Stretching in Karate

Paul and co. at the Karate Cafe podcast have started a new series of “minisodes”. The latest (minisode 7) features a brief update from sports trainer Matthew Matson.

In this update, Matthew provides a brief update on flexibility, which he defines as “strength through a range of motion”, as opposed to pliability. He also differentiates static stretching, active stretching, PNF stretching and dynamic stretching.

An important point is that static stretching can actually lead to injury, and should be avoided in all situations except for rehabilitation, postural correction and post-workout. This is somewhat challenging as many traditional and contemporary martial arts schools use static stretching prior to training.

In the Kengokan Dojo, I have been reviewing our warmup exercises progressively over quite some time, and have removed most static stretches, instead emphasising active and dynamic stretching. Static stretching is left for after class, if at all.

Thanks to the Karate Cafe crew for this great minisode. Listen here.

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