Training Dont's - How to recognise bad practice

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Tom bayley, May 7, 2021.

  1. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I don't think a warm up is a requirement as a part of every class, personally.

    Beginning basic group classes, yeah. ok.

    But at a certain point, some classes are attended by more experienced people and we are expected to know how to warm up beforehand on our own before class. I would get annoyed with wasting precious instructor knowledge time on a basic warm up that I should know how to do myself.

    I attended a stretching class as a beginner. They did two person stretches. I had some young person who did NOT understand older people tend to not be as flexible. It took many years before I attended a stretching class again. To be fair, I think that instructor was not the norm. I have since been near stretching classes over the last 16+ years and have not seen two person stretches. So maybe our Sifu stepped in and put a stop to that when he heard?? The stretching class I did go to until COVID did not have two person stretches and was run by an instructor I hold in extra high regard. She got me past my reluctance based on my initial experience.

    Covid aside, I would only trust a very few of my closer fellow students to help with my stretching. People I trust to go slow and listen to me.
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  2. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Found an article which mentions the study:

    Stretching: The Truth (Published 2008)

    It's very old now and I havnt read it since 2008, so I'm sure things have developed since.

    Edit I remember this as being much more in-depth, oh well.
  3. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Been to classes where the "warm up" was 45 minutes of hell and other classes with barely any warm up at all.

    These days (if I have any control over it) I like my warm ups to...

    A - Gently replicate the kind of movements I will be doing with greater intensity later in the lesson (what do star jumps replicate?!)

    B - Make best use of limited training time by being generally combative in nature (low intensity patterns/kata, pummelling, hubud, co-operative clinch/grip drills, shadow boxing, ground flows, functional animal movement flows, etc, rather than star jumps and jogging on the spot)

    C - Systematically take all the major joints and muscle groups through rotations and mobility movements

    D - Increase body awareness, proprioception and control of the body in 3D space (I will include things like rolling, cartwheels, breakfalls, etc for this reason).
  4. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    But a warm up still takes place. Or at least a warm up is expected to have taken place. If I was teaching an experienced class I'd be happy enough to say "get here at 5:45 to warm up for a start 6" and then leave the warm up to the individual.
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  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Oh and something I add to a warm up when I teach is 3/4 minutes for people to mobilise or warm up something personal to them. No one warm up will suit everybody all of the time and everyone has their own problem areas or personal likes. I need to mobilise my spine and lower back for example. If there are beginners in the class I just say to repeat a movement they liked or found beneficial that we've already done.
    Tom bayley, axelb, hewho and 2 others like this.
  6. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I prefer to get my students to do two person stretches. when working on flexibility. Although I dont like the way this eats into training time. For me the key is that the partner is there to help the person stretching to maintain good form. The partner NEVER does anything to help the person into the stretch. NO PULLING, NO PUSHING. in stead they give the stretcher something to lean against and hold position after they have relaxed into the stretch.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  7. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    From the article linked in Davids post.

    So when it comes to stretching before physical activity there are different kinds of stretches and different kinds of physical activity.

    For me there are two sorts of static stretches, Warm up stretches and Flexibility stretches. Warm up stretches are 3o second light stretches of major muscle groups that as a weekend warrior I find really helpful to smooth out the snags and niggles in muscles before a training session. Flexibility stretches are still 3o long but usually performed with a partner. these are deeper stretches that improve flexibility of muscle sheaths over time. Both of these stretches are appropriate and beneficial for recreational exercise. I would put the classes I teach in this category and in my opinion the majority of martial arts classes would also fall in this category.

    I have never competed at a high level or prepared students to compete at a high level. I would be very interested to here from competitors what there pre competition warm ups are like.
    David Harrison likes this.
  8. IronMaiden1991

    IronMaiden1991 Active Member

    Agree strongly, but point 2 needs clarification on what you mean by 'stress' on muscles. Since muscles are the active element of movement required to warm up and increase body temperature through movement, they will undoubtably encounter some degree of stress (they passively do just by keeping you upright or in any position for that matter). Do I assume you mean 'undue stress?'

    As for rolling and breakfalls, depends, I've touched on that my response to the abusive training method practice. It's one of those context ones where you could reasonably get someone familiar with breakfalls (ie: judo students who know what they're doing) to do them as part of a warm up after elevating their heart rate and blood flow on soft matted floors for protection and absorption to practice the technique and be ready for randori where they will most likely need to use them. It's a different ball game throwing them at someone with no experience who doesnt need them on a different surface, say, a muay thai gym using them on hard floors.

    In my personal experience one gym that got me best at fighting itself from it's heavy emphasis on sparring and conditioning also had some questionable training methodology for long term training investment: heavy weights, high intensity high contact sparring continuously, extreme amounts of conditioning where the volumes on everything were excessively high for recovery even for some of the most athletic of us etc. This resulted in a high student turn over at the beginner-intermediate levels and I dont know of a single long term student without some kind of injury who quit with the same reasoning: It's too physically demanding now.

    I have a slipped disk in my back from a mix of manual labour jobs and injuries in my younger days, but even with my coach knowing this, I was made to do 100's of reps of exercises like burpees which are absolutely not recommended by any physician to people with back issues like mine and my coach decided 'well you've got to want it bad enough' as the reasoning. So I could risk screwing my back up, with potentially serious consequences, for a belt? And if I don't do it I can't pass, even after showing the syllabus correctly and meeting all the requirements of the grading and you throw that in at the end after I finished everything else? Seems rather sadistic and somewhat irresponsible in hindsight. I did it at the time but was not well afterwards. Surely we can adapt some things for students with injuries or ailments to not risk this, especially as we are not professional fighters? That's at least what I would do as a PT and if I got into it, a teacher of martial arts myself.
  9. IronMaiden1991

    IronMaiden1991 Active Member

    Coming from yoga, I hold one principle in mind: you go to the point of tension, and you don't put pressure directly on a joint. Supported work in yoga such as use of blocks and straps, is exactly what your doing, just using the partner, and that's a fantastic approach.

    I think if I were to teach, I'd probably have specific conditioning and flexibility classes geared to the martial arts students as a seperate thing where we could go more in depth.
  10. Leo Nilo

    Leo Nilo New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2021
  11. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

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  12. IronMaiden1991

    IronMaiden1991 Active Member

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