Can Weight Training Help Martial Artists?

Martial arts novices are often confused whether weight training or lifting is helpful or harmful to their training. The uncertainties are largely based on the belief that weight training bulks up the body and muscles, which can affect the flexibility and speed required to master the common martial art disciplines.

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In reality, weight training is actually beneficial – only if the appropriate method is chosen. There are different types of weight training, namely:

  • bodybuilding, which is done for aesthetic purposes and not primarily to produce functional muscles required in athletics;
  • powerlifting, which has a goal of developing pure strength and mass through slow, heavy lifts;
  • fitness lifting, which is chosen by those who just want to stay healthy with no other purpose for weight training;
  • Olympic lifting, which builds power, strength, and muscle control and good technique; and
  • HIIT (high intensity interval training), which focuses on small bursts of exercise periods to build endurance, conditioning, and stamina, instead of strength.

Among these five, the most conducive technique for martial arts are Olympic lifting, HIIT, or a combination of both. They help develop a strong base for strength, fundamental martial arts movements, and endurance – without sacrificing speed.

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Peter Spennato, DDS is a martial arts specialist and defense instructor, having been trained in the different disciplines, such as judo and Korean Tang Soo Do. He is also a weight lifting enthusiast. Click this link for more articles about martial arts.


Fundamental Judo: The Concept Of Seiryoku-Zenyo

Most Asian martial arts, including Judo, are heavy in technical and theoretical principles of practice. In Asia, martial arts is more than just a physical activity. It is inextricable from moral and spiritual dimensions.

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Practitioners of judo have trained under the concept of Seiryoku-Zenyo, or the maximum and efficient use of energy. It is the good or proper use of the mind and body. This watchword or slogan is operated by the Japanese word “zen,” which means good that overcomes evil. “Seiryoku” is a two-character Japanese word that came from the words “sei” for spirit and “ryoku” for force. Seiryoku-Zenyo applies to different types of endeavors, and it helps a person fully utilize physical and spiritual energies for a unique purpose.

Judo is a martial art that uses the motion and momentum of the opponent to apply power, such that the “weaker” fighter can beat the “stronger” one. It is also an attack and defense martial art where practitioners can apply their learnings even outside of the dojo.

Sport - 2014 Commonwealth Games - Day Two
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This concept of maximum efficiency or Seiryoku-Zenyo teaches Judo practitioners the value of fighting within one’s means, and not with the express aim of overpowering an opponent.

Dr. Peter Spennato is a martial arts instructor with decades of training in Judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. He is also an expert in handling firearms and has trained under the industry’s finest teachers. Learn more about martial arts and self-defense by visiting this page.