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Top 10 exercises for martial artists

For all of us that have trained in the martial arts, it is hard to ignore the mystique surrounding the assortment of combat arts in today’s society. We have seen Gracie Jiu-Jitsu succeed time after time in the Octagon. We have also watched hand to hand combat specialists knock opponents out with one blow. Whether you practice a grappling style, hand to hand combat, or have a background in the traditional arts, one must train the body, mind and spirit to truly understand pugilism. Some of the physical attributes of a complete fighter is speed, agility, strength, sustained power and strategy. Below are TEN major Total Body Exercises that will have an emphasis on different muscle groups needed to prepare for full contact-fighting. The concentration and neuro-muscular awareness needed to perform these exercises parallels attributes necessary for successful combat and strategic interventions. These exercises are derived from gymnasts, wrestlers, boxers and Judoka from around the world. They are advanced and they take total mastery of one’s body to accomplish. If you can perform these exercises, it would be safe to say that your core, periphery, and neuro-muscular awareness are at a level beyond many professional and Olympic athletes. Upon mastery of these skills, you have the physical potential to be successful at any sport or physical endeavor.

  1. Hand Stand Push-Ups. (use a wall if necessary)
  2. One Legged Squats. (use a door handle if necessary)
  3. Plyo-Push-ups. (try depth push-ups if necessary)
  4. Superman Push-Ups. (pelvis up first)
  5. Hanging Sit-Ups.
  6. Hanging Pikes or Hanging Clocks.
  7. Tuck Jump-Squat-Thrusts.
  8. Plyo-Pull-Ups.
  9. One Arm Push-Ups.
  10. Partner Bear Crawls & Pinwheels.

By all means, this is not a dissertation on how to become proficient at the martial arts nor is it the ultimate workout. These strength exercises create a template for a high level of intensity and training for the entire body. Furthermore, you do not need any weights and can virtually perform these exercises anywhere. They should be performed to volitional fatigue and your focused intent is vital (See 5 Pillars of Bodhiforce Training). Most of theses exercises are at such a high intensity that high level repetitions are not expected.