Make your martial arts a hit!
So a big thank you to everyone for reading the blogs and for your support, I have just come in from the garden after my daily workout.
Today I would like to talk about what do you hit? I mean what do you actually hit? Don’t say your grandmother although, no don’t Angelo people won’t like you encouraging them to hit grannies.
Ever since I started my journey in the fighting arts I have always hit something as a supplement to my training. When I started boxing it was a speed ball, heavy duty bags, maize balls or free standing ones. Each of the bags had a particular use and or was for a certain aspect of your training.
Speed ball is mainly used to increase eye and hand coordination. How much air you put in the ball the faster it will move. It is a peanut shape and attaches to a board which rebounds the ball back to you.
Heavy duty bags are heavy for hard training and conditioning; it builds muscle tone and conditions the body to build strength and stamina. I found that you need to hit them right or your wrist will buckle. So it is good for keeping correct arm alignment when delivering heavy blows.
Maize balls are smaller hanging bags which are good to train your combinations hooks and uppercuts while practising your head movements. They are filled with rags or fake granules. The heavier you fill the bag the more endurance you will build while striking it.
When I started karate we were encouraged to use the makiwara (striking post with straw wrapped round it) but I was still young and a kid so sensei said don’t use it too much, later when I was an adult he told me, ‘‘Use more, must hit.’’ Master Higaonna does not have wrists; his arms are the same thickness from his forearm to his hand. His conditioning training is legendary. He practices 1000’s of strikes on the makiwara each day. Now aged over 80 years old he is an example to us all and he still hits the makiwara every day.
There are some styles and systems of martial arts that don’t use enough bag work and conditioning. They just practice hitting the air. Please put some form of bag work in your training if you don’t you may be surprised by what happens when you have to hit a body for real.
When you punch the bag or makiwara you have to have correct technique and alignment that coupled with proper breathing will ensure your hand does not buckle at the moment of impact.
Another thing I practice while doing my bag/makiwara training is visualisation this means don’t just think you are punching someone in the face as that is rather ambiguous you must actually rehearse you are striking e.g. the mental nerve or St-9 or whatever you want to practice. Also visualise which part of your own body or hand you are going to use to match that point. I use my first two knuckles to hit Liv-13 in an in and down motion. I again rehearse this as I am hitting the bag or makiwara.
Be target specific
Keep well everyone