I find myself wondering lately if the classic high energy 'hard' style martial arts training is the best way to develop flexibility. I'm not criticising the format of such classes. There's limited time in class to cover the main subject, which is the particular martial art that people have paid to be taught. I think therefore any instructor that gives too much class time to exercises we can do without expert supervision is going to quickly lose students.
So I fund myself thinking. I know 15 minutes of stretching a couple of times per week is nowhere near enough. But what to do for the most efficient use of time in practice/training at home? Should I stretch before practicing kicks, which means I'm less likely to snap things? Or after kicking practice when the muscles and tendons have warmed up? Lately I've started kicking low and very, very slowly at home. My logic being that it develops strength and coordination as well as stretching, but I'm not sure I get much of a stretch that way. I'm really not sure what is the best plan. Replicating class is probably not the best plan, as I think class is organised for best use of time with a knowledgeable instructor. I suspect that in some perfect world where class was the instructor's full time job and we were all full time students, there'd be a lot more time given to strength and flexibility, but as it is, I think those are things for us to figure out ourselves, saving instructor time for teaching the art we are paying to learn.