To me, it is the best possible utilization of your training time. How many people in a weights gym do you see, standing around chatting? How many MA’s do you see going through the motions? How many people do you train with who are always stopping to ask a question or just to talk trivia? This is complete time wasting.
Most of us lead very busy and hectic lives, so we must get everything we can from our training.
Firstly you decide what you want from your training. If it is purely a good all round level of fitness, then that is what you train for. A good mix of running, circuits, bag and pad work should sort that one out.
If you are a MA who wants to train for competition, then first write down what type of competition, the main techniques you will use, the way the fights usually go, the timings and when is the competition.
If it is points style stop start Kumite for example, you need to train for speed. Power is not required if you are not going to actually hit anyone! You train your main techniques for speed and explosiveness. You drill them like mad. Once you are nicely on the way to being warmed up, start to make these techniques part of your warm up, then drill them, then utilize those techniques against different training partners with increasing levels of non-compliance. Get used to different heights, shapes, sizes of opponent. Get used to “knowing” your correct distance from each different body type. Keep away from exercises that are opposing the muscle movement you are looking for. For example, bicep chins do not help with punching speed. Biceps pull the arm in, not send it out. To punch fast you need lithe and strong triceps, back and shoulder muscles.
Training at my Centre is geared towards Fighters. We have a mix of Boxers, Kick Boxers, Thai Boxers and now we are just getting some MMA fighters. There are of course many who just want to get fit, they do what I call “White Collar Fighter Training”.
We take a technique in isolation, maybe jab, cross, hook, low kick, takedown or in combination and drill that for warm up. But make the exercise harder, bend your legs more than normal, crouch lower than normal, move in further than normal, spring back further than normal.
When stretching, stretch in the form of the various techniques that you going to apply. This way, your body gets used to the movement, used to being in that position. The muscle memory takes over eventually and your techniques become crisper and much more fluid. The other key to your training is the old one of effort. You only get out what you put in after all. So when you train smart you do not train easy! Still put in 100% effort all the time. It will take a few weeks before you notice any differences to your MA ability by adopting this method, but it is well worth the wait.
In your next Karate Class, watch what is happening. Are you being taught to train smart? Are you warming up with specific goals in mind? Are you drilling specific movements for a specific task. Blindly going up and down in lines is NOT what I mean! The training smart methodology is what I incorporated into my Pressure Point training. It enabled me to go from novice to Internationally recognized as something of an authority in Pressure Point Fighting in a relatively short period of time.
It is this training method that I am using to bring along more people in this field such as Peter Holmes, who is destined to be one of the Worlds greatest teachers of Pressure Point technology. Eddie Stokes utilized the self same methods to become unbelievably good at PP’s. I rate Eddie Stokes as the most complete PP fighting machine I have ever seen. His knowledge is second to none and his ability to apply that knowledge is quite simply the best I have ever seen, anywhere. Those that have met and trained with Eddie never forget the experience. Some training days are etched in my memory, alongside the knuckle induced dents! People talk about reality training. Eddie is reality training!
I am fortunate at the moment to train with various Olympic Boxers, along with fighters in other disciplines from all over the World. Training with these people is an inspiration and utilising the methodologies of training smart, leads to big improvements, in short periods of time.
These same methods can be utilized to understand your Kata Bunkai correctly, your self defense training in fact they can and should be used for any / all your training requirements.