Via Potentia ~ Modern Self Defense Training

Our next free seminar on self defense and physical conditioning is Friday, July 29 from 6 - 9 PM. Call or email to confirm availability and save a space.

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Conditioning Principles

Some videos on conditioning are immediately below, with text following. The videos were put together for an online course on basic fitness that included handouts, a discussion board, etc. We don't have a discussion board with this web site, but here are the related handouts (these will download or open up a pdf file on your computer, depending on your settings):

An introduction to safer fitness:

Dyanamic Stretching and Warming Up

Calisthenics and Static Stretching

For much more detail on these principles please see our handbook, attend our free seminar, or sign up for classes. The handbook contains a complete list of recommended exercises and the order in which to do them.

Most martial arts and amateur athletic programs teach conditioning in a way that causes injuries. Part of the motivation to create Via Potentia came after years of banging my head against the wall, trying to get established organizations to recognize that they could easily reduce the incidence of adult injuries by simply changing the order of the exercises and reserving some exercises and techniques until the participant has reached a specific level of strength and flexibility.

We emphasize body-weight calisthenics because they are proportional to your size and require little or no additional equipment. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't get great benefits from weight lifting, treadmills, rowing and other equipment-based exercises.

The following principles will help you avoid injury and maximize your progress when working on your physical condition:

Other Injuries

According to some sports studies, martial arts are among the most injurious hobbies in the world, with the average person experiencing about four notable injuries per year (e.g., sprain, cut, broken bone, concussion, something more than a bruise). For us that means that the typical student experiences an injury once per term. If we have 30 students, that means about one injury per class session!

Most of the injuries I have observed stem from three different sources:

  1. Unpredictable "freak" accidents
  2. Attempting a technique improperly, without necessary conditioning or preparation
  3. Excessive contact/force during sparring or grappling

We take extensive precautions against all three of these sources, but injuries happen anyway. For example, with about 20 students we've had the following (known) injuries in the last five months:

These are the ones I know about (and don't include my own injuries). Statistically, we "should" have had around 6-7 injuries per month. I absolutely hate it when someone gets injured, but the fact that we've had only five notable injuries in this time, when we could have easily had 30+, actually gives me some relief.

We welcome comments, questions and suggestions for improvement.
Via Potentia, 805 NW Alder St., McMinnville OR 97128
Telephone: 503-437-3450

Copyright Via Potentia. All Rights Reserved. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program; consult a lawyer before making a legal decision. All information provided on this web site or otherwise by Via Potentia is provided for educational/informative purposes only, is subject to correction, and should not be considered legal, medical or other professional advice. Use at your own risk.

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