Sunday, 13 February 2011

Legs (Two)

Last week I was working something new into my daily Juru practice and I spent about forty minutes working the same movements over and over again in a slow and low manner. I am only really at beginner level in Silat, so it takes a while to make changes in structure, before my Juru were two dimensional but this week I added a third dimension.

Anyway I kind of spaced out as I was concentrating so much on my upper half, I forgot about my legs and suddenly became aware of that screaming pain you get from low stance work. No matter how hard I squat with weights, the low stances get me every time. Steve Perry talks about legs in his contribution to Guru Stevan Plinck’s Silat blog here:

Many years ago a Special Forces soldier said to me: “Weak legs equal a weak soldier”.

My first Muay Thai instructor used to say something along the lines of “if your legs go (get weak); the fight is as good as over”.

Guru Stevan Plinck says “your martial art is as good as your legs are strong and limber”.

I realise now after thirty years training in combat arts, they were all corect, which was fine as most of the arts I have practiced have stressed leg strengthening. However about ten years ago I managed to damage my back and as a result had to cut out things like squats with weights and to a certain extent the regular running I was doing. The trouble is I never replaced them with any form of leg training and as a result my legs are the weakest they have ever been.

No matter if it’s MMA, boxing or judo, legs control the distance in a fight, and distance helps you control timing. Not being able to control timing equals being hit without being able to hit back, which is the opposite of what you actually what.

I had also sorts of plans for this coming year but I am going to concentrate on building strength in my legs and also my cardio, as the heart is the engine that drives the legs. Lots of low stances for me and lots of hill hiking.

Now back to the Juru training.

Llyn Cwm Llwch from the Craig Cwm Llwch ridge