Conditioning Exercises

Skill in the martial arts is developed through a training process that develops reflex actions to any given situations. Conditioning exercises are used to develop the endurance, balance, speed, agility, coordination, and strength required in honing the reflex actions.

Conditioning exercises should be carefully selected so as to maximize the results with a minimum of effort and cost. Attributes of good conditioning exercises should include the following:

  • They can be conducted anywhere.
  • No special equipment is required.
  • They are readily adaptable to any size group.
  • They are easily adapted to individual differences.
  • The quantity and progression can be regulated.
  • They can be targeted to develop specific muscle groups.
  • They will have a carryover effect into the martial art itself.
      

There are three stages in the conditioning program.

Stage

Length

Effects

1

3 weeks
Muscular stiffness, soreness and recovery.
Perform the following exercises daily:
  • Overhand pull-ups, as many as possible; rest two minutes and then repeat three times.
  • Side straddle hop (jumping jacks), 4 count, 20 times, 1 set
  • Body twists, 4 count, 20 times, 1 set
  • Toe touches, 4 count, 15 times, 1 set, do sitting
  • Sit-ups, 15 times, 3 sets, 2 minute rest
  • Push-ups, 15 times, 3 sets, 2 minute rest
  • Walk/Run one mile per day for 5 days in under 8 minutes

2

4-10 weeks Improvement is rapid at first but becomes progressively slower.
Repeat daily
  • Side straddle hop (jumping jacks), 4 count, 30 times, 1 set
  • Body twists, 4 count, 30 times, 1 set
  • Toe touches, 4 count, 30 times, 1 set, sitting
  • Sit-ups, 30 times, 3 sets, 2 minute rest
  • Push-ups, 25 times, 3 sets, 2 minute rest
  • Leg lifts and spreads, 25 times, 2 sets, 1 minute rest
  • Jog one mile per day for 5 days in under 6 minutes
  • Leg lifts, legs spread and together 25 times, rest one minute and repeat two times
  • Push-ups, eight count, 25 times one-minute rest and repeat twice
  • Run, one mile per day for 5 days under 6 minutes

3

11+ weeks Little improvement is apparent. It seems a peak or plateau is reached. The individual must maintain this level on his own initiative.
  • Side straddle hop (jumping jacks), 4 count, 30 times, 1 set
  • Body twists, 4 count, 30 times, 1 set
  • Toe touches, 4 count, 30 times, 1 set, do sitting
  • Pyramids (sit-ups to pushups to sit-ups) 10 count up and then down, 1 set (do one each, then two each, etc. to 10 each, then reverse count. Run, 1 mile per day for 5 days, under 6 minutes Walk/Run, 5 miles for 1 day
 

Training goals should include

Endurance Insure proper and continued development of heart, lungs, and cardiovascular system to resist fatigue.
Balance Develop a sense of mental and physical stability in all positions.
Speed and Agility Safely and efficiently change mental and physical positions and directions, in order to develop the ability to use the proper amount of force, in the right direction.
Coordination Develop the ability to use the body as an efficient unit, capable of making a single-purposed response.
Strength Develop an understanding of the difference between strength and endurance.

Remember to progress at a slow pace, always taking care to warm up properly. Generally speaking, the older one is, the longer the time should be spent loosening up.

Gradual conditioning program will include physical exercises, mat work, falls, basic unarmed self defense, supervised throws and daily one mile runs.


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