Martial Arts and Exercise Science

Post questions and tips on selecting a sport or martial arts style, and finding a good instructor or teacher.

Martial Arts and Exercise Science

Postby CSta » Nov 06, 2008 11:00

In response to one of Mr. Kurz's blog entries regarding proper workout construction, I wrote the following, first quoting Mr. Kurz's entry:

"'I guess too few people have experienced flowing, optimally effective workouts, conducted by instructors who know how to compose them . . .' (Kurz blog entry, 10/15/08). With respect to martial arts training, I’m in that “too few” group. At the dojang I used to go to (I’ve quit MA) the GM did not have [sufficient knowledge of exercise science or principles of training]. His students also lacked knowledge of sports science, so no one challenged his methods or logic. I’m guessing this summarizes the problem: instructors do not have sports science knowledge; students are just as ignorant and do not question the instructor; and therefore the instructor is never forced to become educated. Until the dojang-attending public becomes sufficiently educated to challenge instructors’ methods, nothing will force instructors to change."

On Oct. 31, 2008, the New York Times published an article on its website (it might have been in the paper too) regarding static stretching as part of a warmup. Gretchen Reynolds, "Stretching the Truth," ( 31, 2008). ... ref=slogin

The article explains what Mr. Kurz has preached for decades--that relaxed, static stretching prior to a workout is a bad idea because it weakens the stretched muscle and reduces the muscle's elasticity, among other things. (See Kurz, T., "Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training," Stadion Pub. (4th ed. 2003) (first published in 1985).

Because this article was published by the New York Times, hopefully it will reach a large audience, particularly those persons who attend organized workouts, such as martial arts classes, but are not interested enough to investigate proper stretching methods and workout construction. Because of its potential to reach a huge audience, this is the type of article I hope will "sufficiently educate" the dojang-attending public; and, hopefully, the newly educated dojang-attending public will demand (with their wallets) that instructors conform their workouts to this new common knowledge.

More articles on the basics of exercise science need to be published in such mainstream publications so that the general public becomes educated.
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