Martial Arts and Physical Fitness

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Makalakumu, Dec 29, 2004.

?

Rate your physical fitness...

  1. 5 - excellent

  2. 4 - good

  3. 3 - average

  4. 2 - below average

  5. 1 - poor

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. jjmcc

    jjmcc Guest

    What i am trying to say is that a large majority of people go to martial arts primerily to keep fit like a lot of people go to the gym to keep fit maybe to be a bit different from the norm maybe the gym never worked for them. In the end not everyone looks at martial arts the same way as us on mtk but as a way to keep fit im not saying that i agree with this but in the end that is the way it is!!:supcool:
     
  2. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    I certainly agree that Martial Arts will keep you healthy. What I’m trying to point out is that Martial Arts are a big broad term encompassing three different primary functions; sport, fighting ability, and character development. Now it is possible to cover any or all of these areas, but most arts will focus on one area more than another. Fitness is a rather broad term that needs defining as it can mean different things to different people. Now if your goal, or fitness paradigm is that of running marathons, then you should be doing training more suited to this. This doesn’t mean that you should stop Martial Arts; it could have benefits like mental strength.

    The original question asked was, is it necessary to be fit to be a Martial Artist. I am trying to point out that within the fitness paradigm being discussed many great Martial Artists would be precluded from being a Martial Artist. This means in my opinion that the answer to the question must be no.
     
  3. The Kai

    The Kai Master of Arts

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    Basically this is my viewpoint, all Martial Arts falls under the sports heading!! Weather you compete or not. Any sport will benefit from being in shape. If you are working up a sweat it is sport training. A person does'nt have to be in shape(Which is a rather cloudy term), but should be working on it. If you want to practice for years and years please avail yourself to the latest research in sport training!

    Todd
     
  4. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    I’m pretty familiar with the latest sports training, and despite some spinal injuries a few years ago I’m reasonably fit. Not as much as I was mid nineties when I was doing Triathlons, Cycling and working in the Defence Force (they were great, lots of time to train). Do I consider it necessary to be fit in the way being discussed in this thread to be a Martial Artist? No. All that is required is that you are active in your studies and training. Do I think that you need to be fit in the way being discussed in this thread to be a great teacher and Martial Artist? No, all that is needed is great teaching skills and great technical understanding and skill. Would you consider someone training in Kyudo to be a Martial Artist, after all their training is not very active? I would, it is after all recognised as one of the cultural Martial Arts of Japan by their government and a member of the Budokan. And just quietly, I would like to be around when someone mentioned that it was a sport that they were doing, they had better be able to run faster than flying arrows.



    I guess this is where you and I differ. I don’t consider the Martial Art I do as a sport, and neither does our Hombu. This in fact is also true of many Japanese arts. It is why they class them in the three categories of Budo, Bujutsu, and Kakutougi. Because we lump everything together under the one banner of Martial Arts it causes us to perceive them differently than those in the east.



    Would I recommend training in Martial Arts for your health? Yes, but if someone asked me if it would make them fit I would want to know their definition of fitness and how fit they were expecting to become.
     
  5. The Kai

    The Kai Master of Arts

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    I understand and agree with the three differnet types of arts practiced, However it is all movement? It is the mindset that is the begining of the differences, not that you are moving your body, perfecting form or effecting (controlling) your enviroment

    Todd
     
  6. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    Yes indeed, but the fitness requirements vary greatly. Some will spend a lot of time on cardio work; others may train for strength and or power, while others while have very limited amounts of physical activity. They all have their benefits in helping people live a healthy life style. In the context of the fitness being described earlier in the thread there would be a number of arts and great teachers that would not make it into the category of Martial Artist.
     
  7. The Kai

    The Kai Master of Arts

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    Are my eyes getting bad or is this some Budo Trick?. Martial arts shouls encourage a active heathy lifestyle, unless you are invovled in a art were you mediate and just think about moving, then you are not a athelete
    Todd
     
  8. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    Todd, sorry if I appear pedantic. Earlier in the thread there was talk about running 5 kilometers or carrying someone 500 meters, or even just being overweight as being the defining of the fitness that was needed to be a martial artist. There are many healthy people that can’t do these things. The mention of overweight being a precluder would have eliminated most of the Sumotori. I doubt if many of the great Aikido teachers could carry someone 500 meters, they just aren’t concerned with physical power. Have you ever watched Kyudoka train or compete? Most people would develop more physical power, and cardio capacity from their day-to-day activities.

    If all you need to do to be an athlete is move then we all are athletes, does this mean you would consider your job a sport? Oops, bad question, you probably teach martial arts professionally. Anyway I hope you understand my point. Some things are considered more important than to be thought of as a mere sport. There are a number of forms of budo that would find being called a sport, and themselves an athlete playing a sport very offensive.
     
  9. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    In my opinion, physical fitness encompasses the following; cardio, strength, flexability, hand/eye coordination, and muscle/body control. All of these are required in some way, shape, or form in any martial art that one practices. There are different requirements in each catagory for different arts.

    Kyudo, for instance, is a beautiful art that requires superb hand/eye coordination, therefore doing things to improve that fitness catagory is only going to improve the art. This is the same for any art. Building the fitness skills for the fitness requirements of your art is going to make you a better artist.

    The difference is obvious. As a physically fit second dan in Tang Soo Do I am able to outperform others that are not as physically fit. When I test for my third dan, that isn't going to change. If I was a physically fit eight dan, I still could outperform a less physically fit peer.

    Therefore, as an artist, I see physical fitness as an integral part of my art...a requirement for my art.

    upnorthkyosa

    PS - I do not, however, think that you have to be physically fit in order to be a martial artist.
     
  10. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Im going to present a theory about the fitness/martial art relationship... Many of the martial arts (like the "Do" arts: kendo, kyudo, etc.) are "arts" evolved from "combat" techniques. The Samurai who used the sword and bow in combat was a different animal from the practicioner who trains with those weapons today. Much like a person that attends one of the high speed shooting schools and becomes an expert pistol shot. Say that person becomes a better shot than a Special Forces operator. Theres a world of difference between a civillian handgun expert and a Delta Operator. Somehow I dont think that the kendo expert is likely to be able to function like a Samurai (given some Hollywood time travel scenario ;) ), or the Pistolero run a hostage rescue.

    Bringing this around to the topic at hand, yes you dont need to be "in shape" to be a martial artist, but it all depends on your mindset and what you envision your needs to be. Fitness may not be necessary to defend yourself, but I submit that martial arts alone arent enough to "defend yourself" either. Martial Arts techniques are just tools, along with many other skills like firearms, first aid, plain avoidance and awareness, driving skills, law etc. If the goal is just plain "art" fitness may not be "necessary". If you envision it as something more, fitness should be one of the components IMHO.
     
  11. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Good post...however

    Fitness may not be necessary, but it surely can "enhance" ones martial artistic expression. Personally, I would feel like a sculptor using play-doe without the fitness component to my art.
     
  12. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    I do believe we have an agreement.
     
  13. Colin_Linz

    Colin_Linz Blue Belt

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    Yes indeed, fitness is one aspect that can improve your performance. And the fitness requirements will be quite divers. In some arts training to be that supreme athlete will leave you without the time necessary to practice the techniques correctly. If you studied Aikido for instance, your level of fitness does not need to be as high as say a boxer. What will be important is that you have developed very good skills at reading the intent of your attacker, feeling their balance, controlling their balance, using the technique and understanding the strategy of the defence. Now this could be argued to be a form of fitness. This is why I said earlier that if someone came to me to learn a martial art for fitness, I would want to know what they expected to gain from it. In some cases you will have to say no, this art will not make you fit in the way you would like.
     
  14. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Oh yeah absolutely. If you are interested in the "art" side too, I would think that presenting a fit and aesthetic appereance would be a goal as well no??
     
  15. ghostdog2

    ghostdog2 Guest

    I've been reading these posts and just about every one says something worthwhile.
    Would there be a distinction between some of the other arts and, say, grappling or BJJ or boxing? A reasonable degree of fitness seems to be required in these disciplines or the student won't last long enough in practice or drills to master the technique. At least, that's been my experience.
    Can someone who appears fat and out of shape still fight? Ask George Foreman. Better yet, ask the guys who fought him.
     
  16. The Kai

    The Kai Master of Arts

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    George Foreman might have been "fat", but out of shape? The guy ran behind a Pick up truck with a Heavybag mounted on the tailgate-so he could punch and run at the same time!! Plus a old boxing belief was to have a little "cushion" on you. quite interestingly enough they found that gladitors were not ripped buff hardbodies, seems you would rather have the knife blade cut fat rather than muscle!
    todd
     
  17. Simon Curran

    Simon Curran 2nd Black Belt

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    Seems to make sense to me, sub-cutaneous fat doesn't impede physical structure when cut quite as much as muscle does...
    And by the way, I know of people who definately carry a spare michelin or two, but can still soak up any amount of thumping to the mid-section...
     
  18. scfgabe

    scfgabe Yellow Belt

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    You can do Martial Arts, but you won't master your Marial Art if you are in poor physical condition.
     
  19. BlackCatBonz

    BlackCatBonz Master Black Belt

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    once again......let's get a definition of good physical condition.

    i am also of the belief that martial arts are not sports. not withstanding the fact that there are martial sports......like judo, tae kwon do, kendo.
    i dont think it was the intent of the founders of the martial ryu's or styles to develop athletes. i am the furthest thing from an athlete, but that doesnt mean that my art suffers because of it.

    shawn
     
  20. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    I think the founders were (originally and in the Budo arts) striving to train warriors in martial skills. I would think physical condition was a given.123
     

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