a MMB! Kendo Blog: Why Do We Warm-up?

MMB! Kendo Blog

Monday, April 02, 2007

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Why Do We Warm-up?

Since my last post, I had trained 3 times in the past week - Last Thursday and this Monday at UNSW, and also Saturday training at Willoughby.

NSW Dan / Women Squad Training
Last Thursday was my first session in the NSW Dan/Women Squad training. It was good to see 10 girls from all different clubs participating the training. I was happy to play against players from the Korean Clubs which I don't usually get the chance to.

Paul Rixon Sensei led the squad training. We started off with jigeiko with each other, including the Kyu players from UNSW Kendo Club. After about half an hour, the squads did several sets of kirikaeshi and some waza, including men-debana-katate-tsuki. Yeah, I could hear 'whoa' from those of you who could visualise the waza I just mentioned. I wow'ed myself too, because I am still in the beginning phase of learning how to do a basic morotte tsuki, let alone a katate-tsuki on a moving target that is coming in to attack my men. But nonetheless, it was an interesting, fresh waza to make practice a little more interesting.

In the last 30 mins of the squad training, we had team shiai. Guys against guys, and girls against girls. The bout was only short, about 2 mins each. And we were able to have 2 fights each.

In my last fight, I asked Da-seul to be my shiai-geiko partner. And I had a good keiko with her - moving well, good connection with her, and I felt I had good control of the rhythm and spirit in the entire match. In the end, I landed an ippon on men in my kote-men attempt, which was a good way to wrap up my first squad training of the year.

Feedbacks from Rixon Sensei:
  • Tendency to lift both my arms up, so giving chance for opponent to do gyuku-do. So be careful.
  • Leaning forward and leaving body behind during men-cut. Concentrate on bringing the whole body forward.

Other Trainings in the Past Week

For the Saturday Willoughby and Monday UNSW trainings, I have been continuing my practice with suriage-men, and from time-to-time, made a few tsuki attempts. I could feel my suriage-men is improving, and I could feel the movement is more natural and am more confident to use this technique during jigeiko.

Feedbacks from Sano Sensei:
  • My men-cut is slightly twisted to the side (like a sayumen), and cuts are too light. Maybe one would call it, sashi-sayumen... Anyway, Sensei suggested that I could try using a more snappy movement if I was aiming to do a sayumen. But instead of a light slicing cut, I could snap my wrist and make it a powerful decisive cut.
Why Do We Warm-up?
Just a week or two ago at the beginning of a warm-up session, Ka-bi prompted the Thursday UNSW class to think about the need to warm-up. At that time, Ka-bi suggested that warm-up is to increase our muscle temperature.

Coincidentally, I was reading some journal in the university health sciences library yesterday and came across two journals, which talk about warm-up. Without dwelling into too much details and the big debate about static vs dynamic flexibility, I will simply list the benefits that the researchers have found.

So why do we warm-up?

A well-designed warm-up will assist the athlete in mentally focusing on the upcoming task and will bring about various physiological changes that will enhance the training activity of competition, such as:

  • Increase in muscle and core temperature
  • Improved neuromuscular function
  • Increased blood flow to the working skeletal muscle
  • Increased oxygen delivery to the muscles
  • Improve the speed and force of muscle contractions
  • Increased propagation of nerve impulses
  • Increased in joint range of motion (ROM)
  • Enhanced cellular metabolism
  • Decreased vascular resistance
  • Lower lactate accumulations
  • Increase muscle pH (so the muscle won't become acidic as easily)
There are so many benefits from doing a good warm-up routine, so that's why we should all do warm-up if we want to get the most out of each training.


  • Fittolani MF (2006) Performance enhancement & injury prevention via thorough preparation: static versus dynamic flexibility. Australian Strength and Conditioning Association - Strength and Conditioning Coach Magazine, Vol 14(4): 21-26
  • Swanson JR (2006, October) A functional approach to warm-up and flexibility. Strength and Conditioning Journal; 28, 5; Health Module: 30-36

    • Hey there! Good to read you again.

      Yeah, I actually went "WHOA" when I read about the men-debana-katate-tsuki. (actually it was like "Nooooo!!", but anyway). That's really difficult. But I don't get why use "katate". I thought katate-tsuki was used to attack from further away, to "gain distance". But if the opponent is coming towards you...shouldn't it be enough to use morotte tsuki? Is it for speed?

      Good article about warm-up. I believe that something as important as that is post-training stretch. Actually it's usually disregarded, but I believe it's necessary and important.

      Good luck and thanks!

      By Blogger Leon, at Tuesday, April 03, 2007 11:02:00 PM  

    • Hi, Vivian, thanks for the update and the bit about the warm-up! I can see your future blog having a flare of medical science and reasoning. Looking forward to it!

      By Blogger Ivan, at Tuesday, April 03, 2007 11:14:00 PM  

    • Hey Leon,

      Yeah, I would also think that katate-tsuki is for long distance, so I was pretty surprised too when we had to do this against a moving, oncoming target.

      Although the focus of the journals were on static vs dynamic flexibility, the 1st journal did mention about stretching for post-training. It recommends dynamic flexibility prior training, and static flexibility post training.

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, April 04, 2007 9:26:00 AM  

    • Hey Ivan,

      Great to hear from you again. I will definitely continue posting any interesting research findings and things I read from my study in physiotherapy and general sport science.

      Hopefully, it will be of interest to everyone.

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, April 04, 2007 9:30:00 AM  

    • i'm feeling guilty now... since i'm often late and miss the warm-up lol. i'm missing all these benefits!

      btw, men debana katate tsuki sounds a bit dangerous as in leaving you all open for any attack... i think morote tsuki makes more sense if the aite is coming to get you. anyway, it'll be nice to try something new yeaaaaah! the closest thing to this that i've practiced before is the kote nuki katate tsuki. good for static kote ppl.... but still dangerous.

      By Anonymous paburo aka musashi, at Wednesday, April 04, 2007 5:51:00 PM  

    • Hey Paburo! Thanks for your message.

      I am so glad that you realise the importance of warm-up! Woohooo!!!

      About the tsuki, I also agree with you and think that men-debana-katate-tsuki is a bit unrealistic and dangerous in real situation. Now, I am still trying to develop my sense of morotte-tsuki, so I think I will practice morotte-tsuki and grab the sense of movement before attempting to do anything with katate-tsuki.

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Wednesday, April 04, 2007 6:04:00 PM  

    • how you doing bibian?=P Training hard as usual ey...Speaking of warmups, I've been spreading the UNSW warmups love around here. Haha..been told to take warmups twice now. =P with dino doing warmups in spain and me doing it here, UNSW is spreading all over the world..haha..*evil laughter* WORLD DOMINATION!! =D

      By Blogger hawQ, at Sunday, April 08, 2007 11:04:00 AM  

    • Hi Vivian,

      Indeed, I have pointed the fact that warming up our body is critical to avoid injuries, no matter what activity you do however, what it is important, is to focalize in the muscle groups that activity uses the most which, in our case should be shoulders, abdominal/hip muscles and Achilles tendon.

      Nice to see how quicly you are "warming up" into your new career :-))


      By Blogger Eduardo Cigliutti, at Sunday, April 08, 2007 11:31:00 AM  

    • Hey Nurlin! You Go Gal! Well done on spreading the UNSW warm-up routine to Malaysia. Did you lead the class to do the special space-invader and L-flies shoulder warm-up (Ka-bi) versions? hahaha

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, April 08, 2007 10:11:00 PM  

    • haha, Eduardo. Yes, I am warming to my new career very happily!

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Sunday, April 08, 2007 10:14:00 PM  

    • Space invader and L-flies would have to wait for the time being. Need to get used to the kendo scene here first (><)" hehe..GOod luck with AKC. Will be waiting for the good news! =D

      By Blogger hawQ, at Tuesday, April 10, 2007 2:01:00 PM  

    • Thanks Nurlin!

      By Blogger Vivian Yung, at Thursday, April 12, 2007 3:42:00 PM  

    • Still training hard!! Wish I could do the same *sigh*

      I like the info on warm up it would really explain why I get fatigue so often after training, because I don't warm up/down properly.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, April 21, 2007 10:32:00 PM  

    • Hi Vivian,

      It's me Paul. Great to read your blog again. :D Btw, I've just realized that you're eligible to play for Sydney Uni at Australian Uni Games next semester. Hahaha.. Make sure you give your name to Maowei. A rare Sydney University Sporting Blues is waiting for you.

      Best wishes!

      By Anonymous Paul, at Wednesday, May 02, 2007 12:51:00 AM  

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