Martial Arts and Cardio

Kittan Bachika

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What has martial arts done for your cardio?

A colleague of mine started Karate about a year a half a go.
How he hates doing cardio which is why he started martial arts. He does about 3-4 classes
a week and he is really enjoying himself.

A couple of weeks ago he was traveling, the hotel he is staying at has a gym that is a small room
with a couple of tread mills. He's not crazy about it but he decides to use the tread mill.

He ran for about an hour. What surprised him was that he completed the run without any effort.
In the past he has been a mess and has been barely able to do half an hour.

He claims that martial arts training is the reason why his cardio is so good.

I don't doubt him. I have seen black belts go on for sparring sessions that last for hours with very few breaks in between.
 

lklawson

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Martial arts can help with a kind of generalized cardio and strength. But if you want cardio or strength for specific purposes, like marathoning or weight lifting, then you need to train specifically in those.

Of course, cross-training helps and can give a general improvement. Pro athletes will do all kinds of different workouts to improve their game. Wrestlers will swim, for instance. But it's just supplementary to the primary discipline.

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is general better health, then I don't see any reason to knock the results. For just "better health," exercise is exercise. ;)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

MJS

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Since I've been at my new dojo, I've noticed a huge increase in cardio/stamina. Of course, as lklawson stated, if you're trianing for something specific, you need to that that thing, ie: training for a marathon, you gotta get out and run. The cardio you gain from the arts will be a plus.

IMO though, I feel that you should supplement the martial art cardio, with other stuff, on your own.
 

Carol

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If someone enjoys what they are doing, they are going to do it more often.

A person who goes to a karate class 3 or 4 times per week is going to see more cardio benefits than the person that has a gym membership but never goes.
 

yak sao

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It's been my experience that conditioning is activity specific.
Being well conditioned for one activity doesn't necessarily make you well conditioned for another.

Even between different types of MA this is the case. The wing tsun I practice uses a different set of muscle groups than the escrima that I do from time to time.
That said, I don't really do any type of cardio outside of my MA training, and my wind is better than the average bear's when it comes to running up stairs, hiking, playing a pick up game of basketball, volleyball,etc.
 

Bikewr

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The current term "cardio" seems to have replaced the earlier (and more accurate, IMO) "aerobic".
the aerobic response is a steady-state condition all endurance athletes are familiar with, where one's oxygen intake and fuel use are balanced by waste elimination so that a trained athlete can run, or cycle, or row, or whatever at a high rate of effort for hours.
In order to train aerobically, one must work sufficiently hard to keep your heart-rate in an appropriate training range for at least 30 minutes or so.
Martial arts can certainly do this; just doing a typical dojo's pre-lesson workout and then run uh through a bunch of kata vigorously will easily accomplish this.
 

Aiki Lee

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I used to hate exercise until i got into MA. I studied MA to learn how to defend myself, but now that I'm older I realized I'm more likely to be felled by heart disease or diabetes. MA gave me the willpower to go to a personal trainer and engage in cardio exercise. I still hate it, but I realize how important it is for my health.
 
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Kittan Bachika

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Thanks for the responses everyone.
I agree that if you want to run a marathon, you got a run.
Want to fight, you have to fight.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I find that spending time on the elliptical machine gives me more stamina to train, spar, and otherwise give my best in the dojo, not the other way around.
 

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