Typical Martial Arts class

Post questions and tips on strength training for athletes up to age 18.

Typical Martial Arts class

Postby brian41 » Jan 12, 2004 14:37

Typical Martial Arts class

At least I assume this is typical.

This occurs during adult classes, too; but IMHO, it should not occur during a kid’s class.

The children’s class is of mixed belts and mixed ages. There could be a 7yr old "black" belt training with a 14yr old black belt, as well as newbie students.

Toward the end of the class the instructor tells the students to drop to a push up position. The students might be expected to execute as many push-ups as they can in a minute or keep going until they reach 100.

I have trained in TKD for close to 15 yrs. During that time I followed my Grand Master's suggestions with blind obedience, despite being skeptical of the rationale at times.


Seated butterfly position with training partner pressing thoracic spine to heels, while bouncing on inside of legs near knee.

Can a prepubescent child be expected to perform safe push-ups without the requisite core strength?

Based on my observation of a number of different schools, my answer would be "no". BTW, these schools had Grandmasters that are legends in Korea.

My sense is that the GMs or their instructors do not have a solid understanding of youth development, but continue to train children like adults because that was the way it was done when they were children. Actually, these GMs probably did not start serious martial arts training until they were pubescent.

However, these schools are brilliant at marketing to ignorant parents, preaching discipline, fitness, self-confidence, and self-defense to the parents of a 6 yr old.

1. Should there be a progression to a simple exercise as push-ups to avoid injuries (lordosis)?

2. The rationale behind push-ups for martial arts should be to increase explosive power. If so, would it not be better to have the kids execute 3 to 5 perfect form push-ups followed by punches to a target. Or, this could be done in a circuit for 2 to 5 minutes, including squat thrusts, side/front bridges for the abs, and a variety of kicks.

3. If the push-up to train the Central Nervous System, is it sensible to train to exhaustion.

I have trained with two of the most accomplished Grand Masters in the US (world). I still have great respect for them, but I do not believe they have the answers to everything (anymore).

Please help me to educate them.

If I am wrong, I'll keep my mouth shut and ask them to teach the children how to do correct push-ups. I still think, however, that there should be some application to the exercise. I know part of the reasoning is to develop a fighting spirit, but at the risk of injury? Trust me, I am not a tree-hugger!!

Postby Guest » Jan 13, 2004 11:35

I failed to mention that the students were not capable of performing a push up in good form.

Most had their butts high in the air. Their ROM was about an inch with regard to elbow bend.

The worst technique was the butts up position and bouncing on their toes.

Other than some isometrics, how is this beneficial to the kids? Is their a transmission to punching power or speed?

Postby UKfightfreak » Jan 13, 2004 19:42

I have never seen a prepubesent kid do a proper press up.

It's rediculous.

If you always done what you always did, you will always get what you always got.
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