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#336100 - 05/17/03 06:02 PM Burst Blood Vessel in leg
Lau Gar Viking Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 4
I have practiced Lau Gar Kung Fu for 6 months going well till now. My front kicks are 6 foot no worries but tuning kicks and left side kick are very poor. I purchased a leg stretching machine (now for sale) to help with side splits.

Story goes training 2 weeks ago my instructor went hard on us, lots warming up followed by leg stretches (because i am the tallaest 6 foot 2, instructor always demonstrates on me and partner(kung fu not wifes) is a 5th dan)punching our partners split stretch hurt left leg to start with then moving on to kicks to bottom of saggy muscle under ham strings( strengthing so he said) hurt like hell.By the end of the session I was Kanck**** Then took my second grading but was unable to perform one step back kicks due to leg. Next day to work no worries. Few days later went on leg stretching machine got side splits to 130 degrees hurting but fine. Next day went through sets with son who also does Kung Fu, felt a twinge in left ham string. 1 hour later could not walk. Next evening my whole ham string was bright purple then ripped lines in it now turning black. Hurts a bit when leg out straight and when bent. Went to Docs she said I have burst a blood vessel. No traing for 2 weeks. What have I done will it recover. Leg stretchers now for sale and i have orders Tom curtzes book on stretching scientifically. Anyone had a simular expereince or can give advice. Least I can practice Sword and Sais though

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#336101 - 05/18/03 04:30 AM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
Leave that Martial Arts school!

You can, in no way strenthen a muscle through hitting it.

I have no medical qualifications but I would say that the burst blood vessel was weakened by hittling the muscles, and the stretch later was just a catalyst.

Never use a leg stretcher.

Never use a partner to stretch.

Side splits are usually through improper hip alignment (front kicks the hip alignment happens naturally).

Again, leave this school, the instructor has no clue of how to teach strenthening and stretching, in fact I would possibly go through the courts as this is negligent instruction. There is no way a teacher should be able to teach such backwards concepts. Especially when they are not beneficial.

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#336102 - 05/18/03 12:59 PM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
Lau Gar Viking Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 4
I read my posting bit all over the place was late at night though. My instructor does not hit whilst stretching. Whilst in horse riding stance he likes to (his words) harden saggy muscle by kicking with top of foot and toes not hard just enough to hurt a bit.

My injury is from doing to much whilst recovering from a 2 1/2 hour hard lesson

Hard though as my instructor is a good friend, work associate and my instructor. He is from the old school a bit before law suits and stuff.

Can anyone reccomend a diet for helping stretching. Weight is ok although want to rid flabby bit on stomach ( Not enough sit ups me thinks) My daily work envloves garden landscaping so very physical.

Thanks LGV

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#336103 - 05/19/03 06:05 AM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lau Gar Viking:
I read my posting bit all over the place was late at night though. My instructor does not hit whilst stretching. Whilst in horse riding stance he likes to (his words) harden saggy muscle by kicking with top of foot and toes not hard just enough to hurt a bit.

My injury is from doing to much whilst recovering from a 2 1/2 hour hard lesson

Hard though as my instructor is a good friend, work associate and my instructor. He is from the old school a bit before law suits and stuff.

Can anyone reccomend a diet for helping stretching. Weight is ok although want to rid flabby bit on stomach ( Not enough sit ups me thinks) My daily work envloves garden landscaping so very physical.

Thanks LGV
[/QUOTE]

I'm sorry but hitting muscles does not strenthen them - that is probably the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You want to get rid of saggy muscles - go to the gym.

If you stretch properly (I have answered this too many times to be bothered to write it again so go look at some of the threads in this section and Martial Arts talk and TaeKwonDo). It will give you the answers you need.

Nutrition will not help you in flexibility - except in the fact that a good balanced diet and healthy living which is essential to all round health.

In the end you are stretching wrong, if you want to improve stretch right.

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#336104 - 05/19/03 09:37 AM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Use a pully and rope suspended from the ceiling in place of stretching machines. These machines just knacker your knees in my opinion. Must say I too am somewhat bemused by this leg hitting business. Putting pressure/weight on the TOP of a leg in kiba dachi (horse stance)to test the strength and stability of the stance I have heared of, hitting the "flabby" bits on the bottom is somewhat odd to say the least. Where did he pick that one up I wonder.

Regds
Mr V

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#336105 - 05/19/03 11:01 AM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
Kunoichi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Salem, NH 03079
UK you are probably going to stuff a sock in my mouth for saying this but many traditional styles of karate strengthen muscles by hitting them. In my style, Uechi Ryu, we are constantly hitting each other in the arms, kicking each other in the legs and punching each other in the stomach.

I have heard varying reasons why it works, and work it does. Some say it is the muscle contractions as we tighten before blows, strengthening it to the point of creating gristle-type muscular tissue and forming osteoblasts on the bone. Some say we are destroying nerve tissue so we don't feel the pain. And still others say it re-defines your idea of what pain is.

Myself, I think it may be a combination of all of the above. But ruptured blood vessels can happen quite often in the beginning. The end result after years of training is a full contact fighter that can withstand a lot of punishment and won't be intimidated by being on the recieving end of a punch or kick. This early conditioning is very important to women fighters as often we did not grow up doing full contact sports.

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#336106 - 05/19/03 12:42 PM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kunoichi:
In my style, Uechi Ryu, we are constantly hitting each other in the arms, kicking each other in the legs and punching each other in the stomach.


You might do this, but it has nothing to do with either stretching your muscles, or strengthening them. It will do neither.
Your general practice of karate will strengthen and stretch your muscles. If you want to supplement that with exercises, fine.

To be hit in any manner by your instructor is unacceptable. Saying, "it's good for you" are you really that niave.

If you are stretched out or in a horse stance, and your instructor says he's going to hit/kick you anywhere, say, "Keep your bloody hands to yourself." walk out of the dojo and don't bother looking back.

JohnL

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#336107 - 05/19/03 01:23 PM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
Listen to JohnL!!!!!!

These techniques won't strengthen your muscles at all.

What they do is condition your body to react to to being hit in a stationary position - I don't know about you but I don't stand and tense by body to see if I can take a hit.

Hitting the body should be left to full contact sparring, its more natural as you actaully learn how you are going to be hit and because you are not focusing on a muscle (as you do with these exercises) you will not get bruising which will effect other parts of your training.

I think this hitting stuff is fine if you want to do stuff like the Shaolin type kung fu feats, but in the end - you train for this and you are aware of what you are doing and have control over the situation having a sensei or partner hit you as under the premise of strenthening, I am sorry is still the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

In the end we live in the 21st century here.

If you want to train effectively to get the most out of your Martial Arts there is a much more scientific approach, in the end look at all the champs of K1, UFC and the like, I bet that all the top people have not bothered with such silly training and have taken their hits where it counts - during sparring.

[This message has been edited by UKfightfreak (edited 05-19-2003).]

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#336108 - 05/19/03 01:29 PM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kunoichi:
This early conditioning is very important to women fighters as often we did not grow up doing full contact sports.[/QUOTE]

Sorry the thing about hitting flabby muscles to make them stronger is the second sillyiest thing I have heard...

[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] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

[This message has been edited by UKfightfreak (edited 05-19-2003).]

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#336109 - 05/19/03 09:04 PM Re: Burst Blood Vessel in leg
Kunoichi Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/14/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Salem, NH 03079
Yes! Yes! Yes! To the fact you don't want to just stand still and get beat on. That's why we say if you aren't conditioning while you are moving - you aren't conditioning.

Despite its importance for most forms of modern martial arts training, body conditioning has either been totally dropped or is sadly neglected. Traditional forms of kung fu and karate, such as Uechi Ryu, have always incorporated a system of body conditioning. It was by means of body conditioning that the body was prepared for the rigors of real combat.

Today many of these exercises to "toughen" the body have been discarded. The emphasis has shifted to sport karate (games of tag) and body conditioning has been replaced with muscle and cardiovascular conditioning because now it is fitness that is of paramount importance. It can be said, however, that conditioning is vital to all forms of karate because it gives the body the ability to stand up to the constant knocks and blows. The ability to withstand the small but constant injuries sustained in normal training is important because it gives rise to greater confidence in the practice of karate. In addition to this confidence conditioning done correctly will help to maintain good health. For these reasons conditioning should again become an essential part of martial arts practice.

Traditionally, conditioning was achieved by practicing very slightly injurious routines slowly and sustainedly over many years. The important word here is slightly. The inflicting of serious injury is detrimental to body conditioning, karate spirit, and general well being. Neither masochism nor sadism should have a place in training. It must be noted that vigorous training may seem to approach these extremes but at no time should the boundary separating safe from injurious training be crossed.

There are no absolutes and it necessary for the training partners to set their own limits with which each is comfortable. It is up to the instructors and seniors to ensure that the training is continuing within orderly and safe bounds.

So what areas do traditional karate individuals try to train? To answer that question we will look at Uechi Ryu Karate Do, a conservative Okinawan form of karate, which has a number of specific exercise to train particular places. These exercises are done against the resistance of a partner and so increase muscular strength at the same time as conferring conditioning. The slight trauma is provided by means of rubbing and hitting. These exercises are performed at every training session and last for approximately 10 - 15 minutes. In Okinawa, Japan, karate training sessions consist of two or more hours three times a week. Conditioning is started at the first lesson.

In the first place these conditioning exercises are used to strengthen those areas on the outer arm used for the majority of blocking, that is, the dorsal, medial, and lateral aspects of the forearm. Care is taken to avoid the tendons, nerves and blood vessels of the ventral (inner) aspect and also around the elbow and wrist joints. This whole area is referred to as the Kote in Japanese. These areas are conditioned by practicing repeated blocks and strikes to each of the areas in turn, each time hitting a slightly different place. Next in importance to the blocking areas, are the areas that are not so successful in avoiding getting hit or kicked such as the; thighs, and calves (which in this system is also used in blocking against kicking techniques). Lesser amounts of conditioning in other areas that also occasional become hit, such as, the stomach, pectorals, and the latissimus dorsii muscles, is also undertaken. In Okinawa conditioning of the frontal lower throat area has been observed, the resistance being provided by forceful contraction of the neck muscles.

Coincidentally with this protective conditioning the exercises are training the striking weapons so as to improve their strength and ability to withstand constant impacts. They use techniques such as striking with (knife hand, using body of the Abductor Digiti Minimi muscle on the edge of the hand), (hammer fist, which utilizes and reinforces the same area as shuto by having the digits tightly flexed to form a fist), and (full fist, striking with knuckles of index and middle fingers). Parts of the foot such as tips of toes, top of instep and occasionally the lower shin just above the ankle is used for conditioning the legs by means of (front kicks) and (circular or round house kicks). The areas of the leg that are conditioned are the lateral and anterior (outer and front) aspects of the thigh and to a lesser extent the inner or medial aspects above the adductor canal (well above the knee but low enough to avoid the groin). The lower leg is conditioned at lateral and medial sides of the shin and at the front, above the shin bone proper, where the Tibialis Anterior muscle joins the top 1/3 of the tibia below the tibial plateau. The shin itself is also conditioned by repeated very light taps with the toes. In addition in Okinawa the front of the shin is conditioned by rolling a smooth heavy weight up and down on it. Kote Tikkai (arm rubbing) is also used for conditioning in addition to the (blocking) and (striking) techniques described above. This is where the three blocking areas of the forearms are massaged against those of a partner very forcefully. It is said to be used to spread the micro bruises out and increase the blood supply. Sometimes the calve is rubbed by using a rising front kick into a rubbing X or cross block to the lower leg.

Chinese Kung Fu practitioners also use similar methods as well as preparations of herbal medicines to enhance blood flow into the regions that are being conditioned. An herbal remedy is used in Uechi Ryu Karate Do but only to ameliorate over-enthusiastic conditioning that has caused severe or extensive bruising. The so called "Uechi Grass" preparation of an herbal grass grown at the masters home soaked in (Okinawan rice spirit) is applied topically and internally, but it is not used routinely as it would be in Chinese systems. Besides partner work Chinese practitioners employ such training aids as lightly and repeatedly hitting the "wooden man" so often seen in Wing Chun academies.

Although the methods employed vary from style to style, the end result appears to be the same. Unfortunately it is impossible to state what physiological changes conditioning actually brings about, without the opportunity of dissecting a practitioner's arm. We can speculate about how it is most likely effected, from observing the changes seen in the proponents of Uechi Ryu and in particular, those changes arising and developing in students new to karate. The author has had the opportunities to observe this training both in students and high ranking masters in Okinawa for one year and among his own students over periods as long as twelve years.

All students report bruising, on first starting body conditioning. This soon lessens and usually disappears within six months. Severe bruising is a sign of over vigorous application, if it continues with a lower intensity of conditioning bruising needs to be investigated as it could be indicative of blood or other medical disorders. The bruising appears to be more common in students of poor physical condition and weak muscle tone. Younger students frequently achieve conditioning more quickly. Once it has been achieved, conditioning seems to last for a period of years after the cessation of active training. The muscle tone and resistance to depression in actively conditioned areas appears to be very high. There is no sign of obvious damage and no changes in skin texture or coloration were observable.

Deep breath. So. If you are into sport karate where you are able to garner points by just waving a kick in front of someone's face, fine, don't condition. Want real full contact fighting and real self defense? Then train like it. Not for 6 months. Not for 16 months but for a lifetime.

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