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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:47 pm 
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I tend to shy away from conditioning because I want to go beyond strength and conditioning to a level of skill....but I guess that you have to accept that this is not totally obtainable, it has to be a mixture of attributes.skill ,strength and conditioning .......and of course each attribute brings with it negative connotations.............you can concentrate on conditioning but there are people who are naturally so much more powerful than you, strength the same.............and even knowledge.you can be trapped in a skillset that you think is unstoppable, but somebody may have greater knowledge........I suppose it is a mixture of hard and soft.....conflict and acceptance 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:11 am 
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Jorvik - Below are 2 variations of the general sport progression pyramid that I have seen in various books. You can see that in either case, sport-specific skill or technique is high on the pyramid and builds on an athletic base (flexbility, stability, balance, strength, cardio, conditioning). In other words, it's suggesting that practitioners should ideally have a solid foundation in those areas before progressing to technical mastery.

Over time, aging athletes in all sports begin to lose their physical prowess (cardio, strength, reflexes, recovery time, etc.) but can sometimes compensate for the negative effects of aging by continual refinement of their techniques. So as they get further and further from their physical prime, they can offset the impact of aging on their performance to a certain degree by continually perfecting their technique.

I realize that not all martial arts require the same degree of athleticism from practitioners but I would guess that one can still apply the general principle.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:22 am 
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I see body conditioning as an essential component of martial arts training.

Here's a link to my friend Ihor Rymauk, who I met at summer camp years back, and the inventor of the iron arm. He has trained in Okinawa and written a good book on Uechi Ryu.

http://uechiryu-karate.com/products_ironarm.htm

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How prepared is the average martial artist for REAL contact? Whether it be on the tournament floor, on the street, or even in a drill with a partner, a practitioner had better be prepared for contact just about anywhere on his body. If he is not, even those incidental bangs while executing the finest technique, can be damaging.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:23 am 
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It does not seem logical to spend one's time and energy getting "beat upon" during Karate training but that is the very thing that brings a heightened awareness in the individual of the frailties of the unconditioned flesh. The fear of blows to untoughened body areas instills a fear which in turn activates an instant withdrawal reflex. Proper conditioning results in the direct ability to absorb or deflect incoming strikes and to meet a confrontation with a much greater degree of confidence.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:24 am 
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The theory of conditioning is simple. By gradually working parts of the body with pressure or impact exercises, the body reacts by desensitizing, strengthening, and toughening the tissues in those areas. A classic example would be the carpenters' or masons' hands versus the clerks', or consider a baby's feet as compared to an adults feet after years of walking, running and jumping on them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:26 am 
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Your training is not complete until your conditioning is done. The purpose of conditioning is to strengthen, harden, tone, and desensitize specific areas of the body that may be required to endure contact in a physical confrontation.
Conditioning is a process of consistent, gradually accumulated training.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:05 am 
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good posts

I used to often say strong enough not to need skill and skilled enough not to need strength

that remains an ideal , though neither is truly acheivable it gives a mindset the third component , they all build on the other

Soft work and hard work are needed to balance each other, either extreme can be detrimental or just plain delusional.

Its difficult to go all in and in different directions , but IMHO there is no conflict , they feed each other.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Any activity that involves 'colliding bodies' or 'colliding body parts' demands a degree of conditioning.

We can have all the skills in the world, but it is a huge mistake to think that those skills will negate 'body collisions' in real fights or sporting events.

I suggest getting involved in either sparring practice or better yet, in some open tournament competition against different styles. It is there where some of our skills, and 'body collisions' will be tested unmercifully.

Even with skills, the time comes when you will have impact upon another body with your striking limbs, that if not conditioned for the collision, will either fracture or cause you so much shocking pain that you will mentally succumb.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:57 pm 
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From and article of George Chaplin
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Complications of Over Training:

Bones:

Bruised bones take a very long time to heal due to the almost non-existent blood supply. This can lead to some very potentially serious complications. The most unusual and worst these complications being Osteosarcoma or Bone cancer.

This is where the regenerative properties of the bone go haywire. In Osteosarcoma the cells change and go mad, proliferating at such a rate they destroy the bone they are supposed to be repairing. This very serious illness is often, but by no means always, set off by a severe bone bruise. Like all cancers, if it is not caught in time, it can be fatal and anyway it is always serious.

In young people it is more difficult to catch as it develops at an even faster rate than adults. The other serious complication of bone conditioning is infected bones, osteomyelitis.

This is where an infection sets into the body of the bone. Its main non-surgical cause is almost always trauma. The infection will eventually ulcerate out through the skin. It too can be life threatening because it can cause blood toxicity complications and very high fevers. It is always quite difficult to cure and will often break out again as the infection slowly smolders, undetected, through the bone.

Bad bone bruises can leave areas where there is too much calcium deposited or the deposits are wrongly laid down, which may have health implications in old age.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:01 pm 
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[quote]Muscles:

Deep muscles have such a rich blood supply that they bruise easily. In fact they can bruise so badly that they become flooded with blood. This can cause the muscle to swell in its fascial covering. When this happens in the calf it can cause the blood supply to the lower leg to become shut off. This carries the possible risk of gangrene in the lower leg if the circulation is impaired for a long period.

If the blockage is total gangrene will start in less than half an hour. This condition only likely to happen in the calf and is then known as Anterior Compartment Syndrome. It can usually be detected by acute pain in the calf itself and numbness around the second and third toes as the nerves serving those areas are similarly compressed along with the arteries.

The seriousness of Gangrene does not need amplifying and it too is associated with fever. Bad diabetics with impaired peripheral blood flow should be particularly concerned about gangrene in the foot. A very high fever associated with any bad bruise is a certain sign of serious difficulty and needs prompt investigation.

Another concern with bruises is those in the body of the large muscles themselves, usually the muscles of the thigh; Although the author has seen one in the biceps. When flooded with blood from a bad bruise haemotoma, the blood starts to form a new bone in the body of the muscle. This is heterotopic bone formation associated with charley horse or chronic cramps it is called myositis-ossificans. The small fragments of bone in the body of the muscle cause severe pain.

The ability of the muscles to form bone in this way is a method the body has developed for reinforcing areas of high stress. With trauma this useful ability is confused and forms bone in an inappropriate place. The chance of myositis-ossificans forming is often exacerbated by deep massage to a bruised large muscle.[/quote]

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Tendons, Nerves and Other:

To avoid serious injuries it is of course prudent to avoid damaging blood vessels and nerves, however, these are mostly well placed to avoid damage except, maybe around joints, e.g., around the wrist and elbow.

It goes without saying that joints of any kind can never be strengthened by conditioning. The last major complication to be concerned about in body conditioning is in the fascia of the tendon sheaths, tendons, and ligaments.

These do not have a direct blood supply and like periosteum they collect their nutriments from the thin fluid that passes between the cells. It is called the interstitial fluid. Therefore, without a blood supply they will not bruise.

Fascia, tendons, and ligaments don’t really bruise anyway because they are made of inelastic, tightly bonded molecules of collagen. These are so inelastic that they tear instead of bruising. Small tears are not very serious or complicated and will usually clear up with some rest.

Sudden impact onto a highly stressed tendon or ligament can often cause complete separation that will require surgical repair.

Major tears, whether complete or not, will weaken a ligament or tendon and the resultant scarring will leave it susceptible to more tears. This weakening can become chronic and cause the cessation of training.

Tendons run in a protective sheath. Bruise this and you run the risk of having the smooth slippery surface of the sheath roughening, the tendon will then grate every time it moves causing acute pain

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:05 pm 
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This can be seen in the knuckles of people over doing the Makiwara and punching hard objects like bricks as in Tamashiwara training. This condition, tenosynovitis, is not normally serious although it may be become chronic and require the cessation of karate training.

Why if there are so many dangers to over-zealous body conditioning do we do it at all? And indeed aren’t these dangers the reason why most systems practiced today don’t do it anyway? Well, the complications found in body conditioning are present in everyday practice when doing forms of fighting and sparring. What karate practitioner has never had a major bruise? If you are going to become bruised — and every one is — then it is best to prepare the body for the eventuality. A forceful punch that is wrongly blocked or not blocked at all will connect.

When it strikes the blocking surface it will hurt and could injure. This is such a regular occurrence that it is not even considered or thought about in most karate circles. A potentially stronger danger can come from actions such as leg sweeps and especially from poorly prepared demonstrations involving breaking techniques. Because conditioning can protect the body from inevitable contacts it should be started with the first lesson and kept up through out a karate practitioner’s life. They will then always be well protected. Protecting oneself from injury is surely the raison d’être” of karate training.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Conclusion:

All in all, conditioning is a useful adjunct to martial arts training, giving participants an opportunity to strengthen their techniques, and offensive and defensive natural weapons. It will enable the students to come face to face with the fear of being struck and to learn to accept and overcome this fear. It will also help to avoid, in their daily training, the potentially life threatening injuries that rarely but unavoidably do happen.
~George Chaplin

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Lesser amounts of conditioning in other areas that also occasional become hit, such as, the stomach, pectorals, and the latissimus dorsii muscles, is also undertaken. In Okinawa conditioning of the frontal lower throat area has been observed, the resistance being provided by forceful contraction of the neck muscles. This practice the author considers doubtful.

This and other extreme methods of conditioning seems to be a recent introduction to Uechi Ryu.

In conditioning the pectoral region of women care must be taken to avoid the breast tissue as bruising can cause fat necrosis. Besides the undisireablibity of necrosis, these post trauma, necrotic, lumps may potentially lead to a cancerous lump being missed or confused in manual breast examination.


A caveat...stay the hell away from this 'pectorals' banging due to dangers of commotio-cordis...strange that this never gets discussed in Okinawa when conditioning.

My view on this is that the teachers may not be too familiar with this danger.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Severe bruising is a sign of over vigorous application, if it continues with a lower intensity of conditioning bruising needs to be investigated as it could be indicative of blood or other medical disorders.

The bruising appears to be more common in students of poor physical condition and weak muscle tone. Younger students frequently achieve conditioning more quickly. Once it has been achieved, conditioning seems to last for a period of years after the cessation of active training.

The muscle tone and resistance to depression in actively conditioned areas appears to be very high. There is no sign of obvious damage and no changes in skin texture or coloration were observable.

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