Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dada

Martial Arts?

Recommended Posts

I know some of you are into martial arts. Just curious on what those which practice are into and how you incorporate it into your strength training?

Also what are your thoughts on forms such as MuayThai, Jeet Kune Do, combat submission wrestling, etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aaand, the gloves come off.... Kidding.

The form I study really doesn't have a formal name. Considering it grew up in Korea alongside Tae Kwan Do and Tang Soo Do, and it incorporated some Japanese arts into the mix which the Koreans hate (esp. at that time in history), it just didn't enjoy a lot of popularity. So it starts off sounding a bit mysterious, but it really is nothing of the sort. The specific mixture of arts that comprise this style are:

  • Tae Kwan Do (all underbelt forms, Korean one-steps, basic techniques)
  • Tang Soo Do (dan rank and higher forms)
  • Okinawan Go Ju Ryu (Okanawan one-steps, weapons forms)
  • Jujitsu (grappling techniques)
  • A couple techniques borrowed from Kung Fu (a couple blocks and a kick)

It came to America through Mr. Joseph (my sensei's sensei) when he was in theater during the US-Korean War. His sensei (Mr. Pai?) was quite a character. After he came to America, he and a handful of his students would pick fights at local bars to test out and refine the one-steps which we now call the Okanawan one-steps, along with the multiple attacker defenses. The bottom line is that there is a definite combat and self-defense focus with the art. It does borrow the "one-hit one-kill" philosophy of TKD, which means we have to tone it down in competition, and play the game which is very different from how we normally train.

Based on the eclectic nature of the forms that comprise the art, we are pretty accepting of techniques as long as they work and are not limited to the assumptions of a ring (one opponent, legal and illegal moves). To that end, one of the school philosophies is that if you are on the ground, you screwed up. We have some techniques to fight our way back up to a standing position, but we are trained to be wary of the attacker's friends who can come up and bust a bottle on your head, or kick you while your down. Naturally, there isn't a lot of credibility given to BJJ which has the philosophy that being on the ground makes them a better fighter. That's something my sensei has demonstrated to be a false assumption to a few BJJ practitioners who asked.

As to Muay Thai, Jeet Kune Do, etc. It really depends. Muay Thai is used in a ring more often than not. Doesn't make it a bad art, but there are certain assumptions that type of training has. In a ring, Muay Thai fighters can be a very formidable foe. If I'm not mistaken, Jeet Kune Do was Bruce Lee's variation of Kung Fu that he was permitted to teach to Americans. Mr. Pai (I'm not fully certain I have his name right) did have the opportunity to spar with Bruce Lee, and knocked the wind out of him. It doesn't take away from the fact that Bruce Lee as an insane fighter--it just shows that Mr. Pai was right up there with him. I'm not aware enough of the philosophies and training style of Jeet Kune Do to really form an opinion on it.

One thing that is an influence from the jujitsu component is a shying away from wrestling. Basically, instead of trying to match a guy strength for strength, we use a technique the opponent isn't trained in. We aren't going to out-wrestle a wrestler any more than we are going to out-box a boxer. However, we have a combination of grappling and striking techniques that we can keep either type of opponent out of their element. There are several ways to break holds that don't involve superhuman strength on your part. The jujitsu training is for that purpose.

On how I incorporate it into my training that's another topic altogether, and I'll take a break from this post before I answer that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FerrousMaverick,

Thanks, that's a pretty interesting take. I know a little about Tae Kwon Do because my son was in it last year. I think it was a good first taste of martial arts for him as a kid. But as you pointed out, some forms are more applicable to ring sports as opposed to the real world. Although he did get to learn to do some impressive kicks for a little kid. He'll be taking BJJ and Muay Thai soon. I'm also not a fan of the BJJ style of ground fighting but some of the throws and locks can be useful. I guess combined with Muay Thai it would be a good mix though.

I am going to begin in a class that combines Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do. I had contemplated getting into a combat submission wrestling (basically MMA) program designed by Erik Paulson (this guy is badass). And although I think its great to watch and goes along with my wrestling background of my younger days, I think it's again more geared toward the ring than real life situations.

From what I've seen and read Jeet Kune Do is a pretty eclectic art that is based on real life fighting. It requires a lot of very speedy movements, which...I"m not all that quick compared to guys like Bruce Lee or Tommy Currethers (if you've never heard of him search him on Youtube he's pretty amazing) so it should be interesting. lol

Not sure how I'm going to incorporate this along with my strength training. I gues I'll have to see when the classes are and plan from there. My initial thoughts are to lift 3x per week and train the martial arts on alternating days 2 or 3 days per week depending on the class schedule. I definitely don't see myself doing both on the same day as my recovery ability isn't what it used to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Studied judo, submission wrestling and BJJ over a combined total of about 3 years that'd be a 5 year total of grappling-esque stuff if you include 2 years of HS wrestling. Also did the combativies thing while in the Army which is generally how I approach my set ups for closing distance to grapple.

With any wrestling and BJJ the conditioning element is a steep curve. The physicallity out put is very high and to be really honest once I was grappling more than once per week I couldn't train for top end strength. I got grappling strong which is basically body weight exercise strong (roughly speaking) and my endurance was great--but all my powerlifting stuff began to suffer badly.

Once you get a good base and have a small arsenal of high percentage moves you know well (and if you aren't competetion driven) you can do a once per week session (maybe more if you're more of a brute than I am) get your skills, practice getting your hands dirty with guys who are going full bore on you and still lift strong.

I did not adjust my weights to reflect an anerobic endurance emphasis during all this time as I liked my pseudo-powerlifting a lot so I freely admit a different strength program *might* have worked but combat conditioning can be insane.

I will note the debate between the martial art SD (self defense) crowd and those engaged in full bore sport fighting tend to get pretty heated--like religion or politics. I came from a sport background and always felt the SD guys put too much faith in their "street green beret crippling" moves I'd never seen fully justified in a bar fight and they also seemed to disregard how weekly full on fighting (minus eye gouges) can produce people capable of tearing down a house.

Having said all that I do agree that in a SD situation that is a true life or death scramble against killers, going to the ground isn't the best though a judo throw to a mat is sport and a judo throw to concrete is a fight ender. But Muay Thai? Come on. That art produces scrappers and if all they do on the street is the stuff they do in the ring they're going to leave the most ardent kata form dim mak specialist bruised bloody and broken no matter how many nerve cluster, throat chop groin kick strikes the guy attempts.

You know when I started writing this I really intended to sound more even handed :unsure: some where along the way my blatant bias overcame my good manners. There is nothing wrong and a lot right with many, many, many SD arts that aren't McDojo or Ancient Killing Secrets based--I should stress I really do believe that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Training both does present challenges, and it's a big reason why I'm a fan of the Wendler style training. There are a few important aspects with training for martial arts (both ring and combat):

  • Skill work
  • Mobility
  • Conditioning
  • Speed (more useful in the ring)
  • Power (more useful in striking)
  • Strength (more useful in wrestling)

Skill work is obvious. You have to practice your technique. You might have class 1-3 days a week, and it's up to you to work in your own practice. Some training challenges are more difficult than others. For example, it's hard to train throws without a body to throw. It's near impossible to train locks without getting an instinctive feel for body position and mechanics by working with a live person. However, you can do forms anywhere.

Mobility is also very important. A lack of mobility can prevent you from performing your techniques correctly. Good mobility also helps your recovery, and enables you to rebound quicker.

Conditioning is also a key component to fighting. If you have to start gasping for breath before you downed your opponents, it's a good chance you are going to lose. That said a street fight is pretty short--a really long one would be 30s. At the very minimum you should be able to put out effort for that long. Rounds in a ring can be up to 2-5 minutes. So adjust accordingly if you are going to compete in a ring.

Speed work is something I'm still trying to get a handle on. Speed work includes reaction time (which mine just sucks), and the ability to get your technique done correctly in the least amount of time. This is very different from working on power. In point sparring (most of TKD these days), speed is a critical factor in winning a match or not. I think there is value in performing speed work separate from strength and power work. I'll be focusing on that in the November time frame, so check back with me then. I'll be trying a few things out.

Power of course is the ability to transfer as much force into your opponent as possible. Oly lifts are good for hip movement, and hip power, but don't really help you apply it to a target. That said, plyometrics, heavy bag work, etc. are all useful tools. Strength and speed come together to make power. Power is most important in striking arts where the goal is either combat or contact sparring.

Strength is a foundational component to all of this. It applies most directly to wrestling, but it's still a major component of being able to flatten a guy with one punch. The only time the importance of strength is minimized is when we are talking about traditional jujitsu. Many jujitsu throws and locks don't require a lot of force to pull off, yet it imparts a lot of pain to the recipient. In fact, coming into jujitsu training, being already strong might be a detriment to learning. The temptation is always there to rely on the strength to "make it happen" rather than the technique. That said, having strength applied to correct technique just makes it that much more effective.

The Wendler 5-3-1 training is easy enough on my recovery that I can train martial arts and weight lifting in the same day. You only have one major lift a day, with conditioning and accessory work. Many times you can do the skill work in such a way that it keeps your heart rate up, killing two birds with one stone. I've planned my training out so I have different phases of emphasis. Currently, I'm focusing on strength. Later I will be focusing on speed, then power. I'll replan next year after my April tournament.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nathan, I get where you are coming from. At the end of the day, the guy who is most prepared for the fight will win. A boxer can beat a karate guy, just as much as the reverse is true.

There's no ancient killing secrets or MacDojo going on in my world either. The biggest difference between ring fighting and SD fighting boils down to some common sense stuff--the most important thing being that you can't have the same assumptions about a street fight as you can about a ring fight. I've got mad respect for contact ring fighters, and most of them see more regular combat than I do. I'll be working on that later when I'm changing focus. Not picking fights, just finding a good dojo that does regular sparring.

Key differences between a ring and real life are:

  • Almost no-one brave enough to attack you is alone. Be aware the guy probably has friends.
  • You aren't limited by allowed and unallowed techniques/targets.
  • There can be legal repercussions if you go too far.

Self defense training really has a lot more to do with awareness of your surroundings and what can and can't be done within the confines of the law than it does any crazy fighting techniques. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind entering the world of ring fighting if for no other reason than to improve my response speed and fight awareness. There's only so much you can do in a small class and limited fighting opportunities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff.

I did hapkido and jiu jitsu 4-5 times a week for a little over a year in the midst of heavy weight training. The hapkido was taught as a combination of muay thai, judo-throws, BJJ/grappling, and "other" self defense as well as gymastiscs such as falls and rolls and thejukido jiu jitsu was taught as military combatives + throws from "difficult" positions (e.g. rear headlock). My weight training made the conditioning aspect a breeze and I was always able to spar and grapple for a full session (1-2 hours) above my rank with no issue.

I just trained fasted and cycled my carbs and calories in proportion to the effort of my sessions. Higher protein and fat on more technique oriented days and more carbs on higher effort or heavier strength training days. I did all my belt tests fasted and did massive refeeds after them, just eating whatever I wanted while I iced and massaged my inevitably banged-up body. I did 2-3 heavy weight sessions a week and maybe 1-2 lighter ones. I would try to put the lighter ones before my hapkido sessions when possible, and the heavier ones before jiu jitsu (as that was more technique oriented). If I couldn't do that, I'd do a double strength workout on a day when I had no martial arts, eating lots in between workouts.

I made pretty significant strength gains that year while staying really lean and generally feeling awesome. The trick for me was just treating the most intense days of martial arts as a "medium" intensity workout day, or an HIIT day, as the requirements for diet and rest were similar. Days more focused on technique just weren't that demanding physically so I didn't bother to go out of my way accommodating those. I think a large part of it will depend on your current conditioning and strength levels.

On thing to keep in mind is that strength transfers readily to conditioning but the reverse is not true, and in that sense it makes sense to prioritize strength. So it depends on the nature of the martial art you go with (more technique or more conditioning) among other things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just made me think of this line from So I Married an Axe Murderer (annoyingly no YouTube video of the clip) which of course must be read in your best scottish accent. :D

"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck Ye. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-Judo

-Hung Kuen Kung Fu

-Tai Chi Chuan (don't laugh, my teacher would kick your ass)

-Wrestling

Love the martial arts and would definitely do them if I had time. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, it came down to either lifting or doing martial arts and I picked the cheaper one which I could do at home.

Definitely not a problem if you're in your teens/20s. In your 30s, it might be harder. I already find it hard to do lifting + HIIT in general.

Muay Thai: Good external art but will wear you down over time. Start planning your transition to a softer art (Aikido, Hapkido, etc.), most MT fighters are done by 25. Unless you are just doing it for conditioning, and not sparring.

Jeet Kun Do: Go learn proper Kung Fu. Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun before he started "making his own Kung Fu", and I think it's more of a marketing ploy than a proper art. Bruce Lee was all about the marketing.

Wrestling: Probably one of the forms of conditioning on Earth, but also hard on knees/elbows/back.

If I were to suggest anything to you now, I'd say if you're young and full of "Yang" energy, go ahead and do a Mixed Martial Art program or Muay Thai. If you're older and beginning to balance out your "Yin" a more meditative, calmer art might suit you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just made me think of this line from So I Married an Axe Murderer (annoyingly no YouTube video of the clip) which of course must be read in your best scottish accent. :D

"You know, Scotland has its own martial arts. Yeah, it's called Fuck Ye. It's mostly just head butting and then kicking people when they're on the ground"

I just cried from laughing. Really, that's all ya need when you think about it :wub:

edit: now that I think about it I was in the pre--BJJ love affair army combativies back in the late 80's and if you throw in a "kick 'em in the shin" right before the head butt and subsequent stomping, that's pretty much all they taught beside that whole bayonet thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jujutsu (Military and Small Circle), Shotokan, boxing, a bit of wrestling, Tae kwon do, Wing Chun (Bruce lee's original art) Eskrima, a very brief round of Ninjutsu, Kenpo, and some of the western weapon arts. Honestly in real world situation you use probably about 20-30% of your technical knowledge, as simple tends to work better, and you seldom have to defend yourself from skilled attackers.

I'd say any kickboxing type fighting style and some Judo would do for most situations,

I did BW stuff in class and weights a couple times a week, focusing on basic lifts.

Also did some odd stuff like landmine Presses, cable punches, that sort of stuff.

Realy didn't think about it much, probable would have been better if I had lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I studied Jujitsu in High School and thought it for a couple years before joining the USMC.

Was fun and learned much from it.

Did OK in a couple tournaments I attempted and was able to use it well in a couple incidents outside the ring.

a decade later and I discovered strength training and addicted to it and improving myself.

Met my old sensei and his school expanded to add BJJ , muay Thai and Krav Maga.

He encouraged me to train in his school again for free so decided why not!

Doing KM mostly for conditioning and find I can manage to do it even after a 531 session.

So far I find KM more aggressive compared to what I have done before and like it.

If I was doing SS , SL or mad cow, I don't think I will be able to do KM right after a lifting session! Still trying to find time foe the BJJ and mt classes also.

My typical schedule is as follows:

Sunday: 531 then KM

Monday Rest or KM or Prowler

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 531 (& KM every other Wednesday )

Thursday: Rest or Prowler

Friday: 531

Saturday: KM right after work

Sometimes I wish my job is to lift and train lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amateur boxed as a Super Heavyweight for 3 - 4 years, wasn't lifting at the time though. Wish I could take the strength I have now back in time to the boxing days.

It would be pretty difficult fitting in lifting, I think I would probably only lift once a week or twice at the most. I'd probably only concentrate on the squat and deadlift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the conditioning for boxing is insane. It seems like Muay T, wrestling, and boxing are the pinnicle 3 for insane stamina. Doesn't mean other arts don't take it serious or that any one given individual in any art can't get Sean Sherk if they want to--just that the basic template used by the crotchety old coaches in those 3 sports are sado machsocistic to the point of legendary. The point being I couldn't imagine mixing them with consistent Max Effort lifting north of 90% of 1 RM on any kind of consistant basis and expecting to excell at both sports.

I could see someone getting gnarly strong on a heavy compound exercise based workout and doing some SD's and I think IRCC that the Russians were masters of marrying up judo and powerlifting and the handful of TKD instructors I've talked to also seemed to hit the weight pile pretty hard in a bodybuilding way, using their practices as cardio.

Not saying one way is good or one way is sissy, I just mean there's probablly a difference between an art that gets you in 'good shape' while practicing throat strikes and one designed to potentially produce elite competitors--as it relates to more high end strength training, I mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do Taekwondo. I discovered that it's pointless to attempt a lifting session the day after my sparring class.

Most of the people I train with are much more into running and cardio than strength training, with as far as I can tell only two exceptions, a third degree blackbelt who does mainly BB style workouts and my sparring instructor who's huge and very strong. I've been told by a couple of people that powerlifting will make me slow. I don't see how personally.

Since I started sparring I have much more respect for fighters of all styles because it's made me realise just how well conditioned you need to be to succeed. For points scoring speed is everything, but for SD/real life strength makes a huge difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest rere

I done wing chun for a couple of years back in the early 2000's, it's not so intense I still think i could lift twice a week at the most. I actually want to get back into it as I would only do it once a week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×