Flexibility Without Stretching for Martial Arts


Hey, Ando again from SenseiAndo.com. So, I
got a question the other day about my favorite stretching routine. I actually get that question
a lot. Well, I have a confession to make. I don’t stretch. Shh. Now, look–I’m not
saying you shouldn’t stretch, of course you should. It’s good for you. I just don’t. Full
disclosure, I also don’t sleep or floss as much as I should. But here’s the funny
thing… even though I just turned 46, I’m still pretty flexible. Yeah. I can’t do
a full split anymore, that was back in my 20’s, but I’ll tell you what– as long
as you’re not taller than six feet tall, I’ll still kick a sucka in the head. The question
is, how? How can a 46 year-old guy who doesn’t stretch still kick a six foot sucka in the
head? Well, today, I’ve got five tips to help you stay flexible even without stretching. Tip #1, A-B-C. A- always. B– be. C- conditioning.
Always be conditioning. Always be conditioning. Think about it–if you want to kick someone
in the head anytime, anywhere, well, then you should be conditioning all the time and
everywhere you go. You can’t just go to class two or three times a week, stretch out
five minutes here, ten minutes there, and expect to be doing full splits like Jean Claude
Van Damme. Speaking of JCVD, I heard him in an interview once and he said even when he’s
waiting in line at the supermarket, he’s flexing his glutes. Don’t worry, I’m not
going to demonstrate that. Or how about ballet dancers? They’re incredibly flexible. Well,
I used to know a ballet dancer who would sleep in a butterfly stretch. Hmm. That’s not
so bad. No, no, no. On her belly. Ow. No. No, no, no. That’s just stupid. Yeah, that’s a bit much. I’m not telling
you you have to go sleep in a full split, but let’s talk about staircases. You should
never take stairs one at a time. Always go two or three at a time. Sometimes fast, sometimes
slow. What about if you drop something? You should never be bending over with your back.
Always use that as a chance to do a squat or a lunge. And what about if you’re playing
a video game or watching a video, like right now. Get up out of the chair. Always drop
into a horse stance. You can condition all the time. If you have to use a chair, well,
then how about this? How do you get up and down from a chair? Most
people just lean and fall out. But not us! No. We see this as an opportunity to condition.
Widen out the feet, stand up strong, up and down, just like a horse stance. Even better,
try using one foot when you get up and down, like a pistol squat. Up or down. Even better
better, try adding a little hop when you get up on one foot. Ah. What– you think that’s
crazy? Hey, you’re the one who wants to go around kicking people in the head all the
time. I’m just saying if you want to be able to do that, well, then you should always be
conditioning. If you don’t, well, then you’ll be shining my shoes. Tip #2, don’t stretch before you work out,
warm up instead. I swear, I thought everybody already knew this one, but I guess not, because
I still see students and even teachers starting their workouts by sticking a leg up in the
air or dropping into a full split. No! Don’t do that. Stop it. That’s like trying to
make a pizza with frozen dough. Or trying to blow a bubble with a fresh stick of gum. Look– if you’re going to be throwing high kicks in your workout, well, then warm up
with low kicks. Literally. Start at ankle height. Get your groove, make sure that feels
great, then move it up to the knee. Then move it up to the hip, and the chest, and the head,
then the bird on top of the guy’s head. Whatever. The point is get some blood into your muscles.
Give your joints a chance to loosen up. When you’re all ready, then you can run up the
walls and kick the ceiling. Tip #3, work your stances. I don’t stretch,
but I do spend time working my traditional horse stance, front stance, and cat stance.
If you look at it, a low stance opens up the same wide angles between your legs as a high
kick does. So, if you’re practicing sweeps, and throws, and takedowns, and even some groundwork,
well, then you’re already developing the flexibility in your legs, your hips, and your lower back.
My point: if you want to kick high, get low. Tip #4, fix your kicks. Believe it or not,
it takes more flexibility to throw a kick incorrectly than it takes to throw it correctly.
That’s why you should work out all of your balance and alignment issues at a low level
before you start throwing kicks at a high level. Let’s say your head is down, or you’re
hunched over, or you’re not pivoting properly, all that’s going to do is add tension into
your body. Your body is going to fight against you and ultimately, that’s going to lead to
injuries. So, before you get too excited and you start kicking cigarettes out of your friends’
mouths, slow down, bring it down, and make sure you’re doing things right. Tip #5, keep your cool, man. Look, emotions
affect motion. If you’re scared, well, your muscles are going to freeze up. If you’re
angry, you might feel stronger, but you’re actually tensing muscles that are going to
limit your flexibility. So, be smart. Train yourself to breathe and keep your cool, no
matter what happens to you on the mats or off the mats. Relax your mind and your body
will follow. Okay, I know this video is supposed to be
flexibility without stretching, but this stretch is so easy, I don’t think it should count.
All you gotta do is lie down, scoot your butt up against the wall and let your legs hang
open. That’s it. Gravity will do the rest here. You just relax and slowly but surely,
your legs are going to start opening up. This is a great lazy man’s stretch. I used to
do this one all the time after Tae Kwon Do class. I was already warmed up. I’d go home,
do a protein shake, turn on the TV, hit the wall, and then just chill. Usually, I would
chill too much and I’d fall asleep. Half an hour later, I’d wake up and not be able
to move. But I would be more flexible. Now, you’ll notice that this stretch is going to
be focused on the inside of your thigh or your groin muscles. So, if you want to do
a variation of this, all you gotta do is put your butt up higher, right, and all I’m going
to do is hold my body up straight and then same thing. I’m just going to let my legs
hang open. By putting your back straight, now you’re focusing more on your hamstrings.
Now, obviously, this is putting some pressure on the neck, so do this at your own risk.
Be very, very careful with this. If you fall asleep in this position, well, you may never
wake up! But this stretch is such a good one, I thought maybe you should give it a try. And those are your tips. Always be conditioning,
warm up, work your stances, fix your kicks, and keep your cool. One more thing— don’t
be in a hurry. If you’re yelling and screaming at your body to give you a full split today,
it’s just going to fight you. Instead, be gentle. Ask your body nicely for a little
more flexibility every day and I promise, you’ll be kicking suckas in the head in
no time. If you liked these tips, hey, don’t miss the next one. Hit subscribe and for even
more great stuff, find the link to sign up for my free email updates list. Until next
time, keep stretching beyond your limits, my friend, and keep fighting for a happy life.

100 thoughts on “Flexibility Without Stretching for Martial Arts

  1. I understand you my friend, I do some of these too but you went too far with that pistol squat and the hop from the chair

  2. In one of your videos you called tae kwon do Ti as in Ti with a long I sound. It is pronounced tae like TA with a long a sound. You better check your past and see if one really exists.
    If you can’t pronounce your style correctly Tae as a long a-e —- Tae not Ti like the tie you wear.

  3. Good advice, However my Teacher's teacher told me that his student, my teacher became great in Martial Arts because he stretched correctly!

  4. vertical side kick is mostly for intimidations as I see it. Sensei Andy I like your teaching style.
    All do respect….Sensei Andy commercial Protein shacks concrete for the blood stream. Next you will be doing red bulls chasers that is speed for the heart!

  5. please dont fall asleep in a stretch as an "easy way out" you WILL get hurt unless you are already conditioned for it. i used to be in marching band and colorguard and have seen plenty of injuries due to stretching incorrectly. remember to loosen up when before you stretch as well, ie roll your head,neck shoulders around and do something light to build up your heart rate. the actual position isnt as important and being conscious of your body and reaching for proper extention. you should put as much effort into it as the rest of your workout routine. if youre able to just sit there without breaking a sweat, then youre doing something wrong. You train mind and body together, always.

  6. yep thats the way it do….look at van dam in the kickboxing he didn't even stretch…its just his master tied a rope in his foot and split in V..DONE

  7. Wow this is genius! New ways to make work more exciting! (ABC)
    I’m curious though, what made you choose not to stretch?

  8. you are harming the world because you really don’t think enough. if you think enough, should know that it doesn’t make sense to suggest to do a stretch while you are in the video claiming you can be flexible without it only because it’s easy. a five year old laugh at you for lucking logic there.
    i am in my fifties and can do full split and do it everyday. i say this only to show that i have credentials to make following claim. you lost the ability to do full split only because you stop trying. it happened because you didn’t see the inevitable. if people stop working on a skill, they lose it for sure.
    you call yourself a teacher in my native language but you are not fit to teach anything but especially the martial arts.
    the first thing they teach in sumo, the most basic of all martial art, is the split and they never lose the skill while they compete and often for their life times. it’s same for the other form of martial art but especially so for those involving high kicks. i mentioned sumo because they are very strict about this and don’t teach any other skill until they master the full split yet they only use ankle swipe as a kicking technique. they start with the split because they know that from hundreds of years of experience that the split is the foundation of the martial art.
    i showed support of my claim with logic, m experience and practice of a martial art with hundreds of years of experience only to ask not to pollute the world. a self claimed martial art teacher advocating flexibility without stretching is nothing but pollution. no good can come out of it. please stop. stretching is that important for everybody. but especially so for any martial artists. please stop harming others. please.

  9. Okay first off I would just like to apologize for my abrasive rude comments. You passed the test and your humility is as supple as your flexibility🙏 I can truly appreciate a cool disposition with a good sense of humor and self confidence. Keep doing what your doing helping with good fundamentals and secrets on stretching 🙏

  10. High kicks? When Holly Holm was at the top of her game in the U F C she sent out dozens of roundhouse kicks to the head, and they all missed! Shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so front leg straight kicks to the solar plexus; train for speed with isometrics and accuracy with repetition training. Roundhouse kicks to the head are for the movies.

  11. This is the first common sense guide I have come across on YouTube. I've studied martial arts for 32 years and he has summarised the sensible points extremely well. Subscribed.

  12. This is so dumb lol… always be conditioning my ass. If you lift weights, those "conditionings" won't even feel like effort. Conditioning is more like ensuring you don't get weak. It doesn't make you stronger.

  13. I always do stretches well ya couse I'm younger……but I will probably take some of these into consideration because it could help to have more flexibility

  14. I sense that he's trying to be 'entertaining', but I wonder at what level of intelligence and maturity he perceives his audience to be. In what I've seen of his videos so far, his suggestions are interesting, but the side comments he salts his delivery with are not flattering. At least not to me. If it's the 'fight dogs' he's interested in cultivating, I expect he's doing a good job I guess 'kicking suckers in the head' or dinner plates off the table in a restaurant is not what i signed on to train for over 50 years ago when I started TKD after a year of Shorin-ryu. Now training Goju-ryu/ Shito-ryu and Kobudo. Totally different philosophies of karate. By the way, if you're at the point of needing to 'kick a sucker in the head' you're already in over your head and probably should have taken out the sucker's knee first. Too many martial arts movies make for bad self-protection techniques. Both feet on the ground and balanced is the way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zULFolKAHz8

  15. i like the way u speak , dude you're hilarious , i subscribed !!
    i'm not flexible at all , can you suggest any stretchings for begginers ?

  16. Thanks Ando, your tips and instructions are so practical and easy to follow. By the way I'm one of your avid fan and follower and I'm on my sixties and still going strong..keep up the good work, God bless!

  17. "Well you think that's crazy, you are the one who wants to be kicking people on the head all the time" xddd touche

  18. I know this is serious, but it seems like a parody. I find this hilarious, but informative at the same time. THANK YOU SENSEI!

  19. maybe i sound dumb but dont stretching and flexibility go hand inhand with each other as in cant really be one without the other?

  20. a change of prospective,
    good video
    each situation to work out,
    the horse stance to stretch and of course to work on strength, that's why I love martial arts you
    always discover something usefull.
    Thank you very much..

  21. Steps at a time. I'm almost ready for the full middle split. I like doing the straddle stretch

  22. This guy is silly as hell lmao I wasn't ready…he got alot of black friends….I can tell….he got a sub from me!

  23. Flexibility isn't just for kicking high. Being flexible increases power speed and accuracy. There is less resistance pulling your leg when you throw your kick. Thus giving you those benefits.

  24. Thanks Ando for another great video. I've always done my morning stretching routine and at 69 I can still kick over my head. It's a lifestyle of habits.

  25. Sensei Ando. The wall stretch and letting gravity do the work is a great tip and i have incorporated this into my training. Thank you for your insights, invaluable as always!

  26. Love your videos! Just the type of to-the-point advice that I needed.. don't we all?

    Just did my first day of your 7 day challenge – simple, doable, practical – just what we need to go forward! I'm already doing my roundhouse kick way better, balancing better – just after day 1 🙂

  27. Yes Very well expressed. I was doing the same thing when I was with my wife and she said stop acting like a child. I explained I was practicing my balance. I change step sometimes when walking to be able to change ports. South paw to orthodox. Again she tells me when was the last time you had to fight. I told her it is better to be ready than not. If I were young I wouldn't have to constantly make it first nature to be flexible. She said I listen to you too much. I told her I been this way when you met me but you found it silly.

  28. Nice vid. I have done the splits once on my own before I entered a kung fu class. I think it's achievable if during the day there's continuous recalls for the muscles as opposed to doing it all at once which leads to getting lazier. Respecting flow of the body but also taking advantage when it's conditioned to get more stretches into it and work it out.

    I'm enjoying those vids ^^ keep up the positive vibes senseii 🔥

  29. Thanks and oh, I needed this, I'm 52 years old LOL… I don't want to kick anybody in the head but I would love to be able to kick that high LOL

  30. You're just so funny that I can't stop laughing, yet still interesting to listen to. I wish I was that flexible, but after 2 years of TK I still fight my own hips.

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