Movement as a requirement

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Bill Mattocks, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    When I began training in isshinryu, my cardio was horrible. I was very much lacking in cardio fitness, and I came home drenched in sweat and wrung out after every class.

    Even as my cardio improved, as my general fitness increased, I still burned a lot of energy in every class.

    After all this time, however, something has started to change. I don't come home soaking in sweat. I'm not worn out. I'm seldom bruised or beat up.

    And my fitness has definitely declined. I've been putting on weight after years of slowly dropping it. I'll be 60 soon, and I've got medical conditions, so I'm not taking this lightly.

    But what I've noticed apart from this is that I move less and accomplish more. I avoid punches, but only to the extent that I must. I don't block what isn't going to hit me anyway. I don't bounce, I plant my stances so that when i strike, it's effective. I use gravity. I use leverage. I am calm and relaxed.

    This doesnt make me a fearsome fighter. Some of our students are much younger, blindingly fast, and strong. I can't outfight them, but I can beat them, sometimes, with stealth, guile, weight advantage, etc. I'll take the nerve shots to slow them down, dummy them up with elbows and knuckle strikes, then push them down and fall on them, whatever. Sometimes I just stay out of their range and wait for an opening if one ever comes. Of course, being able to take a punch on the way in helps.

    Overall though, it seems odd that I do so much less physically in the dojo to actually get more done. I'm going to need to get back in the gym to get my weight down and cardio up now.

    Anyone else notice this?
     
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  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    i think you have me on ignore, but il do a coutesty reply anyway, over time you become more efficient at movements, which can be a good thing or in your case a bad thing, as your now at a level that you expanding very little energy as such your fitness id decreasing and your weight increasing

    or to put it slightly more clearly, if you keep doing exactly the same exercise month after month year after year your fitness level will start to decrease and soon become very notable in anything but the movements you have perfected

    do somethink else that challenges you
     
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  3. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Like my Dad always says: old age and treachery beats youth and enthusiasm.
     
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  4. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Blue Belt

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    I also came home from class drenched and physically drained, more so than my classmates. I was pretty lean back then, so I don't think I was lacking in cardio. Even after I got to black, I noticed I was more exhausted than the lower belts. I realized the answer was simple - I was just pushing myself further and giving 100% on every move. I was working out and striving harder than anyone else in class. I suspect, Bill, that you might have been doing the same.

    Now that I'm older, I can't push myself that hard anymore. Luckily, as you observed, it's not necessary. There are a number of reason why that's true: 1. Techniques have become ingrained and less effort is needed to execute. 2. We have learned how to relax and more efficiently take a stance, defend or attack. 3. We just do less - using our wiles to set the opponent up, letting him come to us, or use good timing to improve chances of landing hits. Patience is a good old person skill - falling on them with superior mass, maybe not so much :).

    But I feel those days of hard training and striving are paying off these so many decades later. Yes, I have tried to stay active, but I think some physical and spiritual skills were imprinted on me during those early years. Not just muscle memory - I don't have a word right now to explain it. Working out pretty good these last couple of years (wts & karate), lost 10 lbs and have got crisp katas. All I need now is money.
     
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  5. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Definitely. It sounds to me like you are hitting a lot of the goals for maturation in a fighting system. A very good thing.

    I think I was where you are a few years ago. There were days when I felt like the "old" me and could really go. And came home drenched and exhausted. Then the exhaustion started lasting for days. I realized I had to stop trying to "run" with the young guys and use my mental acuity. I would go so far as to say that it even felt 'wrong' for a while. Eventually, I started to reflect back to my competition days and realized I was already doing the things you describe, I just never saw it within myself. I was always shorter than my competition. In upper level TKD competition this is a big disadvantage. But I was strong and fast and had to figure out how to be the smarter/craftier fighter. I was really good at chess match of it.

    So, I believe for most of us tenured folks out there, we 'end' up where you are. If a body has been "rode hard and put up wet" it just will not work like it used to after a while.
    What I am doing to augment going 'hard' is to supplant it with more repetition/drilling in the cardio phase.

    As far as weight gain; I would suggest stepping back and looking at the whole picture. Are there other factors that could account for the gain? The first thing I would look at is diet. There is definitely a relationship with intake/outtake but it is not 1:1 as we get older. In other words as we get older and less active, we need to overbalance our intake by eating less. A LOT of this is accomplished by What was eat as well as how Much we eat.
    Others factors to consider is alcohol intake. I LOVE beer. I have never been a binge drinker and cannot tell the last time I was actually drunk. I used to have a tall beer every day after work. I figured out this was a big factor in my 'jelly belly' so I now limit my intake to weekend dinners or such. Another example along the same lines; I used to drink a Lot of Gatorade. After classes and in the summer. That is a Ton of pure sugar. I started drinking Smart water (because I know my body really needs the electrolytes or I will cramp up) and eliminated the sugar.
    I think most people can find small things to change within their regular 'habits' to offset the decreased activity.
    Of course hitting the gym could never hurt.
     
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  6. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    As we age, there is a natural response, especially with very experienced people, to compensate, I.e were not as fast as we used to be, or not as fit as we used to be, so over time our experience takes over our exhuberance, We see alot of this in ex military and experienced martial artists returning to training, people who have experienced going beyond empty, when we get there (most have to be forced there) typically we have another 20-30%, no bouncy steps, just pure mental will power, and once you have been there, you know where it lies, you know how it feels, and you know how to tap into it, people who are used to adapting, they are able to relax more, move more freely, compensate for injuries, become more efficeint in their movement (which is basically whats taught in Systema). The weight thing you will have to talk to a quack about though.
     
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  7. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    If you train the right way you will become stronger and fitter. This is basically guaranteed.

    Being fitter and stronger in a physical setting like martial arts, self defence or fighting in general will give you an advantage. This is basically guaranteed.

    What is not guaranteed is that you will be talented. And be some slick coordinated movement expert.

    Yet I see so many people focusing on technique and assuming conditioning is a result of some sort of genetic magic people just have.
     
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  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Oh and this notion that there is some sort of compensational level up of guile or whatever as you get older to counter lack of physical ability. Seems a bit like people are trying to protect some egos.

    If I get out cardioed in sparring or rolling I am as beaten as if I get out techniqued.

    You didn't almost have them. You never had them. You never had your car. It doesn't matter if you win by an inch or a mile.
     
  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Bill, Jobo does make a very good point here. Could it be you have became so efficient in your movements that you need to 'kick it up a notch'?
     
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  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I do have you on ignore. I'm sorry but you irritate me, which is my problem, not yours. I'm responding here because you have a valid point. Thank you.
     
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  11. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm diabetic and don't really drink, try to avoid sugar. I drink diet drinks or water.

    My weight gain started when I was put on a new medication, which lists weight gain as a possible side effect. My blood sugar is great, a1c is 6.9. But my weight is up 30 pounds in 6 months.

    My work has a free gym. I think I need to start using it.
     
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  12. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, he does. Thanks for telling me so I'd read it.
     
  13. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    @DB, you need some more fibre in your diet.
     
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  14. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    Why do you think the selection process for elite military units pushes individuals beyond their limits?
    Not just their physical limits either.
     
  15. _Simon_

    _Simon_ Senior Master

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    Sounds like you're shifting into training more efficiently. Awesome :)
     
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  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I'm sure you have pursued this, but is there an alternative medicine that has less side effects? Sometimes the 'cure' is the real killer. IMHO
    I have MS and other surgery/injury related crap. One time I was actually prescribed the wrong medicine. I took it for a few months and started gaining weight for no apparent reason. Once I figured out what was happening I switched to the right medication and shed the weight pretty quick with no other lifestyle changes.

    If you have to take that specific medication it could be tough. I was shocked to see what taking a little pill could do to my body with me having zero control. I have been down the road of figuring out what med works without side effects and it can be frustrating. From my experience, I feel you are at the point (weight gain) where you may need to try something different.
    Disclaimer: Of course, I am no doctor so this is only my 2 cents.
     
  17. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Unfortunately I am on four oral diabetes meds so I'm out of alternatives. When this latest one stops working, it's insulin.
     
  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Very sorry to hear that Bill. I pray things get better for you.
     
  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ditto.
     
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  20. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yes, I have been noticing this for quite some time. I am far more efficient in movement than I was years ago. So far it constantly works to my advantage.

    I can't hold them down using weight as I'm a string bean, but I can defend top position fairly well, so I use what I got.123
     
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