Stance training in martial arts?

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the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been going to a kung fu class and I'm hoping someone knows a bit about that sort of training.

They work you pretty hard in this class and I find I can be sore for a couple of days after. There's a lot of low stances used - holding the horse stance and then a lot of moving between stances. I'd like to improve quickly but also don't want to slow my progress by doing too much/not enough recovery.

Are there any guidlines for something like this? Would it productive to practice if you're still sore the next day or two days later?

How would this affect S&S workouts? I've been following the S&S swing program until recently. During kung fu days, I just don't have the energy to swing a kettlebell after class. I've tried to get some swings in during the other days but at a reduced volume because of soreness.

Thanks for any advice.

 
 

Christian Gelderblom

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi Chris,

I am training Krav Maga 2/3 times a week. Quite different from Kung Fu. No low stances, no forms and so on. I had a similar problem and got great advice on this forum: http://www.strongfirst.com/topic/recovery-training-time-and-supplements/

What is your first priority? Martial Arts or S+S? Once I decided that for myself (Krav Maga), it definitely got much easier. My ideal week looks like this: In addition to 2 or 3 times of KravMaga training I try to get 2-4 S+S sessions done per week, usually in the morning. I take at least one day off, sometimes two. I am working with the 24, close to owning it. I usually do not use a timer, I don't chase numbers and I end a session early when things feel too heavy. And that's an example for an A+ week. Family, work, whatever may get in the way and I rather cut back on S+S than on Krav Maga... Works for me. So, take your recovery serious. If you are pushing your limits today, you may not be able to train at all the next day.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Hello Chris,

Couple of important information, plus program:

http://practicalhungkyun.com/2013/09/most-common-hung-ga-kyun-misconceptions-horse-stance-thighs-parallel/

http://practicalhungkyun.com/2013/08/practical-hung-kyun-28-day-stance-training-challenge-program/
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the replies.

I guess the kung fu will take priority because the other option is to not go to the classes. I'll reduce the kettlebells as much as needed until the body adapts.

I'm in it for fun and fitness. The stance training seems to be good for my back and some of the upper body moves seem to help my shoulder. I think it will be really good for me.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
I would personally concentrate in S&S first (not just Swing, but whole program, including the "warmup/move prep), and meet at least "Simple" standards - you will lay an excellent movement, strength and conditioning foundation for your future martial arts training. I wish i had such a program and tool back in 1991 when I have started to learn Chinese martial arts.

If this is not an option, try to practice S&S three times a week, if not possible, twice a week (but not less).
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the advice.

I'll definitely keep on the swings. The volume will have to be adjusted to account for the new kung fu class but they're the best thing that's happened to my back (once I could do them right) so I don't intend to stop.

I like getups but I found the side press, as described in ptp, actually helps my shoulder more. It's like it activates the exact muscles I have trouble activating in a way that getups and kb presses weren't doing.

I 'd like to work on getups but don't want to give up the side press, is there a way to work them both in? Perhaps the "variety day" concept from etk or maybe 1/2 ups as an "ab" exercise?

Since the kung fu is new I figure there will be a period of adjustment where I'm sore and tired a lot but it should get better after a while.
 

Jason Ginsberg

Level 4 Valued Member
Pavel's advice is excellent, and I can only concur, wish I had had S&S when I started kung fu. I would drop the side press for now, you're not going to get nearly as much out of it. Do the getups, get to the simple standard (not that hard with consistent, by-the-book effort), then start working on bent presses.
 

guacadoggie

Level 3 Valued Member
Chris, I too take martial arts, and have been longer than I've been kettlebell training, though my art is very different from what you're doing (mine lacks the formal aspect and focuses on self defense and kickboxing).

One thing I love is that martial arts and kettlebell training work extremely well together. Like what has been said before, you must determine what your priority will be. My focus changed after I got my black belt over a year ago; I now just make martial arts class as fun as I can and focus on generating the least amount of energy to accomplish the same thing. In doing so, I've drastically improved.

That being said, S&S is my focus now and I practice it 4-5 days per week, and not on martial arts days. My focus here, as well, is on making everything easier. Remember in S&S when Pavel talks about long-time practitioners are kind of lazy about their skills? How the pros can close their fist in the split-second before impact? Same applies to S&S practice.

Adjust your S&S training to allow you to complete your practices feeling refreshed. And definitely don't only focus on the swings. The warm-up and getups are integral to the program too.

Sorry for the long comment... I hope that helps, though.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the reply.

I've been sticking with the swings on non kung fu days.  I haven't been doing the warmups exactly as prescribed because my shoulder doesn't like the halos but I have been working the other drills before every swing session.

I do like getups and would like to work them in but the side presses help my shoulder and I don't want to give those up. And they want us to do pushups in kung fu which I'm really bad at. I would welcome any advice regarding this.

People have mentioned priorities and mine are first to keep on the drills that improve my back and shoulder issues, primarily swings and side press. Second, at least in the short term, is surviving kung fu until I get used to the activity and it no longer takes so much out of me.
 

MikeBelanger

Level 1 Valued Member
Just bumping this thread as I'm in a similar situation to Chris Hansen. I've started Kung Fu about a month ago, and I've been doing S&S for about 3. Here's a breakdown:

-Mornings 5x a week: S&S (warm-ups, workout, everything). 30 push-ups, 30 hindu-squats after.

-Afternoon/Evening 5x a week: Practice low-stances for about 15 min, 30 pushups, 30 hindu-squats.

-I take a break from the above on the days I go to Kung Fu class, 2x a week.

Now here's my question:

I'd like to increase my endurance on the low-stances. Should I just stay the course, as Pavel suggested earlier, or is there some kind of squatting routine that can speed up this endurance in low stances?
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Hello Mike,

My suggestion:

- skip the Hindu pushups and squats

- as for stances, the "secret" is correct technique, structure, alignement. I had some students who could comfortably hold 5-10 minute low horse stance on their very first lesson. When you a) will move better b) get stronger, your stances will improve. Kneeling hip flexor stretch, prying goblet squat, and 4-way cossack stretch help. Refer to Relax into Stretch and Super-Joints by Pavel. Practice your stances of course.
 

MikeBelanger

Level 1 Valued Member
Thanks Pavel! I tried the hip-flexor stretch today, and my stance is feeling a lot better. Yeah, I'm not sure about skipping push-ups/squats. Simply because my Sifu is going to test me on those in a few weeks. Otherwise, I'd be happy just to practice stance, and S&S.
 

MikeBelanger

Level 1 Valued Member
He's testing for 30 pushups and 30 hindu squats. That said, I can currently do a set of both if I've only done S&S that day.

I guess I was just worried that my reps would go down if I stop the squats/pushups. Plus I want to respect the whole 'just do what sifu says' thing.

That said, he is somewhat open-minded, and as long as I can endure his training, I don't think he'll raise any objections. He does go on about how I should focus on cultivating the chi, not muscle. Then again, he also said I should get (not making this up) "...get strong first!". Exactly what this organization is about.

So I'll take your advice, and focus on stance, stretches, and of course, S&S. Thanks! Your studio has a very informative website, btw.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
30 Hindu squats/pushups is very easy, so you should not be worried. For calm of your mind, you can include them in your training if you like of course.

And of course, be a good student and listen to your Sifu.

Thank you for your kind words - any help needed, post here on the forum. Lots of knowledgable ladies and gentlemen here.
 
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