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Conditioning and Maintenance Syllabus

Sample warm-up

Basic Kicking


The following is by no means an exhaustive list of all the exercises we do, but students should be familiar at least with the following:

  • Static:

1. Plank: back and legs in one straight line, weight on elbows/forearms and toes. Hold.

2. Back plank: back and legs in one straight line, supported between pads, one under shoulder blades, the other under calves. Hold.

3. Whisky and cigars: sit upright, legs straight and together, feet raised. (With variations such as turning to reach for something, making circles with feet, etc.)

  • Calisthenics:
  • General:

1. pusttj burpees: push-up-squat-thrust-twisting-jump-burpees: push-up, jump feet between hands, jump up, knees to chest, twisting in mid-air 180 degrees around, land, push-up, jump feet between hands, jump up, knees to chest, twisting in mid-air 180 degrees in other direction, land.

2. star jumps

3. burpees

4. ski-running

  • Floor exercises:

1. Shrimps: lie on back; bring knees up, clap hands to knees; extend and roll over; contract knees up while rolling back, clap. Fully extend arms and legs, all limbs off the floor, when on back and on front.

2. Starfish: place right hand on left foot, roll back and up so left hand on right foot, repeat.

3. forward roll

4. back roll

5. forward forward, back back, all one movement of the weight in one direction

6. tumbleweeds

  • Squats:

1. hindu squats

2. squat-push-ups

3. cross squats

4. kicking squats

5. twisting squats

6. duck-walking

7. ankle on knee squats

8. slow squats (e.g. 1 minute)

9. tango squats

1. scoops

2. regular (military)

3. one-arm

4. 3 point

5. long

6. wide

7. staggered

Wrist and Forearm Exercises

Named exercises

Fitness test

How many push-ups is enough? This guide is intended to give students an idea of the minimum level of physical fitness and strength appropriate for training swordsmanship at the various levels. These tests should be accomplished with relative ease; in other words, doing the test right before a class should not present any endurance problems. The test should be administered by a fellow student, who will keep the time, and make sure the basic form of each exercise is adequate. Students should not feel confined to these limits- they are a starting-point for a lifetime of healthy exercise and improving fitness.

Basic plank (seconds): 60

back plank (secs): 90

shrimps: 4

push-ups: 20

squats: 60

wrist rolls rp/kg: 25

wrist turns rp/kg: 50/3

twisting squats: 8

pusttj burpees: 2

time range: (minutes): 6-7.30

The exercises can be done in any order, but must be completed within the time range (including plank exercises).


  • On self:

• knees to toes

• elbows to fingertips

  • On others:

• Hips to toes

• Shoulders to fingertips

• Back

• Neck

The critical skill is to know when not to touch the patient. If in doubt, ask a qualified instructor, or refer to a qualified medical professional.

Breathing exercises:

Basic Breathing exercises

• Open and close (cloud hands)

• Lift the sky (intro to Crane)

• Bowls of whisky

As shown here:


• In for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4

• Walking breathing

• 3 centres breathing; 9 breaths, 3 breaths and 1 breath

The Crane

  • Advanced Breathing Exercises:

Health qigong form:

1. three hand raises

2. ball left and right

3. diagonal left and right

4. (up-down)

5. open shoulders, hold keg

6. (up-down)

7. raise the ceiling, open shoulders

8. (up-down)

9. ankle on knee

10. (up-down)

11. push left and right

12. (up-down)

13. bend bow left and right

14. (up-down)

15. front leg push both sides

16. side kick both sides

17. squat left and right

18. (up-down)

19. close centre

Basic Rapier leg exercises