Just heard on a tv promo “Will learning violent contact sports make life safer on the streets?” while showing a clip of some thugs fighting on the street and then a BJJ gym. #stupidquestions
Of course there are always the few bad eggs who will not benefit as much, and this is probably because other aspects of their persona have not been dealt with adequately, but that is not to say that martial arts training has not helped them from being worse than they would have been.
For the majority the benefits of martial arts in strengthening and controlling mind/body/soul are immense. It’s time the public became more educated and aware about what #martialarts and combat sports are really about, instead of marginalising it as simple “violence”… #violence is for untrained neanderthals.
In the end we are all just a few millimetres of cerebral cortex away from being a hairless monkey, and without harnessing our human capacity for imagination and self awareness, that additional cortical matter isn’t worth a whole lot.
Martial arts are just that… “arts”… they connect your human imagination to your animal soul, control it, and channel that natural animal aggression into it something beautiful, flowing and precise. It can crash into destructive force, it can bend the opponent to submit to your will, but the skilled practitioner knows and learns how and when and to what degree it is required.
That is the difference between the depth of an “art”, and the indiscriminate, mindless chaos of “violence”.
It does not promise mastery or victory, but it does demand the discipline, respect, skill, determination and pure hard work required to achieve it. These are the attributes and habits that one will be driven to cultivate, if they are not already possessed to some degree.
It may be true that there are some who will never be able to fully embody these characteristics, no matter how much they train, but this is nonetheless this is the potential for empowerment and greatness that martial arts will offer you.
Proper use of SMR has beneficial effects on mobility through two theoretical modes of action:
1) Mechanically allowing lengthening of fascial sheaths and muscle fibres through breaking down localised adhesions and contractures
2) Neurologically resetting the length-tension relationships of muscles and reducing the activation of the muscle stretch reflex.
SMR is not well understood by most gym goers but is beneficial if used regularly before and after workouts, or at any time of the day. It can be very useful specifically for postural correction, a common issue with modern office workers and students who spend their days hunched over a desk for hours.
There are a number of different foam rollers and trigger point balls available on the market at present. I would recommend starting with a less dense/firm roller and progressing to something more firm as your body adapts.
The roller pictured below appears intimidating but it is the highest density roller I have found, and I have worked up from softer ones to using this effectively!
SMR has been an instrumental tool in my scoliosis rehab and sporting endeavours, and helped me immensely in correction of muscular imbalances through regular daily use.
I normally have a tight pec minor and bicep on one side (“Deep Front Arm Line” in myofascial train theory). I did some simple tricep activation on that side (it’s usually switched off), and the tension was reduced significantly.
Hence the lesson is: we need a combination of appropriate neurological activation as well as myofascial techniques in order to create balanced muscular activation and optimal functional movement throughout the body.
Myofascial tension is a consequence of both mechanical/structural effects as well as neurological factors.