Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sanchin, Taisho, and Kihon.

Continuing from the last post...

There was a topic that came up a while back with some guys in the Chi-I-Do Goju Ryu Organization under Kayo Ong.
The topic of Hojo Undo was being discussed and Kayo gave his two cents on the matter stating, basically, that he felt Sanchin and Daruma Taisho were enough for conditioning and that, Hojo Undo as a method of conditioning, was really more suited as 'Training Wheels' of sorts.
This means that a person doing Hojo Undo should only do it for a short time in order to build the muscles to a certain point and then move solely to Taisho and Sanchin, leaving behind the equipment of Hojo Undo.

This jives with what Kris Wilder Sensei says about weight training, that it is generally not good, over all, for a Karateka to do too much weight training, even with the over-emphasized Chi'Ishi, Ishi Sashi, and Nigiri Game.
There is a balance point and even scientific studies have shown that muscle built from lifting heavy weights, with increasing weight as one progresses, produces more bulk, but the quality of the muscle that is built is lower compared to methods like Body Weight training, Cardio, ect.

My own daily routine consists of Sanchin, Tensho, Kihon, Kata, and Daruma Taisho with a little help from the park playground across the street for some variety of body weight training and I do not do static stretching but focus more on dynamic stretching as part of Daruma Taisho.
If I take a day off then I start the next rotation with an hour of weights, ten pounds each, weighted gloves and ankle weights, and I go through Kihon repetitions and also go running.
This is a daily thing with one, sometimes two, days off in between, but it is something I have dedicated myself to doing, regardless of how I feel each day, and putting my all into each and every moment.
I do this at a pretty intense pace on almost all of the exercises, including a daily number of about 150 Push-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, and daily running, even on my two days off from the rest.

I do not have a Dojo... I train at a park with a playground... Even if I did have a Dojo a prospective Student would not find an over abundance of Hojo Undo equipment, maybe a couple Chi'Ishi, a Makiwara for sure, small Nigiri Game for beginning work on grips, but that is it.
I often feel the over-emphasis on these things is more for the mystique of Okinawan Culture, but the main point of Okinawan Culture that we get is to find a balance, never to do anything to the extreme as this becomes unhealthy, and always use what is at hand.

People become overly focused on the outward appearance without really thinking about what it is they are doing and the reason they train a certain way.
Most Karate comes from posture and a strong group of core muscles working in unison and harmony, there is no need for bulky, in fact, this is counter productive to both Technique AND health.

Gamaku is an Okinawan concept similar to, but not synonymous with, Koshi/Hara in Japanese terms and works with Atifa, which refers to something that includes Structure/Posture, and Chinkuchi, which is the proper delivery of power (sort of, similar to Fa Jin).
A person needs all of these things in order to perform Karate effectively/correctly... People often forget that Karate is not a Japanese Art and become confused when Japanese concepts are applied in place of Okinawan concepts which more accurately describe what it is you should be doing and how it is you should model your approach to training (ie, how you train).
They have all this Okinawan equipment, all these Okinawan Kata and training methods, but approach them with the mindset of a Samurai rather than the mindset required... Again, mystique (packaging).


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, and your thoughts on training. But I disagree with what you're saying about weight training adversely affecting karate training. Sure if one is training incorrectly, poor form, programming etc it could be physically harmful, and if a karateka is spending more time on weight training and not karate training. But proper weight (including body weight) training itself won't hurt one's karate, it'll actually benefit it.

"There is a balance point and even scientific studies have shown that muscle built from lifting heavy weights, with increasing weight as one progresses, produces more bulk, but the quality of the muscle that is built is lower compared to methods like Body Weight training, Cardio, ect."

What studies?

One doesn't suddenly become Arnold Schwarzenegger, that just isn't how it works.

David Chapman said...

Hello Anonymous,
A good starting point is here; http://staff.washington.edu/griffin/muscle_growth.txt

It talks about the differences in training focus and that bigger is not necessarily better, depending on the focus of the training.
Karate is not necessarily about producing more force, but more about building coordination for the application of mechanics behind it, although there is some force involved, some endurance, I do not really see where size is an advantage over mechanics.

If you go through a bunch of reps with some heavy dumb bells how do you feel afterwards? Are your muscles primed and quick? Or are they tight and heavy?
What about doing some push-ups?? How do they feel after that?? I am certain they are a little heavy, maybe even a little tight for a little bit, but how about ten minutes?? Still tight?? Still heavy?? Still slow??
With weight training the aim is to up the poundage a person lifts in order to increase mass... Not necessarily conducive to Karate, in fact, counter productive to the application of Karate in nearly every way possible, unless a person is only looking to apply brute strength and force their way through most things, but then they do not really have the advantage of mechanics and their muscles have not been trained in a way that supports the mechanics of Karate.

It is the same with Soccer... Body type is completely different than that of a Football Player... Football Players build their bodies according to the positions they play as well... Wrestlers have a different build than someone who focuses solely on striking, although lately we have seen a cross of the two, so not much of a difference any longer.

Sure, a little bit can be beneficial, but more is not better and usually best to focus on more reps than on increasing weight... Push-ups and Sit-ups do not allow for the increase of weight outside of adding something artificial to the mix... Just allows for an increase in reps... Running allows for an increase in distance and time, but not for an increase in weight aside from adding something artificial to the mix, and it is not even about bulking up, but about running more efficiently and building better muscles and endurance to support that.

Plenty of other sources on the internet... Some conflicting because one favors the other and so on and so forth, but the proof is apparent if you take a Body Builder and ask him to, say, play soccer...
Ridiculous things like that allow us some perspective... Again, do not believe weight training is a Karate thing, at least not in the extremes they go to today... Sanchin Training is key there.

Anonymous said...

Strength is a general adaption. You're really all over the place. It will take too long to explain to you. You need to read a recently published exercise science book and get an actually understanding. I'm not trying to be rude, but that is the reality.

David Chapman said...

Interesting observation, where is it that I am all over the place as I thought the main point was more than fairly straight forward, focused, and direct, otherwise you would not have understood what I said and made your subsequent remark.
Those who state they do not wish to be rude after having made such a remark often do intend just that.

Understand that the conversation was a good conversation and presented another perspective that I found insightful, until it turned to insults.
I am sorry you felt the need to go that route, but it illustrates just how direct and on the mark my point was, rather than being all over the place you got it loud and clear, but I am sorry you did not take the opportunity to learn from it as I thought the intention of a conversation was to share and learn and I shared what I had learned with you, even though you fail to even use your name.

I have a few recently published exercise science books, but none of them really agree that more mass is better for a Soccer Player, quite the opposite, that much has not changed, unless the Laws of Physics have changed in recent years??
I also work with a number of people going to School for various fields of exercise science as well as Medicine, which provides a unique and direct insight into the matter.

Sorry, again, you disagree and felt the need to insult, but I would rather trust my own experience, the people I know, the books I have (and plan to get), and other useful sources as they are presented, rather than an anonymous source that insults at the first sign of dissent from their viewpoint rather than contributing something useful for what could have been a great learning experience for the both of us.

Good day.