All classes follow the same basic rules of any Martial arts, fitness training class.
Students should always be aware of their specific requirements and abilities ensuring the instructor is made aware of any personal injuries before the start of class. In warmer weather suitable drinks should be on hand, either plain water or specialist sports drinks, not carbonated drinks.
Carbohydrate loading should be a minimum of 3 hrs before class and meals should not be taking in the 3hr period before exercise starts.
The Warm Up
A cardiovascular warm up is of high importance to prepare the body for the session, starting off slowly and increasing in tempo to increase the heartrate and the flow of blood around the body.
This can be done by jogging, skipping, star jumps, shadow boxing etc and should be maintained for 10 minutes minimum.
More seasoned students should prepare and warm up before class starts to ensure maximum training time.
Joint Mobilisation & Stretching
The next stage is to prepare the muscles and body joints for the class. Starting with gentle stretches and progressing to reach your maximum stretch. Again students with any physical disability should make the injuries known to the instructor and adjust the stretches to their personal limits, this may include isolating a limb from certain techniques until the injury/disability is repaired.
Top to Toe is an easy way to progress through joint mobilisation ensuring we do not miss out any limbs -
Neck Rotations - dropping the chin to the chest and rolling the head from shoulder to shoulder. Side to side placing ear to shoulder on each side. Moving the head to look straight up and down. all of these should be undertaken without tilting the head right back as this may damage vertabrae in the neck.
Shoulder shrugging - up and down and rolling the shoulders
Circling the arms forwards and backwards
Whole body rotations - leaning forwards and backwards completing a full circle, and reverse
Raising the knees and circling both inwards and outwards
Ankle rotations - both clockwise and anti clockwise
We are now ready to ensure muscles are prepared for the class.
The intesity of the type of stretch can be modified for the type of class, if lots of kicks are to expected then lots of leg stretches should be done. If the emphasis is to be more of punching then more upper body stretches and if joint locks are to be prime then the joints need to be worked more.
We again would follow a set structure for a general warm up and advanced/mature students should ensure that they have prepared adequately before class.
Starting from head to toe the stretches should be light and increase in intensity until the individuals maximum stretch is reached. stretches should be held for 10 seconds during the warm up period and then thirty seconds for a maintained 'muscle memory' stretch.
There are many different stretches employed and students should look to advance their stretching on a personal basis. We have a standard regime in place which is followed at all classes to ensure a 'familiarisation' is available for students.
Head and neck movement to gently stretch the neck muscles in all directions
Arms stretched across the body and behind down the individuals back with the assist of the other arm
Torso stretching in a sideways direction placing outstretched arm maintaining the side stretch
Leaning forwards and stretching both arms out in front
Leaning backwards pushing the hips forwards
Feet shoulder with keeping the legs straight and reaching to the floor palms of the hands down, repeating the same with both feet together.
Feet wider and stretching down to each ankle with both hands and back straight head to the knee
Front splits with alternate legs keeping the back straight at all times, and also full side splits.
There are many variants to the above some stretches being undertaken in a seated position.
It should be noted that ballistic (bouncing) stretches, hyper extension (hurdler stretch) and partner assisted stretches should only be undertaken by experienced students and never undertaken by children/juniors.
We should now be bodily and mentaly prepared for the lesson, listen to the instructions given and make sure you understand what is required. If you do not understand then it is much better to get clarification of the technique than an injury
Your level of commitment to the class should be maintained at a level to ensure a good level of cardio fitness.
Enjoy the class.
The Cool Down
At the end of class a cooling down period of more gentle relaxed techniques should be undertaken to assist in the breakdown of lactic acid in the muscles. Gentle stretches on a daily basis will aid muscle strength, flexibility and general good health. always warm up correctly prior to and stretching and always stretch out after exercise.
Stay Fit and Healthy
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Master Konstantinos Trigonis
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