Yoga For Martial Arts

2017-10-02 11:06

Whatever style of martial art you practice, whether it is Brazilian jiu jitsu, karate, judo, or boxing, you should be aware of how important flexibility, balance and core strength are. If you want to gain the advantage over your competitors, you should give serious consideration to introducing yoga to your daily workout.

So how can a non contact activity such as yoga improve the competitive, full contact nature of martial arts? Well yoga can improve your martial arts in many ways. Yoga has stood the test of time and has been around for thousands of years. Ancient yogi believed that for a man to be in harmony with himself and his environment, he needs to integrate his mind, body and spirit. To learn yoga you must gain control over your breathing, which is a fundamental concept that needs to be taught and developed. The acquired skill to control your breathing, then leads onto being able to control your mind through meditation.

Martial arts have similar principles to that of yoga. The martial artist must learn to use his mind to remain calm when placed in stressful situations. They should incorporate technique over brute strength and not let a lack of size become an obstacle. The martial arts practitioner will train for years, developing his body and to learn to compete with others in a healthy way, helping to improve their spirit and to develop good character. Just like yoga, martial arts is about developing the body and the mind in unison.

The practice of yoga is a great way to develop core strength and balance, learning to breathe when placed in unusual positions. Imagine you are a practitioner of Brazilian jiu jitsu and someone is trying to pass your guard by smashing you, you are in an awkward position, finding it difficult to breathe. To some this may be enough for them to tap out, however, by practising yoga, you will be able remain calm, think, breathe and with the added flexibility you will have gained, manoeuvre into a more neutral position. Perhaps you are struggling with certain techniques due to a lack of hip flexibilty, which is impairing your progression. Training in yoga will help you to overcome the plateau which you have reached and will make your martial arts training more enjoyable.

If you participate in sparring when studying boxing or karate, you wil be able to control your breathing and remain calm when your opponent is trying to kick or punch you. This will give you more time to plan your next move ahead. The increased amount of balance and core strength that you will gain by training in yoga, will allow you to be more agile, helping you to avoid your opponents strikes.

If you are still unsure if yoga is for you, remind yourself that yoga is being practised by some of the most elite martial artists out there, Eddie Bravo inventor of the Rubber Guard is a yogi . BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez both are top UFC fighters enjoy yoga. Rickson Gracie from the world renowned Gracie family is a yoga practitioner and there are many more. So why not start to incorporate yoga into your training regime and start to see improvements in your martial arts?