Why do many traditional martial artists look down on weighlifting (some even calling it EASY)?

Xue Sheng

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Tez3

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Because they are ill-informed.

But who are 'they'? The OP hasn't given us anything as to who these people are, what they are actually saying and why they are saying it. All the evidence so far is showing that there aren't people who are saying weightlifting is bad and that they are looking down on it, quite the contrary.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I notice there is a stigma in among traditional martial artists that weightlifting is useless.
- My teacher told me that when he was a student at his teacher's place, there was a double heads weight bar in his teacher's back yard that was so heavy that every time he looked at it, he hated it big time.
- I have a huge rock beside my drive way that I used to move around with. Today when I look at it, I also hate it big time.

IMO, if the weight is too much that you start to hate it, it's not a good idea. It's better to work on the right amount of weight that you feel comfortable with and "enjoy" doing it. This way, you will continue your weight training through your old age.

There is no way that a MA guy can have a body like this without going through some serious weight training.

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elder999

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- My teacher told me that when he was a student at his teacher's place, there was a double heads weight bar in his teacher's back yard that was so heavy that every time he looked at it, he hated it big time.
- I have a huge rock beside my drive way that I used to move around with. Today when I look at it, I also hate it big time.

IMO, if the weight is too much that you start to hate it, it's not a good idea. It's better to work on the right amount of weight that you feel comfortable with and "enjoy" doing it. This way, you will continue your weight training through your old age.

There is no way that a MA guy can have a body like this without going through some serious weight training.

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Great Grandmaster Chang had a lot of strength exercises-a lot of them with weights, though I couldn't find any pictures of him lifting online. Always grateful to him for the grip/forearm-training tool he showed me, and the way he showed me I'd made it wrong!!
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(He'd take of twigs, each about 1/4" in diameter and a little more than a foot long, bundle then until they were somewhere between 4 and 6" in diameter, tape both ends, and take that bundle in hands and twist it back in forth. I brought him the one I made, and with one twist: toothpicks!
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That was one very cool old-man! )
 
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WaterGal

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I'm gonna agree with some of the other posters - I haven't heard TMA people say weightlifting is easy or bad. I have heard people say that you shouldn't do it too much for TKD and similar arts because it can reduce flexibility.
 

ShotoNoob

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I would say that it depends on the approach to weightlifting you take.

From a MA standpoint, it is better to work on exercises that involve as many joints/muscle groups as possible (ie. squats, woodchoppers, etc) so that you are building whole body strength/unity, rather than taking a body building approach and isolating muscle groups ( bicep curls, tricep kickbacks.....).
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I agree with this philosophy.
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Weight training can make you much stronger, hence much more effective in a physical, external musculature sense. A pro-am weightlifter can make a very dangerous opponent for this VERY reason.
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OTOH, TMA, traditional karate is after something else than the kind of mass, moving muscular power. This is why I can break several pine boards instantly from a relaxed position, while basically the remainder of my school does the typical positioning, warmup, windup, heavy muscular action, need to recover. A few aren't that bad......[smiley]
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Most karateka think this ability is KIME, when it's more accurately what Ed Parker simply called CONTROL.
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btw: your post is why Wing Chun critics are all wet.............
 

ShotoNoob

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ALTERNATIVES:
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Looking back over the posts, clearly weight training has been in the history of TMA.
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To what extent it is or should be a part of the curriculum is the question. I believe weight training is more of an option to the core TMA program. An alternative to increase the intensity and related benefit in that area....
 

tshadowchaser

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weight training helps promote muscle growth, circulation, strength and sometimes flexibility so why not do it? As for it being easy well, I would think it is as hard or easy as one makes it
 

dboeren

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It may be "easy" in the sense that it's not a complex movement compared to martial arts (although there is still a correct form to various weightlifting techniques, but that doesn't equate to being "easy" in the sense that it takes little effort. Go over there and pick up that 300 pound barbell over your head. Put it down. Do it 5 or 6 more times. Is that easy? Simple to describe doesn't mean simple to perform.

That said, I am just getting started back into martial arts after a long absence and I'm supplementing my class training with dumbbells, kettlebell, and cardio on an elliptical trainer at home. Not trying to overdo it, I just like some variety.
 

Tez3

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Do it 5 or 6 more times. Is that easy?

Yes it was very easy and when I'm out of hospital, had the hernias fixed, the back cricked back into shape, the stitches out of my head and the dislocated shoulders are back in place I may do it all again...not! :D

Good post and welcome to MT. :)
 

Jenna

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I am happy to be a dissenting voice.. I do not do weight training.. have never seriously done any weight training.. For me increases in muscle mass perturb my sensitivity.. this was my experience.. so I do not do it.. Why should I?? Where in my art does it prescribe weight and resistance training as requisites of good practice? Where in yours - those that practise weight training- does your art suggest or recommend??

I want to ask what is wrong with you as a practitioner of your art just as you are? You are saying that before you lift weights and gain strength you are not good enough?? Your art disapproves of your lack???

I fail to understand how time spent perfecting technique will be trumped by time spent swinging kettlebells..

Most practitioners seem to train weights.. I think that is the orthodoxy.. or maybe it is the fashion.. I practice Aikido.. I know plenty therein who also are gym rats.. Each to their own.. Weights for its own sake no problem and but I just do not understand why it is NECESSARY for your MA?

Aikido and Judo - Interview with Gozo Shioda and Masahiko Kimura

Interviewer: Shioda sensei, were you doing some special kind of conditioning?

Shioda: No in Aikido, in order not to create stagnation in the body, you mustnt build up your muscles. However, I didnt understand that when I was young, so I would hide from Ueshiba sensei and lift weights. When he found out Id really get scolded. Of course its natural to want to make your body strong when youre young, and logic comes later. Anyway, you should just train as much as you can. I trained everyday from five in the morning until nine at night! I think that kind of period is important to have when youre young
 

geezer

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I am happy to be a dissenting voice.. I do not do weight training.. have never seriously done any weight training.. For me increases in muscle mass perturb my sensitivity..

"Perturb your sensitivity" ? I find that hillarious! ...Oh, and I totally understand. I got really into lifting for a while and, even though I was loathe to admit it, it messed with ...no, it perturbed my chi sau -- a Wing Chun training exercise that demands a high level of sensitivity and responsiveness.

Shioda: No in Aikido, in order not to create stagnation in the body, you mustnt build up your muscles. However, I didnt understand that when I was young, so I would hide from Ueshiba sensei and lift weights. When he found out Id really get scolded. Of course its natural to want to make your body strong when youre young, and logic comes later. Anyway, you should just train as much as you can. I trained everyday from five in the morning until nine at night! I think that kind of period is important to have when youre young

This was pretty much what my old Chinese sifu said about body-building and Wing Chun. It can really get in the way of reaching the highest levels of skill. On the other hand, if you are going to fight, it absolutely helps to be strong. This guy was one of the fighters in our system. Of course, he never touched weights. ;)

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