Cross Training in the Martial Arts

I have tried just about everything to cross train in the martial arts over the years. Everything from skating to climbing trees. I was searching for those exercises which would enhance my martial arts.
Interestingly, I found that a lot of the cross training practices degraded my arts. Reaction time might suffer, strength might suffer, speed might suffer, and it was all different from exercise to exercise.
shaolin kung fuI thought weight lifting would do the trick, but I found that it was a trade off. I gained bulk, but I lost fluidity. I also lost explosiveness, which a lot of people say they gain in. Hmm. Maybe I was just doing it wrong. Or, here is a thought, maybe I just didn’t do enough.
Running I liked the most. You get leg strength, but you have to time your runs. Make sure you leave enough space between running and working out. Got to let the body recover.
And yoga I liked the most, but I found that seeking bliss through the pretzelization of your body tends to soften the hard edge of mind that you need to really do the martial arts.
So, I finally decided on this mix.
Yoga to warm up for a run.
Don’t run too long, unless you have a day to recover, or your martial arts will suffer.
Martial Arts, lots of martial arts. This is the monkey on my back, after all.
Then Yoga to relax.
This last bit of Yoga is very important. Got to take time and make sure that when I mentally command the body to relax, for the muscles to slacken up and get over it, they really do.
When the yoga softens my mind too much, I do Sanchin, and other very hard karate kata.
When I’m physically tired I do tai chi chuan. A lot.
When I’m mentally tired I stop working out. Even go to sleep, or take a nap.
Don’t want to risk injury, and when you’re mentally tired that is when injuries most occur. Physically tired not so much. Mentally tired, be careful.
And that about sums up my cross training in the martial arts. Check out Monster Martial Arts and see the various kinds of martial arts I do.


2 thoughts on “Cross Training in the Martial Arts

  1. Al

    Good lord! I have enough trouble picking up my big clodhoppers, and you want me to strap on some planks and go skating? Hey, FOK…fill or kill? Never seen it before, but it seems to fit. You have a great work out. Al


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