How To Do These 5 Martial Arts Moves And Build A Killer Physique
Advanced martial artists all have one thing in common: incredible physiques. Here we show you how you can get the brutal muscular benefits of these martial arts moves, and learn how to execute a knockout move with deadly precision.
The Knee Throw
You need core stability. “Any throwing action puts huge stress on your core,” says Jamie Hillman of Brixton Integrated Fighting Arts. Sprawling moves will give you the functional core strength you need to stay on top.
Step #1: Set up your attack by baiting your opponent. Throw a quick left-hand punch high at his forehead, forcing him to duck. As you do this, lean slightly to your left, ushering him past with your punching hand. A high-pitched, shaky head scream will help here.
Step #2: Pivot on your left foot to drive your right knee into his solar plexus or head. Bring your right hand up to push him backwards, using his momentum to knock him down to the dusty ground.
Step #3: This will end up with him on his back. Finish him by dropping another swift knee. You can even grab his left arm and rotate all the way around to put him in a standing joint lock that’ll pop his shoulder. Victory is yours.
The Capoeira Spinning Kick
You need upper-body strength. It’s basically a kick from a one-handed handstand, relying totally on your shoulders and arms. Prep for it with the Reverse Wall Walk. “It looks advanced but is actually an entry level technique” says Bombril, an instructor at the Capoeira Academy UK.
Step #1: Start from a classic cartwheel position (called an “au”). This is a deceptive movement that can be turned into a block or a kick depending on the circumstances. Check how much space you have beforehand. Don’t try this in your lounge.
Step #2: Rather than completing the au, keep your eyes on your opponent and freeze your front hand. This forces your lead leg to kick overhead. Shoot your other leg in the opposite direction, so they’re as far apart as possible.
Step #3: Your legs will act as counterweights, providing balance. Use the motion from your attacking kick to get back up gracefully, reversing your cartwheel and returning to the start. Pause for a second to wink at the crowd.
The Climbing Elbow
You need lower-body explosiveness. Muay Boran is the moody big brother of Muay Thai: less ring-work, more street fighting. “To execute the Climbing Elbow, you need explosive power in your legs and glutes independently,” says Phil Tieu of Team Tieu. “Not all lower-body work in the gym calls for this, but one-legged bounds will build up the specific power-stability this elite move demands.”
Step #1: Close in on your opponent quickly. Prepare to lift your right foot and place it on his knee.
Step #2: Push off from the floor with your left foot, using his knee as a step for your right. Place your left foot on his shoulder. Keep it smooth and stay light on your feet. Things are about to get pretty bad for him…
Step #3: … Because from here, you deliver a downward elbow strike to the top of his head. Spring away if you can, or just follow him down to the floor and use him as your personal crash mat.
The Rolling Strike
You need total athleticism. The precise diving and rolling motion required is unconventional but highly effective. Use this strength/yoga combination to hit your physique in 360 degrees. Just keep breathing: “With full lungs you are obstructively rigid,” says Systema instructor Sam Benson.
Step #1: Drop into your roll and keep your limbs close to your body so they take up minimal space on the ground (and to avoid them being stepped on). Now place your left hand by your opponent’s left foot. Resist the urge to shut your eyes.
Step #2: Moving forward, draw your limbs in towards your core to accelerate the speed at which you rotate. As your head comes back to upright, extend your leg and unleash all centrifugal force and momentum into your foot.
Step #3: Strike down towards his hip and upper leg with your heel. As your roll takes you up- wards and he falls, use your dominant position to set up a leg-lock, lifting his foot with your hand as you stand and tucking it under your armpit.
The Spinning Back Fist
You need dynamic power. This Filipino martial arts technique starts in your legs, transferring power through your torso to finish in your arm. Practise with the kettlebell swing to build muscle and improve multi-limb coordination. “Kettlebell moves are famed for working all the major muscles groups in sequence to manipulate the weight,” says Hillman.
Step #1: Preparation is key here. Throw a left jab to make him flinch and step across your left foot as you do so. You should be almost stepping sideways as you throw this set-up strike.
Step #2: From there, rotate your body. Start with the legs, then the hips so that you’re already halfway round and it’s not too telegraphed. Lift your right leg a little and add in a slight kick to make it easier to spin around for the big finish.
Step #3: Fling out a straight right arm as you spin. Hit with the bottom of your fist – this is more “street” if you can do it, and it’ll make you less likely to break a knuckle. End in your fight stance, should he still be standing.