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#229556 - 02/09/06 05:14 PM faster than a speeding bullet....
Leona Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 6
Loc: London, England
.... if only!!

ok, as this is my first post, i'd like to say hello to everybody.. hi!! and for the record, im 20, I live in london and I have been training in shotokan karate for about 7 months, im coming up to my 2nd grading, i really really enjoy learning MA's and the challenge it gives me and I hope to be doing them for a long time to come... its not like you can stop learning things!!

Anywho... onto the point of this topic:

I feel that i am lacking in speed when I perform a movement, especially with my lower body... My arms can perform the block/attack relatively quickly (although there is still alot of room for improvement!) but my legs dont seem to step through fast enough... or if they do I lose the power and/or the tecnique of what it is I am doing. My instructor has explained about breathing correctly and relaxing whilst moving and tensing as I complete the move, but I still cant seem to pull it off!!

is this just a matter of practicing the techniques more, or are there excersises I can do to increase my speed of movement?? I basically want my movements to feel more explosive!

Also, whilst looking into this I came across plyometrics. Are these benificial for MA's, and if so does anybody have any helpful information about them??

Thanks in advance!!!

Leona xXx

p.s - I hope I put this in the correct section!! apoligise if not, it seemed like the right place!!

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#229557 - 02/09/06 09:58 PM Re: faster than a speeding bullet.... [Re: Leona]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Hi Leona, welcome to the forums.

There are many components to "speed" when it comes to martial arts. There is physical speed, sensory speed, proper timing for strikes (that will appear as speed to the opponent), proper body coordination (getting your legs to move in sync with your upper body), etc.

Practice with a partner will help with your physical speed, your reaction (sensory) speed, and your timing.

Working in front of a mirror will help you to learn to not "telegraph" your strikes, and will help you with economy of movement - making them as direct as possible, with the least amount of extraneous movement.

This can also help with coordinating your legs to work together with your feet. A good drill is to work jabs or reverse punches stepping forward across the room. Concentrate on making the strike "hit" at the same time your front foot lands as you step forward. Remember to breathe out when you "hit" as well.

Check the Strengthening forum for tips on Plyometrics, they are very useful for MA training.
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#229558 - 02/10/06 10:45 PM Re: faster than a speeding bullet.... [Re: Leona]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Welcome...I hope that your appreciation of & devotion to MA continues to inspire you to "take it to the next level" for many years to come (rest of your life, perhaps?)

You're still getting accustomed to your karate muscles. In time & w/ the proper instruction, efficient muscle memory will start to take hold. Just be patient.

But more to the point...if you're training in traditional Shotokan & your instructor is emphasizing a low "Zenkutsu-dachi" (front stance), you're having trouble like everyone who started Shotokan. It's just plain unnatural.

If you continue to have problems that can't be overcome (even w/ diligent practice), you might look into another traditional Japanese Karate style. Shito-ryu & Goju-ryu utilize a higher, more natural stance. The basic physical philosophies differ a bit but are equally valid.

Although I'm a Shito-ryu Shukokai practitioner, I have trained in Shotokan. I returned t Shito-ryu because the movements were more natural & was more accomidating to speed.

...& yes plyometric training is benificial. In fact, it's one of the signature characteristics of the Shukokai branch of Shito-ryu.

Have fun.

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#229559 - 02/11/06 04:53 PM Re: faster than a speeding bullet.... [Re: hedkikr]
Leona Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 6
Loc: London, England
Thank you for the advice!! (and welcomes!!) Im gonna look into the plyometrics now! and possibly see if anybody at my dojo is looking for a partner to practice with in the evenings or somthing...

lol.. yeah, there is alot of emphasis on a low front stance.. and it does feel unatural.. especially when going (well attempting to go!) backwards!! it takes all my effort topull my front leg back without leaning forward and losing all balance!! still.. just another thing to practice i guess!!

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#229560 - 02/12/06 01:48 AM Re: faster than a speeding bullet.... [Re: Leona]
break the elephants neck Offline
Newbie

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 18
Loc: canada
i used to be a slug on my feet. then i got a skipping rope, and used it. a lot. i know it seems pretty basic but i learned how to be light on my feet. now im pretty quick and swift when i float back to avade attacks or come forward to strike. also squats could help leg strength for that initial push off. but i never advocate in doing a lot of squats, just some every now and then.
i agree with the other advice said, i just wanted to add.
also good mid-section core strength is important pertaining to how well you can move

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#229561 - 02/16/06 12:14 AM Re: faster than a speeding bullet.... [Re: break the elephants neck]
Legend of the Hungry Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 221
jump rope is perfect,

try to jump rope with jumping as little as you can, like boxers do. go from 2 feet, for a while to one, foot, alternate feet. good stuff. and make sure you have a good jump rope, mine twisted in the middle and went from a U to a V and my feet kept getting caught and i got mad.
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