Free Guide: Strength & Cardio for Karate Practitioners

“Lifting weights makes your Karate bad.”

Wrong.

Physical training is essential for Karate.

A weak body cannot sustain high-level Karate practice for long.

shinyu_gushi_nigirigame
The old masters knew the importance of strength training.

But it has to be done right!

For example, you should NOT follow a standard bodybuilding program.

Studies show that a bodybuilding program decreases your activation of motor units (making your Karate techniques worse) and only gives a minimal boost in speed-strength (the ability of your neuromuscular system to produce the greatest possible impulse in the shortest possible time).

So…

Forget Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Think Bruce Lee!

You need functional strength that improves your Karate performance.

Therefore, I invited my friend Vilhjálmur Halldórsson, a graduate of the most prestigeous physical education program in Iceland, to share his expertise with you.

In this article you will learn exactly how to construct your own physical training program for Karate.

But wait!

If you DON’T want to create your own program, click here to download Strength Training for Karate instead – my ready-made program for you.

Now…

Let’s start the free guide:

Why Strength & Cardio Training?

First of all, the basics.

I often have a hard time convincing Karate-ka that they should lift weights.

Typically, this resistance stems from bad experience with prior strength training (i.e. feeling heavy, slow gains, getting injured etc.). I don’t blame these people, because often they’ve been doing a “body-split routine”, which is not good for Karate.

Body-split routine means that in each session you’re working only one bodypart.

Like Arnold.

For example; on Mondays you work chest (Mondays are international chest day) and on Tuesdays you do the back. This allows you to put a great amount of training volume on specific bodyparts.

That’s great – if you’re getting ready for the beach!

The rest of us wants to strength and cardio to enhance our Karate skills.

In Karate, we are always trying to use our body the most efficient way. Thus, we should pick exercises that challenge the entire body as a unit, based on the true concept of Karate.

This allows us to maximize our power for Karate.

But physical training is more than lifting weights. It’s about optimizing your performance for any activity.

Therefore, a personal trainer will look at how you run, squat, jump, push, pull and twist to find weaknesses in these basic human movements, and then prescribe specific exercises aimed at overcoming imbalances and dysfunctions in your body.

However, most of us don’t have access to a personal trainer.

So let’s dig deeper…

The 3 Planes of Motion

Your body can move through three different planes of motion:

  • Sagittal (moving forward and backwards)
  • Frontal (from side to side)
  • Transverse (rotational movements)

Why is it important to know these?

For example, in activities where we move excessively in the sagittal plane, and are constantly trying to create power forwards, stability in the frontal plane (sideways) is extremely important.

If you watch Karate-ka do techniques in the sagittal plane (i.e. stepping punch), you’ll often see their hip falling out as a consequence of weak hip abductors.

This is a common problem!

Whenever you step forward in a zenkutsu-dachi, you need to stabilize the front knee in the frontal plane (to the sides). But if you’re weak in this plane, your muscles can’t provide enough stabilization and this will lead to knee injury, most likely ACL injury.

So, it’s vital to know the planes of motion.

Now let’s look at how to maximize gains…

Periodization Theory

In several sports, there are seasons that dictate how an athlete trains.

The seasons are typically divided into various periods, i.e. competition period, pre-competition period, off-season etc.

Here’s a basic example for somebody who competes in Karate:

  • Pre-competitive period: In this phase the Karate-ka typically works on fundamental strength, endurance, lots of technique and basics. This is known as the GPP (General Preparation Phase)
  • Competitive period: In this period the Karate-ka tries to make his/her training reflect the competitive environment, with less focus on quantity and more focus on quality. Mental training and recovery plays a bigger role. This is the culmination of what’s known as the SPP (Specific/Special Preparation Phase)
  • Off-season: Lastly, after your goal has been reached, a common mistake (typically in young Karate-ka) is to take a complete break from training. It is, however, much better to spend this time working against muscular imbalances, rehab and stability. Training can take a less serious tone, but a general level of fitness should be maintained. This is commonly known as the CBP (Chill on the Beach Phase) for most people. Piña Colada not included.

In Karate we don’t have the same “seasons” as regular sports though.

The lack of these defined seasons makes our periodization plan difficult. We must constantly train speed, flexibility, conditioning and strength throughout the year.

Therefore, try to always incorporate strength, speed, mobility, flexibility, stability etc. in your weekly regimen and vary the emphasis depending on how close to certain goals you are.

Try to also surprise your body with different exercises during the periodization process, and focus on improving your weaknesses in order to not burn out.

Next, exercise selection…

What Exercises Should I Do?

When it comes to exercises, you need to know that your body doesn’t care about “muscle groups”.

It thinks in terms of “movement patterns”.

Therefore, your training program should be a) primarily based on functional movements and b) involve core demanding full-body exercises.

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Preview of ‘Strength Training for Karate’ (READ MORE).

Below is a list of suitable exercises for creating your own program.

In the list there are many exercises that can be performed on one leg or two legs.

If you do the single-leg variation you have to stabilize the movement more, which takes focus away from the prime movers. Meaning, you can’t handle as much weight but you’ll greatly improve your “functional” strength and stability. When you are on two legs it’s the opposite; you are more stable so you can use more weights, but you won’t develop the same stability.

(Which one should you choose? It depends on your skill level and goals. If your idea of fun is not being able to sit without pain for a few days, I suggest combining them both.)

Hip dominant

Knee dominant

Vertical pulling

Horizontal pulling

Vertical pushing

Horizontal pushing

Anti-extension (core)

Anti-rotation / anti-lateral (core)

Mix exercises from each category to create your own program!

Keep in mind that some of these exercises require extra instruction and preferably a spotter before your form is good enough to perform it on your own (i.e. back squat, deadlift, barbell row, bench press etc.).

All exercises can be made more or less difficult with single/double legs & arms.

It’s worth mentioning that everyone is different and you might have a muscular imbalance that prevents you from doing some of these exercises above.

Now let’s talk cardio…

Cardio Training for Karate

The human body is brilliant.

It constantly adapts to the stress that we put it under.

If you train your endurance by lifting light weights for fifty reps, you are going to get good at that. Or if you run slowly for a long time, you are going to get good at that.

People call the above “endurance training”, but neither of those options are very appealing for someone who wants to improve their Karate endurance.

The best advice for someone who wants to improve their conditioning for Karate is:

Do more Karate!

That being said, if you feel that your Karate training is not building your endurance I suggest Tactical Metabolic Training (TMT).

TMT simply means that you emulate the metabolic demands of the sport/activity you’re performing – through tweaking the various parameters of work (timing, movements, tools, intensity, frequency etc.) corresponding to your chosen activity.

For instance, a Karate athlete who competes in kumite should have the ability to go all out for three minutes, then recover, and then go again. Hence, their endurance training needs to reflect this.

For somebody who wants efficient all-round conditioning, I recommend high intensity interval training (HIIT), which has been scientifically proven to improve cardio and endurance greatly. A good example is the Tabata protocol, where you perform 8 sets of 20 sec work with 10 sec rest between, for a total of 4 grueling minutes.

Obviously the work/rest periods and types of exercises can be adjusted to better reflect your specific goals in training.

The final point I want to make here is that there’s a trend in the fitness industry that goes, “if you leave the gym still able to walk, without throwing up five times, you have wasted your time, bro!”

Bullsh*t.

If you think of training as medicine that is supposed to improve your health and well-being, does it make sense to constantly leave the gym feeling miserable?

Of course not…

Martin Rooney, a world-famous strength coach I admire greatly, once told me, “Anyone can make somebody tired, but not anyone can make somebody better”.

Train smarter – not just harder.

Now, time for 6-pack stuff:

Core Training

Anyone who has ever been to the gym has an opinion on this subject, and it’s becoming one of the most talked-about topics in the professional strength community.

I’m talkin’ core training.

One of Bruce Lee’s classic core exercises

Now listen…

People say things like “use your inner core” or “this is a great exercises for your lower abdominals“, without fully comprehending what they’re actually talking about.

Point being, your inner core consists of many things; including the diaphragm, transversus abdominis, multifidus and the pelvic floor – and your “lower abs” are quite often really your obliques.

Also, there’s a difference between core strength and core stability:

Core strength is the ability to move your trunk powerfully, while core stability is the ability to maintain and resist outside force – whether that force is a barbell or your own hand waving around.

An exercise where you perform a movement that directly challenges your core develops your core strength, while an exercise where there is a challenge not to move your trunk develops your core stability.

The core is important in all exercises.

This is why personal trainers don’t let their clients perform heavy lifts like deadlifts or squats if they have a weak core, since the primary function of your core is to stabilize the spine and keep it safe.

Make sure you always activate your core!

Another function of the core – especially in Karate – is to transmit energy.

If we use the example of the stationary gyaku-zuki (reverse punch) twisting your hips from hanmi to shomen (half facing to facing) you will realize that with a weak core the energy will get lost along the way, and you will have an inefficient technique.

This is why Karate-ka should strive to train rotation – because it’s one of the main components when executing techniques.

Note: My program Strength Training for Karate contains detailed video instructions of specific rotational core exercises for Karate.

However, it’s important to make sure that you rotate your hips along with the torso (keeping your back straight), otherwise you twist your lumbar spine – which is a quick way to get injured.

Lastly…

Some people will tell you that if you squat, benchpress or deadlift, you don’t need to strengthen your core specifically.

This is true if your core is firing in perfect sequence and you have good balance in all your core muscles.

But, I’ve seen really top-class athletes with inactive obliques, weak technique or a bad firing sequence (referring to the order in which the core muscles activate to hold the spine stable), so this isn’t always the case.

So train your core, bro!

Simple rules for core training:

  • Do not twist and bend your lumbar spine at the same time.
  • When you train rotation, make sure you rotate your hips as well.
  • Make sure you train anti-extension, anti-rotation and anti-lateral flexion to have balance. Too many people just focus on anti-extension.
  • Stop doing crunches. You’re most likely just training your hip flexors.
  • When you can perform a one-minute plank for several sets, move on.
  • Save the core exercises for last. This is for your own safety. If you have an exhausted core, you could get injured when doing heavy lifts.
  • Did I mention “stop doing crunches”?
  • If you don’t like core exercises, pick other exercises that are core demanding – preferably unilateral (one arm/leg).

Now let’s talk painful stuff…

Repetitive Moves & Muscular Imbalances

What does having a muscular imbalance really mean?

And does it truly matter?

Bad posture or repetitive movement can easily cause a muscular imbalance – often without you even noticing.

See, your muscles have contractile fibers which are called actin and myosin.

These fibers have an optimal position for performance; meaning that when your muscles are too tight, these fibres are jammed together and can’t perform to the best of their abilities. The same thing goes when they are too far apart.

For example, when you punch you internally rotate your arm.

This internal rotation is done mostly by two muscles; the pectoralis major and the subscapularis.

When you do this repetitively (anytime you punch a lot) and don’t let these muscles recover properly, they become overworked and too short, while the external rotators become too long, causing shoulder stiffness and pain.

Ever noticed how basketball players turn their hand when they make a long pass?

It’s all about smart movement!

This is why strength and conditioning coaches not only look at movements in the sport their clients play, but also look at what movements are not there.

For this reason, Karate-ka who are hitting the gym should perform more pulling motions, to balance their bodies.

Common muscular imbalances in Karate:

  • Like we discussed above, because we internally rotate the arm/hand bone (humerus) so much, the muscles that do the rotation can become short. The way to fix this is to strengthen the external rotators and stretch the pectoralis major and subscapularis
  • Winging scapula is a common muscular imbalance among throwing/punching athletes. What happens is that the shoulder blade moves too far away from the spine because the serratus anterior muscle is too weak. The way to fix this problem is to perform wall slides or serratus push-ups.
  • Poor internal rotation of the leg bone (femur) happens when the external rotators of the leg are so tight they don’t allow the natural internal rotation which the bone requires. This causes all sorts of hip problems. Anytime you kick a mae-geri, yoko-geri or mawashi-geri, you are using these external rotators. Imagine how tight they can get! The way to fix this is to perform passive and activ stretching, and foam roll/massage the external rotators combined with slow strengthening exercises.
  • Stiff ankles is another problem in Karate. There are many muscles in the foot, and some of them sound like a Harry Potter spell (flexor digitorum profoundus is a good example). Two muscles which typically hinder dorsiflexion (the ability to lift the toes to the shin) are the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These often require extra stretching. Flexible ankles are important for many reasons in Karate, including knee protection; because if your ankles are too stiff and can’t move correctly, the knee will take over – and you knee is not designed for that kind of movement. There are tons of ankle mobility exercises out there, spend some time looking them up with sensei Google.

You get the point. Now…

“What happens if I try to do a movement but lack mobility?”

This is quite simple. Your body finds a way. It’s smart. The body always chooses the path of least resistance.

This could be good – or bad!

For example, when you squat and have poor ankle flexibility, your knees are unable to go far enough forward – so when you get to a certain depth you will compensate by letting your upper back fall forward and flex the spine, which is not a good idea when you have a barbell on your back.

Therefore, posture and technique should always precede heavier weights.

Conclusion

In a challenging martial art like Karate, the feeling of getting stronger can be a lifesaver.

Both physically and mentally…

That’s why you need a good strength training plan!

Mas Oyama (founder of Kyokushin Karate) wrestled with strong bulls.

However, it’s important that it doesn’t disturb your Karate.

If you are constantly tired from hitting the gym, your Karate skills will suffer.

The #1 solution is therefore to get a personal trainer.

If that’s not possible, download Strength Training for Karate instead – my ready-made program consisting of 30 exercises divided into 3 levels, presented in a 16 page manual with video.

Or just try to create your own program.

Good luck! 🙂

/Jesse

104 Comments

  • Raza
    Wow. Why has no one else written about this? I thought I was the only one who experienced muscular imbalances. Jeez, I've been looking for exercises to fix it for years. Thanks Jesse for writing this. None of the physical trainers or physical therapists or anyone said anything about these problems. Again, thanks.
    • Randy
      We've been writing about it for years: http://www.fightsciencesresearchinstitute.wordpress.com/ Karate can be one of the surest ways to develop muscular imbalances, with all of the chronic injuries that follow (ask around, and you see a predictable constellation of karateka with vertebral disc herniation/degeneration, Achilles tendon ruptures, meniscus, ACL and MCL injuries, protracted shoulders with rotator cuff impingement, upper and lower crossed syndrome, and kyphosis). Train smarter, get good instruction in how to lift and condition, ignore "more is better" when it comes to your karate, and avoid the pitfalls.A quick word on Tabata training- intensity is the absolutely crucial factor in making this a productive use of training time. When people say something like "I do Tabata push ups or Tabata kata," this is missing the boat. The original Tabata results came from trained athletes working at 170% VO2 max (maximal cardiovascular capacity) for the 20 second work periods. They used mechanically braked cycles to do this. Chances are high that most people doing "Tabata" out there aren't working anywhere near this hard. Monitoring heart rate is the simplest way to keep track of how hard you are actually working. You want to be around 95% or higher max HR (you can use the 220-age method to figure this out, but it is not at all accurate- get a trainer to help you do a more accurate assessment).You can't work that hard doing kata or even bag work. The other issue is that if you fatigue skilled patterns, you begin to train in a breakdown of kinematics (form). If you use skilled motor patterns, not only are you not working hard enough for the metabolic adaptations to occur, but you are beginning to corrupt those skilled patterns. So choose something gross that doesn't involve skilled motor patterns, but still involves large amounts of muscle mass, like jump rope, bike, sprints, etc. Once you ID your working HR, make that a target to hit during the 20 second periods. One more thing- your max HR changes as you become more conditioned, so your max in the first few months of training might be a few beats lower- it can even drop some from day to day- identify your target HR range, and adjust accordingly. Tabata intervals once per week is enough for the first 4-6 weeks. Occasionally adding in a second Tabata day is ok every few weeks, but this is definitely a "more is not better" situation. It's easy to overtrain at this intensity level. Mix in days of different duration intervals at different intensities. I.e., one day Tabata, one day metabolic complexes, one day of sustained high intensity (15-20 min 80-85% MHR, x1 or 2) and maybe some longer steady state easy work from time to time. Also avoid stacking up Tabata on high intensity weight training days, and if it will be on the same day as lifting, do it after, not before (which is the rule of thumb with all cardio in the same day as lifting).
      • Thank you Randy for sharing your great ideas...Keep up the good spirit..
  • Shawn Vicknair
    Great article. You should check out Scott sonnon.
    • dtb
      I agree. Outstanding! there is noting to add. Glad to fin see an academic essay based on real science. Kudos and more. Every article I read by Jesse san I am more impressed. Keep 'em coming
  • Thanks Jesse for yet another super and timely article! I have been trying to join the dots on strength training and improved karate performance for the past half year with a personal trainer who isn't a karate practitioner but gets the need for explosive action. After reluctantly admitting that heavy lifting has made a big difference to my stances, and realizing that long commuting for work makes the gym less likely (it always comes second to karate classes!), I invested in the basics for a home gym and included an olympic barbell set. Not only does it make my lounge more stylish, I've even learned to like it. I've also tried educating myself as much as I can about martial arts fitness in general. This article gets straight to the point and is a much simpler outline to follow than a book. It also covered alot of areas I hadn't thought of yet so I'm looking forward to re-reading it plenty of times and integrating what I can. Thank you again!
  • Great article Jesse-san. I've just started working out with my youngest son (a 22 y/o, so not so young) with functional fitness being the goal, and it's been great fun. Thanks for this resource. It's a chewy topic and I've bookmarked this article to keep coming back to for ideas when we occasionally rev our routine. Keep the good stuff comin' bro!
  • David
    Thank you Jesse! I always find your articles interesting, but it's awesome to read one that fits in PERFECTLY with what I'm trying to work on right now.I'd love to see more articles like this. Having helpful and specific recommendations for improving my karate is just fantastic.One thing I didn't see much about was recommendations for sets/reps. Like you say, everyone is different, but it would be nice to see a suggested starting point.
    • Thanks David-san! You are completely right. When I expand the article, I'll make sure to include examples of sets and reps.
      • Vilhjalmur halldorsson
        sets x reps needs to vary frequently, for building strength you want few reps and more sets ( 3-5 reps all the way up to 6 sets) for most people starting out with strength training 8-12reps 3-4 sets is a nice middle ground between the bodybuilder and the powerlifter
  • Thanks Jesse, awesome info! Very helpful.
  • Manuel
    Wonderful advices Jesse!! I just wanted to ask you one thing, I plan buying the Hojo Undo book bt Michael Clarke, do you think I can get good results following the exercises I'll find in that book also? =)
    • Manuel-san: Absolutely. If you have access to the tools in question (nigiri-game, chi-ishi, kongo-ken etc.) I believe you can get good results with traditional strength and conditioning training for Karate (hojo-undo). That being said, it's MUCH better to learn from somebody in person rather than a book. Especially when it comes to old-school exercises like hojo-undo, where there's much more in play than meets the eye.
      • Krishnov
        how to mix strength training with karate training? should i do it separately? or should i do the strength training right before or after karate training? thanks :D
  • Brian Smiles
    Hey Jesse, big fan of your articles!Keep it up bro!:)
  • Marcelo Luna
    Thanks Jesse San!I'm practicing bodybuilding six months in order to gain some muscle mass and better withstand blows to the body. I have the goal of getting functional training for karate, but was lost. Now with your help I can create a functional training routine along with my fitness trainer!Gambate!
  • Henrik
    Excellent article and very useful.Several of these topics are on the agenda in our dojo and also for me personally.This article not only provides new information for these topics, it also highlights areas that need more focus and it gives me more energy and inspiration to move forward.Wish I could provide something more valueadding than praise with my first comment. I will spread the knowledge to make up for it.
  • Mark A
    Starting strength and strong lifts 5x5 are my favorite programs. Does not matter what area of life where strength is needed; they ensure you have it when you need it. Everything from moving heavy furniture to going "nope!" when someone is trying for that americana or kimura, to everything in between.Science seems scarce on research on trying to determine if we can change are natural distribution of fast and slow twitch muscles to any significant extent. Or from what I have read anyways. I meet martial artists that just do not seem to have it. Makes me wonder if they do not train properly for its development, or if that is 95 percent of their potential?
  • Mario
    Hi, Jesse-san, it was a really good article for me!I have only one thing to poit: what about the olimpics lifts? I'm talking of course about the snatch and the clean & jerk. I think these two excersices are a must for anyone who want to gain explosive power.Regards,Mario
    • Mario-san, the Olympic lifts are great for explosive power. Personally I think they require a great deal of technical skill in order to be performed safely to their full potential.
      • Diego Romero
        http://www.allthingsgym.com/how-to-snatch-tutorial-with-glenn-pendlay/http://www.allthingsgym.com/how-to-clean-tutorial-with-glenn-pendlay/i'd say if you're good enough to learn karate, you're good enough to learn the oly lifts :p (within reason). just gotta be smart about it, like with everything else (and never ever ever ever do them for high reps per set in any capacity unless it's like super light, and even then be very careful and stop when your technique goes bad), and building a strength base for them first via deadlifts, presses and overhead squats will often be a good idea as well.
        • Mario
          I Agree with you, Diego, but as the better way to learn karate is with a sensei, in a dojo, the same applies for olympic lifts. The better option always be going to a some classes.If you don't know where to learn the olympic lifts, a good place to do it is in a crossfit box. The instructors there have to certificate for teach crossfit, and generally they have great technique in the olympic liftings.As Diego said, a person with the will power and skills to practice karate, will learn those liftings, if not easily, at least without difficult.Regards!
          • Diego Romero
            well, crossfit's kind of a controversial issue regarding oly technique. i myself frequent a box that has good instruction for the oly lifts (one of the things that convinced me to keep going), but since crossfit is mainly group training aimed at general fitness, even if the coaches are good (and many generalizations have been made about crossfit instruction, which has both its good and its bad exponents), it's no guarantee that you'll get adequate instruction yourself. in that regard, i'd advise towards going to boxes that have specific oly lifting classes (group or individual) in addition to the regular crossfit, as those are usually the ones that'll have people that are specifically qualified to teach oly lifts. it's worth noting that crossfit is reviled by many for averaging very bad teaching and implementation of olympic lifts, even though there are many crossfitters who have branched out into olympic lifting and done very well, which of course will influence oly lifting inside crossfit.that said, i didn't find them very hard to learn after doing a little bit of research and watching pendlay's vids (before, i was relying on rippetoe's instructions for them, which are not optimal, and so neither was my technique, to put it mildly). it's not so much that the lifts themselves are difficult (if you can keep hold of the bar, hold a rack or overhead position, and deadlift with a straight back, they're not), but that they require body awareness and control that people new to physical activity won't usually have. experienced martial artists hopefully should, however, and so should not have much trouble getting proficient at them given proper instructions (which pendlay's videos have in spades). if you want to be competitive in oly lifting, get a coach, but if you want to learn them for yourself, all you need is a little kinesthesia, some patience, and correct information (the concept of them being hard coming from many people lacking all three attributes and failing catastrophically when trying them).on yet another note, though, i'm of the opinion that clean and snatch pulls can adequately substitute for the full lifts in 99% of cases, unless you absolutely must get the bar on your shoulders or overhead from the floor, for squats, presses or whatever, and they're infinitely safer and easier to learn than the full oly lifts, and once properly grooved and developed up to a decent strength standard, they can even substitute for light/medium deadlifts (in fact i usually use cleans followed by clean pulls to warm-up for my deadlifts, although my weight training isn't karate-specific).cheers :)/wall-of-text
  • Gerry
    I've been mixing body weight exercises, higher rep/lighter dumbbell exercise with my karate training for the last couple of years. Kind of like circuit training: do x reps of a kata, planks, x reps of kata, dumbbell exercise, some bag training, etc.... Mix and match depending on your needs.
  • Henri
    Thanks for another inspiring article.After ten years of karate I can't jog long distances anymore because of knees that hurt and a golf elbow prevent me from proper training. I do believe it is because of muscle imbalances. Can you help?RegardsHenri
    • Vilhjalmur halldorsson
      Hi henrifirst thing i would look at for your knee is both your hip and ankle.with anterior knee pain, what typically goes wrong is the ability to decelerate (eccentric strength)so doing single leg work slowly will strengthen your hip abductors and the tempo of the movement will challenge the stability also specific glute med work(look it up on youtube)will help you greatly if the hip is the problem.the next thing i would look at is the mobility of the ankle because like the article mentions if you lack mobility somewhere you will do the movement from somewhere else and people who lack mobility in the ankle move excessively from the knee which can cause a problem.you might need to see a physical therapist for the elbow (and the knee)but if it´s a golf elbow "ulnar deviation" exercises could help with thathope this helps :)
    • Many years ago I enjoyed distance running. Then my knee gave out. I tried various doctors and therapists with no luck and finally went to a physiotherapist who spotted that my problem was with my foot over-pronating. A bit of arch support and a programme of exercise and stretches got me right as rain in short order.Maybe a professional can help you in a similar way.
  • Scott
    Great work, Jesse-san. I was wondering if you had thoughts on Rushfit or any other DVD series that purports to orient itself toward martial arts training?
  • Great article.When I was starting karate, I heard that exact thing from someone in my new Dojo ... that working out at the gym would make me too stiff and slow for karate. While I was never the "bodybuilder" type, I have taken my physical training towards more explosive and "functional" techniques rather than simple weightlifting, and think I'm all the better for it.I have a question about the "Three Fundamental Planes of Motion" you mention ... I would have included a fourth: vertical, as in the burpee, or if you need to hide from ninjas at night. Where would you see this fitting in your overall scheme?... looking forward to hearing more about this!
    • Vilhjalmur halldorsson
      with the karate athletes i train i always include jump training. but to do it safely you need some know how especially if you are going to do plyometrics.when designing a exercise program you should always start with the exercises that are most demanding on the CNS. so start with your explosive work and then move on to the "big exercises"
  • Diego Romero
    oh, and for those who believe that big muscled guys can't really be fit, athletic or whatever (nevermind that goju and uechi guys can get absolutely HUGE doing their hojo-undo, and no one criticizes their karate :p), here's something fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLlwuAJLY_E (warning: loud angry music and macho antics, recommend not opening at work)
  • Miq
    Hello Jesse,Great article on Strength and Conditioning; I really appreciate that you discuss functional training, and that you suggest TMT instead of the old idea of "road work," or running several miles a day for endurance. What are your thoughts on the time domain for Karate, especially non sport Karate? Would it be the 5-25 min time domain? Then, I suppose if one can run a 18 min 5K, that would be good endurance training for Martial Arts. Also, what are your thoughts on periodization if you are not a competitive karateka, or a karateka who trains for self defense, rather than competes in the sport aspect of Karate?BestBest
  • Thorsteinn
    Hey Jesse, that's a great read.I´ve been thinking quite a bit about delivering harder blows (both kicks and punches) and have mostly been thinking about the velocity part of the Newtonian equation. And the core exercise chapter above speaks to me. It would have been nice to get some more specifics about good exercises there. If you're ever in the mood to expand on the article, don't hesitate... really :) I´m currently working on an torn ACL so physical therapy + regular karate classes for the time being, but hopefully I´ll be able to transition over to a broader range of exercises within 6 or so months along with the karate.@Vilhjálmur - are you located back in Iceland now, and if so where are you practicing? It'd be great know where to head when I get into full exercise mode this fall.
    • Thorsteinn
      @Vilhjálmur - and when I say "practicing" I mean in which of the gyms are you working as a personal trainer.
      • Vilhjalmur halldorsson
        i work at Sporthúsið Kópavogur you can contact through e-mail ( vilhjalmurtt@keilir.net )for a free trial session or full time training
        • Much appreciated. Thanks.
  • Dod
    Could anyone go a little deeper into why we should not do crunches? I have heard the same often said before, and it did seem to sometimes trigger back pain (interestingly not since I started doing a lot more core exercises). But it is still a very common exercise to be asked to do in class. Maybe there's a good way to do them?
  • Vilhjalmur halldorsson
    hithe annulus fibrosus which is the outer edge of the Intervertebral discs is thinner on the back side so when you flex your lumbar spine (as you do when you crunch) it pushes the nucleus pulposus (the core of the disc) out and that can pinch one of the nerves leading to and from the spinal cord this is commonly known as a bulging disc.also EMG studies (an EMG is a machine that shows how much a single muscle is involved in a movement) have shown that the rectus abdomins (the six pack) only plays a minor role in the crunching movement and most of the work is actually done by the hip flexors which are already under quite a bit of stress in karate. in fact your basic pull up showed much more core activity then the crunch.the best way to do a crunch or a sit up is with straight legs then you move the hinge from the back to the hips and better protect your back but i still recommend doing the exercises that are in the article
    • Dod
      Thanks a lot for that reply Vilhjalmur
  • Slim934
    "In fact, studies show that a typical bodybuilding routine not only gives unnecessary increase in hypertrophy (muscle mass) but also decreases your activation of motor units (making your Karate techniques worse) and only gives a minimal boost in speed-strength (the ability of your neuromuscular system to produce the greatest possible impulse in the shortest possible time)."I would like to know exactly which studies these are. I would especially argue with that second statement about "decrease activation of motor units". This is incorrect, or the author is using a definition of motor unit that is not used in the literature. If you work a muscle such that all of the fibers have contracted to their fullest, then you have maximally activated its motor unit.This is not to imply that certain body-building protocols are good methods of exercise, which they are not.The truth of the matter is that most scientific research on exercise is absolute crap, and this is precisely what one should expect given how poorly the controls and definitions are in the experiments. Intensity and other important performance metrics are generally never well documented, or when they are they can be confounded by other effects. This is no unusual when you consider that any movement- ANY MOVEMENT - has both a strength and skill component. The power of your kick will be determined by muscle strength, as well as your skill training in throwing the kick (timing, trained biomechanics, etc.). The issue with most of the training research is that in most cases it improperly or utterly fails to control for these effects.The idea that there is such a thing as "explosive strength" that somehow exists outside of the explosive skill one is training has no empirical proof to support it. When you train to perform olympic lifts, you are becoming stronger at lifting, this is true. But from a standpoint of muscular strength you are not reaping any special gains compared to someone who lifts with a 4-5 second cadence to momentary muscular failure. The only explosiveness you are training is explosiveness in performing olympic lifts. This extends to people who engage in crossfit: they are primarily training to become good at crossfit. This specialized skill effect is one of the most agreed upon principles in exercise physiology, right up there with the Size Principle for muscles.This leaves aside the entire question of individual genetic variation. I'll use the Bruce Lee vs. Schwarzenneger comparison above. Does anyone honestly believe that if those 2 individuals had exchanged training styles that their body shapes would have morphed into the other? If you do, then you need to reacquaint yourselves with the basics of genetics as well as the statistical fallacy of Survivorship Bias.http://www.medicinasportiva.pl/new/pliki/ms_2013_04_09_Fisher.pdfhttp://www.asep.org/asep/asep/JEPonlineJUNE2012_Steele.pdfhttp://www.medicinasportiva.pl/new/pliki/ms_2011_03_08_Fisher.pdfYou'd be better off training the big lifts a few times/week to momentary muscular failure, and then using your excess time to drill martial skills than trying to push in a bunch of extraneous conditioning.
    • Hi Keith-san! Thanks for asking. The findings were based on a study by Schmidbleicher and Buhrle (why do scientist always have such crazy names?), where they compared three types of strength training, conducted with three groups of people for a couple of weeks.Group 1 used very heavy weights, and lifted them a few times only (90% RM, 3×3). Group 2 used light loads and lifted them a couple of times (45% RM, 5×8). Group 3 used moderate loads and lifted them many times (70% RM, 3×12).Group 1 & 2 were give instructions to “explode” when they lifted. This wasn’t said to the third group.This was the result:Group 1 Maximum strength: 18% increase Speed-strength: 34% increase Activation of motor units: 8 % increase Hypertrophy: 10% increaseGroup 2 Maximum strength: 17% increase Speed-strength: 11% increase Activation of motor units: 3 % increase Hypertrophy: 10% increaseGroup 3 Maximum strength: 21% increase Speed-strength: 4% increase Activation of motor units: 4 % decrease (!) Hypertrophy: 18% increaseI agree very much with your last statement, which is the protocol I follow myself. Except the failure part.
      • Diego Romero
        i believe this might be of interest:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14971971tried to find more but couldn't find it. anecdotally (which of course means zilch scientifically), oly lifters are regularly observed to have absolutely absurd vertical and box jumps (see for example relevant posts on the allthingsgym website and the occasional california strength video), and it's generally accepted by a lot of people (including a few big name strength coaches, such as poliquin for example) that heavy olympic lifts lead to bigger vertical jumps. my own jumping ability has increased a tiny little bit (went from needing a run-up for hip-height box jumps, to multiple successful ones from a standstill) after improving my full clean (note that i lift because i like lifting, not for martial arts, though), although my clean is at a paltry 1.3xBW-ish and my squat has actually gone down the drain from focusing on deadlifts. who knows, maybe when i get up to a hundred it'll have improved more.to counterbalance it, this article plays devil's advocate a bit and raises some good points: http://anthonymychal.com/2012/11/olympic_lifting/re: whether explosiveness exists or not: fitness terminology is always a mindscrew. this one at least has some basis: get as much muscle activation as possible, in the shortest time frame possible, ie accelerate with great magnitude. if done with absurdly heavy weights you will not get a whole lot of net speed (near 400lb barbell jump squats that barely clear the ground by a certain controversial weight training blogger come to mind), but done with moderate weights, the difference should be very observable, even if both are done with the same effort (the ~130lb jump squats said blogger warms up with and which are at least three times as high with no slowing down mid-way). both however are examples of the same thing. the guy could quite easily do his warm up jump squats more slowly and relaxedly and barely do a tiny bunny hop, and we can all agree that'd do jack squat, but since he puts all he has into it, he gets quite a bit of air time. as the weights go up, height and speed go down, but the effort is the same. the same deal exists with traditionally non-explosive lifts, for example any kind of regular barbell squat. if you just go through the motions, or voluntarily slow down your squat (for example in a powerlifting competition where an uncontrolled squat can lead you to not achieve legal depth, or to exceed it and fail to get up again), we can agree that very little stimuli is being applied that would lead to increased acceleration, but if you squat each rep as fast as possible (idalberto aranda and his dive-bombed ATG squats come to mind), and use bar speed as a measure of your strength increases, i'd bet money that after a while you'll be the proud owner of noticeably faster hip and knee extension when unloaded (although of course there's the issue of at which point increases in load atop having carryover to unloaded performance).i believe it was the russians that came up with the whole strength-speed, speed-strength, etc thing? we could always go with those concepts too, to be somewhat more specific./2 centsoh, and on an unrelated note, building on the exercise list on the article: heavy (at least half your bodyweight) one-arm dumbbell rows are excellent for anti-rotation too (they're basically the only thing i do for obliques, myself), and regular lunges (and i guess reverse walking lunges too, but those are probably just silly) are quite nice to simultaneously stretch out and strengthen the psoas, since they get heavily involved in pulling you out of the bottom of the lunge when you use the rear leg to stand up (much more tolerable and less boring than leg raises, at least to me, and they do wonders for hip flexor-induced back pain as well)
      • Diego Romero
        and because i completely forgot; an addendum for the sake of completeness: re: the thing about rep speed: this of course correlates with the study jesse mentioned indicating that those who were not instructed to think about 'exploding' their reps. that said, i believe the study was flawed, because they should have had six groups instead, two with each protocol, of which half attempted to 'explode' and the other lifted slowly. else it's impossible to know under that specific study whether 8-12 rep lifting leads to greater motor unit recruitment/whatever term you want to use, or if strength protocols done with low acceleration also lead to a decrease in it.
  • My Master's thesis in Sports Conditioning and Human Performance was actually this very topic, entitled "Resistance Training For Traditional Okinawan Karate: Combining Traditional Okinawan and Modern Training Methods".
    • Awesome Eddy, is it by any chance accessible online?
      • No. It's not online. I was, for a while, considering editing and submitting portions to NSCA Journals for publication at the urging of my review committee and supervisor, but never did that. I may post it on my FB web page.
  • Amakiri Oruamabo
    A truly remarkable article Jesse -san...I keep coming back to review and reappraise myself with the ideas you've put forward here. Difficult to digest completely in one or two reads, this article (and the interesting comments) will be an integral part of my fitness program.
  • Ruben Greve
    What do you think about stronglifts 5x5, for each lift:eccentric: 5 seconds, 1 second hold, explosive concentric, 1 sec hold.A program to build basic strength while maintaining explosiveness.
  • Great article! I found you information interesting and very informative. Thanks so much for sharing!
  • Vinh_Diesal
    I suggest Scott Sonnon's tacfit and cst systems to everyone since he teaches 3 dimensional strength.
    • Diego Romero
      and 3 dimensional strength differs from regular strength how, exactly?
      • Vinh_Diesal
        This article explains why 3 dimensional workouts are superior to other forms of workouts.http://www.functionalpatterns.com/is-your-training-still-stuck-in-the-2nd-demension-heres-an-article-to-help-you-find-out-video/
        • Diego Romero
          so... it's exactly the same thing as regular strength training, done with a focus on specificity (therefore at the midpoint of effectiveness as regarding both maximal strength and skill development, therefore more time-efficient, but qualitatively inferior, to separately done strength training and skill training, and with a shiny new name and claims of superiority stemming from a supposed fundamental difference to give it a marketing edge?cool.
  • vinh_diesal
    The article explains that most people are not familiar with how to work out all the muscles in the body due to inefficient techniques. It is much better to replicate motions that are done more dynamically for whatever your sport might be. It is good to be efficient in all ranges of motion.
  • vinh_diesal
    Targeting multiple muscles through intelligently designed exercises improve performances whereas isolating a few muscles through unsophisticated movements aren't as useful unless you want to strengthen a muscle for rehabilitation.I got this by trying to encapsulate a Steve Maxwell article.
  • vinh_diesal
    By the way Scott Sonnon's workouts are all in the tabata format.
  • vinh_diesal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy8dw3oCek0Interesting video that explains why specificity is important.
  • vinh_diesal
    I agree there are no secrets; however, there are smarter methods of training out there.
  • Really nice article. I would like to share some drills that I have been developing as a Kumite competitor with the Venezuela National Senior Team. OSS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KErVsEUBWM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgsIqpomryg
  • Yannick
    Thanks for the article i injured myself doing powerlifting deadlifts and squats, i would advise not performing theses lifts because they are very dangerous, i have seen so many professional that also told me how it compresses the spine L4L5 S1. Bodyweight squats are great but deadlifts are out.I was very lucky to find prolotherapy that fixed all the damage the chiro did and i am now back in the gym training. My ultimate goal is to start training kyokushin again because its the best karate out here with the training and all
    • Diego Romero
      sorry about your injury, but this is rubbish. anything is dangerous if you do it wrong or are not prepared to do it. my father tore his abdominal wall by sneezing, but that doesn't mean that sneezing is dangerous. squats and deadlifts, like any other exercise, are perfectly safe if you know how to do them, have no prior injuries that affect their performance, and don't try to move more weight than you're actually ready for.
  • Vinh_Diesal
    I think there are all sorts of good martial arts systems out there. Okinawan Karate is good in bare knuckle fights too just like kyokushin. The first kyokushin tournament in America took place at Madison Square Garden New York and an isshinryu practitioner named Gary Alexander defeated everybody. His system wasn't pure isshinryu though since he mixed his style of fighting with techniques from shotokan, boxing, judo, jujitsu, and aikijitsu.
  • Vinh_Diesal
    I forgot to mention the international goju federation memers train a lot like kyokushin people.
  • vinh_diesal
    Clinching, Throwing, Groundwork is part of goju sparring; however, they don't spar as frequent as kyokushin people in the usual sense according to some articles that I have read online. I have no experiencce with goju ryu. I am going to start training in a new style next week that takes the simplest but most effective and simplest techniques from isshinryu, boxing, judo, jujitsu, and aikijitsu. It is the civilian version of the us marine combatives system of the 80's created by a man named bill miller. The only difference between the civilian version and the militarily version is that everyday people won't learn how to finish an enemy once they hit the ground.
  • Peter G.N. GRIFFIN
    Dear All,Please use this link below to really assist you in and with REAL fitness / strength, endurance training. And of course a TRUE TEST of your Character and Spirit to see what you are each made of. This will help so you WILL each reach your potential(s).I assure you this website and this gentleman (Mark DIVINE) and his SEAL Support Team ARE the real deal. And you ALL will gain something quite remarkable that will help you be true to yourselves and take your entire life (including your Karate) to a level you are quite capable of - provided you compete against yourself, and don't ever be concerned about whether or not someone is better than you. Just focus, and start what you finish; that IS all they ask.Use the link below and Sign up online : most things are free - and they conduct course workshops etc, for those that do have the time, and finances available.I understand that 99% of Personal Trainers in Gyms, and the gyms themselves are not what one really needs , nor are the Cross Fit Gyms run by people who make up stories they served in the Special Forces, or claim they know what they are doing, etc, etc, etc. I would never give misleading information to anyone, as I believe the truth will always out, and people deserve to be supported and guided honestly.http://sealfit.com/You would be crazy to not include this into your life. To have an incredible journey within one's life, the secret is simple - Keep it Real by surrounding yourself with REAL PEOPLE !I hope you all find success with this and it WILL benefit you. I guarantee it !Kind Regards
  • Tino
    Hey Jesse, not a bad article I must say. I'm a bit of a karate nerd too. Still, Karate training can help an introverted person easily become an extrovert and pleasantly assertive. Karate is definitely one of my favorite martial art styles. There's good Kyokushin in my city (MTL, Canada). Not enough goju, wado, etc.
  • Peter G.N. GRIFFIN
    Dear Tino-san,Osu !Awesome ! - great to see Karate has helped you to spread your wings and become that Bird of Paradise that you were always meant to be.Don't be concerned about Canada's absence in some areas in Wado Ryu, nor Goju Ryu.Kyokushin is without any question a step in the right direction when it comes down to REAL Karate.Canada has excellent Kyokushin. I trained for a few years under Irek TUNIEWICZ Sensei (very gifted and rock solid KyokushinKai Karateka) here in Toronto at 'HUF Boxing' in Mississauga until earlier this year.A mainly K-1 Oriented Gym however a rude awakening to other Karateka's stepping in the ring - I must say it sure is the time of "Ultimate Truth" when putting on one's gloves stepping in the ring, touching gloves, and simply BANGING !By the way, I'm not a Canuck, but where is MTL ??, is it Montreal ??, Andre GILBERT Shihan (IKO1) and Roman SZYRAJEW Shihan (IKO3) are the country representatives for CANADA are they not ?; I'm a long time student of John TAYLOR Hanshi - maybe one day we too will cross paths, if we haven't already.Osu !
  • Marc Pompette
    Hey, Jesse. This article is absolutely spot on. I'm a college student and took up karate about a year and a half ago on a suggestion from a good friend and fellow martial artist. At first it was only to satisfy a Phys. Ed. credit at school, but now I've got a few belts and I'm hooked. I've made up my own workout and stretching routines loosely based off of those my instructor (who is old, and what you might call "old school" but an awesome dude nonetheless) gave us in class, but it just isn't the same...something is missing. I wasn't really exactly sure what parts of my body I should train or really how to train them that would translate into a productive karate lifestyle. Training like a martial artist is something still kind of foreign to me. But everything you mention in your article provides not only beginner athletes but seasoned gym goons like myself a basis and understanding of how your muscles are supposed to work. Your knowledge and expertise has been clutch for my at-home training!
  • vinh_diesel
    Crossfit doesn't teach people how to work out in the transverse plane. Transverse plane movement is tranposable to striking power. Crossfit teaches mostly sagittal plane movements. Human beings are bilateral creatures so we should workout in the transverse plane for rotational strength.
  • vinh_diesal
    I forgot to mention that human bio mechanics work contralaterally because we are all bipedal creatures. Crossfit only works on lateral movement and forward and backwards movement so how is this useful for fighting? Therefore cross fit is flawed in its blueprint! I am just encapsulating facts that I've read off a website.
  • Vinh Diesal
    Crossfit is all about randomization and this is nothing compared to tactically picking out your workouts. Periodization or cycles are the best way to train. Soldiers all use HIIT method which is periodization.
  • ugnius
    Hello, Jessie,amazing article! I am just being bussy building my weekly training plan and I found your article very helpfull. But I am having a difficult time combining strenght/conditioning workouts with my kickboxing training.What is your idea on doing two workouts based on strenght per week, lets say tuesday and friday, making it whole body workouts with all your mentioned motion dimensions/excercise groups? Because my brain tells me to overdo things and I end up with overtraining or inability to do my kickboxing training :)))
  • Some of these training suggestions are a little unrealistic (like wrestling with bulls), so I thought I would post a link to some cross training ideas http://www.sandovalkarate.net/cross-training-karate/. Sure running and weightlifting are great exercises, but activities like yoga and ballet are perfect for balance and will help exercise different muscle groups. Love karate!
  • vince
    Working past 80 percent of your target heart rate causes cognitive dysfunctions. If an exercise gym encourages competition, then members of that gym will likely have poor form due to overexercising. Planning ones exercise intelligently according to the circadian rhythm allows people to achieve more gains. Also periodization allows people to workout all three types of muscles slow twitch, fast twitch, and super fast twitch.
  • vince
    This is an interesting article on how to increase punching power. http://www.expertboxing.com/boxing-training/boxing-workouts/why-lifting-weights-wont-increase-punching-power
  • vince
    Isolating one muscle rather than using compound muscle movements creates an unbalance body that leads to injuries outside the gym. Isolation should only be used to heal an injury. For example a man has huge biceps and huge triceps; however, his core is really weak. Therefore he can take people down that well using judo techniques.
  • vince
    I mean he cannot utilize judo techniques well sorry typo. Also running with an unbalanced body looks awkward as well.
  • vince
    Impaired proprioception can be caused by dyskinesis that is a result of limited transverse plane movement. Also, a balanced body is the best in my opinion, so one should train train their mind, flexibility, and strength so their body can be in sync.
  • Karateka
    Exercise such as bench press, dead lifts, dips, and Olympic weight lifting might make you more explosive, but according to some articles at bodybuilding.com, these workouts only make you function effectively in one plane of motion. Workouts should include rotary and angular muscles to assist the prime movers. A person can have strong muscle but might not be able to transfer that power over to a punch or a kick if he doesn't work out with a specific purpose.
  • wado ryu
    kettlebells and clubbells are the best because targeting a whole bunch of muscles groups is most time efficient.
  • Leon Vincent
    i was wondering if you have a suggestion on what kind of weights to buy to use at home.i don't see myself signing up for a gym anytime soon in addition to the dojo, but id like to complement my body-weight exercises.
  • ryan
    how should i create my program? should i choose one exercise from every category to do each workout?
  • Maximiliano
    Wow, thanks so much for all the information, I will try to add it to my training and keep digging for better understand and improve of my Karate. This helps a lot as a starting point.
  • Sam Green
    Can you swap out the exercises in each section for any exercise as long as you've got something for each group? I can't afford to go to the gym see and because of that most of these exercises are impossible for me to do.
      • Sam Green
        Fantastic! Thanks for replying. I've been doing Karate for about 7 months now and loving it and loving this blog already bought and read two books on your suggestion.
  • Guy Alter
    Hello Jesse! My Name is Guy and I am a white belt and study the amazing art of Uechi Ryu. I would love to learn how to improve my streangh and endurance. I was wondering about going wall climbing to do so. What is your take on it? Thank you for your inpute!
  • I am truly thankful to the owner of this web site who has shared this wonderful article at here.
  • Excelente conteúdo... O que estava precisando para montar meus treinamentos e modificar alguns pensamentos equivocados.. Parabéns Jesse. OsU!
  • David Egret
    Hi Jesse,Yet another great article, thanks for this and for all the others before that. I have been myself following the "Méthode Lafay" a body-weight based body-building and fitness method that is based around HIIT, to sum it up, but there is much more to it. Thanks to it I gained 20kg of muscle in around 4 years of practice, all the while staying functional for my Karate practice. You may want to have a look at it: https://olivier-lafay.com/la-methode/It's been translated in many languages but still not in English I am afraid. The author is French.Cheers,David.
  • Andreas
    Hey Jesse-San Thank you for this Article. I started training Shotokan Karate in 1994 and my experience was, that in the beginners and lower grades training there was a strong focus on building core stability and strength also with balance and mobility exercises. So i can say it built a perfect foundation for the Karate technique training. Thanks to my former Sensei woh was aware about its importance. Later, getting to advanced grade 6.th Kyu the focus was not more on this issues, because it was assumed thatthe advanced Karateka ensures himself for his endurance and strength training. But with whis i call it vocabulary of exercises which was built up in the
  • Andreas
    Ooops... sorry, pressed send button without completing my Post. So here's the second part of it....But with whis i call it vocabulary of exercises which was built up in the lower grades training it was no Problem if i spent the time training it at home to keep it on level. Unfortunatly i had to quit Training 1998 with 6th Kyu Grade because of lame excuses as i would say from my actual point of view. Last Year after 125Kg weight shock i had to say stop and started to move my ass and began Cardio and building Muscles to get in a better shape i lost about 20 Kg until January this year. This was the ignition of reactivating my inner Karateka to bring it back out getting a Karate Nerd. Now Training in another Dojo and some things are handled in another way today, it is an exiting time getting back to the Level which i left when i quit. I'm now working on the goal to achieve the 5th Kyu Grade and not stopping anymore. What i want to say is, i have to build up my core strength and mobility again in less time as in those days. So i'm thankful for the input getting out of your Article. In addition im using HIIT workout to loose redundant inertial mass and i found it gained significant improvements in my endurance and weight loss. Furthermore im proud of my two Kids which decided to join the beginners class in my Dojo. As i can say that both, who had problems with their motor activity have made such progress that it is no more a problem.So all from me for this time, take care.Andreas
  • Greg Brown
    I have been bodybuilding for over 20 years, and this has helped not hindered my Karate training. I believe the reason bodybuilding gets a bad rap is because most bodybuilders don't do cardio! I run every second day, and due to this it has ensured my endurance and muscle mass has remained adaptable and useful for Karate.
  • Perry
    Great stuff, Jesse. I agree about the danger of imbalances. I still remember my shoulder rotator cuff giving out during my 2-dan grading. that was a bad day.
  • Shankar Satheesan
    What kind of exercises do you recommend for cardio? As in skipping, running, cycling etc...
  • Liz
    I'm so keen to buy your strength training files... and I'm sure the price is perfectly reasonable, but I'll have to wait until the exchange rate is better for my country with the US Dollar or there's a special. Holding thumbs! Thanks for making this.
  • sahel
    Thank you jesse-san.this article was so helpful.would you please share your experiences about improving flexibility in such an article
  • Adrian
    Just wondering if you can expand about optimal rep range, rest between sets, number of sets, velocity, time under tension, 1rm%. These variables can impact desired outcomes.
    • You'll have to get my program for more detailed info, Adrian-san. Here's the link: https://gumroad.com/l/karate-strength
  • Thank you very much for all the information in karate practitioners
  • hiJesse <> i know also tusen takk, Well i ve been flirting with your strength course for a while now,wondering how it will evolve mixing cardio, strength training and karate,you see i do all these things but have no program ,something steady and concistent i wonder if your course is well in to the depth for improvement,as hojo undo say i have a book about S,T,Okinawan which doesn`t sayhOw long should i do the exercises,it showa the exercise.i believe yours is more stimatic ,please reply and thnx for reading Vassilis 5 dan SHOTOKAN CYPRUS
  • Hello,I log on to your blog named "Free Guide: Strength & Cardio for Karate Practitioners" regularly.Your story-telling style is awesome, keep up the good work! And you can look our website about love spell.

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