One of the most common questions I receive from new practitioners starting their journey in Kali is, "What should I work on first?" My answer never changes. You must develop coordination first. Here are a few tips on the process I use. Of course there is more to it than just written in this post but, I feel this is a great place to start.
There are 3 areas of Coordination and there are 3 components of Coordination.
The Areas of Coordination to develop in Kali I set in this order.
Footwork - When first starting to coordinate your footwork I start out by adjusting the pace distance of my steps. Keep it to 1 pace and no more than 1.5 paces. Roughly the length of your Kali stick.
Weapon - When first starting your weapon training always strike your weapon at a speed you can control and visually see and follow. If you cannot see the line of your stick then you are not in coordination. Start with the stick to develop your striking mechanics.
Dynamic - A tip on developing the dynamic movements of Kali, Coordinate the upper third of your stick to land on target at the same time your lead foot makes contact to the ground. When training solo without a target, use the centerline as your contact reference.
Here is an example of a Coordination Drill we use to develop the Diagonal Strikes Coordination...
3 Components of Coordination
My students both online and in person will constantly hear me mention the importance of fitness. Physical fitness training needs to be corresponded along with your Kali training. Fitness increases your athletic level by increasing strength, improving balance, enhancing endurance, building confidence in the use of your body, etc. You don't need to be the very athletic to be great at Kali but, you do need a strong foundation to work with.
Coordination is the learning and understanding of a pattern of movements. In Kali striking mechanics are necessary to learn how to move the body with a foreign object in hand while maintaining balance. You'll find in the early stages of training your muscles becoming soar when beginning to use proper striking mechanics and often time I have new students ask me if they should be feeling this pain. The answer is yes. You will feel 2 types of pain (not bad pain though), muscle soreness like you just got done working out for 6 hours and a slight sharp tenderness in the tendons. This is because your body needs to develop muscular strength and flexibility. Before Kali you've never moved like this before. However, you shouldn't feel any "injury" kind of pain. That means your mechanics need an adjustment somewhere.
Those who practice primary exercises for striking such as pull ups, push up, military presses and dips will obtain their striking mechanics faster simply because they have the muscular strength. Then, it's about building muscular endurance!
Here is a great exercise routine you can start with. Notice it's all body weight exercises. You don't even need a gym membership!
The most important piece of advise I can give when it comes to developing coordination is to start slow and smooth. Don't worry about speed. Every time you increase speed you have to learn a new coordination but, you must be able to control all the 9 principles of the striking mechanics. By missing 1 of these principles you are not moving your body to it's max proficiency and you'll gain muscular fatigue faster.
Practice this. Work on your coordination and we can then move forward to developing agility.
Kali • Fitness • Lifestyle
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