Monday, September 28, 2009

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
I am fascinated by fighters and the way they train and I think that there is a lot to learn from them as far as discus training is involved. Many of you are familiar with the famous martial artist Bruce Lee and I am sure you have seen many of his movies growing up like I have. Bruce lee was undeniably one of the best martial artists of our time and unfortunately his life was cut short due to an acute medical problem. Fortunately, his words still live with us today and we can still learn a lot from this legend.
If you have a ever watched any of his movies I am sure you have seen his lightening fast foot work. Every athlete in the world can benefit from having this ability to be swift and in the case of us disc heads, it is crucial. Here are his thoughts on getting the proper speed conditioning thanks to M. Uyehara.

"Speed in fighting depends not

just on your hands and feet in swiftness" Bruce Lee


What is speed in fighting? Is it the velocity of your hands, feet and body
movement? OR are there other, prevalent essentials in a good fighter? What is a
good fighter?
To answer these questions: A good fighter is one who can hit his opponent quicker,
harder, without much perceptible effort, and yet avoid being hit. He doesn't only
possess a pair of fast hands and feet or quick body movement but has other
qualities such as nontelegraphic moves, good coordination, perfect balance and
keen awareness. Although some people are endowed with a few of these qualities,
most of these attributes are developed through hard training.
All the strength or power you have developed from your training is wasted if you
are slow and can't make contact. Power and speed go hand-in-hand. A fighter
needs both to be successful.
One immediate way to increase your speed at impact is to "snap" or "whip" your
hand or foot just before contact. It is the same principle as the overhand throw. For
example, if you throw a baseball with a full swing and snap your wrist at the last
movement or the tail end of your swing, the ball will have more velocity than
without the snap. Naturally, the longer swing with a snap will have more
acceleration at the end than a shorter swing with a snap. A 12-foot whip, flung
exactly, will generate more sting than a two-foot whip.

Although this was written in a context of martial arts it is applicable to throwing if you allow yourself to creatively apply it to your training. It is essentially saying that the quicker and your feet are the better it is for your hands because they can both work harmoniously. What I find a lot in the throwing community are people with just STRONG feet and quick arms rather than QUICK-STRONG feet and quick arms. This is what it takes to throw far. Also, take notes on what he said about the whip because it is very applicable to the whipping of the discus, which ensures more distance. Disc heads.. dismissed.
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