As a long time runner, 38 years, and a short time martial artist of 11 years, and a 54 and a 1/2 year old fart, I agree wholeheartedly with this article. Runner's would benefit from martial arts.
Since reading a book many years ago by an Australian coach of runners ( Percey Cerutty whom coached world class runners from Australia ) who first had the audacity to talk about the mind body connection way back in the sixties, I have experimented with many forms of imagery and breath control while running.
I find on some days I am simply pounding holes in the ground but when I focus on my center, and visualize my center flowing as I run my running becomes more of a fluid movement.( Sometimes this even works on the mat!!!)
Now my contention.
Martial artists should run
I don't want to go into all the cross training and specificity of activity arguments because I've been through those many times as a runner, and martial artist, and coach, but I have a concern about many practitioners of our art.
I know someone will come back with the old you only need good technique argument and that with proper technique it should be effortless and therefore requires less aerobic or anaerobic fitness,
( I do agree to a certain extent at a certain point in one's development as a MA person)......but when training, as an example randori, it certainly helps to have a good conditioning base. It also is useful to recover quickly to perform repeatedly and reduce the breakdown in skills that come with fatigue.
In that vein we
, and I use the royal we
, need to get in better shape.
Now I'm waiting, and expecting, all you aerobic and non aerobic animals to tell me how hard your practices are etc, etc. but have you ever been frustrated with a Uke who can only do five or six repeats before they need to pause to catch their breath!
So people get out there and run.
This will allow us to play longer, recover faster and learn more.
Here endeth the sermon.
I await you response.