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Spartacus Maximus
Black Belt
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Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Posts: 1868

Styles: Shorin ryu

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:00 am    Post subject: Stretching references Reply with quote

The development and maintenance of flexibility is one of the most important things required for all physical training, but specifically for martial arts practise. It is undeniable that stretches are beneficial, yet few martial artists and athletes know exactly what type of stretching are best, nor when they should be done for maximum benefit.

Static stretching, for instance is what is required for holding a position at the maximum range of movement. Doing side or front splits is one example. Dynamic stretching, like swinging the legs up and down with control or slowly kicking as high as possible is one way commonly used. This is the kind of stretching required to develop the necessary flexibility for optimal range of movement in action. Regularly doing these is what allows kicks at one’s own head height or higher without causing damage or injury.

How is stretching done where you train? What kind and when do you do them?
Can anyone suggest any reference on the subject such as books or DVD/ videos?
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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: Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sang H. Kim has a book that covers lots of stretching called Ultimate Flexibility. It's a good reference.

I usually do light stretch before class starts up, and then after basics I stretch really hard (if I'm in the traditional class), or I stretch out after class. I do static stretching for the most part, but every now and then I'll do some static stretching. I've done some PNF stretching in the past, and it's great, too, but you usually need a partner for the best results.
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2466


PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Employing the use what you know principle to flexibility:
Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, TKD, Tai Chi, Yoga, Muay Thai, Boxing.

They all have their own unique ways of stretching or pandiculation benefits; something that I would like to point out their apparent differences.

Karate focusing mostly on circular movements, with the ankles, knees, hips, waist, shoulders, wrists and neck, also stretching while in stances.

Kung Fu, focusing mostly on reaching and elongating whilst stretching developing on the dragon tendon stretching movements.

Aikido, focusing on opening up the entire spine and hyper extention of the wrists similar to when using wrist locking techniques.

TKD, focusing on combining strength, flexibility and balance mostly for kicking.

Tai Chi, focusing on larger swinging arms in circular movements and reducing unnecessary tension in the body by utilising relaxation techniques.

Yoga, meditation combining breathing exercises with flexibility.

Muay Thai, focusing on pre fight stretching movements looking more spiritual or ritualistic in nature.

Boxing, focusing on dynamic limbering up the entire body, loosening up stretching whilst shadow boxing and defending.
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Journyman74
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Joined: 24 Jun 2019
Posts: 15

Styles: KARATE

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would highly recommend Joe Yoons hardcover book "Better stretching" (5 star review on Amazon) or "Anatomy and 100 essential stretching exercises" by Guerillermo Seijas Albir (also 5 star review and available through amazon). I personally lean more towards Joes book although both have plenty to offer. Stretching should always be a priority for the aging body regardless
Of ones physical activity level..
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just want to add a few more thoughts on stretching.

For me stretching is something which I do regularly that keeps me nimble, agile and youthful, also preventing injuries.

Both of my parents had varicose veins issues known to be hereditary where they have never done stretching into their later years, whereas I stretch most days and have no issues like they had.

As in my 60's stretching for me is a pleasure where I usually take a break from it on a Sunday.

Where on Monday I start the week off gradually with stretching twice a day and as the week progresses I will intensify the sessions by strengthening my flexibility gains, using ankle weights.

Where as getting to the point, that flexibility needs to be matched with strength, for me this is the real secret to success.

Before leaving the house I am already streched out enough at the level of sparring or kicking above my own head level,

With the idea that, if in a confrontation I don't need to stretch out before hand.

Sometimes I will try to get to my maximum stretch level ASAP while other days stretching becomes a drawn out affair.

Other days focusing more on stretching muscles or working on the hip joints.

Where I belive that by seeing many people focusing more on the bending forward than stretching the leg backwards is also important for getting the splits for kicking.

For me stretching is for life that adds a quality to my life add strength and good posture and you have a start to a winning combination.

I take collagen supplements and eat a healthy diet (super foods) and recovery time from working out is maximized.

I am passionate about flexibility too bad for those that have allowed themselves to become stiff and brittle, leaving themselves vulnerable to frailties.
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6418
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends what you're after. Sang H Kim as already recommended by bushido_man96 is good. And you wouldn't go wrong with Stretching Scientifically by Thomas Kurz.

Nowadays there are plenty of resources on YouTube and also lots of good references outside of Martial Arts too. Think Yoga, dancing, cheer etc. all these require flexibility too and lots of content out there.
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28921
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thomas Curz's book is one that I've never read, but I've always seen his name pop up. Maybe it's time to pick that one up.
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