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The Format of the Martial Arts Class

This blog is the result of a question I was asked. I was asked...If we should do cardio before class so that we are fresh for the cardio and not exhausted. My response was.. "Don't you want to be fresh for the rest of class?"


I have been in traditional classes of Tae Kwon Do, Kungfu, Judo, BJJ, Muay Thai and also Jeet Kune do. There is for most part a flow to most classes. And the flow of the class is important in your training.

You never want to train cold and not warmed up. Training cold will lead to injuries that could have been avoided. You also don't want to stretch when you are cold either. In your martial arts training you should always try to do your techniques or energy training, or your drills while you are fresh and have energy. This way your drilling is not sloppy from exhaustion. So what is a good flow to a class of martial arts.??? This is my actual thought and conclusion from my own training in arts and from teaching martial arts.

A class should start with a warm up. It can be martial art based. But it should consist of 10 minutes of movement that brings the body temperature up. Footwork is a great drill to work and increase your body temp. Shadow boxing is another. Once you have your body core temperature to a point to work.... then you can practice your drills. Your muscles are warmed up.

To prevent injury you will want to stretch. The type of stretching that you do dynamic vs. static is probably good for another blog post. I prefer dynamic but to get a deep stretch in a certain muscle I prefer more static types of stretches. This should be done after you are warmed up.

So now it's a good time to drill. Some drills are exhausting. So you can changed your drills from high energy levels to low and back again. If it's a drill that may exhaust you totally... it's best left for the end of your training session.

At the very last part of a class I like to add is a cardio workout. Short time... but where you train your body to recover from a heart pumping activity. I do this at the end. I believe it to be the best point for cardio, cause you are done training your drills where you didn't want to be exhausted and sloppy. I like to pick activities for this cardio burn that don't represent martial arts. So then the student doesn't worry about his/her form for jumping jacks, etc... They are focused on cardio output. This cardio burn helps them better prepare for future martial arts training. Hence they are less exhausted during the drilling portion of class.

Happy Training....


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