Friday, April 21, 2006

Cardio For the Martial Arts

In Cardio For the Martial Arts, Stephan Kesting covers a topic which is pertinent to anyone who wants to be a better fighter. Do you need good cardiovascular endurance to defend yourself? Not necessarily (most fights are over very quickly), but if you want to have the endurance to get through training, and actually improve, well that's another story.

Different reputable sources inform us that you don't need to do cardio -- just spar really long rounds (for grappling), or that you should spar twice as many rounds as you are going to fight (boxing), or that you should do sprints, or do long runs, or lift weights for muscular endurance, etc. With so many 'experts', it is no wonder that the answer isn't cut and dried.

I have my own beliefs and they seem to work fairly well for me. I noticed a couple of years ago that my techniques worked best and my sparring was sharpest not when I was stronger but rather when my 'cardio' was at its peak. Because I wasn't getting winded in sparring, I was able to think and make coherent plans throughout the match. At the time I was running 3 or 4 times a week, for 20 to 50 minutes at a time in preparation for the fire department entrance test.

The more research I have done on running, the more I have come to realize that there are different levels of intensity for cardio and that it is important to spend quality time in most of them. It is probably true that one could substitute wrestling, uchikomi, kicking the bag/pads, or sparring for 'traditional' exercises, and that they would develop more sport-specific skills. I do a lot of running, biking, stairmastering or stair running, however, because of 4 reasons...

I found this on DolfZine, but I think the article is the same one on Grapplearts. Either way, read it!

No comments: