|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Martial Arts Strength Training
According to various sources on the internet, a 1996 article in Iron Man Magazine revealed Bruce Lee's workout. In addition to his cardio and karate workouts, Lee lifted weights three times a week and performed the following routine:
clean and presses 2 x 8squats 2 x 12barbell pullovers 2 x 8bench presses 2 x 6good mornings 2 x 8barbell curls 2 x 8
Unfortunately, he injured his back doing good mornings, which nearly ruined his career. Otherwise, his weight training was successful in that it is credited with helping him add 30 pounds of solid muscle to his relatively small frame.
Although Lee is the most famous martial artist ever, it may be that the strongest was a man named Masutatsu Oyama. Therefore, it will be interesting to contrast Lee's workout with Oyama's.
The Karate Bull-Fighter
Oyama was one of the first to bring Karate to America and founder of the Kyokushin style of Karate. His 1958 classic "What is Karate?" was one of the first books on the subject written in English, and designed to make the subject accessible to westerners.
Oyama initially became famous with stunts such as bull-fighting Karate-style. Unlike Mexican bull-fighters, he would actually wrestle the bull to the ground and break off one of its horns. (He wasn't too popular with animal rights activists in Tokyo.)
Oyama's Strength Training
According to Oyama's 1958 book, strength and speed are more important than skill for Karate, and speed more important than strength. Also, he said it was very important to practice jumping.
Here are some recommendations he gives in "What is Karate?" (He doesn't give an exact workout.)
Running - 4km per day
Exercises requiring a partner:
Elsewhere in the book, Oyama said that he would bench press 175 pounds 500 times a day.
Then there are karate-specific exercises such as straw striking and exercises that are specific to board and stone breaking abilities. All this was in addition to practicing forms, sparring, etc.
Comparing Lee and Oyama
Now, what strikes me as the essential difference between Lee's and Oyama's workout styles is volume. Lee's weight training routine is relatively brief, and he avoided lifting on days of heavy martial arts training.
While Lee might do an exercise for 2 sets of 8 reps (which is fairly typical), Oyama would do it for hundreds of reps. Clearly, Oyama's is a more time-consuming approach that would require a lot of dedication.
If you look at pictures of these men, they have quite different builds. For Lee, his training goal was apparently to add bulk. Before the weight training, he weighed only 135 pounds, and he added 30 pounds of solid muscle.
Oyama, on the other hand, was obviously a stockier fellow, and talks in his book about losing weight during periods of intense training. Judging from pictures of him with other people, I would say that he was probably slightly taller than Lee (who was 5' 8"). Although Oyama was of average height, he doesn't look like a small guy when standing next to American professional wrestlers, boxers, and strongmen.
The point is not to compare them as saying one was better than the other. I do wonder what affect their training style had on the way they looked and how much was just genetic.
At any rate, if Oyama struggled to keep his weight down, it sounds like high volume training helped him to achieve that. Lee, on the other hand, seems to have been naturally lean and wanted the weight training to bulk up (probably to look better on camera). Too much volume (without steroids anyway) might be counter-productive to that goal.
So, maybe the lesson in this is that if you want to lose weight while simultaneously getting stronger, it might be worth considering an old-fashioned high volume workout routine, assuming you can make that kind of dedication. On the other hand, if your goal is to look like Bruce Lee... well, all I can say is "good luck"!
The author, Greg Bonney, is the owner of Bonney Information and E-Commerce and founder of Scoutcamping.com (http://www.scoutcamping.com).
Copyright © 2005 Bonney Information and E-Commerce.
Things to Know About Learning Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Chi Boxing)
For Easterners, particularly Chinese, this MAY not be an issue. Tai Chi Chuan is deeply rooted as part of the Chinese culture.
New Book: Positive Aikido
A new book with a practical look at Aikido and its history. The Co-authors are direct students of the legendary master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957.
Historical References to W.E. Fairbairn, E.A. Sykes AND Dermot Pat ONeill
FROM THE BOOK: "PIERCING THE REICH"AUTHOR: JOSEPH E. PERSICOThey learned the art of silent killing, perfected by W.
Break the Bones
"HONE O ORERU" is a Japanese term that translates literally as "BREAK THE BONES". It is an essential concept of true SHUGYO and a central theme of a true Budo Dojo.
The Plight of Industrialized Man
Living in the Pacific Northwest is a challenge for any body: the poor excuse for weather west of the Cascades is one of the worst on earth for human health. Luckily our Ch'uan Fa Club meets in central Oregon several times a week, rarely missing an opportunity to train outdoors .
Nuts & Bolts of Self Defense
Fundamental "Nuts & Bolts" training for close combat should be directed at dealing with the extremes. That is a life and death struggle for survival, i.
Aikido Philosophy: An Oriental Concept of Energy, Self, and Mind
PrefaceThere are many different ways to understand Aikido philosophy and perceive, utilize, and benefit from energy. What I offer here is one of many ways.
Have No Misconceptions
I just received an Email from a woman who has a child (3 year old) and about to have another. Considering my wife is in a similar situation, this question couldn't be more relevant.
What To Expect When You Least Expect It
The time you will be attacked you will most likely be:DistractedOut numberedAloneThere will be no back upYou will be in the fight of your life.Specific Defenses don't work.
One of the 'mystical' aspects of the martial arts has always been the ability to feel another persons intention.Sensing intention gives a person the ability to be in instant control of a potentially violent encounter, and it's one of the ways we use the martial arts to test our energy work and meditation skills in Hoshin.
How To Defend Against A Knife - Dont Use The Stuff Taught In The Dojo!
Defences against Knife attacks, Firstly if at all possible get yourself and anyone else out of the potential danger area..
Are You Frustrated Yet?
I was talking to a parent recently and they told me that their son was not going to compete in wrestling because they were afraid they would get frustrated when he lost. The parent felt the child was far too sensitive to handle the frustration of failure and may get 'burnt out'.
The Rebels Guide to Cultivating Vitality
Many Taoists recluses and Buddhists monks dwelled in mountains and forests to observe, listen, and meditate in order to gather deeper understanding and greater knowledge of nature than is possible when living in the milieu of human society.Often in search of extraordinary longevity and treasures of life, these extraordinary men (and a few women) moved from observation of nature to experimentation and development of the body.
Its Not a Matter of Who is Right
"People here may belittle sports arts..
Grown Man Quits After 3 Mat Pulls!
A matt pull is the simple act of lying on flat on your stomach, reaching in front of you and pulling your self across the mat. This is one exercise that helps develop your muscles for grappling.
Is it a "Hurt" or is it an "Injury"
My father fed me this line every time I felt pain or discomfort. Growing up the coach's son was not without difficulty.
Are You Still Standing Toe to Toe?
How many times do you practice techniques with your training partner and you stay in the same spot? Next time you are training, see how much you and your partner move. You will find you move very little or not at all.
Choosing a Self Defense / Martial Arts School: A Parents Guide
"Daddy, I want to take Karate!""Mommy, Jimmy on the bus hit me again today"There are many reasons why parents want to sign their children up for Self Defense or Martial Arts classes. Once you have made the decision, now you are faced with many different options and questions.
The Fallacy and the Myth
It's always amusing when "know it alls" dismiss certain methods out of hand as being useless or "unworkable". One "victim" of this line of thinking is the "cross arm" or "X" block (for lack of a better term).
COMBATIVES? ...... Don't Tell Me. I Know What That Is! (Part 1)
"Combatives" from the root word COMBAT - "to fight in direct contact", "active fighting between enemies", "any fight or struggle".Well, let's see??????.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.