This series of exercises really focuses on a lot of the main muscle groups we use in karate (Core, inner thighs, legs, hips). I think it's important that whatever supplementary training we do that it directly correlates to our karate. I find that after doing these movements, my core is pumped and ready for karate training. My hips feel open and my arms feel relaxed.
I do plan on putting together more detailed instructional videos of some of these techniques, but I wanted to share a snippet of each. While I am using a mace in this video, these exercises could very well be done with a sledgehammer, dumbbell, kettlebell or club. Keep in mind that using a tool where the load is closer to you, like a dumbbell, will change the dynamics of the movement a bit.
A few tips for these:
-Stay with a light weight and gradually build up (I'm using a 10lb mace)
-Keep a consistent, natural arc with the mace. Don't allow it to flail around. -Allow the arms to extend fully and naturally, but you may need to choke up a bit on the mace on those downswings.
-Core should be engaged throughout these movements.
-Don't forget to breathe!
-Have fun with the movements. You'll see some different ways to end these in the video, but you can experiment on your own.