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Old 05-20-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
Pete Knox
 
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Question Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

I would like to train outside of the dojo to increase my fitness, and beyond aerobic work would like to work on strength/bodyfat reduction. As I am a pretty big guy (6 ft about 260) I am not interested in gaining any more muscle mass, so am steering away from weight training (at least for now) - has anyone here trained with the "old school methods" of heavy bag, medicine ball, sledgehammer training and the like? If so, how did it affect your aikido? I am really doing this more for general health and well-being as opposed to specifically for aikido, but any benefits to the latter would of course be a welcome bonus.

My initial thought is that this would be a fun way to get a shape, and when combined with bodyweight exercises/calisthenics, inexpensive as well.

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Old 05-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #2
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

Being stronger isn't going to make your Aikido worse. However if you are not mindful it may slow your learning curve.

If you're really strong, you won't notice when you're forcing technique. You have to be extra mindful the stronger you get, or else you'll enforce bad habits.

Tanren training (hitting a tire) is an awesome way to build muscular endurance, and develop a strong cut. Lifting oddly shaped objects (kegs, strange rocks, big logs, etc) will make you silly strong, silly fast. Medicine ball training is great too, but all of these things will make you bigger as well.

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Old 05-20-2008, 09:15 PM   #3
B.J.M.
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

I agree with the tanren training. Lots of suburi with a tanren will help too.

Just curious Pete, where do you train currently?
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:17 AM   #4
Pete Knox
 
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

Quote:
Brent Magnusson wrote: View Post
I agree with the tanren training. Lots of suburi with a tanren will help too.

Just curious Pete, where do you train currently?
Currently, I don't. I previously trained with Sensei Stickles at ASNJ in Roselle Park, and am planning on returning within the next month or so. I just finished taking classes to go to grad school at Rutgers, so I had to focus on that for a while. I've finalized everything, so I should be able to start soon.

Last edited by Pete Knox : 05-21-2008 at 06:22 AM.

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Old 05-21-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
Pete Knox
 
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Tanren training (hitting a tire) is an awesome way to build muscular endurance, and develop a strong cut.
Would you recommend using a standard bokken/jo to hit the tire, or do you use something else (I thought maybe something heavier was needed to take the abuse, and that's where I was thinking the sledgehammer might help, in addition to the muscular endurance it would bring, as I know it is quite tiring).

Last edited by Pete Knox : 05-21-2008 at 06:23 AM.

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Old 05-21-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

If you have or would like to get a saburi-to (large heavy bokken) that would make your training very Aikido-like. You could then also use it to work on all your Aikido saburi. Any sword stuff you do with a saburi-to will be hard, an help your training.

A sledgehammer is great, but if you've never hit a tire with a sledge, be careful at first, it will fly back and try to hit you on the head. Also if you use a sledge, you need a pretty big tire. Around here Tractor tires aren't too hard to find, but I don't know about your neck of the woods.

Also, doing something practical while getting your workout is always great. Chopping wood is very useful hard work. Building a garden requires lots of lifting and pulling. Ripping out tree roots with your hands is REALLY hard work (I spent last summer doing it, and it improved my grip strength a lot).

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Old 05-21-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
Pete Knox
 
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If you have or would like to get a saburi-to (large heavy bokken) that would make your training very Aikido-like. You could then also use it to work on all your Aikido saburi. Any sword stuff you do with a saburi-to will be hard, an help your training.

A sledgehammer is great, but if you've never hit a tire with a sledge, be careful at first, it will fly back and try to hit you on the head. Also if you use a sledge, you need a pretty big tire. Around here Tractor tires aren't too hard to find, but I don't know about your neck of the woods.

Also, doing something practical while getting your workout is always great. Chopping wood is very useful hard work. Building a garden requires lots of lifting and pulling. Ripping out tree roots with your hands is REALLY hard work (I spent last summer doing it, and it improved my grip strength a lot).
Thanks for the clarification regarding the bokken. As for the sledgehammer training, I was definitely planning on being careful, as sledgehammer+carelessness+head=trip to emergency room. Ripping out tree roots with your bare hands does sound like it would be rather brutal.

The saburi-to sounds interesting, as in addition to the benefits of hitting the tire, the added weight (as compared to a "regular" bokken) could work as a form of lighter weight training as well, and thus build some stamina to more easily handle the regular (lighter) bokken in class.

I recall seeing some photos in a Kyokushin karate book a few years ago of people training with a heavy stick similar to a bokken, but straighter and longer (more like a bo). They didn't seem to be doing actual bokken "techniques" with it, but instead used it solely to build strength - I think they may have used metal bars later on as well if I remember correctly. While that's not exactly the same concept (I think the Kyokushin folks were looking to build sheer power as opposed to muscular endurance), I can see some similarities as far as intended effect.

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Old 05-25-2008, 10:44 PM   #8
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Heavy Bags/Medicine Balls?

Use heavy bag to practice Tai Sabaki. Very good for aerobic workout.

Rock
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