Jane Tao (ikkainogakusei) wrote:
Weight training is fine for isolation of specific muscles. Running is good for cardiovascular conditioning.
It seems that countering this kind of cartoonish thinking is my job here. The isolation of specific muscles in weight training is actually impossible. The body knows of movements, not muscles. Even so-called 'isolation' movements on special machines are really nothing of the kind, just really impractical movements lacking components of balance and control.
You have some good ideas about specificity in training, but keep in mind that there are both general and specific components to training. Weights and bodyweight exercises can be used to further one's general physical preparedness, and most definitely NOT just in terms of "isolating specific muscles". The best weight moves (compound freeweight and bodyweight exercises) develop muscle strength and size, bone strength, joint strength, active ROM, balance, neuromuscular coordination in multi-jointed movements for starters, and can help foster strong, injury-preventive movement patterns such as proper squatting and standing hip flexion. Special weight moves like the Olympic lifts and variations can also develop general motor qualities such as maximal power and rate of force development.
As far as cardiovascular goes, running is OK, but interval training is much more efficient and applicable to Aikido. Search for some of my posts under HIIT for more info.
In my view, supplemental/additional physical training for Aikido probably should not take the form of dissecting a particular move for weaknesses and coming up with a specific conditioning supplement, as you postulate. Instead, one should use sound general conditioning methods in order to make sure that one has more than ample 'raw materials' to work with, then one can let the specific demands of Aikido continue to shape and adapt the body. Nothing is more specific than the activity itself, and in the case of Aikido, the movements are so unique and various, that I don't see a large role for supplemental specific work.