Fit for Martial arts?
What do we mean by fit for martial arts?
Do you use martial arts for your fitness training?
Many styles and systems do so much conditioning and exercises during lesson times that they don’t actually have enough time to teach the martial art aspect. This seems to happen a lot with styles and clubs that are more competition orientated; now I am not saying that you should not do fitness, for me this should be a part of your daily routine any way but it should not take valuable time away from your martial art lesson. The martial arts lesson emphasis should always be on learning how to defend yourself and not on fitness if you want to sweat more go to zumba or have a sauna. Normal lessons are only an hour and a half long so if you are spending an hour on fitness then a cool down period at the end it does not give you a lot of time for martial arts learning.
It would be like a piano teacher saying I want you to do some squats and then some sit ups and this will help you with your piano playing while you may be getting fitter it really won’t help the technical aspect of playing the piano well. This would be the same as doing lots of press ups this won’t actually teach you how to avoid strikes aimed at your groin.
Another question is what type of fitness would help you with your martial arts?
It you do a predominantly punching style then you would choose exercises that would best enhance that aspect. If you do a mostly kicking style then Kayaking may not be the best exercise to compliment that.
Remember just because you can run well it does not mean you will be fit to do gymnastics. The same token if you can swim it does not mean you can ride a bike well or lift weights they are all fitness but a lot of the time you will be fit for that particular purpose. Some disciplines have aspects that cross over and this is easy to recognize.
Now we have asked the question of body fitness what about mental fitness. Do you have the character to be able to take constructive criticism? Do you get disheartened quickly? Do you get angry and want to rip your partners head off if he/she gets a punch or a technique on you?
Do you come to class with a clear mind, clean gi and or fresh training clothes on? Have you had a shower or wash before the start of the lesson? If you are doing a lot of partner work then it is only respect to your fellow class students to take care of yourself. No one wants to partner up with someone who has had a drink before the start of the lesson or if their breath overpowers them with garlic although this is a good self defence tactic.
Is the instructor on an ego trip by proving he/she can beat up the students or does he/she really care about the well being of the people entrusted into his/her care and genuinely wants to share and impart knowledge?
Fit for Martial arts?
Now I will just leave you with a little joke.
After a grading the student went to the teacher and said ‘‘I don’t deserve a white belt.’’
‘’True said the teacher but it’s the lowest belt I could give you.’’