Nabard Fitness System: The Combat Athlete’s Latest Choice in Fitness
Incorporating both ancient wisdom and contemporary understanding of the physical potential of the human body, Master Marco Safakhoo has developed an innovative approach to physical fitness known as “Log Training.” Initially designed to meet the fitness demands of martial arts masters, log training has evolved into a revolutionary approach to fitness all its own. However, it remains an integral part of martial arts training for practitioners of Safakhoo’s martial art “Nabard.”
It was in 1983 that Marco Safakhoo established his martial art Nabard in the United States. He sought to develop a fitness regimen that would address the deficiencies of existing fitness strategies and meet the physical needs of his martial arts students. Safakhoo knew that there was more to building strength than simply building bulk. Looking to the past, he asked himself what it was that made ancient warriors of his native land Persia such formidable adversaries. Moreover, he reflected on his experiences as a martial artist, noting that it was not necessarily those who were the most muscular who were the strongest fighters. Persian warriors, without the availability of contemporary innovations in weight lifting, were nevertheless able to conquer vast stretches of Europe and Asia. Their many successful campaigns would not have been possible were it not for their superior fighting tactics and a correspondingly developed training regime which imparted to them the physical strength and endurance necessary to best their foes. It was their raw approach to fitness that was so integral to the complete warrior. Log Training is Safakhoo’s modern approach to raw physical fitness training and represents the culmination of ancient wisdom and our current understanding of the human body.
State of the art exercise equipment, for all its virtues, nevertheless is lacking in that it has been designed for building strength in the most comfortable way possible; it acquiesces to the public demand for convenience. One example of this is the centered handles on most exercise equipment, which may make motions less cumbersome, but at the cost of efficacy. It forces the person into artificial movements, focusing on a limited range of muscle groups, mostly neglecting stabilizing muscles, and is, in a sense, an affront to the human body’s remarkable potential. The body is capable of degrees of motion which exceed those permitted by restrictive contemporary exercise devices and it warrants a fitness regime that does justice to the body’s capabilities as well as the physical demands of martial arts. Enter Safakhoo’s contribution to the fitness industry: Log Training.
Log Training is but one of several innovations Safakhoo has designed to supplement his Nabard Combat System, including the octopus-like Universal Training Dummy (UTD) and the Triflex Stretching Device, both of which he holds patents for. Log Training is a total fitness system whose intended audience is anyone looking to gain muscle definition, strength, endurance, and desires a fun and revolutionary approach to physical fitness specifically tailored to the needs of combat athletes.
The basic instruments of Log Training are the “long log” which is a four-foot cylinder of either wood or aluminum construction with recessed off-center handles, the “short log” which is roughly eighteen inches in length with fastened off-centered handles, and the “club” which is a roughly 24 inch cylinder with a cylindrical grip affixed at one of the two flat ends. Safakhoo currently has patents pending for the log training devices and their mechanics.
Traditional isometric gym exercises lack the isotonic and isokinetic movements essential to the needs of martial-athletes. Safakhoo’s solution was to create raw natural fitness by fusing cardio, isotonic, isometric, and isokinetic muscle contractions into a fluid rhythmic regimen. Unlike exercise machines, there are no belts, chains, or machinery standing between the person and the training device. The off-centered handles create a degree of resistance that cannot be mimicked by conventional devices, including free weights. The placement of the custom grips allows for safe maneuverability while preventing the body from retreating to its comfort zone. Consider the long log with its recessed off centered handles: as the person curls the log, no only must he or she work against the weight of the log, as with each motion, one must also resist the rotational force of the log, keeping it from rotating in one’s hands; hence, the practitioner must engage various stabilizing muscles in addition to biceps and forearm muscles. That the devices are not tied to machines makes them, unlike exercise machines, adaptable to any range of motion of which the human body is capable. The only boundaries that limit the applications of Log Training are those imposed by the person; the devices themselves impose no motion restrictions. Safakhoo as developed an extensive vocabulary of movements designed with the aim of capitalizing on the versatility of the logs and engaging the entire body. The exercises do double duty in both building strength and enhancing coordination.
The Log Training exercise regime is specifically designed to work stabilizing muscles. The thought here being that any athlete is as good as his stabilizing muscles are developed. For example, the weightlifter requires strong stabilizing muscles to maintain balance, the hokey player engages stabilizing muscles when he strikes the puck in order to keep the stick under control, and the same for the golfer: well developed stabilizing muscles keep the athlete from throwing his or her body with the device. Now let us consider the combat athlete in particular.
For a strike, whether it is a punch or a kick, to be effective, it must be under absolute control. Unless the striking arm or leg is under control, the body will be pulled in the direction of the strike, throwing the body off balance. When striking with the fist, for example, one must be able to strike through the opponent and withdraw the arm quickly, and the same goes for the legs and kicks. It is the stabilizing muscles that are engaged in controlling these strikes. Blocks, too, require control from stabilizing muscles, especially in a martial art like Nabard where strikes and blocks are interchangeable. A skilled combat athlete should be able to strike in any direction; hence, the combat athlete requires an exercise regimen and device that can accommodate the entire range of motions so that maneuvers in any direction are controlled, rapid, and strong. Existing widely available exercise tools do not meet these demands. For example, kettle bell exercises, despite their virtues, do not mimic the motions of martial arts techniques. Moreover, kettle bells are not very forgiving devices and using them puts one at risk of serious injury such as shoulder dislocation. Log Training Devices, on the other hand, were designed for the combat athlete and this is evident in their construction and in the particular exercises. While there is always a risk of injury associated with exercise, Log Training Devices are much more forgiving that kettle bells or free weights since typically one uses lighter weights in Log Training exercises than one uses in typical dumbbell exercises; this is because the focus is on developing the stabilizing muscles and muscle groups employed in combat techniques, such as contorting dodges which demand considerable abdominal strength and speed. Additionally, ballistic motions, such as those associated with kettle bell exercises, are not emphasized in Log Training, which helps to minimize the risk of injury.
For more information visit the websites below. Dedicated Log Training participants include men, women, body builders, combat athletes, and adults of all ages and from all walks of life and fitness backgrounds.
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