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Q&A with Karate World Champion Leon Gordon

How To Succeed in Martial Arts

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Martial Arts continue to grow in popularity and there can be some confusion over how to get the most out of it and what type of additional training will help improve your performance. Nutrition and supplementation are also key areas that need to be addressed if you’re to get the best results possible.

LA Muscle sat down with a 2-time karate world champion and qualified PT Leon Gordon to get some insight into what can be done to get the best out of martial arts training and how to reach the highest possible level.

What type of gym work helps improve Martial Arts performance?

Plyometrics, calisthenics, bodyweight and weights all on rotation. You also need agility work to help with movement. You should also stretch regularly to improve flexibility and ensure you can do the more difficult moves. With weights it’s important that if you want to build mass you should only be doing one heavy weights session and the rest of the week you can do lighter weights with more reps or to failure if possible. Structure your week first then hit it hard.

How often should you be in the gym for that?

If you are only training at the gym and nowhere else then the general rule of thumb is 4/5 times a week to change something you want. For fitness and weight loss you can maintain with 2/3 times a week and as long as you’re doing sessions of training then you’re not required to always be in the gym.

What are the best supplements to use for Martial Arts?

I regularly take BCAAs and Fat Stripper Intense and they have worked well and aided me in recovery and burning fat quicker. However, you still need to maintain good nutrition, exercise and hydration or they will not work.

What does a good diet for Martial Arts consist of?

A good diet for martial arts consists of lot of carbs for energy so quality low-GI carbs and fruit but try and have a lot of the carbs in the morning to give you the energy throughout the day. Lean meat/fish and veg, snacks that are low in fat and plenty of water (2.5 litres minimum) or days you train up the water intake. A good sleep is also very important for growth and recovery so make sure you get around 8 hours a night.

What else can you do when not training to help?

Honestly, when not training stretching is very important so you don’t get tight muscles and will help ease the DOMS effect (muscle soreness). It also releases endorphins and makes you feel really good. Stay hydrated, rest and clear your head ready to hit it hard again and give it 110%

How long does it take to achieve a good understanding and level in Martial Arts?

To reach a good level in martial arts in all honesty takes years and I can never put a time frame on it. If you want to know how the martial art was formed what it consists of, what moves are doing and how to execute them properly then I would suggest roughly 3-5 years minimum. To understand everything and to have complete knowledge of your chosen martial art will take 10+ years of dedication.

What would you say are the most important qualities/characteristics to have to be good at it?

Those qualities would be to have patience, consistency and a drive to want to always better yourself in whatever you do. Do not be complacent and always push yourself to be better than you were yesterday.


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