Bodybuilders can actually win battles

Is Weight Training Useful In Martial Arts?

Weight training is very useful for martial arts. Sports scientist and martial artist Tom Kurz notes:

Taekwondo master Hee Il Cho, famous for his powerful and precise jump kicks, says, “Weightlifting can help athletes in any sport, including martial arts. The more strength and size you have, the better you will work. When two people are the same weight, the one with more muscles may hit harder. "

You should hear Hee Il Cho. He knows what he's talking about. (Briefly cites the source as: Jeffrey, D. 1994. The Master of Devastating Kicks: Hee Il Cho's Routine for Fast, Powerful Kicks. Martial Arts Training March 1994, pp. 20-25, 62.)

What kind of weight training?

Strength training is only about muscle size if you choose to do it. Weight training is useful for so much more than size. Weights are a tool. You can use them to get taller or to develop strength, strength, or endurance.

It is important to distinguish the basic forms of weight training:

  • Bodybuilding - Lift for size and appearance; The goal is to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jay Cutler, for example. This is the on least productive form of strength training for martial arts: one primarily tries to get taller using methods such as machines and isolation work that are not optimal for functional or athletic purposes.
  • Powerlifting - lifting for strength; The aim is to improve the ability to generate force. I find it difficult to imagine a situation where strength, regardless of other factors, is anything but a blessing for martial arts practice. (The only possibility I've heard is that exceptionally strong people need to make a conscious effort to rely on technology rather than physicality. This is akin to the curse of being naturally agile: cry me a river. ) The basics include the slow exercises: squats, deadlifts, bench and overhead presses, pull-ups.
  • Weightlifting - lifting for strength; The aim is to improve the ability to generate strength quickly. The main tools are the fast Olympic lifts: clean, jerk and snap. Power is a derivative of strength, and everything I've said about the applicability of strength to martial arts counts triple for power. Applying strength quickly is a fundamental aspect of almost all sports, especially hitting and throwing techniques.

There are many strength and weight training programs out there that focus on developing these traits without adding bulk. (Some of them are martial arts specific.) However, having a certain amount of bulk is often a boon to malnourished martial artists anyway. Almost all martial artists would do well to use weight training for more strength and strength. The advantages for sportiness and durability are enormous.

Benefits of strength

Achieving significant levels of power and strength is one of the easiest ways to increase the effectiveness of your techniques. However, getting taller to get taller is not directly productive for the martial art. (As you get bigger, you probably get stronger, which would be good.)

Martial arts, however, are about physicality combined with technique. Power and strength are essential components of physicality that are required to properly perform a technique. Lifting weights is arguably the most efficient way to develop these traits. People who say otherwise are either already athletic (either naturally or through previous training) or inexperienced with strength training and avoid the unknown.

Minimum strength required to practice combat

You need to get reasonably strong before you can actively compete against totally reluctant opponents. People who are weak can be injured and unable to properly perform basic movements and techniques. With martial arts it works about optimizing the use of force . This is not the same as giving up a basic level of strength.

If you've been to a popular martial arts dojo long enough, you can safely remember a new person who is physically incapable of performing even the most basic of techniques. Often injured and injured again, they relieve muscle spasms and joint pain to keep up the activity they love. That is not healthy. Students should be encouraged to reach a basic level of physicality before entering regular classes. Strength, mobility and stamina are of the utmost importance during this time so that the students can pass the training units and safely reach the positions required for the technique.

Accept Kurz's advice well (ibid.):

People who cannot put a barbell or a partner who weighs at least as much on their shoulders and easily do a few squats are too weak to learn fighting techniques.

Test this hypothesis for yourself: take six months to do a barbell squat with body weight. Then ask yourself if it has helped you hit harder, save longer, nail people down better, and keep your opponent in control. If so, great. If not, again don't do anything, and if you neglect the "problem" of excessive strength you will become smaller and weaker again.

Berin Loritsch

Many martial arts schools offer body weight as a warm-up exercise before class. Things like pushups, situps, etc. This is a form of strength training that many people miss. Another way to gain strength is to perform katas isometrically. But the bottom line is: Strength helps both hitting power and your ability to block or even absorb a blow.

Wayne in yak

Weight training can focus on strength or size or both. Damn persistence. It all depends on the weight used and the scheme (reps and sets).

Robin Ashe

Jay Cutler is a better example than Arnold or Coleman. Both are incredibly strong too, Arnold was a powerlifting champion before he became a bodybuilder, and Coleman can deadlift over 800 pounds. Some bodybuilders are just great, others are tall and strong.

Dave Liepmann

@ RobinAshe Excellent point. I've edited my answer to use Cutler and focused more on the "looking" part of the statement.

Timothy AWiseman

I like this answer except "weak people don't have martial arts business training". I was extremely weak when I started BJJ so I started lifting. Lifting definitely helps, but I wouldn't be lifting if I wasn't doing BJJ. Perhaps the much weaker statement: "You have to be reasonably strong before you actively take on completely reluctant opponents." is more appropriate.