You see guys at the gym, sweating and grunting while they work on those machine trying to get stronger, doing all these workouts to improve Karate. Well, I have always been a different kind of guy, going for the old school way of getting fit and getting in shape. My workouts to improve karate don't involve playing on some sissified equipment. Sure, I mean, that's good for the muscle boys and all, I mean, Bruce Lee was known for his "one inch punch." Do you think he got that kind of power from working on some machine? I highly doubt it.
So, if you are really wanting to get that kind of power, accelerate your learning and get your skills into shape, then you need to get off of those silly machines and get on the floor. Free weights can give you some of the strength training that you need to get the power that you want, but you need to hit the floor and really work out to get the results that you want. Pushups, fingertip pushups and other exercises that increase your core power will give our body a good foundation. But you gotta be focused in order to really get what you are going after in your workouts to improve karate.
My first piece of advice is to focus. Yep, that's right. If you want to sharpen your karate skills, you won't be able to do squat if you don't know how to focus your energies first. Meditate, do whatever you have to to get the level of focus that you need. Your spirit must be in tune with your body because if your body and spirit are going north and south, you will not have the power or the strength to be worth anything. This is why I say Tai Chi will balance your chi and keep your spirit and body in harmony. Then you will be free to focus on increasing your body's power and skills.
As for power and increasing your karate skills, you won't get that on some machine. The only way to do that is to hit the mats and do these exercises:
* Front Kicks against a pad - each leg (sets of 12) * Butterfly Stretch * Forearm Strikes against a pad - each arm (sets of 12) * Crunch Sit-Ups * Rear Leg Sidekicks against a pad - each leg (sets of 12) * Quadriceps Stretch * Pushups
You need to move quickly from one exercise to the next, keeping your heart rate up. Move quickly from exercise to exercise and do not stop in between. Keep your blood pumping and your heart rate up while you work so that you can get the most out of your workout. Don't wimp out and rest, keep going, NO MATTER WHAT. You can drink water while you work out. In fact, you SHOULD drink a lot of water while working out. I mean, how is it going to look if you dehydrate yourself and pass out in front of your buddies in the middle of your workout?
Yoshi Kundagawa is a freelance journalist covering the martial arts world. Too much time at his computer eating donuts reduced him to couch potato status. He's on a quest to recapture his youth and fitness. You can read his blog at http://www.martialarts3000.com
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