So I'm a former professional Sport Karate competitor and current martial arts school owner.
Here's my question: Is there are anybody out there in this community of recreational and/or professional athletes that trains in the martial arts as a form of cross-training?
As athletes, we are all encouraged to cross-training so we don't get bored, but more importantly work and train muscles that are not emphasized as much in our current training regimen.
If you DO use martial arts as a form of cross-training, what sort of benefits have you gained from this? And do you continue to use it? Would you recommend it to others?
If you DO NOT use martial arts to cross-train, why not? Have you thought about it? Do you have questions? If so, let me know and I'd love to help!!
I'm a firm believer that cross-training improves one's conditioning for all sorts of competitions and events. However, martial arts specifically can improve other areas, such as focus, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility - to name a few. With the various kicks, punches, blocks, and other unorthodox techniques performed - your athleticism could improve.
I've been studying martial arts for a number of years. I use a lot of shadow sparring for my cross-training workouts. Its an interval training tool that I use called HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training. I usually go anywhere from 10-15 min 3 times per week. I usually start going about 50% of 30 seconds, then give it 100% for the next 30 seconds then back down to 50 % then back up to 100% etc. I'll spar using do all the techniques I know and I. This has had a wonderful impact on my conditioning and weight loss.
Also, it serves well as a warm up. I may only do it for 4 or 5 min. then go for a lenghthy run. Its a wonderful training tool.