 degrees, propt upon a metal bar.

All the while, I melt in to seemingly, to proceed tenderizing my muscles in a position, in comparison to a contortionist.

Many times those close to me that is so full of tension in their hamstrings, whist stretching, I tell them to "relax, like when going to sleep at night, don't force anything, just breath and relax" might as well be talking to a door as all the difference it makes.

Others however, with an inclining of understanding will take the view of understanding that relaxation instead of pulling against muscles is the key to success.

In all honesty, I am not naturally flexible due to my age, far from it, I do however use a few psychological tactics in my asenal, to help surpass my limited age biological handicaps, that is.

#1 Pain management, similar to being at the dentists office whilst being drilled upon, with mind over matter techniques towards overcoming the pain.

#2 Tension releasing, using breathing exercises and shaking the body..

#3 Tenderizing cheap meat at the butcher store, plenty of massage on the metal horizontal bar, similar to ironing clothes.

It seems bazaar at times watching runners pass me by then stop for a little while to stretch with limited results that hardly seem the time to bother doing.

Of course movement is the cure for stiffness but runners take it to a much higher level.

Now here is a guy that was totally in tune with the benefits of running and stretching.

One of my Sensei's that was competing later in that same day in a karate tournament (to my surprise) told me that he was "going for a morning run".

As a much lower ranking belt at the time, it seamed to me, as this mighr be wasting valuble enegy, however it was creating as what is known as today as a "runners high" that releases endorphins, which is a natural way of helping muscles deal with muscle tension and soreness.

Whereas Muay Thai fighters and boxers do what is called "road work"

Does this make sense or relate to you in yout training?
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1868

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There wouldn’t be much sense or use in running if so many karate big cheeses didn’t do it even well into their old age. Higa Yuchoku of Shorin ryu was known to run for 5km every single morning at sunrise. Higaonna Morio of Goju ryu also goes for a run a few km before starting his own daily practise. The former lived a long healthy life, and was extremely fit and strong until his death. The latter(Higaonna) is in his mid to late seventies and still running.

Personally, warming up has always been something to be done before any kind of stretching. The most recent sports medicine journals and literature show that it is safer and more beneficial on the long term for muscles and the entire body to be warmed up thoroughly before any kind of stretching.
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Fat Cobra
Blue Belt
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Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 304
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run as a matter of personal physical fitness (plus I spent 24.5 years in the US Army, so running is second nature). I think it is good for your overall fitness and health, but for my students it is a personal choice and not something we do as a group.
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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1868

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When living in Naha and the surrounding areas, it was a common sight to see groups of karate students running/jogging around. Before moving there it was also the first thing done before practise and of course the Shodan and above tests required the candidates to do an endurance run of a few km/miles before anything else. Same for the beginning of all PE classes in school from kindergarten to high school. Everyone had to run.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never enjoyed running, and I don't do it. I'd rather lift weights than run, any day of the week.

Most of us Martial Artists do more extensive stretching than other athletes, especially in the split positions. I'm not saying that other athletes aren't flexible. But, I think the order of flexibility focus in various activities would probably start with gymnastics at the top, with dancing/cheer leading right behind, and then probably MA. Yoga would be up there high, too.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2466


PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For boxing purposes, their is a unique way of moving whilst running.
Where running doesn't exactly describe the motion used by boxers doing road work, as rocking left to right whilst moving forward might be better suited, that doesn't seem to be speed oriented but the focus is on training the body to move with momentum that aids in punching mechanics.

Where runners would most likely consider this road work from boxers to be peculiar.

This road work (boxing) running style (almost at walking speed) being low in intensity does build up a fighters endurance.

Adding some dynamic stretching, limbering up leg swings and knee raises to this (rocking) road work, seems like a routine worthwhile considering, would you agree?
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's still running, and I still wouldn't like it, and I've never seen a Boxer doing speed walking. They're running. They may be punching, bobbing and weaving while they do it, but it's still running. I imagine most of them are keeping a pace or time in mind per mile, or they have a set distance to go.

I prefer to lift weights, strength train, as opposed to run.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2466


PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for exercising I can get a runner's high (a mix of adrenaline and endorphins) most times, as this is what I understand as a rare thing for people where this is their main sport.

Can also get a weight lifting high but different (feeling really pumped up ready for action) when using the contraption at the gym where it sits on the back, holding on to the straps and bend forwards.

Can also get a rush of euphoria when hitting the heavy bag to motivational music.

As I stretch a lot, getting any natural high from stretching it doesn't happen, raher a feeling of having released unnecessary tension still feels liberating.

Where coming to the conclusion that when the body gets accustomed to certain things with plenty of practice, that can diminish the high but still can feel good or satisfying during and afterwards.

These endorphins and the like are releasing chemicals from the brain to help to cope with fatigue, pain, stress even exhaustion, which is something which as martial artist, taking advantage of can have a profound influence and effect on becoming effective maists.

As it seems to me that their are many ways to keep things feeling good and to stay motivated, where having a variety and keeping the body and mind challenged is the key.

IMHO
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