Dynamic Warm Ups

Most of us that have been practicing karate for any length of time have seen some real stinkers of warm up routines. Routines that may have made sense to physical education instructors in the 1940’s and 50’s have for some reason been exempted from reexamination as regards to karate training. The bunny hops, pre-training splits, hurdler’s stretches, and reverse butterflies still practiced in many dojo as warm ups can do more harm than good. Most contemporary fitness professionals eschew static stretches, prior to intense activity, in favor of dynamic/active warm up routines. Considering that karate practice can involve rapid changes in direction, rapid loading of the body for lifts, falling at a moments notice, impact, and joint locking and twisting techniques, we should take great care to make sure our warm up routines are actually helping. Here are a few videos of more contemporary dynamic/active warm up routines that may spark some new ideas for you.

Happy training.

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3 responses to “Dynamic Warm Ups

  1. You know it’s kind of amazing how much more we know about how to get the human body physically fit than we knew, say, 50, or 100 years ago: our elite athletes today are so much fitter – stronger, more flexible, with better muscular endurance, better cardio-vascular endurance etc. – and it is striking that has happened as the average fitness level in the general population has dropped. (That last claim might need restricting to the first world in the 2nd half of the century.)

    I’m always struck by the contrast in these two videos, that show the New Zealand All Blacks in 2004 and 2006:

    And this one, which shows the team in 1925:

    People might say that you can’t get fit without putting in effort, and no doubt that’s true, but with the knowledge and nutrition available today, with the same effort you can get a hell of a lot fitter than you used to be able to.

    Which is just to say: work hard AND work smart.

  2. I expect some people will say that karate is not a sport so the point is not fitness. Somehow this is supposed to mean that poor warm ups are preferable. To those I suggest a pre-need payment arrangement with a good surgeon in order to keep costs manageable.

    I loved the videos of the hakka. I imagine that if I was on the opposing team watching this by the end of the performance there would be a suspicious looking puddle on the field right where I stood (strategically placed of course).

  3. Adam says, Seriously, I am not Mr. Karate.

    Fitness is intrinsic to combat training and conditioning.

    If not, why did I have to wake up early in the morning to do physical training in the Army?

    Why do Green Berets, Navy Seals, Rangers, Pararescue, and Marine Force Recon place a high emphasis on fitness? So they can later make a career as Chippendales after they get out?

    I don’t think so!

    (although a well chiseled body is an added benefit indeed, unless you are this stoned goofball here who will be always thin:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1f_6L9MopnM or if you are Butterbean)

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