This article is for professional martial artists. ( If you're new to my training, I recommend you start here). You know:
- Novice Monk exercises,
- 8 Treasures Qigong ( Ba Duan Jin)
- You have progressed to Shaolin Workout 2
- Shaolin Bootcamp or Shaolin Circuit Training.
- You’re running before your Kung Fu sessions.
Stamina is key for a professional Shaolin Martial Artist. Our stamina training is similar to the stamina training of a boxer. A combination of explosive stamina and endurance. Don’t underestimate endurance stamina. It’s a way for the body to recover and it’s also a great way to boost stamina. You need to do both for exceptional stamina. I recommend varying your long distance runs. Build up during the week so it’s 5k, 6k, 8k, 10k. And each time you run, time yourself and give yourself a goal for each run so you’re always challenging yourself. Run your 5 and 6k runs as fast as you can. At the end of your run, do a series of sprints. Hill sprints are great if you have hills near you. If you’re not able to run you can skip. This is your warm up. You’re now ready to train.
Don't Hit A Plateau
On a daily basis you need to go through the fundamentals. Don’t take as much time as a beginner. Make your kicks quick and precise. Deepen your stances. And begin to mix deep stances and punches with fighting punches.
Now that you know the moves, get creative. The important thing is you don’t hit a plateau. With any exercise, not just martial arts, our body gets used to the workout and it no longer has the same impact on our body so we need to keep changing what we’re doing. The fitter we are, the lower our resting heart rate is. This means we have to work harder in our workout.
I've created 3 specific sets of DVDs that push your stamina. Don’t just use one of these, change them. Circuit Training, Bootcamp and Shaolin Burn. Or, if you don’t have these programs use a timer on your phone and set it for different intervals. Not always the same amount of intervals. Not always the same exercises. Change it at least every four weeks. I do lots of workouts on youtube that you can use. Up the intensity, watch your form and stay relaxed!
When it comes to Qigong your training becomes totally different to that of a beginner or an intermediate. This is when you need a direct transmission form master to student. You can’t learn this on your own. You mix stamina with Qigong. You need to make Qigong protect your body more than your physical strength. The only way of testing this is by doing Qigong when you are out of breath. A fight tests your stamina, you take a lot of hits. If you have no stamina, you can’t use your Qi. Training in Qigong when you’re at the maximum of your stamina forces you to use Qi to protect your body. Iron Body is this combination of intense stamina and Qigong.
If you’re not doing Iron Body or don't have access to a master then do Qigong for Upper and Lower Body. This Qigong mixes hard and soft Qigong. You want to get used to combining internal and external energy.
After you’ve done your Qigong, warm up with the bamboo brush then progress to the metal brush. The metal brush isn’t just for body conditioning. The vibrations cleanse the marrow of our bone. Bone Marrow is the place where new blood cells are produced. We believe they regenerate the bone so blood cell production doesn’t slow down when we’re older. There is no proof that this is true (any scientists like to test this please contact me). But this is what we’re taught at the Shaolin Temple.
The main thing is that you’re changing your body. You’re making your body its own doctor. You know your body. You understand your body. You’re keeping your body at the peak of its health and fitness. In order to do this, you have to be aware of your mind your body and your diet. In next weeks article I’ll write about how to Zenify Your Life.
The Qi Of Stamina Program is available as a DVD bundle or separate downloads.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below!