By now we should know that hard work and dedication play a HUGE role in progressing in our training. However, if we apply those traits to specific elements of our training, we will see vast improvements in our all around skill. These are the following elements that need to emphasize when we train.
Agility is a the ability to move quickly and effortlessly for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. In martial arts, it is needed to quickly attack or defend whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Endurance means that you are able to perform certain tasks for an extended period of time. It does no good if you have excellent technique but run out of energy before you can complete the task.
To build endurance, you can start with simple short exercises, specific to the skills you wish to perform, at a steady pace and then increase the time and intensity as needed.
Speed is essential in martial arts. You must be fast enough to defend and quick to attack. Fast footwork is essential, allowing you to cover distance quickly and find openings to attack.
Power is defined as the ability to use as much strength and force possible. A simple physics equation is Mass x Velocity = Power or Force. Martial artist requires the use of the entire body in striking, kicking, grappling, or throwing. There are numerous ways to work on explosive power from weight training to plyometrics to kettlebells. Just remember to pay strict attention to your form to prevent injuries.
Your core is made up of the muscles that run the entire length of your torso. They are critical component in stabilizing the spine and pelvis in the chain that connects your upper and lower body. A strong core help to reduce injuries during training, improve throwing techniques and stabilize your base. Planks, crunches, stability ball exercises and other low back and stomach exercises will aide in strengthening your core.
Martial artists must always be working on their reaction time. This is how quickly you respond to a set stimulus within specific time frame. You need to be present and aware so that you respond quickly with the proper techniques at the right given moment. Sparring, partner drills and other exercise designed to mimic a cause and effect situation are all great ways to develop reaction time.
We emphasize that there are three primary reasons for developing flexibility. First is injury prevention. Next is for health and proper blood flow. Lastly, loose muscles move easier and faster.
There are many ways to work on your flexibility such as yoga, static stretching, mobility exercises with foam rollers and much more.
These are some of the important elements we should be trying to make improvements in. These do NOT have to be dramatic improvements every time as even a one percent improvement is making progress!