Why we always started our Taekwondo workouts with the SPLITS
- And why it's a signature JCVD move...

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In Advanced, PROFOUND (its named that way for a reason, a damn good one) Isometric and Flexibility Training, I speak of the JCVD split.

There’s a good reason JCVD worked out for four hours a day – and did a LOT of stretching growing up.

A lot of dancing along with his martial arts too, till this date, dude’s lean and mean, fighting machine!

Back in the day, I mentioned how my Taekwondo teacher would praise me at pushups as I touched my chest to the ground – when no-one else would – and I did it without being told.

“Good!” – I remember him saying …

That approving nod, I felt it, though I couldn’t SEE it.

Conversely, the splits?

I was terrible at them due to a combo of “always being made to sit and study at home” – naturally weak and inflexible hamstrings (though a lot of that is my childhood) – and it remains one of the areas I can improve upon hugely till this day. (though I Can do ’em pretty damn well now).

I can improve everywhere, actually – especially and even in those areas where folks call me, and rightly so, a “guru” or “expert”.

Anyway, I remember my partner stretching open my legs – no puns – I didnt like the guy either – and my teacher laughed at me almost in tears.

“We’ll show him!”

Thats praise when warranted, tough love when warranted. The physcial punishment he doled out to his own kid – my – it was brutal even by those standards those days!

I’ll never forget the rip roaring 90’s when we grew up. Keeping it real and then some, it all went downhill in that regard after that anyway – there was a reason he inflicted this punishment upon us, my friend.

And it was done not at the end of the workout.

It was done at the very beginning of the class – after some gentle jogging and loosening, sometimes we wouldn’t even jog.

It was the part of the class I dreaded the MOST. Haha.

People say stretching should be done POST workout, not pre – I agree if you’re talking conventional stretching.

But DYNAMIC stretching like I teach, and movements like the splits, working the hamstrings and back, they loosen, strengthen, and stretch at the same time. They can be, like the splits – or any of it’s variants, or any of the other great movements in Isometric and Flexibility Training – a workout unto themselves.

I do them before, during, and after my workouts.

And the splits – side splits – is the ONE movement in this regard which really warms it all up.

Gets your system functioning.

And loosens up the lower body in a way only this exercise can do, a perfect prelude to practicing kicks and such.

Pity my mom took me out of class either for “being too violent” (I wasn’t – and no Dad, stopping me watching WWE didnt work, I did it on the sly anyway – haha – talk about STUPID!!!) – or “he needs to study more” (a huge HA! there too). .. I still remember my instructor asked me why I didnt come to class no more, what could I tell him. Grade nine, haha.

The same Pops who secretly, away from his wife’s watching eye in the car on the way to tennis class in the heat which I didnt like going to, but was damn talented at anyway according to even Dad, which should tell you something – he wouldnt praise me if someone paid him to – spoke about “he’s trained! He can break bones if he wants!”

No prizes for guessing who he was referring to. Those things we ALL want, except we are SCARED to admit it.

Yet, when I spoke about being a good fighter, doing the same, I was always ridiculed – never good enough, “he thinks he’s soooooooo strong” “he thinks he can actually compete with those boys!” “you need to study! be normal!”

My parents, I wouldn’t wish them on nobody, though others got their own tales too.

Anyway …………………

Some of the other workouts he inflicted upon us – the FROG jump stands out.

Another great movement I mention in Animal Kingdom Workouts, which will kick your ASS if done along with the tiger walk and bear crawl in tandem, and just on its own too.

And that my friend is that.

Get damn good at all the above.

Kick AZZ! Or, START kicking some now if you aint already – hehe


Rahul Mookerjee

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