If you train for long enough and keep an eye out for what’s going on around you, you’ll see trends come and go in the martial arts and fitness worlds.
In martial arts training we’ve seen explosions of Wing Chun, mostly thanks to Bruce Lee (who actually rejected this style… but that’s a story for another day), karate, kickboxing and now everything is about MMA (or as many incorrectly claim, UFC).
In the fitness world we’ve gone from a running craze, to aerobics, yoga, to kettlebells, to triathlons and zumba – I may have missed one or two… but you get the point.
Fashions and tends are fickle beasts and as soon as people start following the latest guru, there’s another one further down the line coming up with the latest fad – Xtreme Zumba anyone?
However, it’s always beneficial to look at the less exciting aspects of training, delve a little deeper than the glitz and glamour of the latest health club boxercise class and think about what’s really important and how we can keep our mortal coils training until the day we drop, rather than just looking good in the here and now. Because, that’s really the point, isn’t it? I’m a firm believer in training for life. I want to still be teaching and training when I’m 120 years old (I started Tai Chi in my 20’s… surely this will keep me going for 100 years!). And I still want you in my classes then!!
Trainees (and sadly a great many teachers/trainers/instructors) can often be seen pushing themselves to the limit in their strength, fitness and overall conditioning that the less alluring aspects of their training are left by the wayside. Joint mobility is a great example of this, when you go to a gym or sporting event, how many people do you see warming up their joints? I’d hazard a pretty good guess that it’s very few!
However, a daily joint mobility routine can take you less than 10 minutes to do, yet have a dramatic effect on health and longevity (as well as providing you with an instant energy boost and feeling of being nicely warmed up and gently stretched out).
I myself when I was a student was guilty of causing myself issues with my joints because of not training intelligently enough and had to go through three knee surgeries in three years (two torn cartilage and one cruciate ligament reconstruction)…. I can tell you, that wasn’t much fun! However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and it made me look into ways I could stop my body from falling to pieces before the rest of me was ready to stop training!
By incorporating joint mobility regularly into my training, I effectively lubricate my joints, keeping them healthier, more mobile, flexible, injury proof and resilient. Recovery from training has been quicker and injuries have decreased dramatically.
For those who work hunched over computers or sitting down working or driving all day, the effects of this daily stress on the structure of the body can be dramatic… and not in a good way. By keeping the joints mobile and lubricated with synovial fluid (the lubricating liquid that washes the joints) you can reverse these effects and feel altogether healthier, happier and more in tune with your body.
How can I learn these exercises and reap the rewards of which you speak, I hear you ask…… well the answer to that in this day and age is simple isn’t it? – You can Google it!
Or, better yet, let’s be old school about this for a minute…. I’ll see you in class! 🙂
Train hard (and sensibly)