- Side Planks
- A yoga Sun Salutation
- Leg Push-down
- Back-to-Back Squats
And my question is, "What's natural about these?" In my regular life, the only time I ever end up in a plank, side plank, downward dog etc. position is while working out. And I certainly don't end up in those positions in a fight. Since these positions are not in fact natural, and are non-specific to fighting we should not value them above other exercises. They can still be useful, but they can't be the only exercises we do.
As to the assertion that they teach us to use our bodies more efficiently, I find myself confused by Ken's words. Training adaptations are specific, so my plank will become more efficient, but what else will? And my squats may gain some strength at first, but I'm not going to gain power with just body-weight squats. As such when I need power from my quads I will not have improved the efficiency of that action.
I'm not picking on Ken. He's a friend and can bench more than me. And I've seen this kind of thing from lot's of sources and people. His book just reminded me.
Many traditional martial arts have a bias towards body-weight or minimal equipment physical training. Over the years folks become convinced that this was because of it's superiority. Modern sports science has demonstrated this to be false. And so we need to move on in our martial arts training.
Mondschein, K. (2012). The Art of the Two-Handed Sword. Staten Island, NY: Swordplay Books