by Erik Paulson
(originally printed in TapouT – Issue 11 2006)
If you’re fighting and not running… YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING!
I have experimented both ways for fighting and found that my overall fitness, footwork and well-being were much better after putting in miles. Bruce Lee said running was the king of exercises and I believe that to be true. Running is moving meditation, think time, and self-visualization for a fight. Running gives you the polishing touch, the icing on the cake. When you’ve done all your pad work, heavy bags, sparring and jump rope, running gives you freedom and clears your head.
It’s controversial whether or not you should do more long distance running or sprints, but I say both. Loong distance running gives you that sustained energy you won’t get from sprints. Sprinting gives you explosive ability that allows you to blast out of a situation.
Near my house there is a steep dirt hill that’s about a half mile long. We take fighters there three to five times a week. Hill running adds a little spice to the same old path or straight, long distance run. Running out in the woods or eilderness is also recommended, as the nature runs wild, the energy is serene and the air is pure.
My all-time favorite run is on the beach either early in the morning as the sun rises or in the evening as the sun sets. The semi-wet sand has a certain energy and spiritual feel to it.
I usually prefer to do sprints at the football stadium and I’ll run the bleachers or the field – sprint 50 percent and jog 50 percent. I read recently in several studies that putting your sprints on the end of your long distance run can produce the same results as isolating each.
My fighters sprint 40 yards then hit the Thai pads, first doing the jab cross or crisscross, then the skip knee and double kick. Also at the end, try to do a focus mitt speed reaction drill and hand speed exercises to help you hit fast and think fast when you are totally fatigued.
When the mind gives up and the body is ready to quit, the spirit takes over. Train your spirit to no matter what, never, never give up! Sweat is the lubricant of success and nothing on this earth replaces hard work. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. Train Hard, Train Smart.