Improved fitness and health are two of the most common reasons for a new student
taking up the martial arts.
While Aikido practice is great for your health, it is not enough by itself.
The best evidence of that are the very skilled Aikido and other martial arts
teachers that are overweight and in less than ideal physical condition. Stan Pranin commented on that in one of his
essays in Aikido Journal.
This page has resources for exercise that will improve your overall fitness and health and increase your Aikido
Sport specific exercises for Aikido
Build powerful legs and hips
It is often said that in Aikido and the martial arts, power is generated in with the legs and hips.
Nothing builds powerful legs better than the squat, deadlift (see Brooks
Kubik's books), or Olympic weightlifting (below).
These exercises are great for your body if done properly, but with each of these lifts proper
technique is critical to avoid injury and to maximize performance.
For example, in the squat if you extend your knees beyond your toes you will eventually injure your
Practice the tutorials below and you will be ahead of 90% of the people at the commercial gyms.
Then you can give them some pointers.
Squat tutorial. Dan John The best squat tutorial. The video is 50" long. Follow along
with the instructions and you'll learn to squat properly.
"The idea is to get back into the HABIT of
training—not to take super hard and demanding workouts. You’ll start training harder later on—but for right now,
your job is to get back into the training habit. So keep your workouts short, fast and easy."
Olympic Weightlifting Dan John
Another great teacher. Dan competed in the discus for Utah State University, and was the Strength
Coach and Head Track and Field Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah.
His specialties are Olympic weightlifting and the
discuss/track and field throwing events.
Power in athletics is defined asforce xacceleration.Olympic weightlifting builds more physical power than any other form of
Olympic weightlifters have also been tested to be some of the most
agile athletes in any Olympic sport, second only to gymnasts!
If you're young and have good knees and want to build some
power, Olympic weightlifting is a great form of exercise.
Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade
"How to Bust Free of All Weakness Using the LostSecrets of Supreme
Survival Strength" (book - 304 pages)
Focuses on 6 'ultimate' bodyweight exercises including 1-arm pull-ups
and hand-stand push-up's.
The important thing is the author gives you do-able
progressions to achieve them.
"Many talk about "mastering your body weight" yet Convict
Conditioning actually delivers a blueprint for anyone, regardless of your current fitness. . . .
"This program will give me the tendon strength to blast past my
previous body weight abilities and real usable strength and speed for hand-to-hand
—Tim Larkin, Master Close Combat Instructor, Target Focus Training
Interval training—the real aerobics. Intervals are short periods of high intensity
exercise, alternated with periods of recovery. Benefits include cardio-vascular conditioning, production of new
capillaries, increased oxygen delivery ability, improved performance, and weight loss.
Exercises, workouts, interval timers, and recommended reading.