Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Link Round-up

Since I've done several Link posts I should start labeling them better. So, I'll do about one a month - and this is the April installment.

Agility Cone Drills for SAQ
This video comes from the maker of various SAQ related sports equipment: SKLZ. It describes 5 agility drills
  1. Pro Agility (AKA 5-10-5) - Emphasizes lateral change of direction.
  2. 3-Cone - Emphasizes the agility and balance needed to stay on your feet while leaning laterally.
  3. Linear W Sprint - Emphasizes forward-backward change of direction with a diagonal component.
  4. Lateral W Slide - Combines lateral movement with change of direction
    1. Lateral W Sprint - Adds complexity by changing from lateral slide to sprinting and back
  5. Figure 8 - Challenges lateral movement with inside and outside curves
Your first question is going to be: what do these have to do with martial arts and combat sports? So let me explain my philosophy regarding agility training for our purposes.

1) Overload -  The first drill there illustrates this component well. If I just drill in class by doing my agile footwork I never train above the level of what I'm trying to achieve - I don't get overload. But by sprinting a few yards from one change of direction to the next I make the change more difficult - I do get overload. The deceleration component is more challenging because I sprinted into it. And the acceleration is more challenging as well since I'm trying to power into a sprint. (Although from an injury prevention standpoint the deceleration part is more important)

2) Permutational Analysis - This is a term that Scott Brown uses to explain a set of drills he uses for swordwork. He has developed a large library of drills that train every possible combination of actions with the sword. This means that at whatever point in a fight you need to go from one action to another it's not something new - you have trained it already. Agility training does the same thing for foot actions.

Building a Superhuman Core
by the appropriately named Tony Gentilcore
Does a good job of providing a variety of anti-motion exercises for the core. These are exercises to prevent motion of the trunk - and very important to martial arts. Think of how much instructors will harp on keeping your shoulders and hips aligned. Well the reason for this is that a stable core like that will transfer power from the hips/legs to the upper body.

There are a few basic categories of such exercises.
  • Anti-extension - preventing the torso from curling forwards, these exercises engage the spinal erectors, glutes and hamstrings
  • Ant-flexion - preventing excessive arch in the back, these exercises engage the abs
  • Anti-rotation - preventing the torso from turning, these exercises primarily use the obliques
  • Anti-lateral flexion - preventing side bending, these exercises also target the obliques but in a different patter of activation
That's it for this month.

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