Introduction to Our Website
By Julian Forbes
Founder of Karate Athlete
One of the most common errors made by Martial Artists is to adhere to the misconception that their dojo training is sufficient to carry them physically and mentally to the medal rounds of a competition.
While this may be true on a local or regional level, world class, and even most national champions supplement their technique training in the dojo with additional conditioning training which helps build the necessary properties his or her body needs to perform their techniques at an optimum level. Conditioning consists of building up the cardiovascular capacity of an athlete as well as the individual strength, stamina, and explosive energy of specific muscles needed to execute the techniques that will bring home the gold.
European karate athletes have known this for decades, and with the help of government sponsored programs, have had the benefit of sports doctors who developed ancillary training exercises to maximize their potential in the ring. The results speak for themselves. Europeans have dominated the World Championships for the last three decades and counting.
While the concept of going up and down in lines doing a technique again and again is great for the beginner, the advanced or competitive athlete must take their training to the next level. This isn’t bowling. You are demanding more of your body than in almost any other sport. Yes, sport. When you compete, it becomes a sport. Like any other sport, you have to prepare your body to meet the challenges it will face. In the case, of bowling not much physical conditioning is necessary… not so for karate!
What separates your jab from your opponent’s, other than reach, which is an entirely different topic? Speed, power, precision and timing. Precision and timing are worked on in the dojo and with focus pads. Speed and power are what you can develop during your conditioning training. You need to develop explosive speed to launch the punch as quickly as possible with as little warning as possible. You need power at the end of the punch. Remember your high school physics: Force = Mass X Velocity. The faster your punch, the harder its going to feel on impact.
In order to achieve increased speed, explosiveness and strength to deliver the maximum power, you need to do exercises that compliment what you are searching for. Going to the gym and bench pressing 300 lbs and curling 200lbs is more than likely going to bulk you up with strong, but slow muscles that will tire after a few punches. Not what you need for this sport.
On this website, Champions and the best Sports Doctors and Scientists will give you specific training tips. The Champions will tell you how they as individuals trained to achieve success, while the Doctors and Scientists will tell us all how we could be even better. The funny thing you’ll notice about Champions and successful people in general… they are always open to learning something new. Einstein once said: “All I know, is that I know nothing…” With those words of wisdom in mind, whether you’re a World Champion already, a national coach, or a beginner, enter here with an open mind where there are no egos and you have nothing to prove. Read, experiment, learn and advance.
If you don’t have one already, I strongly recommend that you get a Training Diary. This is just any old calendar book but devoted exclusively to monitoring your training sessions. In it you will describe each and every training session. What did you do? How did it go? Did you have problems with any parts of it? Did you feel pain, sustain injuries etc.? How did you feel at the end of the session? Monitor heart rates and length of work outs. Why chronicle your training like this? Because, weeks or months later you may want to review what led to an injury or to a victory or how the rehabilitation of a particular injury went. You may want to change how you trained or perhaps repeat the process. Sounds trivial or unnecessary? Its not. If its good enough for World Champions, trust me, its good enough for you. It also gives you a moment to reflect on what you did and how you’re progressing. You may want to make changes to your routine. Its an important moment to study your progress.
If you have any questions or suggestions we would love to hear from you. Enjoy the site!