Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cause your workout is my warm up...

I saw the title as a quote on a shirt and thought it was funny, to some degree very appropriate.  Throughout my martial arts training I have not been as disciplined as I probably should have been which is in part why I have not excelled in some areas of my training.  I consider myself to be very knowledgeable but frankly I have reversed what Dr. Yang tells us about training.  Dr. Yang is a very knowledgeable martial arts instructor who studied under a couple of different masters in Taiwan growing up and has since continued to learn.  I have had the honor of working with his son Nicholas Yang and he too is very skilled.

Dr Yang said during some article I read recently that it is his opinion that training is 90% physical and 10% academic.  For the past couple of years I think my studies have been reversed.  Much more academic and little physical.  Not that I want to imply that I think I know better but my personal preference is something like 75/25 physical/academic but this means I need to hit to Dojo floor a bit more often for myself.  As a teacher, it is difficult to work out while teaching, at least not at the same level as the rest of the students.  My clients paid to be instructed and in order to do so I need to be paying attention to them.  That being the case, my workout needs to be some other time.  At least in my opinion.

As for the quote, my personal exercise regime has not reflected this concept in some time.  I have been doing martial arts or road work and rarely both in the same session.  On the other hand, in most of the martial arts classes I have taken, especially the more physically demanding classes like BJJ, the warm up really was what most people would do for their entire workout.  Running, calisthenics, stretching, etc.. All done before we actually hit the floor for our training time.

This is the model I need to institute for both me and my classes.  20 minutes of workout stretches, running, calisthenics, shadow boxing, etc....  Then on to skill building. I have done this to some extent in the past but I think I am going to focus on re-ordering the class just a bit for the next 3 to 6 months and see if I get a better response from my students and myself.


  1. I agree that it is difficult to workout while teaching. We set aside a night in the dojo for the black belts and instructors to train.

    I start class with stretches and then move on to basic drills to continue warming up.

  2. I agree it must be difficult to maintain your own training if you are doing a lot of instructing. My karate sensei meets up with other instructors from our organisation most weeks to train as well as taking a weekly aikido class (as a student). My jujitsu/kobudo instructor has private lessons with his sensei. I wouldn't be impressed as a student if I thought my instructors were not training themselves so I think it is important to find some time to do this. However, I do understand what you mean by the academic side taking over - I can sometimes be a bit guilty of this myself!