Tabata is a form of 'mini' circuit training or interval training 'Mini' because each circuit is only 20 seconds long with a 10 second rest between circuits. There should be 8 circuits for a full tabata session. After an initial warm-up a tabata session takes only 4 minutes to complete. The exercises for each circuit can be anything you like as long as they involve full body movements, so sprinting, push ups, lifting weights, kettle bell squats, bear crawling - you name it! It is probably best to tailor the exercises to the sport you are in training for.
Tabata training gets its name from its developer - Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Basically he researched and compared various exercise protocols to find out the most effective way of increasing both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. The 20 second on 10 second off protocol was the most effective.
It sounds easy doesn't it : 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for eight rounds. Apparently not! It's not for the feint hearted. In fact it is recommended that you are in good cardio condition before trying tabata training as it is very intense. If you are not exhausted after it then you are not doing it properly. Tabata training is used by top athletes and is particularly suitable for combat training. In fact it is such high intensity training that it is recommended that you only do it once a week or even fortnightly.
Martial artist require the ability to produce short bursts of energy quickly to generate power and speed. Fast twitch fibres are needed for this type of muscular action and interval training is ideal for this. Kata also makes good interval training by the way.
Unlike aerobic training such as jogging where the fat burning abilities stop as soon as you stop running, tabata training is said to continue fat burning for up to 2 days after the training session, so ideal for weight loss!
Sounds good doesn't it? I might give it a go. If you want to find out more about tabata training here's some links: