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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Complete guide to Shin Bone Conditioning

Recently I saw the national selections of Muay Thai in India which was held at Hyderabad. It was a total disaster, I felt very sad seeing martial arts being made a mockery of like this. Muay Thai is an awesome martial art which is very very demanding and needs the whole body to be conditioned like rock itself. Sadly during these selections the participants were wearing shin guards, abdomen guards, elbow guards and head guard. While in authentic Muay Thai the fighters only wear groin guard and a gum guard. 

Most martial arts need the body to be completely conditioning and those training in them spend a lot of time and effort working towards getting the bones and flesh conditioned like rock. The parts of the body conditioned are instep, shin bone, thigh, stomach, rib cage, the lats, palm, knuckles, forearms and the neck. So basically martial artists beat almost the whole body to condition it and prepare it for a real attack or strike. However proper conditioning methods, adequate healing time and consumption of the required amount of calcium is very vital. The imbalance or lack of any of these three could lead to severe injury and at times even permanent damage.

Today we will discuss about how to go about the conditioning of the Shin bone. The shin bone is often used in okinawan karate, Muay Thai and a number of other martial arts to either kick as well as to block a kick. The cardinal rule while conditioning any bone is start of slowly, give time for healing and as the bone gets harder the conditioning can be made harder too. The video below will take you through a brief guide of 4 different ways to go about shin conditioning.




When we condition the Shin bone there will be swelling and sometimes even small knots can be formed. The ideal pattern is to condition the shin then give a 2 -3 days break so it heals. After a month or two of such a routine the  bone will have hardened considerably enabling you to condition it almost on a daily basis. Try to begin the conditioning process with something relatively soft then move to harder objects there are no limits of things that can be used from wooden sticks to iron poles, from banana trees to glass bottles. However always train under the guidance of someone who knows what he is doing for wrongly going about it could lead to permanent damage.

When the shin bone is conditioned and made like rock it is very useful during sparring (kumite) as it can be used to block any kicks that are aimed at the thigh or lower stomach region. This helps a lot as the hands can be up on guard or launching an attack instead of blocking the kick and opening the body further.

At times during the beginning stages of conditioning the pain and swelling could get unbearable the easiest and simplest ways to enable speedy healing is to boil some water you can even add some chopped ginger in the water and boil it. Once the water is boiled soak a towel in the hot water and squeeze out the water then wrap the hot and moist towel around the complete calf and shin area. This will increase the blood circulation and speed up the healing process.

This post aims at giving an idea about how one should go about with conditioning the shin, however please do not try this without supervision or guidance of a qualified instructor.  


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