Hi all, I was hoping I could get some feedback on different ways of non-martial arts training, i.e. cardio, calisthenics, weights etc.
I am a generally fit guy, ex military and long time karate-ka and more recently I have trained/competed in Judo but one thing I have never really done is supplement my martial arts training by going to the gym, Sure I have been to the gym, but never for the sole purpose of benefiting my martial arts training, usually it is to "bulk up" a bit. (I am 26years old, 5' 9", and last time I weighed in at a Judo competition I was 56kg(!).)
I can run a mile and a half in 8mins 8 seconds (although I am dying after 10mins of randori!)
In "The way of Sanchin Kata: The Application of Power" by Kris Wilder, Hiroo Ito says in the Foreword that "A physique strengthened from karate is not created only from muscle strength, but from a flexible muscle tone. It is not possible to perform strong karate without this characteristic. A body strengthened with bodybuilding will have an adverse effect. There are no historical documents describing weightlifting among samurai soldiers. Bodies with hard muscles will slow the movements of the body."
Now, I am aware that there is a distinct difference between "bodybuilding" and "weightlifting" and I wonder if Ito makes this distinction (if not then the comment in general could be percieved by many as naiive or unfounded). What I am getting at is, does anyone agree with this statement and is weighlifting (as opposed to bodybuilding, which is not my aim) truly detrimental to the practising martial artist? Bruce Lee was a staunch advocate of weight training, and nobody could accuse him of being slow (alleged camera film manipulation aside).
And if I were to weight train, what sort of exercise would be benifical to martial arts? I have always assumed the power exercises (clean and jerk for example) and whole body exercises like kettle bell routines would fit this category, but what about strength straining like bench press, squat and deadlift? I know they deliver great results in overall body enhancement, but in terms of martial arts? I don't know. Any ideas?
And as an historical aside, does anyone know what methods the old warriors (Chinese and Samurai) would have used to supplement their training? I have always (perhaps naiively) assumed that the samurai did have hard bodies, but they didn't achieve that by training bow and sword all day, did they? And I am not aware of any cardio, calisthenics or weight training they may have undertook.
I hope that this post will be uselful to others besides myself.