Secret Exercise to help Build Stamina, Speed, and Timing

In Training by Don Alley

Enhance your fitness, your conditioning and your strength all while making yourself a better fighter with this secret workout. It’s something Master Alley’s instructor had him do on a regular basis. It’s painful, fun, exciting, horrible. It’s horrific and wonderful all at the same time! We are talking about the good old classic JUMP ROPE.

Think of yourself bouncing on your toes in a fighting stance. When running drills in class on the wavemasters and mats our instructors may ask you bounce around in line before approaching your target. The bouncing movement is how you will engage in striking your opponent when fighting. It’s that constant moving that is required if you are to participate in a tournament, not to mention the cutting, moving, angling, kicking, punching and everything else that comes with it.  A typical tournament fight is two minutes per round and during the course of a tournament, as you advance, you could fight in several; most likely 5 or 6. You can imagine the stamina required for that.

If you’re ready to get started, let’s pull out those ropes. Master Alley’s recommendation is a weighted jump rope. You can get these from most athletic stores or online stores for typically $10-$25. As you begin it’s going to be more challenging but your stamina and technique will get better with time.  

Follow this recommended warm up that will help you excel using your jump rope of choice:

Put on some music, get your timer going and get to work. Total workout time: 15 min.

-Begin with 2 minutes of Jump Roping

-Drop down for 30 seconds of Push Ups

-Roll over for 30 seconds of Sit Ups

-Jump back up and repeat this 4 more times. 

Two minutes of jumping is ideal because that’s how long each round is during a tournament but go at your pace. It’s a great warm-up, it’s great conditioning, everyone works at a different level of intensity, just keep pushing yourself.

*Tip: Rather than getting in 2 jumps per swing, try to get a swing in between each one of your jumps.  Jump and swing… jump and swing. Having a weighted jump rope will intensify the workout and help you feel the effect from your shoulders stretching all the way down to your calves and feet. Feel that burn! You-are-going-to-get-tired. These are all good signs. 

Good luck and remember- “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus” -Bruce Lee

See you in class!


Don Alley
Don Alley is the owner and chief instructor at Super Kicks Karate in Ashburn and Leesburg, and has been training in the martial arts for 28 years. He is currently a 6th degree black belt, and has dedicated the entirety of his adult life to teaching children and families martial arts. He is also the owner of Center Stage Preschool, a Montessori-based, performing arts preschool; and co-founder of Testudo Addiction Recovery, a non-profit organization serving families in the Northern Virginia area.