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Chiropteran_vir

Muscularity and martial arts

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Which ignores that someone can be both heavy and weak. I am much stronger at 205 and lifting than I was at 255 and playing world of warcraft and smoking.

 

The stronger fighter is never at a disadvantage because of their strength. They may be at a disadvantage from having less experience, or being more/too reliant on strength. 

 

They may have disadvantage from having more mass to move (though not if the other fighter is the same weight/weight class). 

 

They're not at a disadvantage from being stronger. You're never going to see a fight and say, "If only he was weaker, he wouldn't have lost if he was weaker!"

 

Being stronger is an advantage, and I've yet to see or even hear of any example where the fighter lost because he was "too strong" rather than not being as fast or as good or as clever as his opponent.

 

This is a martial arts thread, I have no interest in discussing the "untrained" lifter outside of say... a hippopotamus. This is about the role of strength in martial arts. Not strength vs. Martial arts.

I'm fairly certain that you could not possibly have missed my point more completely than you just did.

 

 

Not really. Neither strength nor mass restricts range of motion. Range of motion is a learned motor skill.

 

 

Absolutely.  I'm not saying that you will necessarily lose range of motion by increasing your amount of strength training, merely that it is a natural tendency if you do not make an effort to prevent it.  My original post was stated as a possibility, not as a hard and fast rule.

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That's because you communicate poorly. Machete just quoted exactly what you said, and then immediately claim not to have said.

 

Yes, Machete I was absolutely being sarcastic, and I'm well aware of the hypocrisy.

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That's because you communicate poorly. Machete just quoted exactly what you said, and then immediately claim not to have said.

 

Yes, Machete I was absolutely being sarcastic, and I'm well aware of the hypocrisy.

Ah. Haha, Okay. Pardon. I'm bad at detecting it.

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I still think you should find a happy medium between strength and technique, one supports the other. You can make due and be great while putting all you focus on 1 of them. But just like strength, technique has diminishing returns. If you have 2 fighters and one trains solely technique, while the other trains both strength and technique equally, the one splitting his time is the more dangerous opponent. This is assuming they both have equal amounts of sparring/fighting experience.

As far as fighting goes I like simple and efficient technique, when I practiced ji-jitsu I lost my interest when we got to impractical and risky moves like 'catching a punch and then dropping yourself and making a scissor movement with your legs to take down the opponent'. A fighter that wastes time perfecting something that looks cool but is ultimately impractical is wasting his time and better of doing some strength (or endurance) training.

There is a good reason armbars, triangle chokes and other similarly basic locks are so popular. A flying armbar looks cool, but its probably not the most efficient way to engage someone. Moves like that are something I expect in WWE where looking cool is part of the job description.

 

To come back to your argument about someone that trains muay thai for 10 years and someone that splits his time equally (lets assume he's not retarded and do something like 5 years muay thai and then 5 years strenght). I'll bet on the guy splitting his time.

 

P.S.: To look at this argument from a gamers perspective I can pump dexterity to the max, but at some point each point is gonna be so costly that I could throw in 10 points of strength for each point of dexterity :D

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That's because you communicate poorly. Machete just quoted exactly what you said, and then immediately claim not to have said.

 

Yes, Machete I was absolutely being sarcastic, and I'm well aware of the hypocrisy.

Your inability to comprehend does not reflect my ability to communicate.

And no, I clarified what I had said.  Read it again, and this time, don't just see what you want to see.

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Yeah Dleffe, that point of diminishing returns is so variable too that I think it can be very hard to pin down. A four hundred pounder isn't going to do more damage slapping something with a piece of paper than an eight year old, but if you hand them an iron bar, the difference would be quite immense. I think strength subjectivity can be in a  large part because of differences of opponent.  After a certain point, more strength isn't going to be as beneficial to beating your opponent, but that point is going to vary between opponents.

 

I think speed is considered to be always useful, and rightly so... any bit faster you are than your opponent, or even less slow is going to matter. Most can agree though that if the speed is coming at the cost of technique it will not really be worth the trade off, and technique often is a key component to power/force production.

 

As has been brought up before, there really isn't an and/or. Speed/Power/Technique/Conditioning.. and like to add Experience are all necessary. I think being well rounded is good, but choosing to excel in an area doesn't seem to harm any.. unless it really doesn't apply as much to your sport/art.

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I still think you should find a happy medium between strength and technique, one supports the other. You can make due and be great while putting all you focus on 1 of them. But just like strength, technique has diminishing returns. If you have 2 fighters and one trains solely technique, while the other trains both strength and technique equally, the one splitting his time is the more dangerous opponent. This is assuming they both have equal amounts of sparring/fighting experience.

As far as fighting goes I like simple and efficient technique, when I practiced ji-jitsu I lost my interest when we got to impractical and risky moves like 'catching a punch and then dropping yourself and making a scissor movement with your legs to take down the opponent'. A fighter that wastes time perfecting something that looks cool but is ultimately impractical is wasting his time and better of doing some strength (or endurance) training.

There is a good reason armbars, triangle chokes and other similarly basic locks are so popular. A flying armbar looks cool, but its probably not the most efficient way to engage someone. Moves like that are something I expect in WWE where looking cool is part of the job description.

 

To come back to your argument about someone that trains muay thai for 10 years and someone that splits his time equally (lets assume he's not retarded and do something like 5 years muay thai and then 5 years strenght). I'll bet on the guy splitting his time.

 

P.S.: To look at this argument from a gamers perspective I can pump dexterity to the max, but at some point each point is gonna be so costly that I could throw in 10 points of strength for each point of dexterity :D

 

Definitely. I'm all about strength training; it's usually the first aspect of fitness that I address with people I work with. I actually concentrated on strength for an entire year and developed decent numbers, but that is because I have different priorities now. When I was training professionally it was 6 days a week of sport-specific training, and I had an 80-lb. bench press. I was still considerably functionally stronger than most of my opponents though because sport-specific training has some carryover. Like with the example of Crossfit: it won't make you as strong as a Powerlifter, but it will make you strong enough for Crossfit.

 

Yeah, I can understand the concept of "impractical" moves. Some people even say that strength is an impractical technique (a concept that started this thread). But who are we to judge which moves are impractical, really? Unless one masters the system, one cannot really tell which techniques work and which of them don't. If you knew yourself which techniques were the practical ones, you wouldn't need a coach. If you saw the first Karate Kid, it's an example of patience and acknowledgement of knowing nothing, fully trusting the sensei (Mr. Miyagi) to teach you what you need to know. Daniel is made to do repetitive menial tasks that don't seem to have anything to do with Karate, but eventually it is revealed that it was actually making him a better fighter all along. These menial tasks represent those repetitive drills we do at the gym/dojo. We may see them as unnecessary now, but what the hell do we know? I just see them as "stuff I have to deal with in order to reach mastery". We all have to pay our dues. Yes, I used to think like you did. I used to believe that training with the gi was useless. But is it really? Maybe it provides for proper progression, like using lighter weights in weight lifting, to allow sufficient development of proper motor skills so you can execute the technique properly when it matters. The ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship is a no-gi event. But why do the top competitors almost all come from backgrounds of gi training? Yes, some techniques happen to look cool, but that doesn't make them any less valuable. I have utilized Gogo Platas and Dudas and Puppet Masters, and have won two matches using a flying armbar because it was right there for the taking. I have never won with a Kimura though. Does that mean I should stop training it and blow off the instructor every time he calls for Kimura drills? Probably not.

 

And with diminishing returns, unless you are Sergio da Pehna, BJ Penn, or Demian Maia, 5 years probably does not even make you come close to diminishing returns. (And note that these guys probably trained multiple hours every day.) I have actually seen this happen many times - some local gym stud who has been training for years, doing multiple things like strength and conditioning along with skill training (like what he sees in all those UFC fighter training montages), gets picked-apart by some technically superior guy who has never strength trained in his life. That's why the Thai fighters who come from those training camps dominate the Muay Thai scene; they keep drilling, never getting to the point where they think "I'm good enough, I'm going to start strength training now" or "I need to get strong first before I learn how to kick". They master the techniques.

 

I am seeing this from a low-level instructor's perspective. I see way too many students who are like the thread starter who wants to be Batman as soon as possible, training Krav Maga, BJJ, Muay Thai, and Parkour at the same time while aiming for hypertrophy and conditioning. Some punk walks into the gym wanting to be the UFC champion in 6 months, so he tries to do all sorts of training every day in an attempt to compensate his inexperience with hard work. Almost everyone has this mindset starting out. In fact, I was that kid once. People get bored too easily and want the next best thing after drilling a technique like 6 times, thinking they know it and it is good enough. It takes time to learn how to squat, and even more time to get stronger at the squat. That time could be used to drill that armbar that you claimed do know but people always seemed to be able to escape from. Because unless you can armbar people like Ronda Rousey, your armbar is probably not good enough. I have also seen diminishing returns begin to happen. After years and years of training, the eager student, who fully trusts his instructors, starts giving them trouble with sparring, even occasionally catching them. The instructors are at a point of diminishing returns, and after decades of training they are not learning as much as they used to. They could probably start strength training now.

 

If you want an example of technical superiority beating someone with superior strength and mediocre skill (MMA-wise), look no further than Cain Velazquez beating Brock Lesnar.

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Yeah, when it comes to impractical moves, it think it really depends on the purpose. One of my arts teaches wrist locks very early in, and when you look at it from a practicality standpoint in a hand to hand fight they aren't really very useful. Ultimately though they're not taught for that, while initial practice may be unarmed, they are very usefull for weapon disarms, particularly when the weapon is likely to be slower moving like a swing from a heavy weapon, or static like an aimed gun.

 

Like you Machete I tend to recommend strength training in the early stages of martial arts, rather than adding it after the practitioner has the ability to drive themselves harder, and for longer later on. In my mind, strength is important for building a more durable practitioner. Its just that much easier to keep going, and that much harder to get hurt.

 

The Velazquez vs. Lesnar piece you linked is a great example of a smaller opponent being able to out fight a bigger opponent. I will say that Velazquez doesn't look all that small in comparison to anyone but Lesnar, and he sure as hell doesn't look weak.

 

I like that you mention hypertrophy. I tend to recommend the Starting strength routine, and emphasize that after novice progression the intermediate work may not be as useful in terms of their time. Right now, my instructor is deployed and my main sparring partners/workout buddies have all left the state. So I'm pushing strength more. I still train MA three days a week, but there's a big difference in learning and experience between working with someone who has a couple decades experience and working with someone who pretty much just came in the door.

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Not with martial arts. For people who want to be martial artists, I start them out with the fundamentals. Just the fundamentals, over and over. Usually foot work is the first thing that we drill, and that is drilled until they become comfortable with it. Because I don't want to teach anything to anyone who can't even stand on his own. (Jack Dempsey, on the other hand, believed that boxers should be taught to punch first and then to move.) If they're not able to come as often as they want to, I tell them to work on building a foundation - either an aerobic base, or raw strength, along with the drills. But the ones who are serious about competing, it's usually skill training for years. Besides, people come to a martial arts gym primarily to learn martial arts. It would be ridiculous to teach them how to squat first. For general fitness though, I usually start by addressing strength. You just get more "bang for your buck" that way, and it degrades a lot slower than cardiovascular fitness does. Especially working with a lot of military guys, strength and work capacity are big requirements for the job, and they usually do enough cardio already. To build up to a 12-mile road march carrying load, you have to be able to lift the load first. However, a potential martial artist who is not strong enough to shuffle or punch without hurting himself is an exception, not a rule. It's like a person who wants to get strong but does not have the mobility to squat down lower than a half-squat - you're not going to strength-train him with half-squats; you're going to do some special (mobility) work on him first. This is one of the reasons I laugh at people who claim to want to learn x martial art but want to get fit enough to do it first. More often than not, they probably are. You should see the Krav Maga class I went to once. 90% fat chicks "trying to get in shape" and fat guys taking it a bit too seriously.

 

The current top two UFC Heavyweights, Cain Velazquez and Junior dos Santos, at around 240, are about 20 pounds lighter than a lot of the guys in the division. (Lesnar, I think, is closer to 280.) They definitely don't have a distinct strength or size advantage over the likes of Mark Hunt, Antonio Silva, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, or Brock Lesnar, but they defeated them all. Cain is one of the best wrestlers in the league, and Junior arguably has the best footwork in MMA. Even at that level of competition, strength and size wasn't enough to neutralize a technically-superior opponent.

 

Starting Strength was designed to be a stand-alone program. Mark Rippetoe specified that one should do it without any modifications, as it takes advantage of the window for linear progression, and the rest days are a necessity. (Kind of the same reason you can't make a martial artist do Starting Strength Novice Program, because it's pretty black-and-white that they can't keep training while doing it.) For martial artists or other athletes who want to get strong I usually recommend 5/3/1. It has less volume and is a lot more flexible.

 

And yes, there definitely is a difference between working with a beginner and an advanced practitioner. Like with most things, you can usually leave the advanced guy to himself, as he would usually know what to do, while you constantly have to keep your eye on the (usually over-eager) beginner and tell him multiple times "Don't fucking worry about that right now and do your damn footwork drills."

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Having trained with Rippetoe in a seminar and doing Muay Thai and STILL training with a lifting coach, I can tell you this:  You cannot be fantabulously awesome at both given training demands.  You might love both (I do!) but choose one as a focus and the other as a hobby.

 

If you want to compete as a fighter, train as a fighter, and strength train under supervision of someone who knows what they are doing to support your fighting.  Just like an Olympic sprinter would train - you train to sprint, you lift to support your sprint training.  You don't do SS.  

 

On the flip side, if you want to compete in lifting, lift.  Do Muay Thai on the side.  It's still fun and awesome and you learn so much.

 

My coaches understand my goals right now:  get stronger, lift more (maybe compete).  Muay Thai - get better technically.  Really improve my technical skills and my sparring.  I will never compete in Muay Thai.  

 

So my goals are complimentary.

 

BUT we have some really great fighters at my gym - both pros and amateurs.  They all do some strength training to support their fighting and conditioning but in the end, they fight to fight.  

 

This is a great discussion.  I am so thoroughly enjoying all the viewpoints. 

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I agree that the Starting Strength programs rest days are very important. Again though, we are looking a different arts. Working in a conditioning heavy art like Muay Thai, and training for a competitive fight for an hour is going to be a much different and more exhausting experience for a novice than training Iaijutsu. The two, in my experience can overlap quite well. Now I do have an older student who tried working HIIT training in with it, and was far to tired when it came to class, but Rippetoe's program gave him a better balance with it.

 

Boxing and Muay Thai and the like have much different training programs and goals than some other arts out there especially for people just starting out. Many arts are, much less intense, especially initially.

 

The art you do is going to affect the way you can train.

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Well I have to admit that I will never put of a Muay Thai training to do strength training, I like to lift but you're right you have to focus on one of them. I did go over my strength training with my trainer and he added that I should do some shadowboxing between sets and exercises to make sure my body learns to apply the strength in the way I want it to. But aside from that he didn't have anything to add really. And as much as I like lifting, I did switch out one day to circuit with explosive exercises to get better endurance and speed, so I understand the train for your art mentality perfectly.

 

As for the current heavyweight champions not having a distinct advantage in size and strength, they also don't have a distinct disadvantage.

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I think the best thing about this thread is the view from different perspectives - a clash of cultures.

 

You have the whole east vs. west angle. The western progressive pursuit of bigger, faster, better, contrasting with eastern traditionalism. You compare Jose Canseco, Jason Peters, and The Undertaker beside Sun Yujie, Manny Pacquiao, and Tony Jaa. And then you have the points-of-view. Enthusiastic and motivated practitioners, and a jaded and cynical has-been. It's fun to see where we're all coming from.

 

In my experience, it's always a lot more complicated than stronger = better. What is "stronger" in the first place? Functional strength is a relative term, and barbell training, though has a lot of general transferability, is not the only way to increase strength. Peaking fighters ease up on it weeks leading up to a fight. Two guys at the gym are at the same weight class (flyweight), one can squat 300 lbs. while the other can do 1'000 bodyweight squats; who has the distinct advantage? We can't really tell. It's like thinking of it as Crossfit - if you train in CF, you don't necessarily strength train properly, but you grow stronger to an extent. Crossfitting is not going to make you the strongest out there, it will merely make you strong enough for Crossfit. If you get to the point where you want to compete in the Crossfit Games, then you will probably have to learn to train specifically. Although training to squat double your bodyweight will probably help with your Fran time, the best way to get a better time with Fran is to do Fran. Martial arts training does the same thing. It's not all drills and punching a piece of paper. A lot of people come to MMA classes to "get in shape". There's carryover from the sport training, especially with a coach who is particularly skilled at integrating it. It's like how Dleffe gains speed through his circuit training, while not doing any specific training for speed. Specific training is for athletes at the higher levels of competition, and even then it's not necessarily strength that they need. At that point they have already developed a style, and their athleticism must complement that style. Maybe a heavier squat would help a particular individual, but not as much as more work capacity would.

 

When I work with people, I see all of these bozos who want everything right now. They want to be huge and ripped and strong and fast all at the same time. So they always want something addressing everything, otherwise they think they're wasting time. You make them do one thing and they put something else to "supplement" their training or to take it one step further, and they end up fucking it all up. These are the same people who bitch about not seeing any results from a program that they did wrong in the first place. When I tell them to do the Stronglifts program for 12 weeks, I mean do the Stronglifts program for 12 weeks and don't worry about anything else. It's the same way with martial arts training, when you tell someone to Jab the bag 1'000 times a day, and they keep throwing combinations instead, they never realize the value and the power of the jab. Two things that I try to teach that I think are bigger overall advantages than strength are focus and patience. Focusing on one thing, and having the patience to master it; because when it comes down to it, the fundamentals are what competitions boil down to. I trained someone to Jab 500 times a day. He did a Fight Club-type smoker with someone who had a bit more experience. He knocked him out cold with a Jab.

 

Experience is a big part of the game, and the more you do something, the better you are at it. With prospective fighters who come into the gym, being strong isn't the goal right now, that's something we can maybe work on later. The immediate goal is to gain experience, and the best way to do that is to drill techniques, spar, and compete as much as reasonably possible. Strength is an advantage, and if s/he is naturally strong then integrate it into the developing style, but if not, then worrying about it will merely hinder progress. 3 hours of strength training a week can be much more productive when spent drilling instead, if increased fighting ability is the goal. "Noob Gainz" are present in both strength and skill training, and you want to cram as much as you can during that window. I remember one of my students who started training back in 2008 as an example of someone who takes his time to master the art instead of just trying win by being stronger than the next guy. He is the only one left in our old team, and I believe is currently 12-0. On the other hand, if the goal is merely skill in a soft art, then those 3 hours of drilling would make even more sense (provided the practitioner is in good enough health) because the absence of competition makes strength even more unnecessary, as technique becomes the sole factor that must be improved.

 

The problem is people are raised on pop-culture. Generations are raised on the concept of a montage, where the main character trains really really hard in order to defeat an opponent who is usually superior in every way. It's all Rocky's fault. Rocky started the montage and made training look cool. Now everyone wants to do that thing that he saw some UFC Champion do on TV. Because lifting a lot of plates and being strong is awesome. Unconventional "functional" circuits look cool. Running in a gas mask is bad-ass. Doing a drill over and over again is boring, and won't make a good addition to a montage. Everyone wants to do something difficult, because that's what Rocky, a mediocre boxer, did and two montages later he gave Apollo Creed his first defeat. Another one and he was outrunning him at the beach. One Kenny Loggins song later, he won the Cold War. And all he had to do was stuff that the audience at home probably could not physically perform to show how much of a stud he was. It was never because of his skill. Because of Rocky we only root for the underdog who works hard. The ones who are consistently good, who spent years practicing and mastering their trade, are always the bad guys. And this shit irks me. I've spent many years training patiently, and some punk comes in and thinks he can win because he has "heart". He thinks he can muscle his way out of a perfectly-executed technique because he's been training hard for three weeks. We are a culture of instant gratification, and the fact that few people can stick with something long enough to log in the required 10'000 hours saddens me. Mastery takes focus, and only wanting to be good enough is disheartening. It's less than disheartening; it's unpatriotic.

 

P.S. Apollo Creed should have re-captured the championship, Johnny Lawrence is the real Karate Kid, and Ryan McCarthy would bitch-slap Jake Tyler in a rematch.

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Well I can understand you point, perhaps my point of view that a combination is better is wrong. I just know I feel better training and fighting this way. In the future I might look back and admit to myself 'well damn he was right after all'. But I won't know till I try and so far it seems to work for me.

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As for advantage with size, let's just put this here:

 

I had to clinch with a woman about 4-5 inches shorter than me but close in my weight.  So for all intents and purposes, if it was a real fight, we were probably fairly matched.  

 

Here's the advantage - I'm really strong.  She is not.  Heh.  The entire clinch time was spent with her in total submission.  I could even switch positions and still control her easily. She even has JJ experience and I do not.  She's not bad at muay thai...just not strong.  And for me, it was like a rest.  I could catch my breath, hang out.

 

Then my sparring partner last night (a male) who has good size on him and is a lifter had to clinch her partner.  Her partner is very good at escaping from the clinch.  Not last night.  Now there was height similarity but a difference in body weight.  But she's a much better athlete.  

 

It was really interesting.  

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Well for one thing, I'm not sure that Rocky is really to blame. I'm one of the people recommending early strength training, and I haven't seen a single one of the movies. The other thing is that I have a full time job on top of training people and I don't run class every day of the week. So if the choice is between having a student strength train on off days, or do nothing, I think it's pretty obvious which I'd prefer. The other thing I've noticed is that while in the long run most practitioners will give everything a swing or two, once a brand new person walks through the door, I want them to see changes. 

 

General guidelines for me are that in shape people tend to respond well to sparring, speed and skill training, and heavier cardio intensity. That's great, but it's not everybody. People who walk through the door fat, like I did, tend not to respond as well to it. They tend to get sore easier, have more joint pain and just generally drag. I have noticed that they do respond better to strength training, especially when combined with some sparring and a fair amount of skill training, I just don't go for the drive them into a sweaty pool on the ground training as quickly. The underweight, skin and bones guys I get in, also tend to respond well to getting some muscle under that skin, and having them eat more and get under a bar tends to help with that too.

 

Those already fit folks also tend to have an aversion to getting under the bar, until and ex-fat student learns to stop chasing them around and start to control the distance and the fight.

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It is Rocky's fault. He made training look cool, and influenced everything after that, from the Karate Kid to Never Back Down. Only a select few started martial arts with no pop culture influence. I started out because my father enrolled me in a Taekwondo class when I was 5 and made me a pair of nunchaku to play with. He in turn did that because he was a fan of martial arts growing up in the '70s, watching Bruce Lee. He would always take us out to watch Jackie Chan and Samo Hung movies when we were kids. We are all (unless you live under a rock) essentially raised and educated by pop culture. Fiction shapes civilization. Even Alexander of Macedonia's and the entire nation of Sparta's success can be attributed to the idea that they believed that they were descendants of Hercules (who is probably a fictional character). Now we have people doing good because they grew up watching Batman kick some criminal ass and striving for justice, and seeing Luke Skywalker reject the Dark Side, even though taking advantage of situations would probably be a better choice from a completely pragmatic perspective. You have people enlisting in the military because of Act Of Valor and Lone Survivor, having a completely distorted image of what war is. I wanted to be a pilot for some time after watching Top Gun. We still picture William Wallace in a kilt and blue face paint, despite the fact that kilts weren't even in commission until 500 years later, and woad paint was used back in the times of the western Roman Empire. You have over 2 billion people turning the other cheek because Jesus apparently did it like 2'000 years ago. And we all probably watched movies that involved violence being the solution and superior fighting ability being the deciding factor. Of course blaming it entirely on a character Stallone invented in the '70s is a joke. Even The 36th Chamber of Shaolin had a training montage. What I'm blaming here is the entire concept of a montage. That is why I particularly liked Ong Bak and The Protector, Flash Point and SPL, The Raid, Gladiator, Troy (with the exception of Orlando Bloom's short implied archery montage), and even RED - they lacked a training montage. It just set the premise that the main characters are bad-asses and we could speculate that they had happened to spend all their lives training. Training montages give people a false sense of entitlement, making people believe that they deserve something they totally do not. This is me attempting to quixotically side with the old masters and defend the ancient arts.

 

And yes, I get it. Different types of students. That's why I kept mentioning priorities since the beginning. You have people wanting skill mastery, people wanting increased fighting ability, and weekend warriors who enjoy the environment. They will have different priorities so you will train them differently, in the same way you don't train an Army Ranger the same way you would an Airsofter (unless the Airsofter wants to be able to perform like an Army Ranger). But we're talking about why weights have a bad rep in martial arts. Training is still training, but worrying about lifting takes away from the art of the martial art. Jon Jones, Floyd Mayweather, Buakaw, Marcelo Garcia, they aren't known for their Powerlifting numbers; becoming that good takes extreme specialization. A good martial artist is different from a strong martial artist, though both may have success in competitions. The thread starter wants to be a "great martial artist", and focus and dedication are required of one in order for that to happen. Otherwise it just falls into the montage training category, and the necessary time and effort that must be put into gaining proficiency are not given the respect they deserve. Worrying about your deadlift going down while training for a fight is counterproductive. "You can't ride two horses with one ass."

 

Mostly everybody responds to skill training. It's simple adaptation and motor learning. It doesn't really matter much if the person is fat (Roy Nelson is a BJJ black belt), or skinny (Jon "Bones" Jones). You don't have to be in a certain shape to be able to train in martial arts unless you are morbidly obese or something. The so-called level of "response" is from people's different levels of learning ability. Effective teachers recognize that people have different learning strategies and modify their teaching accordingly. Driving everyone into a sweaty pool on the ground is just a sign of a coach whose certification is probably in Group Exercise rather than Martial Arts Conditioning, or s/he is just lazy. Adaptation is what training is all about, and training everyone the same way is ineffective. This is what differentiates an actual martial art class from Tae Bo.

 

And it still begs the question of what "strength" really is for a specialized athlete like a martial artist. and how barbell training is just one way to increase strength, especially the strength levels required by martial artists. Sometimes the strength carryover from regular integrated training is enough. Ross Enamait, a boxing trainer who primarily does work capacity circuits more commonly seen in martial arts gyms rather than Powerlifting, one day bought a bunch of plates and pulled 495 lbs. out of nowhere. In a (kind of) related story, JJ Gregory, a 135-pound gymnast who only does bodyweight movements (like a lot of traditional martial artists) pulled 400 lbs. on his fist day. When I took a break from competitive fighting, I pulled 320 lbs. at a bodyweight of 130 after only 7 weeks of weight training. Like I said, sometimes skill training is enough to bring you to a certain level of strength, and anything more than that can potentially be useless. I mean would it benefit my fighting ability more to work on a 500-pound deadlift, or to master how to escape from that choke that always gets me? Some people are also just functionally strong for some reason, without even lifting weights, so it's kind of hard to attribute where the strength really comes from. Sure, a lot of advanced fighters lift weights, but if an advanced Muay Thai fighter was given an opportunity to be trained by Rob Kaman instead of lifting weights, there's a big chance s/he would pick the former.

 

On the strength side, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Martin Rooney yet, particularly 11 Myths Of Warrior Training. Rippetoe also has a really good general strength article called Conditioning Is A Sham. I like the structural integrity that progressive Powerlifting training provides, rather than starting with bosu ball squats and band training, and raw force production allows further development of functional strength. Is specific strength training for everyone? Probably not. But it is definitely an expedient way to supplement training, and would be a waste not to utilize when available.

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Here are my random thoughts today:

Yesterday we were working the straight knee. My coach has a great knee... My is...um... Coming along. Anyhow, watching her, all I could think was "time to get back to kettlebells". Not for strength but for hips and power.

A lot of people join our gym to get in shape, lose weight, etc. cool. But only a few stick with it. And it's not just the ones who lose weight. I think they connect to the sport somehow.

Finally... All the rocky hate....awwwww I love that movie. It's a movie like any other movie.

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Gotta feel the sweet burn on those thighs...

 

And I just said, it was a joke. Rocky 3 and 4 feature the greatest moments in film for America. People who don't like it are Communists. Also, Rocky 5 does not exist.

 

EDIT:
And speaking of montages and Scott Adkins, check out this angry Ryan Reynolds clone.

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Remember, your best friend in building mass is recovery. Do your lifting one day a week, take a day off, then do skill training on day three - maybe light cardio. Leave harder cardio training (i.e. muay thai rounds) for day 4, 5 or 6. Don't do hard cardio or lifting 2 days in a row - you're just getting in your own way if you don't give yourself time to recover.

 

This will be a good start to maximize skill development and fitness until you get to know your own body and your own optimum schedule.

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