Training Science and the Martial Arts

Hello All,

This post today is going to focus, not on training skills in martial arts, like atemi or Geri striking, but on Physical Training and the science behind it.

Now we all know that one Budoka who is a 9th Dan but couldn’t get off the couch in a hurry if need be. We as Martial Artists strive not just for the attainment of skills, nor just of mindfulness and belonging, but also in Physical health. Budo and the training that goes into trains our bodies and our minds, but doesn’t always do enough to keep us in shape.

Think of all the training montages from Bruce Lee, to Jackie Chan (drunken master is my favorite), to ROCKY! Sure they all did a ton of skill work, and some did mental training as well, but the efforts they put in to train their bodies into finely tunes machines is what we are focusing on here today.

Bruce Lee would spends hours each day learning and absorbing what he could about the human body and human physiology. He then took that and trained, he ran, biked, lifted weights and used body weight exercises to create the body he had. He was a forerunner on workout nutrition – he imported beef to be added to a blender and made into shakes to eat so he could get enough protein.

This man ran 5 miles daily, lifted 3-4 times a week and even used EMS devices to stimulate his muscles while he studied. Not to mention train skills and students, all while reading and writing philosophy books.

Some of you may say “ But Bruce used steroids” – thought this is hotly debated, steroids were not illegal at the time, and steroids also do not build the muscle or do the work, they only help recovery faster.

This is where we get into the Science of training. This is a broad topic and one FAR TOO LARGE for this blog post BUT that doesn’t mean I come empty handed.

Simple Rules for staying fit in the Martial Arts:

1. All training should compliment your skills work. This means giving you strong joins, muscle connections, cardiovascular improvements, and hardening you to injury and impact damage ( think getting hit).

2. Everyone should strength train in some way. Be it with Kettlebells, dumbbells, body weight – it doesn’t matter as it strengthens all systems of the body as well as your joints and improves body awareness.

3. Move – I know this sounds silly but the amount of movement at MA Class is a good start but extend that to the rest of your day. Take the stairs, go for a short walk or bike ride, do yoga or ki-ko or taikokyu. Get your body moving and get the blood going. Adding in the flexibility of a stretching program is a GAME CHANGER. Especially true as you get older.

4. Nutrition – If you do none of the above this will be the biggest impact on your fitness, health and general well being.

There are literally hundred of articles, sites, blogs, products etc etc online to help you find what works for you. But if you want to focus purely on how the above can relate to the Martial Arts and Budo overall then I suggest picking up the book “ The Science of Martial Arts Training” by Charles L. Staley, MSS.

Amazing book!

Within the pages of this book, this expert, will tell you why to train, how to train, how to eat and all the extra bells and whistles to answer other questions you may have. This is a concise compendium of health and fitness knowledge and how it relates to the martial arts.

We will be adding workout programs, nutrition tips and mobility classes to our site and blog plus social media (@budo2go on instagram).
Keep posted for more and keep on learning.

Until next time,
Arigato Gozaimashita

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