Karate Speed Work

what about metson? DE bench press, split jumps, pogo (all with weight)? DE in general?

I believe that they arent so important in MA training - (dont read this as no no, but rather with less emphasis). But what does other think?

to condense my lost post, I think that antagonist strength is a major limiting factor for most martial arts. Hand in hand with this, is that specific speed developement work should nearly always be done against a target. There is no need to be fast hitting air (and there is no point working on speed when one’s body is limiting it to protect the joints).

On other thing i would like to mention, with renewing the style debate, is that on low-intensity days, forms (traditional or madeup on the spot) should be done as “tempo”. I believe that this should be done for the same reason that sprinters do tempo work. This leads to another question, is a high/low approach (like CFTS) a useful method for Martial arts training? I think that it is (and that is what i am doing now), but i would like to hear other’s opinions.

What is metson?

I think that considering that most MArtists have a tendancy to be naturally fast*, but lack a strength foundation, that DE training is not a priorty. Most martial arts already do a lot of DE-esque things as part of skill work. Explosive backward medball throws might be a nice addition though as they work the antagonists for martial arts well. It might be a good idea to make a G,GS,S chart (ala Jame Smith’s article on EFS) to further this discussion as then it might be easier to visualize a training block.

*I would like to point out that i am talking in the context of strikers, grappler’s physical tendancies are different and, as i learned grappling after striking, i have more experience dealing with the former .

Thanks for the replies. The kumite (wkf rules) is stopped when a point is scored, therefore, speed off the mark is essential. Kata is the traditional type (definately no music!), more of an endurance element but speed and power of technique are what wins.

I agree olympic lifts etc, important and my own lifting schedule has me squatting, cleaning, benching, rowing and romainian/stiff-leg deads. I have started to incorporate some plyometric work which seems to be working.

I work with some talented 12 -16 year olds and seem to be getting good results from light plyometric work (low volume) and medicine ball work. Does anyone think I should start to incorporate any sprint work? Maybe get them started on the olympic lifts (technique)?

As far as th discussion on martial atrs in general - there are no good or bad arts/styles, just good and bad instructors.

Many thanks guys.

Thanks for the clarification. With that in mind, LA conditioning seems to be less important. I would definately add in like kata work on “off-days” as tempo work. This will help conditioning and will “prime” the athletes for the next day’s workout. Speaking of which, what are the kata like (length etc.)? This could help determine how you want to approach the conditionning aspects.

I think that sprint work would be useful if it is moderated. I would keep the volume low. As far as lifts are considered, i would teach them deadlifts and squats before the OLY lifts. With that age, i would concentrate on form rather than loads. If you really want to start them on OLYs, one-hand Dumbell or kettlebell oly lifts might be another avenue to consider as well.

Couldn’t agree more.

I would be carefull identifying “limiting factors”, because they are individual, and you as a coach should indentify them and fix them. Antagonist work may be limiting factor in situation already explained in my post before, but this should not mean that they should be of prime interest with every athlete… If the prime movers are well developed (in terms of Max strength) and speed dont seems to improve with their training, then maybe the problem is with ESD, skill or maybe with antagonists, but this is variable from case to case… But in general we agree! Antagonist work should be implemented in most cases for maintainin muscle balance and thus injury prevention.
Also, I agree that speed work should come only with skill work/practice itself which is most specific. DE can be done, but it isnt of prime interest!

High/low or easy/hard priciples should be regurarly applyed into athlete’s week. There is no purpose for doing only hard/same training session unless the goal is injury and overtraining.
Quark, what would you consider as High and what as Low intensity? And what should be avoided as Medium one?

General means

  • All strength exercises
  • Core work, cable and sled work (heavy)
  • Easy plyos (zig-zag jumps, lateral jumps…)
  • High-rep medball work
  • Sprints!!!
  • Aerobic work and calistenics

General Specific means

  • Olys && DE (if included)
  • HI medball (one arm front throw…)
  • HI plyos (long jump, tripple jump, split jumps…)
  • Heavy bag, speed bag, focusers etc.
  • Technique work

Specific means

  • Skill/practice (sparings)
  • Note that I did this “chart” while replying, so some changes could/should be made - just to keep the discussion

Thanks and sorry for our (me and quark) little trip out of the topic. BTW, I agree with Quarks recomendation about Olys… I would also add front squats and hockey/snatch squats! Just rememebr not to compromise quality over larger load!

Kata around 1.5 - 2 min in length. A mixture of slow and fast/powerful movements. Put it this way after performing a full competition kata - I am wiped (and GPP is not a problem for me).

Good advice on the dumbell/kettlebell work.

That goes for coaches in other sports too!

I depicted one variant of metson in the attachment. It is done with medium/fast speed with great relaxation and rhyhtm (rhythm is most importan). I found that my athletes have problems with it (in spite with do it only with bb ball) because lack of coordination.
I sometimes use metson later in a warm-up, with some pogos, split jumps etc.
There are various combinations of metson: you can do it as rhytmical push press (front, back), you can do it at 45 angle in front, it can be done as a step-up avariation etc… Rhythm is most important.
Leg switches can be done on each pull, on each push, and on each push-pull!
Also, medball can be used instead of a bar!
Some coaches uses metson in preparing punch/kick MA, but I belive that it is better used as a warm-up for somethng more strenuous-specific! My prof talked about some girls doing 40kg(??) metson, which is bloody hard to achieve…


I have been performing a similar exercise with med ball (metson) but you have given me some more ideas - thanks!

I created this model in matter on minutes as a starting point to argue about, so dont take it too much to hart!!!

If comp are tournament type and last for couple of days/weeks, then this model can be used, but if it is a single match type (as with pros), then huge changes should be made.

But anyway, I would pursuit “everything is done only the volume varies” phylosophy (or conjugate sequence system -CSS) in advanced athletes and start specific work from day one but with limited emphasis/volume!!!
Switching emphasis is needed, because of variation, overtraining, sport forme and “building up on previous block”! If you dont develop something, maintain it, dont start all over again with each cycle - you will stagnate!!!

Criticues, curses, best wishes welcome :smiley:

Duxx - most comps here in UK are 1 day. E.g: kata will have 5 - 6 rounds and maybe a couple more in kumite fighting as it seems to be more popular.

What would your periodisation model for this look like?

You should provide me more info about comp calendar… duration of phases (prep, comp, trans), school obligation, training goals, limitations etc… And then I will put it all in my “biological comp” and let it boil for some time :smiley:
I am in a hurry rigth now, so for now I will let it “boil” for a while… (most ideas I got when not thinking on them, when I relax, and then they just came to me and not vice versa). I will try figuring something out and for now I would wait Quark responses and suggestion! Hey quark, when we are going to fight to see who’s style is better, huh? :smiley: :smiley: :slight_smile:

duxx, you make it hard to keep up :).

G,GS,S chart looks good. I might want to move OLY lifts (non-medball) to G means, as in kumite, one is never moving that large of an object.

As far the HIGH/LOW stuff. I think that there is no obvious MEDIUM to avoid (as there is in sprinting). I think the main thing to avoid is training that doesn’t sharpen techniques, but is fatiguing. Now that i think about it, that is the MEDIUM to avoid. Techniques should be done at above at high speed/power or much less.

Regarding the metson, i have never heard of these. I will have to try them and get back to you. At first glance, i would be worried about it be too close to the movement patterns of actual techniques (if i am reading your diagram properly).

Looking at your model graph, i would assume that the per workout ordering would be S->GS->G (skill work before other stuff). If that is the case, then i think your model looks good (it just needs to be tested :slight_smile: ).

mpgelsei can correct me if i am wrong, but (in the US) it seems like there isn’t really a defined season as such (there are tourneys of higher importance, nationals etc.,), but otherwise tourneys are scatter (one every few months). How would this change the model? I know that the classification of the athlete would influence this a lot. (higher classification== more high importance matches).

Sound like fun kata work. As an aside, what kata do you guys do? (I have learned some of the shuri kata, which i why i ask) Do athletes compete often in both events (kata and kumite) in the same day? This would definately increase conditioning requirements.

Myself and the squad I am involved with perform Shotokan kata, which are the most popular here along with shitoryu kata. Some athletes do compete in both events but as they get older specialisation in one or the other is usually the norm (being 38 I will stick to kata thanks!). And yes you are right, competitions are more or less year round.

Agree! Oly’s should be put in general group, but what about HI plyos?

Something crossed my mind… The MEDIUM TO AVOID would be exercises that are simmilar to the practice itself (punching/kicking) and that have unappropriate load (external resistance), so they look at the moment as specific but they are rather a crap (like metson, which should be only implemented as warm-up or in limited emphasis). So, this medium exercise are strenous enough to cause CNS fatigue, and simmilar enough to punching/kicking action itself that can cause deteoriation in skill, so avoid them!
On the other hand, if we look at the F-V curve (force-velocity curve, Hill’s curve), medium should be considered those intensities that fall between 20%-80% of max force/velocity! So, do only slow speed high resistance motions(resistance training) or high speed low resistance motions. No need for DE with 60%!!! The exception are Olys because legs support larger load during punching!

Taken into consideration. Now I am going to input it into my “computer”
… procesing data…
sorry this is 286CPU! :slight_smile:

Ok, something came up…

I will present two posibilities: when the time lag between metches is longer duration (>1month or even more) and when it is less (<1month)

Ok, lets get started.

After the match, there is a need for restoration. Thus G volume „dominate“ (doesnt mean that other stuff arent done). I dont know if you are familiar with Eastern European concept of sport form, but shortly it is a integration/harmony of all factors and preparations (phisicall, technical, tactical, physchological) and it can be maintained for about 2 month (+ 0,5 month if you use some kind of refreshment in methods). This said, if you want to rebuild it again, you have to intentionally ruin it. This is done by altering relation G/GS/S in training. The problems are:
• were your athletes in the state of sport form for the last comp. If they were, you have to ruin it, if not you dont have to thus relation G/GS/S will be different.
• How much does it take to ruin sport form
• How much does it take to rebuid it again
• How much it can lasts
• What is the optimal relation of G/GS/S volume needed to fullfill these goals while MAINTAINIG current achievements???

This answers come from practice and are individual for player and for methods coach use, so you have to answer themself! Answers from this questions, determine cycling presented in the pic!

After you ruined sport form, you have to rebuild it again. This is phase 2! Again this is done with emphasing S and GS work over lower G work.

Week or two, becfore comp, there is a need to reduce volume of S and GS work, but G work can be slighty increase allowing for restoration and variety and overcompensation.


NOTE: Sport Form is measured only with competiotions! As a coach you will „see“ when yor athlete is ready: everything fits in place, and everything is in harmony. BTW, this doesnt mean that all factors are at MAX value, but are at optimal value and are in harmony with each other. Psycho preparation is very, very important…

Digest this, first, and I will present my opinion on the periodisation when the tow mathces are close… You can guess what would happen!

Going now to do ME bench press, it is wednesday hehe

Cool. I don’t have too much background in the Shotokan kata, (sometime i will have to find someone to teach me them). Is the kata called “54 steps” or Gojuru-something in Shotokan? (My memory will the spelling of kata names is attrocious.)

Don’t know. They are definately getting a little to close to the skill speeds for my liking. I would still keep them in the GS group. This would be something that would have to be kept as far away from mimicing skill form a possible.

Exactly. That is the worry with High Intensity DE stuff or Plyos. Maybe athlete’s could do general two-legged HI plyos (like plyo pushups and two-legged depth jumps) kept to low volume, but stay far away from one-limb movements?