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View Full Version : striking air v.s. pads



wendy ongaro
1st June 2003, 05:50
I originally trained in a funky little backhills offspin of kyokushin and kokondo. I have done my fair share of hours and hours kicking and punching up and down the mat, striking into thin air.

then, I took an opportunity to train a self-defense class for an hour two days a week for sixteen weeks. I didn't have alot of time, and I needed to make them effective strikers quickly. I didn't waste my time with a true punch- as I've seen too many people with fractures of their metatarsals because they can't punch right. I taught open hand strikes, knees, elbows. I used alot of pad work, and alot of work on the wall so that they would be comfortable making contact with their strikes as soon as possible.

What I found was that after sixteen weeks, they easily had better form in their strikes and follow throughs than the white belts who had started at the same time, and as good as many of the green belts as well who had been training for up to two years already. (I kept this little observation to myself, understandably).

the conclusion I came to is that drills striking up and down the mat into thin air are a waste of time, except possibly to build cardio. Even that I debate, as I can teach someone how to run properly for 20 minutes three times a week outside their training and build better conditioning without the risk of overuse injury, and without screwing up their form.

when learning to strike, it is important to learn maximum relaxation, particularly just before the point of impact. when striking into thin air, counteracting muscles must come into play to decelerate at the end, so follow through is effected negatively. even striking something yielding like an x-ray or a thin piece of paper is more beneficial as the student STILL HAS TO MAKE CONTACT WITH HIS OR HER EXTREMITY. However, I would not put students on a heavy bag either, especially early on. It's too easy to learn how to lunge at things that heavy, and they end up PUSHING and not STRIKING.

My point is, drills up and down the room are overused, counterproductive, and should be replaced with pad work, good makawori training, and light resistance work, as that will teach better form more quickly with a more rapid increase in power and speed. It would also free up valuable time for other stuff that needs to be taught anew or reviewed....

:karatekid

Jock Armstrong
1st June 2003, 11:55
Pad work is invaluable. Kick shields and focus mitts are the best tools in the world. heavy bags are useful and fun but can be dispensed with if you have shields and mitts. I use the analogy of firing a pistol without ammo or learning to drive on a simulator and never on the road. In combination with movement drills, kihon practice and randori and kata, you can train people to a much higher standard of tech expertise and mental understanding in a shorter time than is possible without pads. I use mitts and shield every lesson, including ground fighting- striking on the ground is possibel but to get good focussed hits means practicing on the ground and firing your strikes from that position. You are absolutely right about pad use.:beer: :nw:

wendy ongaro
1st June 2003, 16:03
with an intermediate student, I am very comfortable placing them on a heavy bag once they have a good concept of form and the idea of striking and not pushing. I am just wary of it with beginning students until they have that idea down.

Goju Man
2nd June 2003, 02:48
Both are equally important. Kickboxers and boxers do a lot of shadow boxing, where you perform techniques in the air. The practitioner is mostly concentrating on form and footwork. The heavy bag and pads are where you develop power and make sure your form is correct. The heavy bag is nice in that it lets you know when you are performing correctly or not. Same as the pads, you can hear when you are performing the techniques properly.

wendy ongaro
2nd June 2003, 03:52
I actually really like shadow boxing. I agree, it improves movement, rhythm, and timing, and combined with jumping rope and plyometrics, can make a fighter light on their feet. What I object to is when everyone lines up in the room and goes up and down the mat punching and kicking oodles and oodles of time. inefficient use of energy.

Sochin
2nd June 2003, 15:28
Good morning Wendy,

welcome to this place (sorry if I'm late!)


What I object to is when everyone lines up in the room and goes up and down the mat punching and kicking oodles and oodles of time. inefficient use of energy.


The thing is, not eveyone takes a class in a particular martial art to a chieve the same goals as the person beside her...

While the workout you describe is pretty useless to achieve self defenseive striking ability, it is useful for a sensei to judge his students on their progress in learning the ART, or style he teaches, so he can make corrections.

Feedback from hitting the bag is one way to determine that your body dynamics is correct but so is the eye of thesensei / coach. Walking drills are also a muscle toner and nothing builds kicking strength like kicking. I have two bags and twenty students - if they all had to wait for their turn on a bag, class would be 3 hours long.

So, someone may want to learn a style of ma, another doesn't care about style butt wants a quicker self defense expression so a good class covers all the bases.

Budoka 34
2nd June 2003, 18:45
Over the last few years I have talked to some sports med folks (Dr. and therapists) about the types of strike training injuries they see. One of the Docs told me he sees an increasing number of old timers with elbow and shoulder injuries caused by the continued stress of punching the air.
Another said he has seen a lot of "boxer's fractures" of the metacarples(pinky finger side) from unprepared strikers working peoples heads, heavy bag, or even pads.:confused:

When I teach we do both drills for the same reasons stated earlier.

:smilejapa

Goju Man
3rd June 2003, 03:21
Some valid points all the way around. Budoka, having had it myself, a lot of boxing type bag injuries come from not wrapping your hands or not wrapping them correctly. It is very difficult, as Ted points out, to have thirty students and only two bags. The good thing I like about boxing gyms is that there are other stations besides the heavy bag. In some gyms, you two regular bags and maybe even a thai heavy bag. Between shadow boxing, shadow kicking, pads, double end bag, speed bag, the rope and other stations, you keep people working at a different sequence of stations and everyone gets the work in.:)

Budoka 34
3rd June 2003, 12:14
Our school has four "focus masters" set up on deck. While they don't seem to take the beating you'd expect, they do give us some great options for strike training during class and free training.

I use makiwara at least three times a week for hand/arm conditioning and then heavy bag for endurance and body dynamics.
I try to hit focus mit at least twice a week for about 30 minutes focusing on targeting and maai. On top of that we do line drills for all the kihon tsuki and geri most classes.

I never realized, I must throw a thousand punches week!:cool:

:smilejapa

Markaso
17th June 2003, 23:31
Ms. Ongaro All in all you have some good points. There are,
however, some things I dissagree with you on. Mind you this is not an attack it is just my opinion.


Originally posted by wendy ongaro
I
the conclusion I came to is that drills striking up and down the mat into thin air are a waste of time, except possibly to build cardio. Even that I debate, as I can teach someone how to run properly for 20 minutes three times a week outside their training and build better conditioning without the risk of overuse injury, and without screwing up their form.

I find that moving up and down the floor and striking into thin air is an invaluble tool for beginners to learn the Tachikata (foot stances). Yes I agree it is not the best way to learn proper punching technique but there is a use for it. As for the striking into thin air it also lets the teacher see if the student is striking at about the right level. Also it helps with balance in motion. I have seen where some students do well while standing still but when they start to move.... well...... that's another story.







Originally posted by wendy ongaro
I
when learning to strike, it is important to learn maximum relaxation, particularly just before the point of impact. when striking into thin air, counteracting muscles must come into play to decelerate at the end, so follow through is effected negatively. even striking something yielding like an x-ray or a thin piece of paper is more beneficial as the student STILL HAS TO MAKE CONTACT WITH HIS OR HER EXTREMITY.

Good point :toast: Resistance training for puches is a must especially after you learn the basics.





Originally posted by wendy ongaro
I However, I would not put students on a heavy bag either, especially early on.


Nor would I.






Originally posted by wendy ongaro


My point is, drills up and down the room are overused, counterproductive,
Yes,sometimes over used. But couterproductive? I am not so sure. Basics are basics. Kihon. Whether it is the basics practiced standing still or in motion it is all basics. Yes proper techinique is a must. Light pad work is good here too.



Originally posted by wendy ongaro

and light resistance work, as that will teach better form more quickly

Agreed but as you probably know ........ there are really no short cuts in getting the proper training.