Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Kettlebells for combat sport

I am certainly no expert when it comes to combat sports, I unsuccessfully spent a few years in a dojo practicing Judo and  dabbled for a couple months in Krav Maga. Turns out I'm not as hardcore as I thought and don't fancy getting my ass handed to me, in fact I was so shocking at both these disciplines that all I got was a bad memory and my body beaten by a bunch of tough chics.

However I do know a little bit about kettlebells and a little bit about simple mechanics.

As someone looking from outside of the cage in, and as someone who spends hours daily under the bells, putting the two practices together can definitely give you more pop for your punch.

Pavel once said that "The kettlebell swing is as close as you can get to fighting without the fight. Swinging a kettlebell helps your sparing as the swing builds explosive power and endurance while simultaneously improving the tense and relax (contract and expand) skills used by highly skilled fighters"

Kettlebell sport and MMA are two terms so loosely thrown around today, everyone is an MMA fighter and every local at every globo gym is painfully throwing around bells as they are the next big answer to strength and conditioning.

Kettlebells don't solve everything, there I said it. Power lifters, fighters, athletes, whatever your calling, you need to practice in your sport and you need to model your training around improving your output in your sport.

The word "sport specific" is the most commonly used catch phrase launched into sentences regarding lifting bells.  As a fighter, doing 100 jerks is doing little for your practice, yes its developing a synergy of strength, but fighters need to mimic their movements.  Integrating kettlebells wisely into your training, keeping your goals in mind is going to help you accomplish so much more.

Incorporating the high pull into your combat training characterizes the pulling and pushing motions promoting explosiveness, also this explosiveness makes it an anaerobic movement.  100 kettlebell jerks at a slow pace is not going to train your body for the short intervals of power required in a fight.

Packing a powerful punch drives energy from the ground up, not just from your arm and fist, the snatch is a total body exercise that generates force from below, fighters tend to live on the edge where efficiency is king,  the snatch bleeds efficiency.

If you cant fight, rest and recover, and fight, rest and recover for short intervals you may as well be lying on the ground masturbating the iron.  The long cycle trains you to contend with tension and recovery, thee most important attributes of fighting.  It builds endurance, leg drive, and total body conditioning, so when that clock ticks in those final moments on the mat, and under-conditioned fighters are exposed, you shine.

There are many tools that make up a good box of tricks for your training but if they are not applied in the right manner you may as well punch yourself in the face and hang up your gloves.

If you are working out in the gym with your douche-bag cage fighter t-shirt on throwing kettlebells around like a ninja with no coach to guide you, well then, that's where you will stay, on the sideline throwing comments to the real fighters.

As I said, I don't know much about fighting, I know a little about the mental fight and I know a little about the kettlebells that can help a fight.  With the right application, right methodology and right attitude in anything, you will come out on top, even if for your own personal fight.