Complementary arts and studies
The martial arts have long employed a variety of complementary arts, sports, and activities to supplement, augment and hence enhance their general skills training and development.
Many athletics events owe their origins directly to martial arts and the arts of war, from the more obvious Javelin, discus and hammer throwing events to shot put, pole vaulting, wall climbing, and even running, for which, the marathon run has the best-known history because of a heroic Greek soldier who ran for miles to warn the main army of an invasion before subsequently dying from exhaustion.
Traditional martial arts have even been known to employ friendly sporting games such as the Indian 'Kabadi' or various forms of football crossed with volleyball using a shuttlecock for developing kicking ability, footwork, and fitness. racquet ball sports (e.g. rounders/baseball, tennis, squash & badminton, table tennis) are useful for developing the fundamental hand-eye speed and coordination skills needed for hand techniques and particularly for handling and using weapons, from which they originally derived, most likely. Tennis is good for longer heavier weapon skills, badminton and squash for intermediate circle techniques, and table tennis for small circle / fine motor skills using the wrist. Other activities such as drawing and art, however, also contribute to observational skills in terms of structure and form in particular.
For body control skills, movement and fitness, Parkour makes an obvious and ideal modern side art for martial arts training, just as modern gymnastics has been adopted by many Chinese Kung Fu styles for the same reasons. Break-dancing provides an equally versatile side art for developing mobility on the ground and many movements can be translated directly into self-defense techniques. In terms of fitness and strength training, both these arts are underpinned by Calisthenics, which, is the use of your own body weight, and/or augmented with that of a training partner, through various power and balance exercises to develop both in tandem. Such arts provide a wonderful supplementary training regime that can be practiced almost anywhere without causing a disturbance, other than an occasional and usually appreciative spectator crowd.
Other sports are also encouraged, particularly for juniors, who need to develop a broad range of basic skills and experience to complement their martial training. This is as much about their psychological development and mental balance as it is their physical skills. For these reasons juniors are not encouraged to practice self-defense more than twice per week, but, instead complement their weekly training programme with other non-combative hobbies, if only for the sake of their mental health and stability. For example, football, skateboarding/scooters, and biking, particularly cross-country or tricking in the skate parks. A natural complement to Parkour training is wall climbing, which comes in many forms these days, from boulder climbing to moving walls and augmented climbing at sports centers.
Lii-Kan Jitsu utilizes many of these arts as much as possible within our normal training or, in extra club activities outside of the dojo on a monthly basis, resources permitting. These are known as Skills Enhancement Training Sessions (SeTs). Students are further encouraged to practice a number of complementary arts, hobbies or sports which, have considerable value in aiding our skills or knowledge development.