Conditioning is one of the most important aspects of martial arts training.
As martial artist we often make the mistake of concentrating our efforts on form and function. In other words, we work on technique. This is not necessarily bad. Technique is an essential part of martial arts training. But it is also an aspect that we often over work.
Bruce Lee was one of the first martial artists to recognize that conditioning was just as important to performance as technique. He understood that we have to tread our bodies like an athlete’s body.
Therefore, enough time should be spent working on stamina and strength and core stability. We should learn to use our bodies in the most efficient way possible.
This is just modern sports science.
Exercises that use the core and that teach us full body strength are best.
I’m going to share with you three exercises that exemplify this kind of work. They’re simple exercises and you probably know them already. But let me just say this: if you do no other conditioning exercise at all, these three should make an incredible difference in your stamina and strength.
First is the PULL UP.
You should do them in sets and you should do as many as you can. Work yourself up to doing sets of 20. Change the position of your grip on the bar. Get used to handling your own weight.
At first, pull ups, seem impossible, but all you have to do is keep working. You can use a chair to assist you at first and place a leg on it to help you up. Or you can have somebody help you. Eventually you’ll be able to do them on your own.
Handling your own body weight is crucial if you want to get strong. Forget weights. This is ten times better.
Pull ups develop simian strength. You’ll be surprised what you’ll be able to do on the mat once you get into a routine.
Here’s a video highlighting common mistakes:
Next I like the DIVE BOMBER PUSH UP / HINDU PUSH UP.
Legs spread apart, arms too and then you scoop down and up. Some people like to scoop both forwards and backwards. I think that forwards is enough, if you keep your repetitions high.
Work in sets as well and do some high counts. I do sets of 30, as many as possible. Get used to working till exhaustion. Learn your limits and increase from there.
We often quit before we have to because we’re just not used to the pain and pushing our bodies. But soon you’ll learn what you can and can not do. Keep working.
This type of push up works the entire body, especially the core, and you’ll feel it right away. I think it’s one of the best body weight exercises ever created.
Here’s a version of the dive bomber push up or hindu push up:
Last I like to do HINDU SQUATS.
Try and keep your heels on the ground until you can’t anymore. Bend your knees over your toes only. Don’t let them bend in or out. This puts added stress on the joint.
Move your arms like your rowing a boat as you go up and down.
This exercise is brutal. Start with 50. Work your self up to insane numbers. I once did 500 without stopping.
Your lungs will feel like their about to explode. The muscles on the leg are the biggest of the entire body so this will really get your heart going.
Leg strength is easily overlooked, but once your legs get into the act, you’ll be amazed how fast you’ll be able to move and how much more over-all power you’ll have.
When you do them for the first time, be prepared to be sore for at least two or three days after.
Here’s a proper Hindu Squat:
These are my favorite exercises to get you into the best combat shape of your life. Do them often and do a lot of them. You’ll notice the difference right away and your training partners will do as well.
Remember to always consult a doctor before starting any kind of exercise regiment.