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Ever stub your toe twice?

Once I found something the other guy didn't like, I've always attempted to do it repeatedly. If it worked once and it hurt, it'll work again and hurt more. Saekson demonstrated that this hypothesis has validity.


Hypothesis: Martial arts stances and kata are not for fighting but a strength and conditioning program for fighting

Tradition is what we do because we are not comfortable with seeking evidence disagreeing with the way things have always been. It's not always a bad thing, the tradition of turkey on Thanksgiving works out pretty well for everyone except the turkey. When they get opposable thumbs I'll start worrying about it.
According to legend and somewhat supported by historical fact Bodhidharma was a Bhuddist monk who travelled from India to China via multiple other Asian countries and transmitted Zen to China. When he arrived he found the monks to be so out of shape that he provided them with instruction on how to hone their bodies called yi jin jing (muscle and tendon changing).

Apparently monks were regularly robbed and this instruction helped to decrease such activity. Perhaps Bodhidharma was preceding Gable with "Conditioning is the greatest submission hold". If you watch the video you will see a Shaolin monk go through exercises that are less combatative and more conditioning. Now if we expand the supposition that many martial arts have prearranged exercises that are at best suboptimal and look at their movements not as fighting but conditioning, it may explain why people trained in more traditional styles practice forms one way but fight another. Why do positions in yoga look so much like stances?
Since you had to do something while standing in awkward positions, why not codify some of the arts techniques into this training. I've heard multiple explanations for the low front, horse, crane, and cat stances, none of which have ever rung true. For example, "We train the low front stance so that when you are in a fight your natural tendency to rise up will give you a functional fighting stance". Or "Because Okinawa is a coral island, they could not move or fall because they would be slashed to ribbons by the coral, hence a low solid stances". This might further explain why kata is generally taught to people below shodan "first grade" or blackbelt. The first few years weren't teaching you to fight so much as conditioning for fight training in the future.

Iron and Latex

In the past few months I've been introduced to more ways to torture my sinews than before. As I've mentioned before I'm a fan of maximally efficient gains, in other words what gets me the most with a minimum of hassle and time consumption. There are numerous previous entries on high-intensity training and Tabata protocols. Following my surgery and rehabilitation I've met not only the iron I've also been playing with rubber (kinky I know). This is almost a modern parable of hard and soft styles, the yin and yang of conditioning. Its a little tough being a big bad fighter guy who gets a little shiver of fear when he sees a big rubber ball or resistance bands.
I consider myself a strong person, I can still lift and move weights that others find daunting, but this strength is deceptive. Why? If I was this physical uberman I wouldn't be writing about rehabilitating two knee surgeries as well as other injuries. Stabilizers and core are essential for strength, without them your body is exposed to forces that the primary muscle groups can handle but all the weaker links in the chain, specifically tendons and ligaments have to take up inordinate loads, they become the weakest link in the chain and the hardest injury to rehabilitate.
Primary, among my awakening are those damned stabilizers. Try standing on one foot, if you are wobbling it shows that various stabilizer muscles are firing, presumably too much to correct the deficits of other weaker stabilizers. The burning sensation is ischemia, literally those muscles are using oxygen more rapidly than your blood, lungs, and heart can deliver it to those muscles. Once you've mastered 30 secs, a minute, or two minutes whatever, try shifting your center of mass by bending your knee or reaching for the mat. Get a stabilizer pillow, the jelly donut version of a hemorrhoid pillow and stand on that, it works against your body's equilibrium establishing mechanisms, every correction making you feel like you wobble more. If those are working well try doing one-armed push-up hold or T-position. Once you've got the static part down you can start moving to dynamic movements like farmer's walk (walking lunge to lunge) or sideways lunge.
My new favorite toy are resistance bands. Typically in workouts the resistance is uniform, that is when one benches the weight really doesn't change. Resistance bands (and weight chains for that matter) increase resistance during the exercise, resistance bands are governed by F = -kx, the force is proportional to the distance moved. The further the conditioning band stretches the harder it is, usually at the limit of your bodies reach the weakest part of the motion. Aha! We are going to make you work hardest where you are weakest. I've tried shadowboxing in them, which turns 3 minutes of shadow boxing into a muscle burning good time (although I recommend doing both leads for symmetry).

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