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Old 06-20-2003, 12:10 AM   #1
DanD
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Breathless on the mat..

Did you ever had this feeling that you're not in good shape while training? That you could have done with some more muscles and breath (legs, belly etc.)? Sure you did! (I would guess )

So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2003, 01:28 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Hi Dan;

Do more Aikido

However, some of us can't train every day or want a bit of variety in our diet.

I tried weight lifting - found it boring.

I tried running - boring.

I tried Judo - still doing it.

The only real advice I can give you besides from Do more Aikido is find something you enjoy doing that might have fitness spin-off. That way you will probably keep at it.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-20-2003, 02:07 AM   #3
Kyri Honigh
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train in suwaru waza!!!if u can move like that real smooth and at reasonable speed, then standing will be peace a cake
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:36 AM   #4
deepsoup
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Re: Breathless on the mat..

Quote:
Dan Dinowich (DanD) wrote:
Did you ever had this feeling that you're not in good shape while training? That you could have done with some more muscles and breath (legs, belly etc.)? Sure you did! (I would guess )
I get that feeling all the time, Dan. I never really feel the need for more muscle, but running out of wind is a big problem for me, especially in randori.
Quote:
So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?
I'm not the best person to dispense advice about fitness, thats for sure. There have been some good threads in the past, so you could do worse than to check out the search facility.

For what its worth though, I agree with Peter (I usually do) - whatever you do, make sure its something you enjoy.

Sean

x
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:10 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, training is very skill specific, so yes, training more in Aikido will increase your cardio. You may have to training harder and faster to get the heart rate up which may go against the slow relaxed flow than many people train at.

As a supplement, running, swimming, biking, and jumping rope are very good. Keep good form and alignment, stay relaxed, breath, and move from your center.

The discipline from doing a reptitive act may be boring to some, but it builds mental toughness to do it anyway. Good training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-20-2003, 06:36 AM   #6
paw
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Quote:
So fellow aikidoka - any good advise (i mean fitness exercises) for some training off the mat?
What is your current ability and what are your goals?

There's no sense in giving you an Olympic level workout if you cannot handle that volume and intensity of work. There's no sense in focusing on running if you want to be able to swim.

What do you see as your weaknesses?

This varies between individuals, and also varies over time with the same individual. The point is a workout routine's greatest value is that it may be changed --- and should be changed over time as you progress and evolve athletically.

One last rant.....

Fitness is "The state or condition of being fit" it's properly measured by performance. The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:13 AM   #7
DanD
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
What is your current ability and what are your goals?

"
Average ability.

Better cardio/aerobics will be great.
Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
One last rant.....

Fitness is "The state or condition of being fit" it's properly measured by performance. The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind. ?"
Thatnks god, none of that. Appearance is not on my list. Performance is

Thank you all for your input.
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Old 06-20-2003, 12:33 PM   #8
paw
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Quote:
Average ability. Better cardio/aerobics will be great.
Check out:

Working Class Fitness

Scrapper's Fitness Page

Both offer performance orientated, free fitness routines that don't take a huge time committment, don't require a great deal of equipment and get results.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:23 PM   #9
Thor's Hammer
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Bokken and Jo kata at home (I don't have a white oak copy of either so I use a flag pole and a piece of hickory I cut to look like a bokken.

Breathing exercises...

I don't think running will help you much as I run competitively, (more than 80 miles/week of training volume some weeks) and I still get out of breath! You are working explosively in aikido, not aerobically.

At home ukemi also helps.

Do a search for "Sledgehammer GPP" on google, it gets you the same kind of tired.
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:34 PM   #10
Kevin Wilbanks
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Dan,

The most efficient type of workout to address your primary concern is high intensity anaerobic interval training (HIIT). As little as two 15 minute workouts per week, pursued avidly, will probably give you more "breath" than anyone in your dojo in a few months. I have posted about it extensively here. Try searching using keywords from the first sentence above, or looking at old fitness-related threads.

Strength is a more complex matter, however. I have also posted some relatively simple example workouts here, but getting results and avoiding injury beyond an initial 'honeymoon' period with a strength program requires a certain amount of knowledge, experience, record-keeping, etc... or at least some guidance from someone else who has these. I advise not accepting guidance from bodybuilding magazines, anyone who reads them, anyone who mostly uses weight machines, or anyone who fails to keep a basic workout log.
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Old 06-21-2003, 03:40 PM   #11
DanD
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Kevin,

You're "right on the money" Cheers

I'll check the database.

Thanks
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Old 06-21-2003, 08:52 PM   #12
DanD
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Kevin,

I've seen 2 files that you have attached from your "aborted" book, but could not open them. Any other format somewhere else ?

Thanks
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:11 PM   #13
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
The vast majority of the "fitness industry" is geared towards appearance. I'd encourage you to keep that in mind.
Sadly, most of the equipment, programs, and advice I see out there seem to be of little use even for appearance purposes. The results most people get are mainly fat loss, which is easy to get with practically any amount of increased activity combined with calorie restriction. When it comes to muscle building, most people I see on Weider-style bodybuilding routines do an elaborate, quasi-random workout without even keeping a log, and hence don't even realize that they aren't making any progress.
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:21 PM   #14
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Bryan Benson (Thor&#039s Hammer) wrote:
I don't think running will help you much as I run competitively, (more than 80 miles/week of training volume some weeks) and I still get out of breath! You are working explosively in aikido, not aerobically.
I actually find this a bit surprising. I would think that with that much aerobic fitness, you would be at least way ahead of most Aikidoka in terms of 'breath'. Do you run intervals at all? Either disciplined intervals designed to increase specific aerobic markers, or more random 'fartlek' workouts?

If not, I recommend giving intervals a try, even on a periodized/sometimes basis. It will improve your Aikido wind and your racing times, no matter what distance you race. Incidentally, more and more evidence is coming out that suggests training to increase maximal strength and anaerobic endurance improves race times at all distances as well. The best book on the subject I've seen is called "Road Racing For Serious Runners" by Pete Pfitzinger (sp?).

For a while, I fancied I'd try my hand at racing 5K's. It didn't take long to discover that my genetics were crap. The other thing I discovered was that running a 5K at race pace is one of the most painful, grueling things a human being can do for "fun". Ouch!

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 06-22-2003 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:40 AM   #15
YEME
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STAIRS.

none of that coma inducing gym garbage either. real stairs and lots of them.

after tackling 230 of them 12 times in succession twice weekly over a month i found i didn't get as breathless doing Aikido.

Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
--Isaac Asimov

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Old 06-23-2003, 01:35 AM   #16
JJF
 
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The muscles we use in aikido are some much different from what we use in most other types of sports activity - so just do more Aikido, and try to push yourself a little bit further each time you are about to get short of wind.

Learning how to relax and remembering to breathe while doing the technique is also a very important means to avoid loosing your breath.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:47 AM   #17
paw
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Jorgen,
Quote:
The muscles we use in aikido are some much different from what we use in most other types of sports activity
The only thing I can think of is that you mean to type "movements" instead of "muscles". In other words:

The movements we use in aikido are different from what is done in most other sports

Given the rest of your post, I presume that is what you meant. If not, could you clarify your position?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:57 AM   #18
JJF
 
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Hi Paul!

Your'e right in the sense that I did mean what I wrote, but it makes more sense the way you put it

To put it in a (hopefully) more precise way: when doing most type of 'traditional' sports like running, football etc, we use some muscles more than others due to the way we move. In Aikido we use muscles, that are not usually needed for a long row of sports. The conclusion is, that no matter how much you exercise your larger muscle groups by for example running, you will never be able to avoid muscle fatigue in other muscle groups when you do aikido. My sensei is practicing for a marathon, but still he can experience pain, fatigue and even loss of wind, when doing aikido, based to the completely different mode of movements. It has to do with the way power is released (explosive or more steadily) but in the end every form of exercise activates and thereby exercises specific groups of muscles.

The only really good way to prepare your body to do aikido is - well - to do aikido

Does it make more sense now ? or should I just give up and avoid further misunderstandings ?

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:42 AM   #19
paw
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Jorgen,
Quote:
To put it in a (hopefully) more precise way: when doing most type of 'traditional' sports like running, football etc, we use some muscles more than others due to the way we move.
Ok....
Quote:
In Aikido we use muscles, that are not usually needed for a long row of sports.
I strongly disagree. Technically, is aikido so vastly different from judo that completely different muscles would be used? I would have a very hard time believing that without evidence. I would further have a hard time believing that twisting, turning and rolling on a mat in aikido uses different muscles than a gymnast would when they twist, turn and roll.
Quote:
My sensei is practicing for a marathon, but still he can experience pain, fatigue and even loss of wind, when doing aikido, based to the completely different mode of movements.
My wife is preparing for a marathon in Novemeber. She's never had loss of wind or fatigue when training aikido, but has noticed that I recover much more quickly from sprinting than she does. This is energy pathway example, not a muscular one.

My anerobic capacity is much higher than her's because of the way I've trained, whereas her aerobic capacity far exceeds mine, again due the way she trains. I don't think muscular contraction plays that big of a role in this example.
Quote:
It has to do with the way power is released (explosive or more steadily) but in the end every form of exercise activates and thereby exercises specific groups of muscles.
"Power" is work over time, I think the word you want to use is either "energy" or "work".

Muscles either contract or they do not. It's interesting that despite a wide difference in movements, numerous athletes squat. Of course, all these professional athletes coached by top-notched professional coaches who have huge financial incentive to use every advantage they can do improve their athletes performance, could be wrong....but honestly, do you really think so?

I imagine Kevin will be along shortly with more details....

Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:50 AM   #20
Dave Miller
 
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I think that Jørgen makes a good point. If you take someone who is training for a marathon and throw them into a pool for laps, they are liable to get winded fairly quickly. Why? Because they're using muscles that they don't use when running. The same is true in Aikido. The shoulder-trunk and abdominal muscles are much more active in Aikido (or Judo) than they would be in running. True, running will get you into good aerobic shape, allowing you to recover more quickly. However, you can still be winded from using muscles that aren't as aerobically well developed. There is simply no analagous movement in running that develops the muscles used in taking ukemi, for example.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:28 AM   #21
Kevin Wilbanks
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Paul is right. The phenomena you guys are trying to describe has very little to do with which muscles are being used. This common notion about muscles seems to be fallout from bodybuilding programs with "isolation" moves, or just a misunderstanding about how muscles and movements work. In every activity described, virutally all of the body's muscles are being used all the time. The patterns of which ones get more or less stress changes from activity to activity, but this has little to do with becoming "winded".

Inapplicability of conditioning from one activity to another can take many forms.

The "wind" or "breath" in question is all about systemic conditioning elements like cardiovascular conditioning and which energy pathways are developed. Differences in muscular activation patterns have less to do with the actual muscles than with neurological patterns - it has to do with development of specific patterns of firing in which muscles coordinate with one another, and the firing patterns within the muscle itself coordinate.

If muscles are uncoordinated for a given activity or the muscle tissue itself is physically adapted to optimize a completely different energy pathway, problems of this sort would be expressed by symptoms like burning in the muscle, tremors, or just plain localized weakness, NOT a systemic symptom like being out of breath.
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:05 AM   #22
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Muscles either contract or they do not. It's interesting that despite a wide difference in movements, numerous athletes squat.
This is an interesting question. Why is the squat taken as a nearly universal core to lower body strength training?

I think the muscles issue is one: one exercise, heavy squatting, works most of the muscles below the rib cage hard. For purposes of building muscle mass it is an efficient use of training time.

Another idea I've heard is that squats stimulate so many muscles at once that the intensity of the systemic stress stimulates more growth-oriented hormone production than multiple, smaller movements.

However, I think the main reason is probably about neurology, motor programming and movement pattern. This can get really thorny, as there are different theories. I'm not clear at all on which makes more sense or how it works. I just have general ideas about specificity, similarity, etc... The bottom line, I think, is that the movement pattern of the squat is similar enough to most of what we do with our legs in important ways to make the development of squatting patterns nearly universally useful.

On the other hand, in some cases, like swimming for instance, maybe squatting isn't all that useful, except for mass-building purposes.

Attached is a summary of motor pattern theory descriptions with links copied from another board, for the interested.
Attached Files
File Type: txt neuro.txt (2.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:43 PM   #23
Thor's Hammer
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I actually find this a bit surprising. I would think that with that much aerobic fitness, you would be at least way ahead of most Aikidoka in terms of 'breath'. Do you run intervals at all? Either disciplined intervals designed to increase specific aerobic markers, or more random 'fartlek' workouts?
It all depends who I am training with. With some people I can train with them for a long period of time with no appreciable loss of breath. With others, after a few hard throws I'm breathing hard.

I run intervals in the competitive season (8X1200m @ 110% V02 Max) etc. During the base training season (now) the highest intensity runs are 50 minute 'tempo runs'

A 5k is a lot of pain for a lot of fun, it's true

I find that thinking of a word when I hit the mat or throw and perhaps silently vocalizing it helps cut the effect of getting winded down considerably, any thoughts?

Ukemi makes you a lot more tired than waza. I wonder why this is? Is there a lot of muscular action when you breakfall?
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Old 06-23-2003, 01:18 PM   #24
Kevin Wilbanks
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B,

I would think that if you run intervals like that, you'd have more than enough wind for Aikido. The addition of some pure speed/anaerobic work would definitely make a difference for Aikido, but there may not be room for it (energy/recovery) in your program.

That word thing makes me think you are holding your breath when you fall. Maybe by saying the word it helps you to exhale. Alternatively, maybe you tense up too much when you fall, and the mind trick tones it down some. Beats me.

I'm interested in the whole breathing thing with Aikido. Most traditionalists advise never holding the breath, but I think it may be necessary and in fact involuntary at particular moments - particularly during hard falls - to stabilize the torso (i.e., the valsalva manouver). However, I would think any prolonged breath holding would rob your body of potential oxygen and cause heavier breathing to 'catch up'.

Ukemi is more tiring because it's simply a lot more work. When done well, nage waza isn't much more effort than walking around and moving one's arms a bit, whereas ukemi involves picking some or all of your weight up off the ground every time, not to mention various muscular actions involved in absorbing falls and redirecting the body's falling weight.
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Old 06-23-2003, 02:27 PM   #25
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I'm interested in the whole breathing thing with Aikido. Most traditionalists advise never holding the breath, but I think it may be necessary and in fact involuntary at particular moments - particularly during hard falls - to stabilize the torso (i.e., the valsalva manouver).
As a SCUBA diver, I'm interested in what the "valsalva maneuver" has to do with ukemi.

DAVE

If you're working too hard, you're doing it wrong.
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