In sports, balance is described as the ability to stay in control of your body movement or to stay upright. Coordination is defined as the ability to move two or more parts of your body smoothly, efficiently, and under control.
As simple as both sound, they are in reality difficult for anyone without proper training.
Balance and coordination are vital parts of activities like sports, fighting in a ring, or even martial arts. They are important to martial arts because good balance, coordination, and stability can mean all the difference between avoiding a strike, winning or losing, or kicking power. By perfecting control of your balance and coordination, you experience vital benefits such as;
- Staying upright during offensive and defensive moves.
- Your core and muscles stay ready for any demands of movement, combat, and practice
- It helps to prevent injuries as good balance and coordination mean you won’t be easily swept off your feet. When you are, you can prevent injury by responding quickly and controlling your fall. For example, putting your hands out to protect yourself when you fall.
- Kicking or striking power in martial arts is increased with proper balance and coordination.
Developing the skill of age-appropriate balance and coordination allows you to take part in martial arts and enjoy success. It aids fluid movement for physical performances and helps to reduce the energy required for a task or lesson. For both kids and adults, this means less fatigue.
Thankfully, if you want to improve on your balance and coordination, you can do so as you engage in martial arts. You can also take up simple stretches and exercises that help you improve balance and coordination.
These balance training exercises include;
- Agility training or agility drills. These exercises are targeted at improving speed, power, and coordination. They help you work on better stability in martial arts during sparring or in self-defense situations. Examples of some martial arts agility drills are carioca, t-test, and river dance.
- Blossom pole training. Blossom pole training also known as Mei Hua Zhuang in Chinese helps students or practitioners to improve footwork, coordination, balance, leg strength, and more. Some martial arts schools use poles high off the ground to practice Mei Hua Zhuang, and others use short poles to help reduce injuries in case students fall.
- Air kicks or kicking paddles. Air kicks involve practicing kicks without a target- that is kicks in the air or using a lightweight kicking paddle. This training helps martial arts students concentrate on their balance and the technique.
- Bosu balls. We can describe Bosu balls as a regular round ball cut in half. Martial artists train with Bosu balls for balance and coordination by using the flat or curved sides.
- One-legged exercises. You’ve undoubtedly seen or heard of this one. Standing on one leg is a classic martial arts balance training. It can be done alongside other exercises to increase the difficulty.
Be sure to work with a trained martial arts instructor and see a doctor if you feel any pain or discomfort before you train.
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