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This question has been closed as off topic. While I agree with the closing, I am uncomfortable with it as it is not in keeping with other questions: two refer to the splits and have 21 up voted at the time I type this. One is tenuously related to martial arts, the other has nothing to do with martial arts whatsoever.

Therefore, either all should be on topic or neither or there should be some clear guidelines as to what is/is not on topic.

Finally

mattm's arguments have changed my mind. Therefore, I am marking their answer as accepted and would like it to become guidelines.

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    I have taken the liberty of reclosing the recent question as a duplicate, as that is a better marker and maintains the question as closed. We can still decide on action for the older questions. – mattm Oct 28 '18 at 12:24
  • @mattm Thank you. I am waiting a little longer to get more feedback before accepting whatever answer has the most upvote as the consensus. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Oct 29 '18 at 8:13
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I agree that we need consistency.

I disagree that training for splits is off-topic. This may have nothing to do with your martial art, and it may not be contribute to martial effectiveness, but there are lots of people who spend time on trying to achieve splits in the context of martial arts. This is indicated both by the frequency of the question and voting.

Relating directly to the on-topic criteria, flexibility training including for splits falls under:

Characteristics, regimens, history, and culture of martial arts systems worldwide

If you need a web list of examples:

Athletes love to show off splits because it is a clear demonstration of achievement beyond normal capabilities. Martial artists love to show them off in uniform.

I thought there was a similar discussion, perhaps about jump kicks and aerial moves, but I have not been able to find it.

The logical conclusion for me is to close this new question on stretching for splits as a duplicate. I think the best candidate duplicate is How do I increase flexibility to achieve a full split?, which incidentally is the one that has a flexibility tag but not the stretching one.


I really do not understand this comment:

This has nothing to do with martial arts - ask on fitness? (look at any ageing martial artist that got to side split by the old methods - most struggle to walk these days - its not a route you want to go down)

How can it be asserted that splits have nothing to do with martial arts if there is an immediate caution that you should not train old methods that have caused injury in martial artists?

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    I agree 100%. There have been lots of questions about stretching and flexibility. This question could have been closed for being a duplicate but not closed for being off topic. I'm also a little puzzled by the assertion that many have problems walking after attaining a side split - I'm still walking fine! – slugster Oct 28 '18 at 6:35
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    @slugster It does not surprise me that some people have gotten injured by following bad advice, but that seems like a good reason to have this kind of stretching on topic. – mattm Oct 28 '18 at 12:12
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I also agree we need consistency.

I would suggest that we apply the same framework that is in use at Fitness.SE for nutrition. Straight nutrition questions such as this one on boiled eggs vs. omelettes are off topic. However, nutrition questions framed within the context of eating to support a fitness program such as this one on protein.

So if the person asking the question can frame it as part of their regular training and why they feel splits are important, it's on topic. Simply asking "How do I get the splits" would be the equivalent of the egg example, and off topic.

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  • So does martialarts.stackexchange.com/questions/1284/… avoid being off-topic simply by mentioning TKD? – mattm Oct 27 '18 at 2:42
  • @mattm no. On fitness simply saying "I work out, what is better steak or whey?" isn't enough. More like "I have lifting sessions where I do x, y and z in order to q and t. I want to support this, so is it better to have a fast or long acting protein powder since I won't lunch until 12?" – JohnP Oct 27 '18 at 2:50
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    The martial arts equivalent would be more like "I am getting limited in my wtf sparring by a lack of flexibility when head hunting taller opponents. How can I get near to splits to facilitate this?" – JohnP Oct 27 '18 at 2:54
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    I don't see how the specificity about WTF head kicks improves the situation. Is asking about splits for improving BJJ guard work a duplicate of that? Is the way you would train different from TKD to kung fu to BJJ? Answering about how to achieve splits is the correct level of abstraction; it's not necessary to know exactly how the flexibility is used and the training methods will basically be the same. Further, I think splits in martial arts are common enough that this should not need explicit explanation, even if the motivation is copycatting a video on YouTube or Jean Claude VanDamme. – mattm Oct 27 '18 at 15:40

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