Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weightlifting Martial Arts

Serious weight training is something you need to be doing if you're serious about martial arts. No serious MMA fighter or martial artist skips weight training. It is absolutely essential to building the strength that helps you throw strong punches and kicks as well as to building strong tendons and ligaments to prevent injury.

    Why do people skip weights? Common arguments are that "muscle slows you down",  This quickly makes no sense when you remember that muscle is what moves your body in the first place. What do these people think - that with less muscle they will somehow be faster? Another argument is "fear of injury". This argument actually has some basis to it, but as with any activity, the risk of injury can be reduced with proper training, proper information, and possibly a good trainer. Another argument is "I hate gym culture". Once again, a valid argument, but open to personal opinion.

                                "But I don't want to go to a gym/I can't afford a gym!!!!"

                        Assuming you are dead-set against lifting weights or going to a gym, there is no excuse as to why you shouldn't be somehow trying to replace that training. What does this mean? You should regularily be doing pushups, pullups, situps, and other bodyweight exercises. You should be increasing the difficulty of these exercises over time in order to compensate for lack of weights. Obvious benefits from this, outside of martial arts, include a healthier lifestyle and burning excess calories.

Steven Lopez: Taekwondo Champion

 Steven Lopez is one of the most revered athletes in the martial arts world. Why is he so good?

Steven Lopez trains ruthlessly. What does this mean? He trains every day. His entire family trains in Taekwondo. How often? Every day. Steven Lopez surrounds himself in the art and training of Taekwondo 24/7. It's not for no reason that a single 45 degree roundkick from this athlete puts fear in the hearts of many competitors.

Steven Lopez not only allows himself to learn, but makes it his goal to train his siblings and friends.

This dedication to Taekwondo has lead to this amazing record:

Taekwondo Forms: Why Do We Do Them?

Many students have asked themselves at least once - "Why am I doing this?". For youngsters, Taekwono forms can be boring and repitious. However, that's exactly why they're done.

Are they meant to be realistic? NO.

Are they meant to be strenuous? NO (although, you can make them).

Are they meant to transfer over directly to fighting? NO.

So why are you doing them? Seems like they're worthless, right?

       Although forms teach many things, the most important thing they teach is DISCIPLINE. Learning and repeating forms forces you to have the mental strength and stamina to learn new and unfamiliar techniques in a variety of different situations and patterns.

     Forms also improve individual techniques, stability, and self-control. By self-control we mean control over the body and its motions, as well as breathing. A Taekwondo practitioner should be able to stop his body at any time when doing a technique (an obvious exception would be an aerial technique).

Many make the mistake that forms transfer over directly to fighting. Big mistake. They try to make drills simulating "real fighting situations" and incorporate this into their forms. Yes, the ancient Korean forms were meant for practicing fighting, but they have also changed slowly and surely over a period spanning more than one thousand years. Forms have become more and more artistic and a method for practicing self-control and technique than for preparing for actual combat.