My question on "How to improve Kumite" and the subsequent answers led me to think...what about using weights? I have a few dumbbells lying around with weight-plates of 1-7kgs, but haven't used them in ages...do you recommend them?
a) Do you feel that weight training will improve Karate technique quality and/or effectiveness of moves?
b) Are dumbbells the optimum way to weight-train for a karateka?
You could always carry the dumbells around in your sports bag and if the Kumite fails you could hit them with the said bag!!
Seriously though, why waste all that time pumping iron when it could be used more effectively.....karate technique practice increases karate technique.....SIMPLE!!
All of our Kihon and kata contains dynamic tension exercises when performed slow, if you devise a training programme suited to yourself that includes all kihon and kata being performed from really slow to all out controlled and effective movement you will notice the improvement in effective kumite technique that should not require any add on.
Speed/strength and effective body dynamics are not something we acquire overnight, it is an accumulative process honed over time.
Hmm, I can`t agree with that I`m afraid Alan, even limited contact, point scoring kumite benefits from strength training. To safe-guard against injury it is important to have a strong posterial chain and all kicks benefit from strong core muscles. Now i agree that years of karate training will strengthen those muscles along with all the others but that is only if by some chance you avoid injuring those muscles during that training. It is putting the cart before the horse. Strengthen those muscles with supplementary training and you make quicker gains and avoid strain. All sports recognise the value of weight training I cannot see why karate would be any different.
Deepak, you dont mention how many plates you have ? for instance 7k would be a little light but 2x7k plates on one dumbell would be a good starting weight for the same aerobic exercise you can perform with a kettlebell. aim at improving to 16-20k . 10-15 reps and 3 sets each.
Post by Allan Shepherd on Jul 9, 2013 17:32:50 GMT
My point was that you do not need weights to acquire strength!!
I never used weights throughout all my physical activities that included Gymnastics, Cycling (road and track), Field/Track, Judo, Jujitsu and now Shotokan Karate. I developed great core strength with my experiences of body dynamics related to all these activities but it did not prevent me having a prolapse disc aged 42 and two further prolapsed discs aged 64 within my work environment.
Sorry to disagree but ALL sports do not recognise the value of weight training simply because ALL sports do not advocate their use.
I have to come clean and say I'm a big fan of weight training and that being fitter and stronger is a pretty much always good thing (if only I put that into practice
I think in the context of the question as asked I'd have to side with Allan, if you want better karate technique then practice your karate! Conventional basics are heavily geared to providing the level of physical conditioning required for karate.
I speak from the other side of this as a big, strong (albeit now quite old) guy, you can wing it a long time on brute force alone and I spent a long time in my karate just doing that with poor fundamental technique but eventually you will hit the limits with that path, I have spent a lot of time in recent years correcting bad habits that I should never have progressed with
Weight training is a fine addition to karate training but if you only have limited time get the karate right first would be my recommendation (ideally you want to do it all but you need to prioritise).
BTW You can do a lot with just a set of dumbbells (or without any kit at all) as far as resistance training is concerned.
Bob Davis "beware of anyone who has all the answers, it's a sign you are just not asking the right questions"
More reps & less weight! No power lifting! We are not body building here. We want muscles that are elastic. I know guys who have huge biceps but they can't extend their arm to punch properly. But, yeah! Weights can help if done right. The rage nowadays is kettle bells.
@jim, I have 2x of (1kg, 2kg, 3kg and 7kg). and 4 dumbbell rods - so that I can have 2 pairs of dumbbells at a time.
@bob - you say we can do a lot with dumbbells - but what are the recommendations? A typical book on dumbbells provides about a 100 exercises - but what are best, given the limited time? Should I focus on shoulders or chest for example?
@tom - thanks! Noted the mantra about high reps low weights - will use that religiously!
@allan - thanks for the tip on slow kihon to improve strength! It's a very useful input, since I spend all my "self-training" sessions in either calisthenics or kata! This will be a welcome addition!
One more query! I've read about kettlebells earlier too in this forum, but this is something new for me - I googled it and came up with "kettlebell swings" just swinging a heavy weight from between the legs to above the head - is this really useful? Is there something I'm missing?
Deepak, the weights you have are fine and you could devise a useful routine with just that set. Kettlebell swings are excellent aerobic exercise and will work core muscles and posterial chain so, quads, glutes, back and shoulders. My own routine concentrates on arms, especially triceps, shoulders, chest, and lats as these are often engaged in blocks. Bob, I agree that the best exercise for karate is karate and only advocate weight training as supplemental but i do believe strengthening is a great safeguard against injury. I think instructors have a duty to stay current and give best advice we can to our students. I was told years ago not to weight train as large muscles would hamper rather than help. ( Tell that to Terry Oneil ) we hopefully have moved on from that. Also current medical advice for us more mature folks is that strength training is beneficial to mobility. Boy do I need that!
Sport specific training requiring impact is always good when you do not have that much time to spend in the gym. But for over all health, weight training, cardio training that has some impact on the body, and stretching is always good.
I used to weight train so I could hit better and move quicker. I then realized the best way to get what I want was to hit things and move quickly while doing it. You want to get good at kicking, kick a sand bag as hard and as quick as you can. Just remember to not over train or over do it. Listen to your body. The same goes for any other technique you might want to try.