This one’s rather short. After working out hard for three days, we gave it a break on wednesday. In order to avoid extreme soreness, however, I scheduled a morning session as a means of active recovery. Nothing special, you see, just some light shadow sparring and no-contact partner exercise.
I’m a strong believer when it comes to shadow sparring. A quick search on this blog will produce quite a few posts on the topic, so I won’t bother going into any detail here. I’ll say a few words about what you see in the video, though. Basically, we were just throwing no-contact combinations at each other. I feel that this kind of training yields the following benefits:
- Distance control – throwing kicks and punches at a real partner instead of a pad gives you a more accurate feeling for distance.
- Natural reactions – even if the exercise is no-contact, most athletes (especially more advanced ones) will work their defensive skills. This will show you if feints or combinations would work out the way you figured them to. There’s nothing worse than waste energy on throwing a combinations that never had a chance for success from the beginning.
- Technical control – this one’s a no-brainer, still I believe it to be a key component of martial arts practice. Stopping your technique precisely where you want it to stop requires a high level of control. For most trainees, this means moving at a considerably slower pace than they would when kicking a pad all-out. Then again, moving slow gives you the possibility of really paying attention to all those technical details. Especially for those who have understood the basics of a technique, mastering the details makes the difference between being stuck at a beginner level and truly comprehending the technique in its entireness.
Now this is what our active regeneration workout looked like (for 12 rounds):
Next up – video footage on thursday.