TMA class warm-up: Traditional or Modern Calisthenics?

still learning

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Hello, ..we were doing a knee rotation excercises...and a new student who is experience in physcial therpy mention to our Head Instructor..

This is NOT a good excercise...for the knees....(yet people have being doing them for years) ....she said it is BAD for knees..

Anyone can give more information on this?

Aloha,
 

Xinglu

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One of my past gripes with my former Sensei is he had us do the same , exact stretchin routine that he learned in 1964 for everyclass and as a personal trainer I pointed out how antiquated, potentially harmfull and incomplete it was.

It is also worth noting that, stretching (as with weight training or any resistance training for that matter) requires a somewhat varied routine, otherwise the body adapts and the training is less efficient.
 

Xue Sheng

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To paraphrase JFK: We train "not because it is easy, but because it is hard." It is a fact that we do not get better with out challenging ourselves. This holds very true especially in conditioning, techniques, stretching, cardio (to build endurance). New methods or old methods, with out difficulty there can be no improvement.

Some of thew methods are safer than the old, some are not. Some compliment the old training methods very well, some do not. In the end, it should be looked at objectively on a case by case basis.

Agreed

But when looking at some of the older methods, such as things like Santi Shi, it is also good to look at exactly what it is trying to develop. Is there a more modern exercise to develop leg strength?? Yes there is, but is that all that santi shi trying to develop? No it is doing much more.

With most things TMA, particularly TCMA I find that there is a gross lack of understanding of what is being done and instead of trying to understand it people change it to what they "think" it was doing and in that process they miss the target.

However with that said I do agree that some of the traditional training exercises are not really safe and that some of the modern exercises are more effective but then it still comes back to what was the originator of the traditional method trying to do and it could be that he simply did not have the knowledge or the available equipment to do it any better or it could be that he had a deeper type of training in mind.
 
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Xinglu

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Agreed

But when looking at some of the older methods, such as things like Santi Shi, it is also good to look at exactly what it is trying to develop. Is there a more modern exercise to develop leg strength?? Yes there is, but is that all that santi shi trying to develop? No it is doing much more.

With most things TMA, particularly TCMA I find that there is a gross lack of understanding of what is being done and instead of trying to understand it people change it to what they "think" it was doing and in that process they miss the target.

However with that said I do agree that some of the traditional training exercises are not really safe and that some of the modern exercises are more effective but then it still comes back to what was the originator of the traditional method trying to do and it could be that he simply did not have the knowledge or the available equipment to do it any better or it cold be that he had a deeper type of training in mind.

Well, especially in neijia you have the TCM approach to what is being done in each and every movement. A person with proper TCM understanding though can look at modern exercises and find their neijia qualities. I get all :soapbox: and :tantrum: with even a little :shooter: when people get down on TCMA out of ignorance. It is worse when I see someone practicing TCMA and don't even have a basic understanding of the flow of qi. I'm not looking to see OMDs but they do need basic TCM knowledge or they are missing 50% (or more) of their art!
 

Live True

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Thanks everyone, very good responses. However LiveTrue hit the nail on the head with his post. Yes, you did answer my question, thank you.
[...]LiveTrue, if you have time I would like to hear about some of your Junbi undo, makiwara, and Hojo Undo training (PM if you like).

"her post" actually...but no worries. I appreciate the offer to discuss via PM, but I will post what I know in this and following posts so all can discuss...I'm learning some good stuff as wel and believe the sharing of knowledge is a good thing

Live true: would you mind elaborating abit on Junbi Undo and Hojo Undo? If you want to that is. I've googled both terms (my japanese is very lousy) and I came up with stretching and powertraining (although the later also seemed to gave a hit about woodwork).[...]Warm up is important to prevent injuries, so it's part of the game. Although most students seem to stop doing it, because it is too hard..

I wouldn't say hard, but it can get monotonous....but as other's have stated...mixing up the warm up is as important as occassionally mixing up the workout itself to prevent muscle adaptation and plateaus.

Hello, ..we were doing a knee rotation excercises...and a new student who is experience in physcial therpy mention to our Head Instructor..

This is NOT a good excercise...for the knees....(yet people have being doing them for years) ....she said it is BAD for knees..

Anyone can give more information on this?

I don't mind posting what I know and have learned, with the caution that I consider myself still a beginner (only about 2 1/2 years into training). I am posting information from the website I built for my last dojo on the listings of junbi and hojo undo first, then will explain what I am currently doing with my sensei now, but first:

still learning, it is my understanding that the knee rotation exercise puts bad strain on the knees and ligaments, and moves them in directions they don't naturally move. I believe, but would encrouage you to consult an expert like your PT mentioned, it hyperextends the knee in multiple directions.

More specifically it is often done as a warm up exercise when muscles and connective tissue is still cold and more fragile. Recent studies in stretching encourage more of a progressive repetition of actions you will be doing or cardio based warm up and then stretching, as a way to allow muscles and connective tissue to warm up prior to placing it under direct strain.

Some of the junbi undo I will post are not recommend for those specific reasons (and because some of them encouraged "bouncing" which is also hard on cold connective tissues)...and it's why we now focus more on progressively warming up and doing specific actions prior to any intensive stretching...most intensive stretching is done at the end of class, actually as part of cool down.

Again, I would encourage you to consult a sports medicine expert on the specifics...but that is the little understanding I have from readings, etc.

hope that is helpful.
 

Live True

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from website

Junbi Undo (warm up exercises):
Note: Several of these are no longer recommended due to their injury-prone nature. Use with caution
  1. Ashi sakio ageru undo -heel pivot
  2. Kagato o ageru undo - heel lift
  3. Ashikubi o mawasu undo- foot/ankle circle exercise
  4. Hiza mae yoko undo- knee lift and turn exercise
  5. Ashio Uechi nanameni abary undo- straight leg kicking
  6. Taio mae ni taosu undo- waist scooping exercise
  7. Koshino nenten- body stretching
  8. Udeo mae yoko shitani nobasu undo- arm thrusting
  9. Kubi no undo- neck rolling/stretching exercise
  10. Shinko kyu-deep breathing

Hojo Undo (beginning exercises):
  1. Sokuto geri- side of foot/blade foot kick (can be a front or side kick)
  2. Shomen geri- pointed toe front kicks
  3. Furi Zuki (mawashi zuki)- round house punches
  4. Hajiki uke hiraken zuki- high block/flat fist punch
  5. Shomen zuki - seiken front punch/palm block
  6. Soto uke, shuto uchi, ura uchi, shoken zuki - outside block, knife hand strike, back fist, one knuckle punch
  7. Hiji zuki - elbow striking/blocking
  8. Tenshin zensoku geri - turn and get off line, wauke, kick with front leg
  9. Tenshin kosoku geri - turn and get off line, wauke, kick with back leg
  10. Koino shippo tatte uchi - wrist blocks/strikes, four directions, perpendicular
  11. Koino shippo yoko uchi - wrist blocks/strikes, side to side "fish tail" blocks
  12. Shomen Hagiki - stepping (sliding) eye strikes
<><><>
I will note that there are variations on how to actually perform many of these actions from dojo to dojo, but the basic motions should be roughly the same. I can go into more detail on some, but not all of the above exercises (all of the hojo undo, only some of the junbi undo). Actually, the website has a very detailed explanation of the hojo undo exercises for those interested.
 

Live True

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Ven,
A typical warm up with my current sensei goes something like this, with variations and we do this in roughly 15 min so it's a quick progression:

  • bow in
  • shiko kyo (this facilitates setting up mental focus as well as initiating the flow of energy or Qi as Xue and Xingli mention)
  • kubi no undo-neck rolling and stretching, which involves up/down, tilt side to side/rotate side to side, rotate back and down (slowly/carefully on this last one)
  • I think the next few are variations on some of junbi undo, with some aikido and traditional uechi practices thrown in
    • arm/shoulder/chest warm ups using weight of body to throw/circle/move
    • leg stretching from front/side, back stances using bar/fence
    • wrist locks with progressive horse stance practice
    • front/side/back kicks focusing on one point/balance (fairly light power as kicking air and that can be harmful)
    • arm thrusts (basically repetition of opening Sanchin sequence with dynamic tension)
    • arm rubbing and arm pounding
    • leg pounding
  • pushups-(4-5 types)
    • alternating with situps, bicycle kicks, and back lifts
  • Makiwara/heavy bag-light repetitive punching meant to condition deep tissues and muscles...NOT trying to break skin or create huge callouses
    • run through various Uechi strikes/kicks to condition the many different surfaces used in movement and combat
    • for example: ridge hand, back fist, fingertips, front kick ball of foot, front kick toe, blade foot kick, etc.
  • hojo undo-repetitive technique practice done on both sides
Then we begin the actual work on kata, kumite, and whatever sensei wants to focus on for that class.

It is not always the same, but that's a general example.

My prior sensei would do more junbi undo, particularly heel pivot (standing and pivoting on heel to open/close foot and loosen up ankles), heel lift (alternate lifting of heels with straight legs that emphasized foot/hip connections), knee lift and turn exercise (I beleive this is where the traditional knee circle may fit in...but this variation involved slowly lifting knee up, slowly extending leg, rotating leg to side, back to front, bend, grab foot, lift up toward head....emphasized balance/leg strength/flexibility/height), waist scooping(incorporates breathing and stretching...in this version you bent from waist and scooped arms back and up 2-3 times, some bouncing, lifted up and did dynamic waist twisting with clapsed arms in opposing direction).

I hope that makes sense...please feel free to ask questions and I will answer to the best of my knowledge.
 

jks9199

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Personally I hate the whole group warm up thing that wastes the first 10 minutes of class. You should do your own warm up so from the moment class starts it's on. But yeah, I do a more modern routine.
I use group warmups to prepare students for the specific plans I have for class. I also use them to teach exercises that the students can do on their own, and to ensure that people are doing exercises properly. They're not a waste of time...
 
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ven1911

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"her post" actually...but no worries.

Whoops! My apologies :)

Thank you for posting your input, it is much appreciated. As long as traditional warm-ups do not pose a threat of injury I will continue to train in this manner. I thoroughly enjoy them over the calisthenics of today. I am glad to see others do as well.
 

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