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#336054 - 02/10/03 08:26 AM A very scientific survey (?)
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
I just wondered what the level of flexibility of the users of this board is.

I am asking as I often see many grades (senior as well as beginner) battling with flexibility to achieve high kicks, where it should be easy.

A good example of this is I went to one TaeKwonDo class (which I enjoyed but due to other commitments did not return), I was horrified that nobody there - including the instructor could achieve a full split.

So roughly:

Who can do splits and what kind.
If you can't what level of split can be achieved.

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#336055 - 02/10/03 12:33 PM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
taebot Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: KANSAS
I am 45-ish, practicing since 1976 in TKD. I may have achieved the full splits for about 60 seconds once I was much younger. Never had it in High School wrestling either. However, I do have the ability to lift my knee to my shoulder, always have had and it shows no sign of gowing away. Hence some types of high kicks are easier than others. I suspect it is the same for many on way or the other.

Where older martial artists get in trouble, imho, is in the loss of flexibility in the waist as we age and thicken. I can side and round kick to the head easily, not because of flexibility, but the ability to rotate my hip from a horizontal axis to more of a vertical axis. This takes very strong lower back muscles which many allow to atrophy, even while struggling to do the splits.

I see a lot of, lot of people making this same mistake. Seeing only one aspect of flexibility.

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#336056 - 02/10/03 04:54 PM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
I can do the front splits but never have been able to achieve the full box splits. That being said i've yet to meet anyone whos head i couldn't kick to or indeed over in most cases. My flexibility is generaly very good, it's just the box splits that have eluded me. Frankly though i tried to achieve it rigorously for a while, ive reached the conclusion that as i can kick to virtualy any opponents head with any kicking technique, why bother. Technique and body awareness will compensate in spades.
Regds
MrV

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#336057 - 02/11/03 09:02 AM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
[QUOTE]Originally posted by taebot:
I can side and round kick to the head easily, not because of flexibility, but the ability to rotate my hip from a horizontal axis to more of a vertical axis. This takes very strong lower back muscles which many allow to atrophy, even while struggling to do the splits.[/QUOTE]

I think Strong back muscles and stomach muscles are key in anything, all movement comes from there - this is even more important in Kicking arts Kurz suggests being able to deadlift twice your own body weight for 1 or 2 reps before any kicks are performed above the waist.

As for the rotation in the hip is a part of flexibility, not seperate from it. For example many struggle with a front split with toes pointed down because they do not tilt their butt to the rear.

As for kicking I assure you, that you have plenty of flexibility Taebot, its just probably Dynamic as apposed to Static with strong back muscles being the foundation for your ability.

And MrV, It sounds like you have the flexibility you need, but if you are interested in achieving the front splits I would strengthen your adductors with lunges and adductor pull downs and of course isometrics (as long as your back and stomach are up to it - which I am sure they are) and I bet you will see improvements immediately.

I personally can perform relaxed splits both front and side but I am still working on my strenght in a split e.g. to be able to pull myself up from a split without using my arms. I'm sure I will get there - eventually [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

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#336058 - 02/11/03 03:00 PM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
taebot Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1166
Loc: KANSAS
You could be right.

I'm not about to engage in any experiments designed to find out though. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

We have a 50+ year old black belt / yoga enthusiast who does all the splits, you name them. But he dedicated some serious time to it. I seem to lack the attention span to sit in one place that long.

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#336059 - 02/12/03 11:44 AM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
[QUOTE]Originally posted by taebot:
You could be right.

I'm not about to engage in any experiments designed to find out though. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

We have a 50+ year old black belt / yoga enthusiast who does all the splits, you name them. But he dedicated some serious time to it. I seem to lack the attention span to sit in one place that long.
[/QUOTE]

I dedicate about 10 miniutes in the morning and the rest are specific exersices pre and post workout - which probably take up less time than most stretching routines anyway.

It's not how long you do the stretches, its the exercises/type of stretches you do. You can get fantastic results with (comparitivly) little effort.

(I don't dedicate any serious time to it! [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG] )



[This message has been edited by UKfightfreak (edited 02-12-2003).]

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#336060 - 02/12/03 11:50 AM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MrVigerous:
i can kick to virtualy any opponents head with any kicking technique, why bother. Technique and body awareness will compensate in spades.
Regds
MrV

[/QUOTE]

I just had a thought about this, most kicking techniques rely on the side split (which you can do) anyway, all the techniques I do usually involve twisting the ball of the foot (on the ground) with the hitting leg horizontal - i.e. a side split.

Cool eh?

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#336061 - 02/12/03 09:43 PM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
SaNo Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 44
Loc: Singapore
I'm 19, never could do any splits and my stretching sucks cept i could do the 'shoulder-to-knees' taebot mentioned, but able to do all sorts of high kicks with varying amount of power.

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#336062 - 02/13/03 10:58 AM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
SaNO,

High kicks are great as long as you can do them at any time!

Well thats what I think anyway, I know a lot of practitioners are not comfortable with being able to kick to the head at any time of the day.

I think it is a great asset to call on that flexibility at any time (haven't thought of a time yet [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/frown.gif[/IMG] )

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#336063 - 02/21/03 04:30 PM Re: A very scientific survey (?)
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Being able to kick to the head after youve been standing outside at a bus stop for an hour in the snow and its lots below zero would in my view indicate a good ability to "kick from cold" [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Regds
Mr V

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