Last December I was at a baseball camp with my son. While watching the action, I helped some of the coaches with various aches and pains they’ve acquired over the years, mostly from pitching. And practically everything I prescribed to help these men comes from my study of Chinese martial arts.
It was amazing to see how beat up some of these coach’s bodies were. You’d think they’d been practicing hard-style martial arts for years because the symptoms of over-use and abuse are practically the same. And I’m not even addressing shoulder or elbow pain. I’m talking mostly about hip and back pain, as well as weak knees, ankles and feet.
When working with two different coaches, one of the first things I asked them to do was sit with their ankles crossed. One of the coaches couldn’t cross his ankles at all. He was so banged up he sat with the heels of his feet at least a foot way from each other. Another coach could cross his ankles slightly, but he couldn’t bring his legs close enough to his body to sit cross legged.
In both cases, I suggested some joint mobility exercises that I teach in Combat Stretching. After doing one set of ten rotations in each direction, both coaches started to feel improvement. The ice in their bodies was beginning to thaw. And all they needed was a simple exercise or two to get the ball rolling.
The above brings me to a very important point about physical training. In the western world, almost all training for sports and martial arts is “hard style.” And this type of training is necessary to get to the top in most activities. At the same time, this type of training is also destructive to your body and your health, unless it is counter-balanced with a type of training that is more internal.
If an athlete only practices “hard style” and has no internal training regimen, over time, his or her body gets destroyed. And no, I am not exaggerating.
I don’t care who the athlete is or how tough he is, if he only knows how to go at sports, martial arts or fitness training as fast and hard as he can, at some point in the future, he’ll be a high-percentage candidate for the surgeon’s table. And the surgery won’t be a simple procedure like removing a bit of torn cartilage. It’ll be more like hip, shoulder or knee replacement.
Think I’m kidding? Well, let me tell you that at least three of my former coaches had hips or knees replaced. Another slept in traction due to injuries to his neck and back. One even bragged about being 67% disabled, yet he was still going out on the mat to train.
In Chinese martial arts, in particular the internal arts, while one objective is the acquisition of skill, another objective is to do no harm to yourself while acquiring your skill, to recover fully from one day to the next so you can grow in power.
How do you achieve both objectives?
Well, in the western world, when you hear chatter about “recovery” after hard training, the very people who give such advice are almost completely ignorant about what to do in order to renew their energy.
If you press for further guidance your answer will most likely be to “get plenty of sleep.” Or to take a day off. Or to only train hard a couple days a week.
Perhaps you’ll be advised to take various supplements, including amino acids, protein powders, antioxidants, fish oils and so on.
In my experience, none of the above helps you to fully recover from the rigors of hard training. And based on what happened to so many of my friends and coaches, who were getting plenty of sleep – it didn’t help them much, either.
Now, you might think that my program on Combat Stretching is what I’m going to suggest as the answer to recovery. Wrong again. Although Combat Stretching helps loosen tight, painful joints and gives you a boost in the recovery process, it still doesn’t hold a candle to what I plan to reveal in a seminar next month.
It’ll be a 2-day event, held in Tampa, Florida, and available to a maximum of 36 people.
If you’d like further information on this seminar, drop me a line and we’ll be in touch.
P.S. The recovery process I’ll be teaching eliminates aches, pains and, in many cases, illnesses. It’s helped me continue to grow in strength, balance, flexibility and speed – even as I approach my 5th decade. How’d you like some of that? Drop me a line to find out more.