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Monday, October 18, 2010

A Training Session

Most martial arts are moving away from full contact kumite (sparring) to sports based kumite. Over the years many styles of Karate have also moved towards the sports aspect gradually leaving behind the conditioning that is required for full contact kumite.  A great master once said " I cannot punch and expect it not to cause pain, for if I do then it is not a punch but just placing my hand." I personally agree with this great and wise master. 

At our dojo we give equal importance to development of technique, as well as endurance ( cardio ) and full body conditioning.

One of our recent training sessions was awesome. That particular day most of our senior students were present so decided to have a high intensity cardio and conditioning class. We started with a complete body warm up from toe to head and moved on to some cardio based routines combining some basics along with sets of push ups, squats and abdomen workouts. The energy levels of the students was high even though most of them were sweating a lot.

After half an hour we moved onto some conditioning in a shifting partners format so that everyone gets a chance to train with all. We started with Chudan tsugi (stomach punch) and approximately we all took 30punches from each hand from each of our partners then moved on to conditioning the thigh with approximately 30 mawashi geri's (roundhouse kick) to each thigh from each partner. Moving on with various other techniques of conditioning for an hour or so. We got so engrossed with the training that we lost count of time and ended up training for half an hour more than our usual sessions of 1.5 hours. It was nice to see the improvement and readiness to train hard by all at the dojo.

Martial arts cant and never should be made or changed to be a sport. I dont think an attacker on the road attacks you for points to win a match. I understand that the transformation towards sports has taken place to reduce injuries in competition or in kumite. Well in my reply to that logic all I can say is that protective gear can be used but if an opponent doesn't attack with power then both of them are being cheated of the actual experience they would face on the street. The Kumite practice was started to simulate and improve fighting or defense skills in a real life situation, if we dilute this the complete purpose of kumite is lost.   

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