conditioning exercises

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Narrue, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Thank you Anak Murid,
    Since the topic is conditioning, I'm going back to the discussion :)
    I had mention before that as a student we have to question what is our objective in everything. If conditioning is merely for pure health, than aerobic dancing or step aerobic is an excellent exercises. If the conditioning to strenghten or buildup your muscles than lifting weight, if your conditioning for flexibility and versatility then doing a calesthetics exercises would good for that, etc. etc. Another words, we have to be very specifics about what we are doing thing, if someone tell you to do different, than ask a questions. A good teacher would appreciate a good and smart question.
    Many moons ago, so called silat guru told me that horsestance is good for student dicipline and strenghten lowerbody muscles. To which I'm agree wholeheartly. And that's okay if he chooses to do that. IMHO. I will direct students to do langkahs/jurus, or kembangan for an hour none stop instead of HORSE STANCE for two hours.
    In modren times, we invest something to gain something, we have to be very specifics. If you want to have a good kick, horsestance will not help you as much as you think. To have a good kick, you have practice kick religiously. To say that as we grow old we have changes the conditioning type is probably correct, however, why we doing the harsh conditioning in the first place.
    Another example, punching the makiwara till the knuckles bleeds and build calousus (sp?) so your knuckles will be strong when landed the punches.
    That's not true at all, you have to have a tight fist to have landed a safe punches. Otherwise, strong knuckles will survive the impact but your wrist will be broken :)
    Let analyze this, hitting makiwara relgiously with the risk of having rhematicims in old age just for that? Or for an instant grafitication?
    Its not worth it, right? So asky your self, is a better way to conditioning myself to support my movements and techniques?
    I was a lucky guy, I guess, my Sensei is an MD, he able to relate the body mechanics to what we are doing, what parts of muscles are involved to support that movements/techniques. He is not big on lifting weights or horse stance or immobile exercises. "Immobile is a bad habit" He said.
    He would rather telling us to do a form with a lower stances and later on he would instruct us to lower our stance till we scream with pain only after doing one short form. He preferred punching/kicking air with speed than punching or kicking bag. Do sambut menyambut much more that one puch and block.
    But again, he could be wrong too. So we both can be wrong and this is my opinon and I approve this opinon :)
  2. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Hi Tristan,

    The 3 hours (your taking away 1 full hour of grueling pain!) Kuda Kuda, was part of a special type of endurance training we were doing at the time (There is our 'purpose'). I did say "It was part of some special training we were doing.. was one of the things that we had to do.. and yes.. just about!" This isn't something that we do every day/week/month. This exercise showed us several things... one of them being the fact that the human body can endure much more than we sometimes give it credit for.

    As far as the more Japanese oriented exercises like punching makiwara boards, or Thai exercises like rolling your shin with bottles, etc... we don't do any of that. The training should be conducive to your long term health, as well as the more immediate benefits.

    The reason we train hard while we're young is because we can. In the West, more and more people are taking performance enhancing drugs, doing some serious weight training, etc... As silat people, we don't do this. Our advantages lie elsewhere. Some of them are technical, but another should also be cardiovascular and strength.

    I have seen many people practicing martial arts, silat included, who have used a multitude of excuses to not train hard.. the old "It's too deadly to train that way" or "My eye gouges will protect me..." and then see them gas out after 20-30 seconds of relatively demanding physical activity. This is unnaceptable if you take your silat seriously.

    Also, lets remember that there are hundreds of silat styles, so chances are that certain differences in training methods & ideologies will exists.
  3. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    wali,as a muay thai instructor i have to inform you that i have NEVER seen any nak muay(thai boxer) in thailand use a bottle to condition their shins,and i have spent 2 years of my life there(adding up all my trips) and stayed/trained in more than 15 camps,sorry for going of topic guys but that one and the "kicking trees"myth are 2 of my pet peeves! :)
  4. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Hi FireCobra,

    I have gone on what several Muay Thai Boxing instructors and some reputable Thai Boxing websites have stated... sorry if this is a misconception!

  5. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    hi wali,no need to appologise sir,i cant say 100% that this type of practice was never used by anyone in thailand,just that it seems to be one of those urban myths,and as i stated earlier i have never seen it practiced or heard it talked about in thailand,one of my teachers(a thai national) would of called me a stupid boy if i had mentioned doing this in front of him!,but then he called me that alot! he he :)
  6. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    I think of training and life in general as a piece of string full of knots. The length of string represents our path or journey whilst the knots represent obstacles on our way. Thing is you can only undo one knot at a time and when you undo it you can be sure there will be another to follow. That one knot is your short term goal, to be free of all knots is your long term goal. Will you ever achieve it, in time yes. In the end everyone makes it to the Finnish line.

    People can not always see what is far ahead of them, best they can do is see obstacles directly in front and deal with them. Each knot is tied differently and needs to be approached differently. Some are easy whilst others are complex. Each knot requires some type of hardship or sacrifice but with that when you finally undo each knot you find it has a teaching or lesson to offer you. You can either see your journey as a path full of hardship or a path full of teachings.

    We can tell others how to undo knots but it’s up to them to do it. Let’s say for example a person realises that their physical strength is not as it should be. They have realised that that limitation is a knot on the path and it must be removed. Physical strength originates from the muscle so they realises that physical exercises are required to undo this knot. What exercise they chose is up to them, those who understand the knot well will chose an appropriate solution. Those who do not understand the obstacle in front of them are in danger of making a bad knot worse.
    Have you ever set down with a spool of thread, rope or cable and try to undo the tangled mess only to find you make it worse. If you think about it the reason you made it worse is because you could not understand it and the reason you could not understand it was because you could not SEE your way clearly through the mess. Seeing or observation is the key to undoing knots (understanding problems).
    The person who felt they needed more strength may overcompensate and end up a bodybuilder, in this case he made the knot worse.
    Everyone has different weaknesses (knots) so we all need to focus on different things, therefore training will vary between individuals. Thing is to observe weaknesses (knots) carefully allowing us to find solutions more effectively through understanding what is really in front of us.
  7. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Benefit of training "hard"?

    Training hard can be a blind approach. If one trains hard without insight and intelligence, you might be setting up strong neural pathways for a mediocre result. Of course, insight can vary depending upon which knot we are currently experiencing (Thnx Narrue!).
    Post standing (CMA terminology for keeping a stance for a period of time) IMO does confer benefit because it teaches our muscles how to balance in reponse to gravity for the most efficient way. Having said that, based on my personal experience I rarely do more than 15 minutes at a time.

    I also concur with Mas Tristan that hitting air is very beneficial. When a person experiences the connectedness and integration of their body structure while moving, it reveals pahong as a valuable training method.

    1/ Make sure that endurance (cardio-vascular system) is good. That is a foundation requirement.
    2/ Make sure that muscular fitness is also there. It is also a foundation.
    3/ Develop and maintain a full range of movement for joints and muscles. That is also a foundation.
    4/ Then (as another foundation) explore your body relationship to gravity. Explore your silat system vis-a-vis gravity etc. Slow movement helps to integrate the intent with the body and is a very important way to train. Afterall silat (any combat system for that matter) it is primary how we move isn't it?

    Add all these foundations together and you have a good platform to mastery.

  8. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    I also agree that hitting the air a is very good method of training especially for balance and trying to "make the air pop" speed/power training,good breath work to! :)
  9. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    Repetition is the Gruel...

    I have never used any equipment to train, appart from the stagen to avoid hernia when doing alot of jumps and squats. In the silat I experience the gruel is in the there is the practise of jurus over and over again, punching air, sempok-stand up exercises, rolls and jumps and so on. A simple move can be very hard if you have to repeat alot. For example holding arms straight in front and rotating the wrist is easy, but if you do it for half an hour it burns. One exercise we do is 'playing with water' which is done in an Indonesian bath. You put your hands in the water up to your wrists or a little deeper and clench a fist and flick out your fingers for half an hour or so 5000 times. It makes your forearms dense and hard but not with huge muscles and aids to achieve the 'sound of one hand clapping' when you punch air.

    Actually I have also heard that sempok-stand-up and punching air exercises will teach your body to understand the energy of silat, mainly the circular twisting and the straight line.

    Warm salaams to all,
  10. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Salam Mas Bram,
    Hey now...that's from the old school and I'm so familiar with that :) Brings back a lot of memeory to me. Good exercises with multiple benefits. :)
    To add from the gruelling exercise of sempok-stand up and punching air, in addition, we also do sempok-stand up, and kicking air then move ie: drop to face 12 oclock then drop to face 6, drop to face 9 then drop to face 3 o'clock, continue with drop to face 11 then 5 and to 7 then 1 o'clock.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
  11. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    ouch that sempok execise brings back memories as i sit here typing! another good one is satu walking up hill! :)
  12. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Training in the water, I love that! I don’t live close to the sea :cry: But when I was on holidays I did training everyday in the sea.
    If you’re looking for an exercise to make you tough try swimming in the sea or lake in the middle of winter every day when it’s freezing cold.
    Was in Ireland last winter where they do it quite regularly (out in the sticks), have to say mostly the older generation, they believe it’s good for health. Seen people taking an early morning dip in the icy water…….was tempted to join them but I didn’t have my trunks….that’s my excuse anyway :D
  13. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    that they do narrue,and they drink several pints of the black stuff to(guiness) :)
  14. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    The finger/palm flicks can be done in the air too, at any-time one has the opportunity. The resistance is greater in water of course, but with dedication the benefits will also accrue without water :) . I never practice the finger flick in water (I prefer showers :D ) ... but yes it does work exactly like Bram said.

    It is rather important in any phyiscal activity to have flow. I keep that criteria in mind when doing any type of conditioning training. And then there is also conditioning the mind to be not relying on old hard-wired concepts and conditioning that might not be maximal to what is around ;) ... sometime we need to be gentle with our programming.

  15. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Salam Mas Krisno,
    I agree with you wholeheartly....
    Water exercises? I do not remember doing silat exercise in the water...Is this really part of silat exercises? Hmm very interesting, indeed. If that so, this is Japanese/Chinese influence if I may say so.
    The water exercises in general is good, however, we may have to consider of how good are the student's techniques without resistance (in land), if the student is still not able to do the technique correctly without resistance, then what in the hell that they have to do it with resistance? IMHO, the water conditioning to the students will reinforce the bad habits and mistakes.
    I'm not critizing the exercises, just wondering about the cost and benefit :)
    The BS bell is started to shakes :) Is not ringing yet :)
    Silat is about flow, is about subtleness, is about understanding the effect of our movements and prepares you for the next movements.
    If I have a choice between training in water and training in slow motion in land. I would choose slo mo training, it is easier to correct the mistakes than in the water. But again I'm not a King Neptune just an WSI from Red Cross :)
    Warm regards,
  16. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Rahayu Mas Tristan,
    I prefer slo mo on land too. I do not (or ever have) trained specifically in water. I was responding to the previous post by saying that the same exercise (palm open/close or finger flicks) can be practiced without the benefit of doing it in a Indonesian mandi (as posted by Bram) :).
    The bit about the shower was a joke ... hehe.

  17. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    The only water training I do is Swimming - as it should be.
  18. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Actually (having thought about it some more) it could be beneficial to put prejudices aside and think about it a little. One could conclude that the resistance provided by training in water can have a positive effect! And then again one/some might not.

    The fighting philosophy of adaptive method is a valuable tool if a person can use it! Once you have a base from which to work, explore and be curious about what you currently consider to be the truth and sometimes the opportunity will be there to expand. ;)

    Silat is a personal journey and each of us approach it differently, even when the source (combat) and the conclusion (personal insight) of the journeys are in parrallel.

    Now this is my personal opinion only ... I think that silat Melayu is primarily influenced by silat Tionghoa ... but then went on to develop it's own unique flavour ... as it should be!

    No BS! :Angel:

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  19. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    Salaams all,

    I never spoke about training in water rather I mentioned a particular fore-arm related exercise called 'maen aer' in Bangau Putih silat, which does have firm roots in the Bogor Chinese community. The exercise is you put your hands in water and flick-clench-flick-clench. I would not recomend training in water the movements birthed to be trained on the floor but this flick exercise can be done in the air and also in water.

    An other conditioning exercise we do in pairs is we swing our forearms against each other left low right low left high right high turn around left low and so on, for strengthening the forearm and training to follow and create a rythm. Some also do this exercise against young trees the size of a human thigh to a human body.

  20. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    muay thai(boran-old style) boxers would train in water using their knees etc,i have tried it but not gave it enough chance to attain any benifits that may come from training this way :)

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