Functional fitness with clubs, meels, mace and shena

Functional fitness with clubs, meels, mace and shena

A top day with Tom and the PTs at BodyDevelopment. Learning moves through an appreciation of functional application makes it… understandable, acceptable, applicable, memorable. Many times, I have come away from a brain overload workshop only forget most of what I was shown. With Tom, he makes it work for you by explaining how various rotational and linear moves can work for your chosen discipline. Brains light up for us all in different ways as to how we can apply in our selected varied disciplines. All the moves learnt have a martial origin – uppercut, parry, sweep, fend, lock, break. By understanding the importance other parts of the body contribute to each seemingly simple movement, optimal performance can be achieved. These workshops will have you re-thinking, where does my punching/throwing power come from. Shoulders? Hips? Core? Big Toe? A. All of them and more.

I have been using Indian clubs for 12 years now and very happy to see this old dog of mine learn many new tricks! At a base level, the clubs are good for shoulder, elbow, wrist flexibility and coordination. Time to take it up a notch… integrate hip rotation and foot movement and the importance of head position. Keeping the head over your point of power – essential for the high torque generating power swings with mace and Persian meels. All the time, consider the transfer application for your chosen sport. eg. rugby maul – get your head over the ball Pull/Push relevant legs and Twist hips to rip the ball etc.

From a PT point of view, it is good to gain an understanding of moving up or down in terms of difficulty when teaching groups of varied abilities. If a client struggles with the task in hand, take it down a notch, or two. Obviously the reverse for those more capable. For Indian clubs this would be something like foundation level – dominant hand with club uppercut, open shoulder, straighten inclined arm and reverse. Repeat. Next level – with both hands. Maybe progress the moves in a squat position. Next level – Hinge, swing and lock overhead both clubs. Next level – open elbows to side from lock. Add – outside swings. Add – inside swings. Breaking each of these moves into their martial origins and desired applications makes the whole process meaningful. Something my own teaching with clubs will benefit from now on.

The above was just a small sample from one Tom Crudgington’s ever evolving workshops at BodyDevelopment in Bath.

A mind node illustrates information saturation of what was retained…
Indian clubs Gada Persian Meels Workshop mind node


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