Endurance Training in the Martial Arts by Senior Master Ronald Stone
“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence”
Endurance is defined as the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. This especially implies an ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity such as running a marathon or engaging in a multi round boxing match. In the martial arts it may also be added that endurance can be the act or instance of suffering through or enduring many obstacles or hardships.
Endurance training is the act of exercising in such a manner as to increases the body’s ability to withstand difficult physical and mental activity for extended periods of time. Remember, to accomplish your goal, preparation is a key factor.
There are essentially two types of endurance training:
This type of training includes long periods of such things as Cycling, Running, Dancing, Team sports, Speed walking, Hiking, and climbing. Such exercises increase the body’s ability to capture, maintain and efficiently utilize oxygen, while at the same time properly eliminating waste products such as carbon dioxide.
2) Muscular endurance:
When a person has excellent muscular endurance, it means that they can perform strength exercises with proper form for an extended length of time without exhausting themselves. Obviously, weight training and ground exercises such as pushups, pull ups etc. when properly done will help build up muscle mass, and resistance. So, for proper endurance development add strength training to your regime. When endurance athletes include such exercises to their workout regimes they see increased energy, speed, and much less injuries.
It is important to remember that to optimize physical training one should remember to properly hydrate. The body is in large extent mostly water and this must be replenished along with the electrolytes that maintain molecular balance. It cannot be said enough; stay hydrated! Failing to do so can lead to the risk of muscle cramps and/or muscle fatigue. Furthermore, proper nutrition must certainly be considered. You can’t expect an engine to run-on low-quality gasoline or when there is also a shortage of oil and oxygen. The body of course is the ultimate engine. Top all that that off with proper vitamin and mineral supplementation and you’re ready to start an effective training program.
Warming up properly is also very important to prevent muscle strains, tears, or sprains. This warmup routine should include such things as squats, lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks and dynamic planks. Studies have shown that by performing a proper dynamic warm-up, you improve mobility, reduce the risk of injury, and stimulate the nervous system to improve movement.
Finally, it is very important remember to vary the rate, intensity, and variety of exercises that you routinely do. Certainly, intensity of training is very important. In fact, it is a hallmark of the Korean Martial Arts. A real-life situation requiring endurance however is rarely constant and when one trains the exact same way for extended periods of time regardless of intensity, the mind and body eventually will memorize the routine and adapt negatively in response.
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that a fighter who trains in a dynamic and rhythmic, but irregular manner can often defeat a fighter who is larger and stronger. This is because the highly irregular rate and rhythm of a prolonged fight will oftentimes tire the person who continually trains at a set pace.
An example of a set of endurance training after a rhythmic warm up might include five sets of the repetitions mentioned below. You may take a 1-minute break at the end of each set to catch your breath or to take some water and hydrate.
• Inchworms: 5 reps
• Push-ups: 10 reps
• Plank jacks: 15 reps
• Sumo squat: 20 reps
• Butterfly sit-ups: 25 reps
• Swimmer: 20 reps
• Dips: 15 reps
• Walking lunges: 10 reps
• Burpees: 5 reps
• 1-minute break
Now, add some reasonable strength training, say thirty minutes three times a week, with a day or two for the body to relax and recover, and you will have an idea of what a balanced initial training program might be like.
About the author: R.W. Stone is a veterinarian in Florida. He is an avid horseman, martial artist, best-selling western author, and a firearms enthusiast. Currently Stone is ranked a sixth dan in Haemukwan Hapkido, a third dan in Daehan Yudo and a second dan in Kukki TaeKwondo. He is the Master Instructor at the American Dragon Martial Arts Academies in Ocoee, Florida. Read his daily thoughts on Martial Arts at www.facebook.com/groups/koreanmartialarts For more information visit www.kmaia.org