Maximize your Felxibility with PNF Stretching

Whether you’re someone who is struggling with your flexibility or you just want to bring your flexibility to the next level, PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching may be just what you need. When compared to other methods of stretching, PNF stretching is one of the most effective ways to enhance your flexibility in a short period of time. This advanced method of stretching, which was originally designed as a form of physical rehabilitation, involves both a stretching and a contraction phase of the muscles being targeted. As a result of its multiphase approach, PNF stretching will not only help you to increase your flexibility but strength as well. In this article we’re going to look at a couple methods of performing PNF stretching. Please be sure to always  “warm up” before performing any stretching exercises.

PNF stretching is a fairly easy to understand method of stretching which involves a 3 phase approach.

  • Phase 1: Bring the muscle group being targeted to maximum flexibility, hold the static stretch for approximately 30 seconds. One of the best ways to do this is through the aid of a partner who can help to bring you into your maximum stretch, in the absence of a partner you may use a towel, rope, or other piece of equipment.
  • Phase 2:  Involves bringing the muscle group being targeted under tension by pushing against your partner or whatever piece of equipment you are using to help perform your stretch. (With some stretches it’s actually possible to supply tension by pushing against your own body)  This phase should be held for 5-8 seconds, with the body part being stretched remaining completely still.
  • Phase 3: Upon completion of phase 2, you should now find your flexibility enhanced and thus reposition the muscle group being targeted to the point of maximum flexibility for 1 more static stretch which you hold for another 30 seconds.

You may repeat the three phases for multiple sets if you’d like. Also be aware, there is an alternate method to phase 2, in which you bring the muscle being stretched under tension through the use of a concentric contraction. This means resistance is applied while the body part being stretched moves through a range of motion.

For a better understanding of how to perform PNF stretching please take the time to view the video below.

Master Key Moves

Recently, I had the honor of being featured in one of Grandmaster Jim Brassard’s monthly club DVDs. In my segment, I demonstrate how a very common series of moves can prove to be equally effective when utilized in multiple situations. Such movements, in Kenpo, are referred to as “master key moves.” It cannot be overemphasized, the value in being able to identify these movements. Understanding and exploring this concept to its fullest potential can have a very profound effect on a martial artist’s ability to master their system.

To view my segment, check out the video below!

Success is Something you Attract

Success is shy. If you look for it, you’ll never find it. If you chase after it, it runs in the opposite direction. The way to lure success out of hiding is through giving. Success is attracted to those who give, and repelled by those who take. Learn to give more than you take, and then you’ll have more than you need. Although this may sound counter intuitive, remember it is a universal law that you get what you give. For this reason, those who do nothing but take, find their lives to be the most empty of all. Jim Rohn said, “success is something you attract by the person you become.” The answer then to attracting success is to find your passion so that you may invest much time and energy into adding more value to yourself; and then in time you’ll be able to provide value to others.

Dare to Dream

Last Friday I had the privilege of giving a talk at South Hadley  High School for Career Day. Aside from having to get up early in the morning, which I don’t usually have to do, it was an exciting new experience for me. I’d like to take the time to share with you what I was able to share with those students.

Let’s get started at the beginning. I was a little boy during what has been referred to as the “ninja craze.” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were popular, 3 Ninjas had just been released as well as a whole slew of other martial arts movies that I was also addicted to. So naturally I wanted to take karate. I begged my mother to sign me up for what seemed like years; in reality, it was probably only weeks. Finally she said, “yes”, and when the day came that I took my first lesson, I was hooked! Not long after that, I began telling everyone that I was going to be a martial arts instructor when I got older. This was something I was so passionate about that I would come home and pretend to be teaching my own classes as well as spend hours drawing the floor plans for my dream dojo! This went on for years; my childhood was filled with excitement and anticipation for the future!Read More

Enhance your Training with Mental Practice!

Would you be surprised if I told you that you could produce excellent results by mentally practicing the physical activities you
participate in? In fact mental practice may be just what you need to take your training to the next level.  In 1992 a study was conducted to compare the effect of physical training vs. mental practice. The study was published in the Journal of Neurophysiology and titled “Strength Increases from the Motor Program: Comparison of Training with Maximal Voluntary and Imagined Muscle Contractions.” The study found that after a month’s time of attempting to strengthen the ADM muscle of the pinky the physical training group experienced an increase in strength by about 30% whereas the mental training group improved by an astounding 22%. So now you know that mental practice can get you results, but how should you go about implementing it so that you get the best results possible? The effective implementation of  mental practice can be broken into two easy to follow steps. Effectively implementing these steps will take some practice. Read More

Roundhouse Kick Defense

Students at Tigon Martial Arts learn how to handle a variety of attacks. We teach defenses against punches and grabs as well as defenses against a variety of weapons such as clubs, knives, and guns. This particular video demonstrates one of the many kick defenses taught at our school.

The Importance of Developing Speed

Understanding the science behind martial arts can be very insightful. In this video I’ll take you through some basic physics that will help to explain why it is so critical that martial artists develop optimal speed when exectuting their techniques.

Amplify Your Ability with Proper Breathing Technique

Breathing is an integral part of any martial arts training program. It plays an important role in the development of both the mind and the body. Proper breathing should be taught to enhance meditation and qigong (chi kung) training as well combative techniques. Through the use of reverse breathing one is able to bring more energy into their movements while at the same time developing a more firm and rooted stance. If you would like to learn reverse breathing in addition to other breathing techniques please seek out a qualified instructor. Do not attempt to learn these techniques on your own; if performed incorrectly there could be adverse effects.

Below is a video which demonstrates how the application of reverse breathing creates a sense of heaviness which will aid in generating more powerful martial arts techniques.

Jiu-jitsu Lock

The following video tip takes a look at a joint lock that was taught to me 3 years ago at a seminar being given by a jiu-jitsu master. This video explores how we may easily integrate the linear and circular movements of Kenpo to enhance the technique.