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Russian martial arts flexibility and strength training techniques such as kettlebells have been available to Western Special Forces for many years from Russian masters of martial arts. Russian territory reaches from the west through middle Asia to China, and they have the benefit of the best of self defence and aggressive techniques from all of these territories within their armed forces.
Both before and after the destruction of the communist ways in parts of the USSR, Russian fitness experts crossed to Europe to provide us with the benefits of their knowledge of self defence and strength training, and both UK and American forces have reaped the benefits of this specialized Russian knowledge. Much of this knowledge is now available online to ordinary people with an interest in improving their strength, flexibility and relaxation techniques in order that they can attain the highest levels possible in their chosen sport or game. That means you!
Take Russian kettlebells, for example. Russian power lifters and martial arts experts are available online to offer you instruction in how to use these simple weights to build exceptional power and strength throughout your whole body. For those not familiar with kettlebells, they are simple heavy balls with a handle so that you can lift them. They are very simple but can make a person stronger, more explosive, and with unbelievable endurance and coordination: just what is needed in any martial art, and used extensively in Russian military training.
Many martial artists, especially in the initial stages of study, are unaware of the true importance of strength, speed and power. In very simple terms, strength + speed = power. If you strike with great strength and high speed, you will generate great power. It is for reasons such as this that great Russian exponents of fitness and martial arts training such as Pavel Tsatsouline have been employed by the American special forces, police and other organizations to teach techniques such as those that enabled Russian Cossacks to slice a man from shoulder to saddle with nothing but a light saber (not a ‘light saber’ as in star Wars, but a saber that is not heavy!). This is spelled ‘sabre’ in Europe, where it originated.
They could do this through relaxation techniques, gained by repeatedly slashing into water while standing waist deep in a lake. This sounds easy, but not after doing it for hours, and needs total relaxation until the instant of strike. This is exactly as a martial artist or boxer should be totally relaxed until the arm snaps straight with maximum forward momentum and power, and then relaxes immediately after strike until the next strike which could be a fraction of a second later.
Relaxation can become second nature through the use of Qigong or Tai Chi training, the Chinese art of relaxation. Many people regard it as an exercise for wimps, yet the greatest martial arts exponents in the world use it for relaxation, as do many of the world’s elite martial forces. Meet these guys face to face and call them wimps!
Through a combination of kettlebells, relaxation training and flexibility, the Russian special forces were among the most feared in the world in unarmed combat, which is why they were employed to train the armed forces of the USA. Their techniques are available online if you know where to look, and relaxation that leads to speed, endurance and flexibility appears to be one of their main skills.
Its opposite is tension, which is composed of strength and power. At the moment of a martial artist’s strike, speed and power are backed up with mass, but an instant later the fist is totally relaxed as it snaps back to guard. Many sports other than just martial arts depend on tension and relaxation, the two aspects of the expert sportsman.
Russian training techniques offer opportunities to improve your tension and relaxation. Strength is increased through the use of kettlebells, power through dynamic and kinetic training, speed through flexibility training and relaxation through qigong and other such techniques. Those that laugh and claim that they do not work would shudder at seeing the power and capabilities of the Cossack, as did the opponents who would rather run than face them. They were more powerful that their horses and the most feared opponents in the known world at the time.
If you want to improve to your ability at most sports, but especially in martial arts, learn from the Cossacks and Russians. Learn from their martial arts flexibility techniques, and kettlebell strength exercises. They are simple to understand, and the equipment is inexpensive.