​Get Rhythm – Putting Music Behind Your Practice – Part 1


​Get Rhythm – Putting Music Behind Your Practice – Part 1

By: Dale Norfolk

​Get Rhythm – Putting Music Behind Your Practice – Part 1

Get Rhythm – Putting Music Behind Your Practice – Part 1

As the song goes

“Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues, hey, get rhythm when you get the blues, yes a jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine, it'll shake all the troubles from your worried mind…”1

But more than just a catchy lyric, from a bygone year, its true statement if you let it be so. Think of all the times you’ve heard a song that maybe catches your mood, inspires you to do something.

A snippet of music that ties you into a particular memory2, time or place, nearly everyone has one.

For me, I use music to create a box at work, so I can concentrate from the things going on around me, I use it to write (like I am doing now), I use it to provoke a particular mood or feel to things. And yes of course, you knew it was coming, I use it to train and to play through in my mind when I am sparring. I even try to think through song lyrics when I can, trying to get all the way to 100 bicycle kicks, thank you Keef.

Now I may be teaching people to suck eggs, but I am speaking to those who are with me here. The use of music is important for me in training as it gives me a temp and speed to the way I do things. A lot of you will have to come to terms with this when you start completing katas to music.

In my opinion, it is important that the kata fits the music, as well as the music fitting the kata, with suitable high and low points to give you triggers in your movement.

Likewise, in sparring the music should keep you going and inform footwork. This is demonstrated acutely in martial arts such as Thai Boxing3 and Capoeira4, in both of these arts, music is integral to the way they are performed, and the intensity of the music can build how the fight develops and spurs on the fighters. Indeed, in the way that martial arts were practiced and hidden from outsiders made them more of a dance at times, certainly the movements of Karate were hidden in dance movements during a time of regulation.

For me music is directly linked with fighting and I always want to have it playing whilst I’m sparring. So, I hear you ask, what and why? And that’s what I’m here to give you, below are some tracks I use, yes there will be a mix. But let me know what you think, I’m eager to hear and if you find something amazing that’s good for movement, maybe we can add it to a club playlist.

Brief word of warning especially for my main genres, the club will not support spicy music choices, if you get what I mean. (Some may contain explicit lyrics and will be marked with a warning – [parental advisory, explicit content]

My Playlist (With explanation):


Artist: The Birthday Massacre5

Track: Under Your Spell

Reason: The highs and lows of the track give to balanced technique structure, allowing striking precision, ramping up to big moves during the chorus.


Artist: Nine Inch Nails6

Track: Closer[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: The hypnotic beat to the song informs foot work and movement.


Artist: Clutch7

Track: A Quick Death In Texas

Reason: A constant chugging beat to it, blues feel that makes you want to move.


Artist: Union Underground8

Track: Turn Me On “Mr Deadman”[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Peaks and troughs, aggressive nature.


Artist: Pantera9

Track: Walk[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Sheer aggression


Artist: Ootz Ootz10

Track: Fear And Dependence

Reason: One for the fleet of foot, very energetic.


Artist: Amon Amarth11

Track: Blood Eagle

Reason: Nothing speaks of fighting more than Viking metal.


Artist: And One12

Track: Military Fashion Show

Reason: Nice light track that informs timing and stance switching.


Artist: Bad Religion13

Track: 21st Century

Reason: Bit of punk to get the feet and arms bouncing.


Artist: The Cruxshadows14

Track: Perfect

Reason: Nothing like a bit of floaty self-affirming darkwave to help you hit those high points in your technique.


Artist: Flogging Molly15

Track: Seven Deadly Sins

Reason: A jaunty shanty, that informs confident and vigorous fighting


Artist: Golgol Bordello16

Track: American Wedding[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Steady beat with plenty of ups and downs


Artist: Incubus17

Track: A Certain Shade Of Green[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Good energy with peaks and troughs


Artist: Marilyn Manson28

Track: I Put A Spell On You

Reason: That steady beat, the ramping between verse and the chorus.


Artist: Jeff Hardy18

Track: Resurrected

Reason: Pulsing guitar for movement.


Artist: Metallica19/The Misfits20

Track: Die Die Die My Darling [parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Strong drumming, sense of aggression.


Artist: My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult21

Track: After The Flesh[parental advisory, explicit content]

Reason: Conjures images of fight scenes from The Crow (18) for me. A snarling aggression to the track)


Artist: Rammstein22

Track: Du Hast

Reason: German industrial at its finest, thumping sound to it.


Artist: Savage Messiah23

Track: The Cursed Earth

Reason: For those who like it a bit retro, chugging beat with melodic sounds.


Artist: Skindred24

Track: Nobody

Reason: Raga metal, to help you get loose an get creative.

Quick note, here are a few I ruled out, due to reasons, if you want to try fight to them you can, but its not gonna be easy:

Artist: Slayer25

Track: Angel Of Death

Reason: Its just too damn fast.

Artist: Dragonforce26

Track: Through Fire And Flames

Reason: Just listen, its bloody silly.

Artist: Naplam Death27

Track: You Suffer

Reason: Try I dare you


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Rhythm

2 https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/09/16/why-does-music-trigger-specific-memories/

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muay_Thai

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capoeira

5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birthday_Massacre

6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Inch_Nails

7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clutch_(band)

8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Union_Underground

9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantera

10 https://www.discogs.com/artist/1587860-00tz-00tz

11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amon_Amarth

12 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_One

13 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Religion

14 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cr%C3%BCxshadows

15 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flogging_Molly

16 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogol_Bordello

17 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incubus_(band)

18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Hardy

19 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallica

20 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misfits_(band)

21 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Life_with_the_Thrill_Kill_Kult

22 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rammstein

23 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_Messiah_(band)

24 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skindred

25 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slayer

26 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DragonForce

27 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napalm_Death