Sunday, January 17, 2010

Karate training over 40 years old

Karate training is one of the best workouts for the human body.

Karate training is physically taxing on the human body, as I have discussed before it exercises nearly every muscle in the body, when you’re young frequent heavy training and recovery are made easy by the youth factor, training longer hours with many reps in kihon kata and kumite is a challenge but very achievable.

When i say karate training this doesn't include, all the fitness exercises like push ups, sit ups, burpees, skipping etc etc. Its just karate on its own, ie karate technique. Fitness exercises like burpees and sit ups etc are part of the warm up and warm down in karate but not apart of the karate training itself.

As you grow older and pass the 40 year mark of your life and then every decade after that, it makes sense to tailor your training, this might be hard to do in a formal class but when you train on your own or with a friend/partner outside a formal class this is definitely the way to go imo.

As we age our physical abilities start to naturally decline we cannot hope to keep up with the younger members in the class and any attempt to do this will eventually result in the older guy’s body breaking down at some stage, which will mean time off from training.

My personal belief is as you get older to vary the training for example don’t do three nights in a row of fresh air workouts or two or three nights in a row of bag work or weights etc.

Everyone is different and will eventually work out what suits them best, but when I’m fit and healthy I like to start with fresh air kihon workout for the first training night of the week, heavy bag workout the following night and then fitness and strength workout the night after the bag work, followed by a day of rest.

Eating good foods and keeping hydrated all day long also play a big factor on your training regime as does a good night’s sleep and at least once a month a sports (deep tissue) massage followed by a couple of days rest, then back to it again.

At 48 years old and just getting over a hip injury, I’m not trying to tell anyone who might read this what to do or how to go about it since we are all different and need to find the balance that suits our individual life styles, but its food for thought if you’re an older person training karate like myself.

These days I mainly include karate in my training for fitness and health since in my opinion it provides one of the best workouts for the human body, it also keeps your technique sharp and maintains speed and power.

Below is part of an overall standard schedule I have devised for myself for the first night of the weeks training, it’s the fresh air kihon work out I talked about above it also includes alittle bag work at the end to finish the fresh air kihon session, when fit and healthy this would take me between 75 - 85 minutes including warm up and warm down.

I also have other fresh air kihon work outs, mixing combinations, repetitions and methods to cover most kihon technqiues in shotokan, so I don’t do the same fresh air workout all the time. This also applies to heavy bag night workouts and strength and fitness workouts, its good to mix it up.

For example you might have one night when you just train kata for fresh air kihon, maybe repeating each kata two or three times at full speed and power, each time you do these sessions mix the order of katas trained, time start with the heians another time start with the blackbelt katas continuely mixing the order they are trained.

When you do the heavy bag workout mix repititon with combinations include hands and feet.

On other nights for heavy bag workout after warming up you might end up only doing 10 x 1, 2 or if your really fit, 3 minute rounds on the heavy bag following by a one minute break or longer (your choice) between each round.

In these sessions you might choose to throw many variations and combinations of technique continuously, mixing it up from long range hand and foot techniques to close quarter clinching with elbows, forearms and knees and then warm down.

On other occasions for heavy bag workout you might choose to concentrate on one, two or a few techniques with lots of reps, if your lucky and work out with a partner then pad work is a great option to work on technique.

Strength and fitness workouts tailored to your needs again mixing it up by doing different things, in other words dont always do the same strength and fitness workout, one session might be plyometrics, the next weights, the next aerobic and stamina, or different combinations of all etc etc.

Good training to you all.

My monday night fresh air kihon training format and schedule