• By: Pedro Candeias
  • Date: 04/11/2017


Did you read our last 3 articles about Karate Training Periodization?


If not, please read it so you can follow this series from the start!


The 4 Key Stones of Periodization

Inside those previous articles, you will know why that it’s possible to conciliate the best of 2 Worlds…




Today we’ll give you more information about two training Periodization models: Structural model (Tschiene) and Block Periodization.


Let’s start right now…




Tschiene model is often used by speed and power trainers and athletes.


And Karate is mainly a speed and power activity, right?


The reason why the speed and power trainers and athletes like this model it’s because has more frequent rest. Rest as we all know is very important to athletes requiring a high neural and muscular performance.


Peter Tschiene defends the maintenance of high levels of intensity during all the training process! That’s why it’s recommended mostly for high-performance Karate athletes or free athletes…


If you want to use this strategy with your Karate athletes you should focus mostly on Karate-specific exercises along with high-intensity sessions and high levels of volume.


Another characteristic is the importance of participating in an elevated number of tournaments per season. This way you increase the specific intensity of your Karate athletes training.


Think with me…


There is nothing more specific than Karate competitions, right?!?


Today, all the high-performance Karate athletes participate in 8, 10, 12 tournaments per season.

Most of them have 2 or 3 tournaments that are their priority in terms of results. For example, National Championship, Continental Championship, World Championship.


If this is the case, you can look to the other tournaments as highly specific and intense training sessions!


But Tshiene can also be used with those athletes that have as a priority the highest classification in a National or Internacional Ranking. In WKF you have Karate 1 – Premier League, for example.


Tshiene model can be used as a Periodization Strategy so your top athletes can maintain their performance at the highest levels during an entire season.


As you can easily see this Periodization model can be very stressful for your Karate athletes!


How can you manage the risk of overtraining?!?


You have two ways of avoiding a burnout:


  1. Prophylactic Periods, where you try to reduce the risk of injury and overtraining. These periods are a prevention strategy that must allow your athletes to recover.

These periods must be done before a new training cycle and before a competition.


  1. Evaluation Periods, where you test your Karate athletes psychological and physiological state. You should plan this evaluation microcycle every 4-6 weeks, after a training cycle.

With this Periodization model, we are talking about high-intensity at all dimensions of training: Technical, Tactical, Metabolic, Strength (Rapid Strength, Maximal Strength)


A Tschiene model could look like these:


  • 1 Week centered on Technical and/or Tactical Skills – depending if you are training Kumite or Kata athletes.

Remember that technique is always dependent on tactics, especially with high-performance athletes. Read our article Why technique should NOT be the first priority if you want to be a Great Karate Fighter?

  • 1 Week focused on Power


  • 1 Week developing Work Capacity


  • 1 Week dedicated to Evaluation


  • 1 Week used for Recovery and Restoration.


This training strategy can be used, not only week to week, but also over the course of a single week. This makes sense when we are talking about Karate athletes that train 5 to 7 days per week!


In the words of Derek Evely (in the article Modern Trends of Periodization):


“If any Periodization model best represents what most leading coaches working with Elite Athletes are doing today, it is the model proposed by Peter Tschiene. Tschiene put forward an approach that essentially abandons previous methods using general to specific preparatory stages in favor of a “complex” methodology: a system where all abilities are trained to a relatively high degree throughout the entire yearly cycle (transition phase excepted)…”



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Many coaches from various sports and different countries started to use the term “training block” to characterize training intervals with a high concentration of specialized workloads.


Following this logic, the proposed alternative concepts of athlete preparation were called “Block Periodization” training systems.


Block Periodization has a general premise: a high-concentration of specialized workloads for more pronounced training stimulation.


Since 1980’s, two basic versions of Block Periodization have existed simultaneously:






Let’s look deeper into these two training concepts…




This training concept was proposed by Yuri Verkhoshansky (also the “father” of Plyometrics – read What is the most practical method of explosive training to use in your dojo [1st Part] and What is the most practical method of explosive training to use in your dojo [2nd Part])


And it’s based on a theoretical background…


…that when athletes execute relatively prolonged blocks of highly concentrated strength/power workloads one phenomenon happens:


  • First, there is a remarkable decline in speed/strength


  • After that, there is an increase in speed/strength variables allowing an achievement of a peak


Verkhoshansky called this phenomenon “Long-Term Lagging Training Effect”!


Long-Term Lagging Training Effect corresponds to a delay of training effect…


It’s important that you know that this effect is only theoretical, without any scientific evidence!


Concentrated Unidirectional structure is composed by a 3-block sequence:


  • Block A – Strength/Power Development (2-3 months)
  • Block B – More Specialized Sport-Specific Improvement (2 months)
  • Block C – Competition/Grading Specific-Training (3-5 weeks)




This approach was developed to answer the challenge of improving many abilities that determine peak performance in more complex sports.


Karate is one of those “sports” because success depends on a big group of qualities and not only speed and strength.


These are the general concepts of Multi-Targeted Block Periodization:

  • A block lasts 2-6 weeks. Each block includes highly concentrated workloads directed at a minimal number of training dimensions.


  • Proposes the consecutive development of targeted abilities, avoiding concurrent stimulation. Some Periodization models mix several training dimensions inside the same period.


  • It’s based on 3 blocks: Accumulation, Transmutation, Realization. WAIT A MINUTE!! If you are are following this series of articles about Karate Periodization since the beginning you’ve already seen this terms, right?!? Yes, ATR Model Multi-Targeted Block Periodization strategy…

To know more about ATR Model, read Know the best strategies to plan your karate training sessions (1st Part)


  • Each block tries to avoid conflicting physiological responses. Non-compatible training dimensions are separated into different blocks.


  • Together, the 3-Blocks last about 2 months and end with a participation in a competition, grading or any other performance event.


As you can see the number of training cycles depends on the quantity of priority events.


If you have 10 or 12 competitions per year you can look to some of them with the eyes of Peter Tschiene… you see them as a complementary form of high-intensity training!


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A multi-targeted strategy is much more motivating and even more effective, especially for Karate.


Because Karate is a discipline that requires the improvement of many athletic abilities!


While the Concentrated Unidirectional strategy is suited to sports that depend mostly on one fitness component, like jumping, throwing or Olympic weightlifting.


And contrary to what many think, Block Periodization can be safely and effectively used with all levels of preparation and all ages.


You only need to know how to adapt it to your different Karate groups.


In the next article, we will talk about two more Periodization models: Bondarchuk model and Non-Linear Flexible Periodization…


Stay tuned!



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P.S. – This series of articles will have 3 more posts! One where we will approach Non-Linear Flexible Periodization and Bondarchuk Model. The next one after that will be dedicated to Karate Science Academy’s perspective of which are the best models to each reality you face in your Dojo. The last one will be dedicated to Tactical Periodization model… A great approach to Kumite development where you will see how much you can learn from soccer/football coaches like JOSÉ MOURINHO!!