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15

Kicking has four parts to it: flexibility, technique, focus and ab's. For the flexibility, I have found PNF stretching to be quite beneficial. This is a form of stretching that uses periodic resistance/contraction followed by relaxation to achieve a deeper stretch and excellent long term results (here is a reasonable Youtube example). Of course flexibility ...


9

One of my favorite exercises in that area is holding a side kick against the wall. You execute a side kick with your foot against the wall, and then you shift your weight forward until your foot no longer slides down. This will only work if you hold your leg at least in a horizontal line. Once you have some balance you can work on height. If you get your ...


7

As my sensei says, "there is the right amount of power and speed in the technique". Basically, what he is saying is that if you do it right, the speed will come on its own. Foundation That said, there is a difference between speed, strength, and power. It's one thing to say you can put 400lbs on your back and squat with it. That speaks to strength. ...


6

There are some very extensive answers on this stretching question on Fitness.SE, which I will use as the basis for this one but adapt in relation to martial arts. Dance, particularly ballet, seems close enough to martial arts due to its large range of motions. Not all martial arts feature extended leg movements, but you can probably infer to some degree how ...


5

Stairs work really well. Power up and down, take them multiple steps at a time, go sideways, backwards, everything. Put as much vertical power into your step as possible. Second thing to try is working in front of a mirror or with a videocamera. This way you can watch your form and see where your sticking points are and where you're making unnecessary ...


5

What do you do to an old engine the first time you start it up ? You warm it. Literally, the most important thing is making sure your friend is actually training. Pay attention to the body warmth, not only when it comes to warm up (also very important), but also right after the end of the training. Gradually, he should come out of the dojo as warm (sweated ...


5

Slugster's great post forgot to mention relaxation. Conditioning to build strength and improve flexibility is very important. However, fast, fluid motion also requires you to be relaxed and it's harder to achieve relaxation of the large leg muscles than it is of the arms. One drill I give people is to get a pile of cushions at a height they can ...


4

A fun way to work on balance (and endurance) is to stand in your kick stance, and draw out the alphabet with your kicking leg. This doesn't really work your actual kicking technique much, but it will work your balance and your endurance and strengthen all the muscels needed for kicking, and therefor your balance and technique will improve.


4

I have vague memories of simply trying various kicks in slow-motion, trying to keep my balance, until I could do most of them without losing my balance. Alternatively, try to just lift one foot off the ground from a "feet together" standing position. The foot only needs to be lifted until it's no longer touching the ground. Try to keep your balance. After a ...


4

Here's the thing about shoulder pain: it might be a muscle strain, it might be partial tendon tear, it might be a pinched nerve, it might be bursitis, it might be a lot of things. Now, depending what the problem is, massage might help, rest might help, strengthening might help, stretching might help, ergonomics might help... hell, surgery might help. On ...


3

From what I've read regarding stretching is that your muscles need to be warm. Whether you do jumping jacks, jump rope, run, practice your forms, it doesn't matter. You need to get your muscles moving first. After that, it seems that dynamic stretching is more beneficial before exercise, and static stretching is better as a cool-down activity. You can ...


3

When talking to people about this specific problem in class, I usually surprise them with my comment: "stop standing on your heel." If you are light on your heel but strong on the ball of your foot you have several advantages: You are using your calf muscles. They're very strong and confidence inspiring. You have less rotational friction than a planted ...


3

Do not over do it. Warm up before and down after each class. Eat well, hydrate before and after class, and keep in mind that doing things slowly is good at first. You can always speed up later once you know the form/kata/technique.


3

The body they have now is not the body they used to have. They may need a lot of attention for a few months, if they are not very self-aware, because they may try to do what they remember, and damage their body in the process. The best way is to start like any beginner would. Learn the basic movements. Slowly go down into the stances, getting feedback from ...


3

First, it's normal to have hip soreness when beginning or restarting TKD. It's hard to say if you're causing yourself real injury, and as always I suggest you consult a physician if this is a real concern for you. Only you can really tell if the soreness/strain you're feeling is the normal soreness of training, or a sign of something serious. Monitor it ...


2

I would suggest doing kicks or your kata with a blindfold. This is usually much more difficult for older people as well, so if you are taking up the sport as an adult it can be very challenging and you'll get a few laughs out of it too!


2

Some techniques to improve balance include getting into a horse or front bow stance, slowly go through all of your kicks 10x, bringing the leg up to chamber, turning between 90-180 degrees slowly, extending your kick, turning back to the original position, then down to the original stance. Once you can do each kick up to 10x without losing your balance, ...


2

I'm fifty two years old. Returned to Ninjutsu after decades of inactivity. After a few years I've had to stop training because of a back injury. My way back into training involved a one year term with the long staff: This allowed me to stay mostly upright, and not put a load on my back. Moreover, the group I've joined is a women's one, and is defined as ...


2

I suspect there are hardly any interesting scientific studies on this topic. Most studies I've read focus on popular sports like soccer, football or running. I was able to find two papers that did look (sort of) at martial arts: There is this paper but since they've measured bench-presses instead of actual training or fighting effectiveness I don't think ...


2

Both! Starting with dangerous: Obviously, if your partner pushes you to hard, you could easily over stretch and tear something. Just like if you try to stretch to much, or to cold by your self and over do it. Now on to the good stuff: It is absolutely beneficial. The one technique that I use quite often is to have yourself stretch to as far as it's ...


2

Static Stretching Doesn't Go in The Warm-up I disagree that the exercise science is of mixed opinion or quality. It seems pretty clear to me that static stretching before dynamic exercises is contraindicated. Warm-up before working out, but don't sit down and relax into a stretch, or hold it for thirty seconds. Per Tom Kurz, a martial artist who ...


2

There are many possible causes for this roadblock to your stretching improvement. Firstly, I would recommend a stretching program, not just a drill, that you do regularly outside of class several times a week. Tom Kurz book Stretching Scientifically can help with that. The key is to use effective stretching tools beyond static, passive stretches. Secondly, ...


2

Weakness It could be that your hip flexor was tired or even inflamed, since you're not used to raising your leg to the front. If this is the case, recovery and subsequent training over several weeks should resolve the issue. Inflexibility Though you can do a split to the front and back, maybe your dynamic flexibility is poor. Static flexibility does not ...


1

Muscles, Tendons, Reflex Reactions So, here's the important thing to know about stretching. Your body has natural reflexes in the muscle spindles which causes them to act as "brakes" to slow down a movement if it's being moved too fast for what the muscle expects. It's a way to prevent damage to the joints. So the point of stretching is that it resets ...


1

From Tom Kurz' Stretching Scientifically, page 25, it's a great book, pick it up: The practice of using partners in stretching is a waste of time, and it is dangerous. The helper is neither stretching nor resting. This is an important point to remember: the wild inefficiency of partner stretching. Class time is valuable. Spending it holding someone ...


1

I think reaction time drills might suit you better. Like Dave said, spar copiously, but with intent. Work on conditioning yourself to not think, to kick. This is a basic overview of what you are trying to overcome, but its lacking on the practical ways to train it. I will see if I can dig up some actual exercises.


1

Spar copiously. Regardless of the physical attributes of speed, your reaction time will largely be determined by how quickly you notice your opponent moving in, and how well your nervous system is trained to react with that technique in that specific situation. No training outside of sparring can give you that kind of natural reaction.


1

Muscle, Tendon, reflex responses The body has a natural reflex response when a part of the body is moved too fast - it tightens muscles to reflexively serve as "brakes", to slow down the movement. This is specifically a response to try to prevent joint damage. This is a spinal reflex - the nerves send a response to the spine and the reflex is sent back ...


1

The question is whether that person who hasn't done martial arts in a long time has done anything to stay in shape over the years. If they have been sedentary for a long time, they will likely need to build up to a base level of fitness first. This is just to get the joints used to moving, build up some mobility, and add a bit of strength. If they are ...


1

I suggest walking up and down hills if possible. Then back that up with gentle stretching. Do that for 4-6 weeks and the body will have adjusted a bit to the stress of physical activity and loosened up a bit. Then can start trying out training. But make sure you arrive early, I'm 40, and I find I need to turn up to class a bit earlier and make sure I ...



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