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There are four stretching exercises that are part of the BASIC EXERCISES, and all of them are detailed in the video below. These exercises form the first level of training in kicking flexibility. These exercises, combined with the DRAGON STANCE, form a student's initial training in effective kicking. After you master the Basic Exercises, more complex training in agility and flexibility will follow.
...VIEW THIS VIDEO TO LEARN THE VARIOUS BASIC METHODS OF STRETCHING FOR FLEXIBILITY...
USES OF STRETCHING EXERCISES
Most experienced warriors know that high kicks or kicks that require extreme flexibility are not very useful in combat. A kick to the knee has a far, far greater chance of striking successfully in combat than a kick to the head, and is equally effective in damaging a foe.
However, high kicks and stretching have their purpose in training. That purpose is this.... Who has the flexibility to deliver a fast high kick can deliver a far FASTER kick to the mid-body, groin or knee. Also, it is not good to possess a weakness. If the muscles of your legs are not flexible, this is a weakness. If you do not eliminate this weakness, it might interfere with your ability to survive at a crucial moment in some combat. Eliminate this weakness… with stretching.
HOW TO DO YOUR STRETCHING
Look at the video to learn the exercise, and consult the text below to add to your knowledge.
The first method of stretching is to sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, and to touch the tips of your toes with your fingertips. Do not force yourself to do more than you can, and do NOT place a strain on your back. Patience, regular practice, and dedication. Improvement eventually occurs in time if you practice that philosophy.
The second method of stretching is to stand, bend over without bending your knees, and to touch the floor with the palms of your hands. If you cannot do this, you can touch the floor with just your fingers and progress to your palms. Again, progress in a calm and controlled manner, and do not strain your back.
The third method of stretching is to crouch down on one leg and extend the other leg out, and then to touch your head to your knee. You can grip the foot of the extended leg with one hand as you do it. Progress in this exercise in a calm and controlled manner, without putting any strain on your back.
To do the fourth form of stretching, extend both legs outwards with the feet pointing away from each other and the weight on the heels. Go down by spreading the feet apart.
There are many more ways of extending the flexibility of the legs and improving kicking ability, but these will suffice for now.
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And now, please read and meditate upon...
Every day, the master made the student train at formal sets of movements known as Kata. Some of these movements seemed to the student to be hardly useful in combat, and the student wished to learn techniques more applicable to battle.
The master sensed the student’s impatience.
‘My student,’ said the master, ‘Many feel, as you do, that forms of kata are over-rated. Yet sometimes a movement not necessarily useful in combat is also important. As an example, my student, you practice the high kick. It is not very useful in combat. But you practice it, and it makes any other sort of kick easy by comparison, and that is useful in combat.’
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