What is an Appropriate Warm-Up?

Running Backwards
Running Sideways

Sound like the beginning of damn near every Martial Arts class, right?

When students pay good money for
Martial Arts, are non-Martial
movements the best use of time?

There is some scientific data which supports
the use of warmups as a means of injury prevention,
but does that mean that calisthenics are the best
movements to warm-up with?

Consider this:
How often do you see the teacher warm-up?
How often does the teacher get injured compared
to the students when working at the same “intensity?”

I, rarely, if ever, see the Instructor warming up.
I rarely, if ever, see Instructor get injured.
But…why might that be?

Might it be that the instructor has practiced enough
of the Martial Movements
so that the performance of them are no longer injurious?

Might it be that students,
especially in the beginning,
get injured because they lack
the ability to perform
Martial Movements safely?

Might a better use of time
be components of the Martial Arts
they are about to practice
rather than general exercise
that every athlete performs?

Isn’t that more specific to the Martial Arts…
and in being more specific,
be more preparatory?

Are you exercising
or are you training Martial Arts?

In a future article,
I’m going to go over some warm-up ideas
for striking an grappling based Martial Arts.

Until then,
instead of exercise
consider practicing those Martial Movements
you aren’t good at
that you’re going to have to perform
in order to be ok when you have to perform them.

Speed Kills

Speed kills.
Especially in Martial Arts.

More times than not, the fastest most accurate fighter wins.
So when I train my fighters, I train accuracy and speed.
Which sounds about right…
the problem is
No one else really trains it consistently.


Sure, they may train their strikes on mitts to be accurate
but do they train them to be fast…
or do they train them to be slow?

If you are striking when you are tired,
then your strikes are slower than when you are fresh…
and you are learning to strike slow.

You might be thinking,
how is it that I can get into shape
if I don’t do things that make me tired?

Consider this,
you have been getting in shape
in spite of doing things that get you tired…
not because you are doing things that are getting you tired.

Through the wonder of biological adaptation,
what once was slower is now easier.

You’ve experienced this in other contexts.
I consider Martial Arts to be more of a gross motor practice
and things like playing guitar to be a fine motor practice.

How do you get better at guitar?
Is it by going as long as you can go,
getting out of breath, tired, sore?

Or is it by going as long as you are accurate (including fast)?

Why couldn’t Martial Arts be practiced that way?
It can be.

Simply perform your Martial Arts until your speed goes down.
Start your Martial practice when you can perform fast again.
When you can no longer be accurate at speed,
stop your practice.
(and as long as you’re at it…do it in the gym, too.
Learn how at www.martialartsmasterplan.com)

Winning in Martial Arts isn’t an endurance event.
It is a speed event.
It’s not about how long can you endure punishment
it’s about as fast as you can deliver it.
Train it that way…
and you’ll get better in that way.