Pilates for Martial Arts
Pilates Martial Arts Connection
How could we ever master the martial arts, perform a form or learn to spar without precision, fluidity, focus or concentration? Pilates will improve this and more.
There is more to the Pilates Martial Arts connection. Joseph Pilates studied martial arts and boxing at the turn of the last century and later taught self defense. Joseph was a pioneer in the teaching of self defense, way before America embraced the martial arts. In the 1930’s Joe and his brother made a film on how to defend against a knife attack. There are also photos of Joe demonstrating the art of head wrestling. Pilates even developed some apparatuses to help boxers in their training. Nat Fleisher the president and editor of “The Ring” magazine, the world’s most recognized boxing magazine, sent him a note in appreciation to Joe for his influence on the boxing world. In the note he acknowledged Pilates as the greatest teacher of physical education and corrective exercise. Whether your art is Kickboxing, Kung Fu, Karate, Judo, Wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, or MMA (mixed martial arts), Pilates is for you!
WHY PILATES FOR THE MARTIAL ARTS?
In the martial arts every part of the body could be used as a weapon. Pilates will stabilize your weapons, each and every part of them. Being in a physically demanding contact sport/art, many martial artists careers end or are set back by reoccurring pain or injuries to hips, shoulders, knees, wrist, elbows, feet, and hands. Increasing amounts of maturing martial artists are going through hip replacement surgery. This guidebook is designed specifically for the martial artist by a martial artist to reduce the risk of injury and to help you recuperate from current pain and injury.
Following the Pilates principles you will attain greater speed, power, range of motion, and form in your martial arts. Your posture will improve and as a bonus your waistline will decrease. Pilates is the key to the mind-body link that is so important to your martial arts training. I would like to share with you a quote from an over 50 year old Kung Fu/Pilates student we had. He says, “I don’t know how someone could do martial arts without doing Pilates”. His Kung Fu has improved incredibly since beginning his Pilates training and yours can too.
These remarkable exercises will improve dramatically your static & dynamic balance. Static balance gives you the ability to control your body’s center of gravity. A good example is balancing on one leg as in a Kung Fu crane stance or doing a Capoeira hand stance. An excellent example of dynamic balance is agility movements such as in Tae Kwon Do’s and Capoeira’s aerial kicks.
All styles of martial arts require flexibility. Some styles require more flexibility in the hip and leg area and others might need more flexibility in the shoulder and neck area. Yet we all can agree that flexibility is of the utmost importance in your martial arts training. Whether you are executing a kick to the head or attempting to escape from an arm bar, flexibility is an essential factor. Flexibility can be defined as the range of motion (Rom) around a joint. Past injuries and your body structure are a detrimental factor in your current range of motion. Yet anyone from 3 to 83 years of age can increase their Rom if trained properly. Pilates will help you lengthen your muscles, long muscles are flexible muscles. If injuries or tightness has set back your martial arts progress, Pilates will help you reach your own personal potential in the martial arts.
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