In a previous article I wrote about cross training and how to approach it. However, in that article I only mentioned specifically how to train in other martial arts. There are of course many other activities that can impact your Taekwondo practice. In this article I am going to look at three things outside of the martial arts that your practice can benefit from.
This list is of course not exhaustive but the activities mentioned are things I have personal gained from and see a good cross over to the martial arts.
This one will come as no surprise to most of you, the cross over between kettlebells and martial art is well documented. In fact the term ‘hard style’ kettlebells actually refers to the hard style martial arts, which many kettlebell practitioners also studied.
One of the reason that kettlebell transfers so well to martial arts is that the training isn’t really about the weight, it is about moving your body. The kettlebell is there to mere add resistance to your movement.
Studying the basic 6 kettlebell moves can greatly enhance your power generation and met-con endurance. The basic 6 are: swing, Turkish get up, clean, press, squat, and snatch.
One example workout I really like doing is:
– 1 min heavy bag,
– 1 Turkish get up each side
– Repeat 5 – 10 times
After a minute explosive movements on the bag, the Turkish get up forces you to focus on controlled movement underweight. Similar to moving from striking to grappling.
For conditioning you’d find it hard to beat the snatch, whereas a heavy swing will do much the same physically, performing high rep snatches pushes you to be more conscious of your technique while overcoming fatigue.
One very common approach to a snatch work out is called on the minute, at the top of the minute you perform the required number of snatches. For example 10 per hand. When finished put the bell down and rest the remainder of the minute. Continue in this fashion for 5mins or till form breaks down.
At this point I feel I should put a warning here. After seeing many examples of kettlebell ‘swings’ in my local gym I would urge everyone to spend the time to seek out a qualified instructor before attempting and serious kettlebell work.
Whereas kettlebells build great conditioning and explosive power, barbells build strength. At the very least you should dedicate one day a week to lifting something heavy.
The benefits of lifting are many but here are a few:
- Improves co ordination
- Strengthens central nervous system
- Boosts metabolism
- Makes you stronger
- Makes you less prone to injury
- Improves flexibility
There is a common misconception that barbell work will make you a muscle bound lump that moves like a dinosaur. Actually barbell work will greatly improve your ability to move.
For this I used 2 main lifts:
Basically taking hold of the bar on the floor and standing up with it. Sounds easy but this lift will test almost every muscle in your body.
Load the bar on your shoulders, lower yourself till thighs are parallel to the ground then stand up again. Again sounds easy but similar to the deadlift this will test your whole body.
In these, similar to kettlebell and Taekwondo practice your focus should be on form and technique, not trying to lift as much as you can, anyway you can
This one is a little new for me, I had often heard that there was some link between yoga and martial arts forms. After practicing for a short time I have no doubt that somewhere in history there was a cross over.
One of the main issue that many of my fellow trainers and student have had over the years is flexibility. Yoga, in my opinion, directly focuses on this but more than flexibly it is flexibility and strength.
The style of Yoga I practice is Ashtanga, know has one of the stricter and more demanding styles. It follows a fed routine similar to a pattern in Taekwondo and truly works every part of your body.
So in summary, kettlebells build conditioning, barbells build strength, yoga builds mobility and flexibility and Taekwondo locks all these attributes together in a skill
Of course trying to add all of these things to your practice at one and you will quickly burn out, I suggest that you pick one to start with depending on your goals. When become proficient at what you pick you may want to add more to it. Each of the activities above not only assist Taekwondo but also building to each other. Add them to your training and watch your Taekwondo and in fact knowledge of your body improve