Jane Fonda Meets Kill Bill Sword Workout

A point I was getting to in my last post was that I not only see the big stick as a means of combat, but as a means of physical conditioning. With the short stick you can get by with the wrist and arm, but the big stick relies on the waist, hips, and legs to a greater extent. I also think that if you’re doing the big stick correctly, you’ll be using both hands rather than just one.

The other day at the book store I stumbled across this book, available from Amazon. The author outlines a workout with the wooden sword. I note that the lowest ratings come from martial artists, especially those who study sword styles.

I’m wondering how this applies to the big stick, particularly a workout that can be done in the living room, maybe with a heavy (weighted) stick.


Your Worst Nightmare: Martha Stewart with a Sword


6 Responses to “Jane Fonda Meets Kill Bill Sword Workout”

  1. So are you saying that Glen Doyle does not use a longer stick correctly because he uses one hand at times?

    Are you saying that FMA are all out of shape?

    Of course not but there is nothing 100% superior in a longer and/or heavier stick.

    Again, it is the techniques and how you work out that decides how fit you are, not the weapon. You can increase the weight of any stick weapon regardless of length for the purpose of weight training in functional movement.

    Martial art techniques are not about fitness, they are about causing injury to the other person. Running, weightlifting, cardio, can certainly be used with MA in a way but you can be fit without doing any MA at all.

    In Kendo we had an exercise where the bokken is held over the head and behind touching the back, we then swing back over our head to the front while taking a jumping-like step. Do that 100 times a day and you are building strength and cardio.

    The problem I see is that all these programs is that they have the look of MA but none of the skill. Their goal is fitness and while they achieve that, it can be misleading to the public when they think that they are also learning self-defense.

  2. If you’re interested in big stick style fitness that can be done inexpensively, in your garage or living room, and will help build stick fighting strength, check out “shovelgolove”-just Google it. This guy is a little quirky, but his advice and system are solid. No major crazy stuff, just down to earth ideas anyone can use. his “No-S’s” diet is a winner too. Sure, you can fork over a lot of money for personal trainers, etc. if it makes you feel better but why not go low-tech and save your dough for your kids college education or your retirement and buy a 25.00 sledgehammer at the hardware store and a good pair of running shoes and get busy getting fit. It’ll make your big stick feel like a tooth pick when you use the sledgie after a while;).

  3. I came across an article recently that nicely summarizes what I’ve been reading about for the last few years: Resistance Training to Develop Increased Bat Velocity.

    “Strength/power can be developed by implementing various forms of resistance training. Baker (1) stated that resistance training exercises can be classified into three categories; general, special, and specific. In order to develop strength/power, a combination of the three resistance training exercises should be implemented. “General” resistance training increases overall strength by using traditional exercises such as squats, deadlift, bench press, and rows. “Special” resistance training is designed to develop power, once strength has been improved, through the use of explosive exercises such as the snatch and clean and jerk lifts, ballistic resistance training like throwing medicine balls, and plyometric exercises. Finally, “specific” resistance training incorporates a training stimulus that mimics actual game motions and their velocities. For hitting, this can be accomplished by using underweighted and overweighted baseball bats.”

    Given a reasonable range of weight and length for a bat (or your stick), increasing the speed produces the most significant increase in power. And given a reasonable level of strength and fitness, practicing your swing is the best way to deliver the most power to your target. So, spend a little time with general and special training, but put most of your time in the sport itself.

    There is a chart of general exercises at the end of the article…maybe a little more than you need to do. I like the whole body exercises, and one of the best is a low-tech easy to do, Farmers Walk. Grab a couple of heavy objects, like large full milk cans, or dumbbells, or pails of water or sand, or large bags of water softener salt, and walk with them for, say 60-90 seconds. The big boys on the World’s Strongest Man contest have their body weight or more in each hand. You know if you’ve got the right weight if you’re not sure you can make your time or distant without dropping them. It’s a total body exercise, including your grip.

    A medicine ball is a great tool for special exercises to improve explosive power…but throw the damn thing, hard, not just swinging it around like you could do with a dumbbell or club. Perhaps for the bat person, doing “slams” would work well…from over head slam the ball (non-bouncing variety) down to the ground. Be careful though, even the non-bouncing ones will rebound, and you don’t want to get hit as a result.

    And the specific training of course is swinging and sparing with your choice of stick. The recommendation for heavier/lighter training is to not exceed about 10-15% over/under your actual stick weight.

    Here’s the link: http://www.power-systems.com/n-158-resistance-training-to-develop-increased-bat-velocity.aspx

  4. jimmyfatwing Says:

    The Kendo guys use the suburi bokken which are big old chunks of wood. Sure there’s some YouTube footage, and plenty of non traditional ways of using it.

  5. Jimmy,

    Yeah, I was thinking of the suburi when I first saw the lady swinging the bokken.

  6. “Suburi” is the word I was looking for.

    From Wiki: “Suburi are repetitive, individual, cutting exercises, which are used in Japanese martial arts such as kendo, aikido, iaidō, and kenjutsu. Often a shinai (for kendo), bokken, suburitō, or even tanren bō are used. An iaitō or shinken can also be used, albeit that is rare.”

    In Kendo we did it with a shinai because that is what we had, I can see a heavier bokken (aka suburito) being used in kenjutsu schools more so than in kendo schools, but it really depends on the teacher.

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