The principles and philosophies of the martial and healing arts offer specialized self-defense and health benefits for everyone. When these ancient and valuable principles and philosophies are integrated into certain exercises, the arts evolve to a new level, which allow the practitioner to explore his full potential.
Realizing your full potential begins by training and developing a foundation. The figurative and literal foundation of the human body is, of course, the legs… and what better way to take the first step? Standing Tall
The three major joints of the legs (ankles, knees, and hips) play an important part . in all martial arts. These joints are integral in access- I ing the full range of human body motion, shifting weight, supporting mass, and transferring significant amounts of energy through the body. To begin with the base of our foundation, special attention should be paid to the ankle and, consequently, the feet.
Different cultures have given much attention to the feet for hundreds of years. Studying natural human movement, the world’s first doctors identified how our feet contribute to our overall well being. Reflexology survives as an excellent diagnosis of our feet’s potential for healthy movement (which is natural human movement). Reflexology teaches that the foot’s reflexes represent an accurate map of the body by mirroring the location of various organs. Proper stimulation of specific points on the soles of the feet affects the associated body part.
Traditional Chinese medicine provides another example of the feet’s importance to our health. Chinese medicine holds that six of the body’s 12 main meridians (energy channels) start or end at the toes.
If reflexology and traditional Chinese medicine prove to be correct, arousing the soles of the feet initiates changes that affect the human anatomy. Understanding these principles can be of great benefit to martial artists. If you stimulate specific areas, certain physical reactions occur. Proper movement and exercise of the feet and ankles can increase the health, fitness, and sports capabilities of any martial artist. Foot usage and placement not only become important in combat, but also in training, walking, and practically every activity. An awareness of how we use our feet makes us healthier and, ultimately, enhances our skill.
Being mindful of our foot movement automatically calls attention to our ankles. The ankle, also known as the tarsus, is composed of seven different bones. Together with muscles and tendons, these bones form an elastic arch that flattens when you put your foot down and springs back to a curved shape when you lift it. Pressure applied to the bottom of the feet causes them to flatten and activates a spinal-postural reflex. The reflex stiffens and strengthens the legs and spine, providing the structure necessary for standing.
But on which part of the foot should the weight be centered? Focusing weight on the middle or center of the foot (the wai yag point) capitalizes on the foots inherent dynamics by flattening the sole and initiating the spinal-postural reflex (whereby foot placement can actually ground and strengthen your body structure). Weight concentrated on the center of the foot distributes equally so that pressure spreads itself around the sole. The ankle aids our primary shifting and rotating, and allows us to transfer body weight while remaining balanced.
Increasing the mobility/articulation of our ankles allows for a higher degree of controlled body movement. Specific exercises, such as those included in this article, grant access to the ankles’ full range of motion. These exercises also fortify the connection between the ankles and feet. These exercises also help with coordination, balance, strength, elastic energy, ten- don strength, and natural flexibility (dynamic relaxation).
The advantages of practicing these exercises extend beyond health purposes; they can easily be used in self-defense applications.
Applying the motion acquired through these exercises helps transfer energy and issue effective strikes. The motion helps us manipulate an opponent’s body parts. Practicing this motion and learning how to use the naturally occurring manipulation allows you (as a practitioner) to evolve the applications to fit unlimited situations. This serves to maximize the efficiency of your technique.
Self-defense applications developing from regularly practiced exercises guarantee the instant reaction needed in a threatening situation.
Exercises that develop from time-tested principles assure that these principles will not only be learned, but will also effort-lessly appear and survive through actual confrontations. The following situations illustrate the ready application of the aforementioned exercises. The principles attached to the scenarios exemplify how principle, exercise, and application blend together. Principle: Every step is a kick. Every kick is a step Principle: Three-legged kick Principle: Every strike is a block. Every block is a strike The principle becomes the exercise becomes the application. We slowly learn that the martial arts practiced can simultaneously become the healing arts practiced. Proper movement of the feet and ankles produces results that prove They Laughed When I Got
Mopped Across The Floor … But Now That I’m In
Condition, I’m The One
Having All The Fun
By Matt Furey, author of Combat Conditioning » } You know the scenario I’m talking about. You’ve experienced it before and so have I. You’re competing in a match (or having a tough workout) that you KNOW you should be winning. You’re better than the guy you’re up against. But right now you’re so tired you can’t lift your arms or get enough oxygen in your lungs. And because of this, you’re getting your ass handed to you – and not on a silver platter. Oh no. It’s a lot rougher than that.
Your tongue is hanging to your knees and you feel weak all over. And now, not only are you getting beat, but you feel SCARED. You’re scared of losing. You’re scared of making another mistake. And most of all, you’re AFRAID of getting tired.
It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it? It makes every word of the legendary Vince Lombardi saying (Fatigue makes cowards ot us all.) painfully, excruciatingly true. When you’re tired, you get scared. Subconsciously, you actually are afraid that you might die if you push any harder. And although you desperately want to win – you can’t make yourself do it. All the screaming from your coach to suck it up and be a warrior doesn’t do a damn bit of good when your gas tank is empty. Once you hit that fatigue barrier, nothing will bring you back.
Losing to someone that you could have and should have beaten is embarrassing, humiliating and degrading. But the truth is, in every combat event known to man, your ultimate weapon can be summed up in one word: CONDITIONING.
You can have the best techniques in the world, but once you get tired, it all goes to hell in a hand basket. When you’re tired, advanced skills turn to those of a rank beginner. Even your opponent’s junk moves, techniques that you’d normally see coming from a mile off, will work on you when you’re tired.
Believe friggin me, I KNOW. My name is Matt Furey. I’m a national collegiate wrestling champion, a world shuai-chiao kung fu champion and the leading teacher of a submission fighting art known as catch-as-catch-can. If anyone knows the importance of superior technique, it’s me. Yet, I will be the first to tell you that Conditioning is your ultimate weapon. But don’t take my word for it. Go talk to any champion boxer, kickboxer or grappler. Ask him if he thinks he won his big matches because he had better technique or because he was in better condition than the other guy. Ask modern day fighters like Frank Shamrock how he beat the amazing Tito Ortiz. Ask Roy Jones Jr. if all the time he spends on conditioning is necessary. Ask Olympic champion wrestlers like Dan Gable if he thinks condi-tioning was the key to coaching 15 NCAA championship teams in 21 years. Ask Rickson Gracie why, despite his technical prowess, he is fanatical about conditioning.
Then go back in history. Study the lives of boxing champions like Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey and Muhammad AM. Even study how Bruce Lee trained – and why he made conditioning a cornerstone of his training regimen.
Yes, these champions have sharp technical skills. But, they also went into the ring knowing they could run the other guy down; they could wear his ass out; they would ultimately prevail because they could drive their bodies at higher levels than anyone else. They knew they would eventually weaken you and that as soon as it happened, the crowd would bear witness to the most spectacular techniques ever seen. YOURS.
At that point, YOU will be the one who shines. You will have all the flash and your opponent will be nothing more than another body that you’re mopping the floor with.
Does the idea of stomping and humiliating your competition sound good to you? I sure hope so. But just to make sure you hear me correctly, let me put it to you this way: If you knew that every single time you stepped into the ring you were in such great shape that no one could make you tired, how much better do you think you would be? Flow many more risks would you take? If you had the strength and endurance to throw twice as many strikes, to execute twice as many takedowns, to slap on twice as many submissions – don’t you think that YOU would be the one everyone refers to as CHAMPION?
Yes, you would. And the good news is that my best-selling Combat Conditioning program delivers the winning formula to make it all happen for you. The 48 incredibly
effective kick-butt and take names exercises are done from every position and angle, giving you animalistic abilities that will unleash a whole can of whoop ass on anyone who comes near you.
In my office I have stacks of letters from men and women from all over the world who are in better condition and performing their chosen art better than ever before. And by following just one of the seven secret exercise programs contained in my book, these people are faster, stronger, more flexible and have an ocean of endurance. They have eliminated chronic pain in their backs and necks. They have built mountains of functional muscle and lost useless excess fat. Just read some of the praise seen below and you’ll know why this program is the best in the world. Having used the exercises and having the people I coach and train use them, I have found these exercises to he great. Read the book and learn. Kim Wood Strength Coach Cincinnati Bengals NFL … my strength and flexibility have never been better. Steve Maxwell 2x Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Champion … no other exercises increase balance, agility, functional strength and overall grappling endurance like the bodyweight calisthenics outlined in Combat Conditioning. Jason Crawford, Ph.D. Combat Wrestling Instructor The results have been incredible. Whether you are a striker or a grappler or you just want to be in the best shape possible, get this book. On a scale from 1-10,1 give it an 11.
Philip Ameris 7-th Degree Black Belt Prior to learning from Matt, I did not believe that I could improve my strength and combat skills without weight training. In each Combat
Conditioning workout I am gaining flexibility and strength. Dr. Brett Jacques National Sambo champion, author of Street Sambo The people listed above represent just a tiny fraction of those who have benefited from my program. And do you know what? The number is growing by the day. What this means is that you’re in danger of being totally annihilated, humiliated and embarrassed by a student of Combat Conditioning if you don’t get my program and watch it turn you into an ass-kickin’ machine. Getting mopped is no damn fun – so make sure it never happens to you.
Considering how much this book has helped so many people, you’ll find the price to be a steal. 48 exercises and seven life-catapulting programs for only $29.95 plus $5 S&H U.S. (foreign add $10). So run to the phone right NOW. Call (813) 994 8267 and place your order. We’ll send your book out within 24 hours.
Also, if you’re one of the first 50 people to call, we’ll send you a free audiotape called The Strangest Secret of Champion Fighters. Call (813) 994 8267 and order right now before this offer expires.
Or send a check or money order to Matt Furey Enterprises, Inc., 10339 Birdwatch Drive, Tampa, Florida, 33647. To order online go to www.mattfurey.com.