Sunday, 13 October 2013

Running and jumping

Most of us who have actually joined a dojo for martial arts like karate or judo know that running does not feature as one of the techniques taught.

Fact is, however, that the running technique worth mentioning is not taught- it is developed.

In an age where martial arts were actually used in warfare and not just as a sport- exponents of some known martial arts relied not only on attacks, but also on ways to move oneself as efficiently as possible by climbing, running and jumping.

Shaolin has a known skill called "Running on Grass". The translation from Chinese makes very little sense to me, but it's supposed to mean that the exponent can run really fast...

A known technique which most of you will probably have heard about a couple of years too late is the straw hat- sprints used by the Ninja. Young students from the age of about 8 and up are given a straw hat. they are then made to run fast enough, without holding the hat in their hands, for the hat to be pressed against their chests by mere air resistance.

Korean soldiers of old trained themselves to run up walls- a skill not seen taught that often today.

As for jumping- records of Chinese martial arts show that flying kicks were used to dismount horsemen.
The jumping techniques of Chinese martial arts rely on Qigong- and inevitably internal strength, but a more mundane approach would involve having weights strapped to the body and limbs while jumping during training.

This post is rather short- as these techniques are not my field of expertise. Other martial artists who read this blog, however, are welcome to submit their contributions hereto at