Honing Your Weaknesses

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Shinobi Teikiatsu, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Shinobi Teikiatsu

    Shinobi Teikiatsu Green Belt

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    So I've been practicing at home a lot lately since I haven't been going to my taijutsu class due to work. Naturally, I ran through my normal kata then did some other work-out like push-ups and the like. Then I noticed that, during training, I'm perfecting my technique and such, but I'm still (physically) one of the weaker practitioners in my school. I simply don't have the muscle mass or the weight to compete with some of the guys at my dojo. Granted, I have better technique than some of them and if I concentrate, I can best them some times, but more often than not, these large guys toss me around quite a bit until I find an open spot.
    That said, I decided to add some weights into my training. I went into my closet and managed to dig out some old weights which I attached to my ankles and wrists, then I took out my grappling gloves and added just a tad bit more weight to my hands. This slowed me down signifigantly (And the gloves gave me a better punching practice as I wasn't so afraid to punch the tree, which I use as my punching bag) but also helped to work out my muscles. I normally work out for about an hour and a half to two, and yet today I felt like working maybe a half hour because of how exhausted the weights made me. Still, I persevered.

    It's been several hours and I still haven't removed the weights from my body (except for the gloves). So, my question to you guys is how many of you have tried this method (or a similar one) and what kind of results did you get and how have you gone about honing other areas you might be weak in (speed, technique, stamina etc etc)
     
  2. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    the type of training you are doing is very good for endurance, but it is very hard on the joints & will not do a whole lot to increase your strength or mass. i would suggest doing your technique training, then ending with some body weight exercises & weightlifting.

    good luck!

    jf
     
  3. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Continue to work on strenghening your body -- but realize that if you work on your weaknesses, you'll work forever with little gain. Work on making your strengths stronger, and I suspect you'll find that you progress much more successfully.

    You can't overcome someone's muscular strength with muscle alone, unless you're much stronger than them. That takes years and months to achieve... and there will always be someone stronger than you out there. What you can do -- and do well in much less time! -- is develop your technique. You can beat muscle with better technique or style. You can use leverage, positioning, and better principles to master strength. You train in one of the ninjutsu styles; look at videos of Hatsumi. He's seldom outmuscling someone; he's relying on better movement, better positioning, better technique -- so much so that sometimes it looks like magic!
     
  4. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    jks is right, technique can beat strength! BUT if technique is equal strength will win. work on both so long as your technique doesn't suffer because of it.

    in judo, i've heard it described like this: if you have 4 units of strength & your opponent has 8 units, you can off balance him & in his poor position he will have 2 units of strength. that's true, but it doesn't hurt to be the guy with 8 units of strength & technique as well.

    jf
     
  5. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Blue Belt

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    jks9199 wrote:
    That is sound advice.

    At our Dojang I am the guy who is referred to as a moving brick wall. I have been lifting weights avidly since I was 15 years old. 23 years later I have a large muscular frame.....and there is always someone bigger or faster.

    Start working on a separate strength program with a weight trainer now. In a couple of months your strength will be improved and in a couple of years your size/mass/frame will be larger. I recommend a trainer for beginners pretty much for the same reason we seek out MA instructors. You don't have to work out for 2 hours a day for results. A good trainer can show you how to get a good strength work out in 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Another way to increase overall body strength is swimming. Find an instructor for that as well.
     
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Another point about trainers: just like a good martial arts teacher will show you how to execute techniques in ways that don't injure yourself (like not extending the knee too far over the foot, or not overextending the elbow), a trainer will show you the right way to perform the exercises or use the machines. This can be very, very important with weight training; lots of people injure themselves and don't get the results they want due to improper technique.
     
  7. still learning

    still learning Senior Master

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    Hello, Building body strength and condition is always going to make you a stronger person...

    NOT always the stronger person wins? ....look at MMA fights....

    A GOOD mental training is just as important the mental out look!

    A small child can punch a man in the BALLS and drop them...poking someone eye does not take mucsles...clapping both ears..anyone can do this....striking a man throat....only need a clear shot.

    BUT a strong person...will be harder to fight back against....go for it!

    In the army they found a man can dig more fox holes if they rest for 10 minutes out of every hour...than dig for four hours without stopping...study this!

    Aloha, I gotta rest now?
     
  8. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Give me proper techniques all the time. Still have enough strebgth to endure a confitation is alway great.
     
  9. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer Green Belt

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    On Tuesday nights I open up the training hall for open training (but its usually just me) so I've been spending that time working on one of my weaknesses.....my left hand! Latley when im solo training I've been sure to work the left hand just as much as the right...and im making progress! Certain stick drills that I would completely fumble with my left in the past are now easier, and I can do them with a certain degree of precision and effectivness for the first time ever.

    Now if I could just work on my stamina!
     
  10. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    IMO, I think that you need to figure out what goals you're trying to reach. Are you trying to get stronger? Build more stamina? Once you figure that out, plan something out that will help you to build off of that. Also keep in mind that some people will just naturally have limits. I may never be able to kick over my head, due to body structure, so I simply adjust to that. Of course, dont forget that its not always about strength, but technique. :)
     
  11. Shinobi Teikiatsu

    Shinobi Teikiatsu Green Belt

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    It's not so much that I'm trying to build up muscle strength, thinking it surpasses technique, but I know that I'm not as strong as I could be, and so I'm trying to strengthen myself. I know I'll never be one of those knuckle-draggers who can lift another fighter up over his head, but I'd prefer it if I was as strong as I could be.
     
  12. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    that is exactly the correct approach to strength training for a martial artist.

    jf
     
  13. Yoshiyahu

    Yoshiyahu Master Black Belt

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    Sounds like you got a good program going. I might make a small suggestion. Practice with free weights throwing basic punches like hooks upper cuts jabs and right and left crosses. With ankle weights try running at least a mile.

    When you take the weights off:
    Do one thousand punches to the tree(Heavybag).
    One Thousand kicks to the tree(Heavy bag).
    Jump rope(Work up to thrity minutes with out stopping)
    One thousand push ups a day.
    One thousand sit ups.

    This will help you in your weaker areas. Now of course your first week you will not be considerable stronger but with in two to three months you will stronger than most of the guys you wrestle. There are other exercises to make you alot stronger than your average weight lifter. But these are a few to help you. As for weights I suggest bench pressing. First work up to your body weight. Than progress slowly to twice your body weight. If your 150lbs when your able to bench 300lbs you should have little or no problems with those guys provided you do the other stuff when you take the weights off.

    But techniques is very important. When you spar with bigger guys in class don't concentrate on winning all the time. Concentrate on being able to use thier strength and muscle mass against them. Think of ways to redirect their force so you can control them with little effort.

    Interesting history:

    Yuen Kay San was a Wing Chun Fighter who was very skilled in Chinese boxing. His Student was Sum Nung. Sum Nung first learn Wing Chun from Cheung Bo Who was a large and powerful man. When Cheung Bo had already taught the youth all he could, introduced Sum Nung to Yuen. Sum Nung was hesitant at first. He had been learning from Cheung for a few years and saw Yuen, Yuen Kay-San, older and thinner, as a stark contrast to his powerful looking teacher. This feeling led him to question Yuen’s skills. Yuen, however, seeing in Sum Nung a great desire and potential, was willing to indulge the youth. Promising that the youth could use all that he knew, and vowing only to defend in return, Yuen Kay-San invited Sum Nung to touch hands with him. Sum Nung, his curiosity piqued, took up Yuen’s challenge. Sum attacked with all his vigor and the full range of his skills, but each time Yuen Kay-San calmly intercepted his techniques and after only one or two movements left Sum off balance, out of position, and unable to continue. Realizing that Yuen’s skills were of the highest level, Sum quickly became his student.

    Yuen Kay-San wanted to ensure he gave Sum Nung as encompassing an education as possible. In addition to one-on-one and group fighting, Chinese medicine, Chinese literature, and other pursuits, Yuen sought to give Sum confidence and a fighting spirit. Towards this end, he set up some public demonstrations for Sum and also some friendly tests of skill.
    The first such test Sum Nung faced was against a famed local practitioner of one of Southern China’s “long bridge and big horse” (cheung kiu dai ma) systems. A stark contrast to wing chun kuen, Yuen felt it an important step in Sum’s training. The encounter was set to take place on a local rooftop. When the fight began, and the powerful roundhouse of his opponent came hurtling towards him, Sum Nung stood his ground, dissolved the attack, and promptly swept his adversary, knocking him into the roof-top’s railing wall and sending a few dislodged bricks clattering down to the street below. This led Sum Nung to realize that wing chun kuen was useful against a broad spectrum of other arts.

    To further this idea, Yuen Kay-San next set Sum Nung up to face a well-known local wrestler. This opponent proved wilier and instead of attacking directly, he sought to fake out Sum Nung with feints. When their bridges finally touched, Sum was initially in a disadvantageous position and his opponent moved quickly to tackle him. Sum’s reflexes took over, however, and he cleared the wrestler’s grappling attempt and at the same time struck the man in the flank, sending him to the ground.

    Sum Nung also had the chance to gain experience through touching hands with friends and peers. One man, much bigger and stronger, tried to use brute force to reach his flank but Sum changed quickly, gaining the advantage, and letting him fall to the floor. On another occasion, when a man told him he didn’t believe wing chun should contain any throwing movements, Sum made use of the wrapping arm from the chum kiu set to flip the man up and over onto his head. Yet a third time, on the restaurant rooftop where he worked, a man tried to use of a hard slapping movement to shock Sum’s forearm, but Sum reacted instantly by going with the force and leaking around it.

    These and other encounters, in addition to making Sum Nung very grateful for having the fortune of studying under Yuen Kay-San, helped cement concept and application, forging him into a well-rounded, effective, and experienced martial artist.

    http://www.w1ng.com/sum-nung-master-of-wing-chun/


    I hope this little story helps you?
     
  14. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    I would bag wearing wrist and anle weights for long oeriods to build strenght...mainly because that is not an efficient way to buoid strenght/power and as has been mentioned...you're setting yourself for injury to joints.

    Think about it. If you want stronger punched, then you want to build power in the horizontal plane (of arm movement). Weights are pulled down in the vertical plane by gavity, so you ar bulding your endurance to keep them up, but that;s not where you want to be tranmitting the force.

    You'd be better served getting some elastic tubes with handles on either end (check your local sports store). You can hook these to chairs, door andles ectera and then practice your punched/kicks safely and get the same effect you're looking for.

    Also look at doing a good bodyweught workjout routine tha incorporates bodyweught squats, pullups, pushups and the like. It won't add much in the way of size, but will increase your strength and conditioning.

    Best is to go to a gym or get a weight sety and start working with free weights. You ca gain strength most efficiently with safety. How you train/eat will determine what kind of size you get. In other words you can train for strenght /pwoer development and not put on a ton of size (some, but not a lot). Just make sure ot focus on compoujnd body movements and keep the workouts brief (no need ot lift for hours at a time. 30 minutes 3 times a week at a de cent intensity will do just fine).

    In the end, it'll take a fair bit of work...but the results will improve your training.

    Check out www.crossfit.com and www.rosstraining.com for examples of various workouts your could do at home.

    The reason I say this is because several years ago I was in your position. I started with incresed BW workouts and tha immediately improved my TKD. Eventually, I moved on to free weights...that REALLY improved my TKD. The extra size did not dlsow me down...I was faster, harder hitting and more flexible as a result of the hard work. I've since backed off on the weights as I'm focusing more on my cardio while tyring ot maintain my strenght (thus the crossfit workouts)...but that;s because I'm honing one of my weaknesses :)

    Good luck with your training.

    Peace,
    Erik
     
  15. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    MA alone, will not get you what you are looking for. You need to supplement with weights. Look at a lot of other athletes, runners, baseball players, basketball players, they all use weights. I have trained with many people of smaller stature and some on the weaker side. In time their technique became very good from just working out in class, but they still had a hard time with some of the stronger people. Technique will not suffer as long as you train both at the same time. The people that I have seen get into trouble , were the ones that dropped out of class and did just weights. Also I have seen some white belts that were very big and strong that were easy targets at first until their technique got better, then it was, watch out time. Anyway, long story short continue to train in your MA and start an over all weight program with light weights. Shoulders, back, chest, arms, legs. Progressively add weights but keep stretching and training MA. Don’t favor one over the other but combine them both together. Start now, and by mid-summer, your will find it hard to get training partners in class. Goog luck.
     
  16. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Well put. But on the other hand, developing more physical strength will give you more power and confidence. The trick is to work out an intelligent, moderate and sustainable routine that addresses your needs. There's some good advice here, like Eric "Bluekey88" posted. Also some rather rigid prescriptions such as Yoshiyahu's, which I would avoid. Remember, you are interested in supplementary strength training, not body building, and certainly not antiquated and dangerous training formulas.

    I, myself am a long time Wing Tsun/Chun and Eskrima practitioner. Wing Tsun traditionally frowns on weight training and emphasizes using technique to overcome brute force. Yet I've managed to improve my strength, stamina and performance through a carefully considered supplemental program using body weight exercises, elastic tubes and free-weights. Then, in class I try to work with some guys who are way bigger and stronger than I will ever be. That way I still have to focus on technique over strength.

    Oh, and my sifu still disapproves, but since I am improving, he says that he forgives me. Hey, that's good enough for me!123
     

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