Flexibility moves you

Flexibility moves you
Hopefully things can get back to some sort of normality after covid as many of us have now had the vaccination ( I just need to get rid of the side effects of my hairy hands but they should get better soon). We are so looking forward to travelling and teaching seminars again. Our summer camp in 2022 will go ahead and we are going to be able to greet students and instructors from all around the globe. Check out our summer camp page on the website.
I have just finished doing a club bell mobility session and it dawned on me how my martial arts training has changed over the years. No longer am I worried about high kicks or breaking bricks and boards with my head, doing heavy sparring and getting my toes broken or an elbow on my shin (ouch!!!) or one injury I had when younger was internal bleeding in my arm due to me forgetting to get out of the way of a 110kg third dan doing a spinning Ushiro geri (back kick) while we were sparring (school boy mistake). I don’t regret anything as it is a part of the process and dare I say it character building, anyway I still like to mix it up a bit and have a tear up when needed, well it is the old warrior in me.

Now I am reaching my 60’s I can now see how quickly the body looses it’s flexibility,mobility and functions. The body is designed to move not only that but it can move in so many different ways that we still don’t have the computers that can calculate all the variables and permutations. My brother in-law is the same age as me and a car mechanic I noticed by his movements that he has lost the ability to use his shoulders in the full range of motion. His job does not help him as he can be stuck under a car in linear positions for long periods of time. Covid has not helped us move more as lots of us were staying indoors avoiding people, if you really think about what we do each day, we don’t move much and there is a lot of siting and hunching over computers,phones and screens. Movements like raising your knees to your chest or your knee to the side past your hips are not something that a lot of us can do although we are all capable of these movements to a fashion.

Why am I writing this blog on flexibility well it is just to make you aware of keeping yourself moving and stretching that might sound common sense to you but believe me old age will come quickly and you want to be able to still do the things you used to and to keep your health for as long as possible. Think of a leaf that has fallen from a tree it lays on the ground and starts to get dry and curls up and then withers away, looking around when I walk down the street I see a lot of older people always with their backs curled, hunched and with very bad posture.

Please keep your self moving and stretching. Make a routine every morning of going through all the joints in their full range of motion,wrist curls,knee bends, shoulder rolls etc. also do some resistance training, this could just be with the resistance bands or just slow press ups and slow squats. Do some yoga or anything similar. I like the club bells as it strengthens the muscles and tendons and gets your body moving in lots of different ways and directions. For me I have discovered it is the full range of motion of the body that coupled with some strength work that keeps me in good condition. What ever your level is don’t worry you can always build up slowly and please do a little every day and often this is the key and your body will thank you for it.
Keep well everyone until next time.
GM Angelo