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#201160 - 11/06/05 05:39 PM Strength vs Technique
BigRod Offline
Does it all

Registered: 02/10/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Atlanta, GA
In traditional MA's we're typically taught to avoid the use of raw strength and instead focus more on technique. I think that's sound advice.


I think ignoring strength is a mistake. Strength is as much of a tool as any technique you learn. Any edge you can get over your opponent you should take. And IMO, this is true not only in sport competetion, but in SD. Even more important in SD, because your life or someone else's may be at stake.

In all honesty, it's just been in the last 2-3 years that I realized how important strength is. I used to spar with a guy who would occassionally muscle me into bad positions/submissions. Now, of course an improvement in my technique would have eliminated my problems, but the bottom-line is he used muscle to gain an advantage. And I have occassionally done the same in recent years. Guess what? Not only does it work, it's a nice option to have. Being able to power through your opponents techniques and/or defenses is great. And if you've trained long enough with enough people, you've had someone use their power (successfully) against you.

Let's hear your thoughts on the subject

#201161 - 11/06/05 05:54 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BigRod]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I agree Bigrod. Strength definately matters. Why not try to be as strong and in as good physical shape as you possibly can?
If someone is stronger than you your technique better be that much better or more,but there will always be people stronger than you out there.
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<

#201162 - 11/06/05 06:05 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BigRod]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
In the animal world, the alpha male is the biggest and strongest in his group. We are animals and obey the same instincts. That is why size acts as a naturaly intimidating stimulus to many.
Where we differ, is in that our brains allow us to recognise and distill things such as 'technique' so that those without natural physical gifts can upset the natural order (or at least not become victim to it).
I have a t-shirt that proudly states 'I may not be clever, but I can lift heavy things' This self depracating humour can easily highlight the struggle in outlook in the MA.
MA appeals to many initialy looking to escape bullying and gain self confidence, for these students the 'Bruce would kill Bolo' principle is music to their ears, this is good for buisness as well as bolstering the students self confidence.
Coming from the standpoint of a big strong guy, with poor MA skills, I am more likely to be a flag waver for strength, power and aggression in a SD situation. That is because they are my attributes, and my reality.
I am honest enough to acknowledge that improving my fighting skill and technique will help bolster my natural attributes. Its common sense to want to elimanate weaknesses in any form.
This is why smaller MAists flat refusing to acknowledge that getting stronger will help supplement their techniques seems so daft to me, and somewhat arrogant.

The idea of deftly redirecting the clumsy punch of a big slow goon is fantastic, till you find youself on the recieving end of a real world beating from a fast powerful guy who comes on like Tyson in a bad mood.

Skill up, and power up. Its my advice, and its common sense.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#201163 - 11/06/05 06:07 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BrianS]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
In a contest of strength against strength, obviously the stronger person is going to have the advantage. Having better technique can level the playing field.

And then there's strength and there's strength. I think you need to define what you mean by "strength".

#201164 - 11/06/05 06:10 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BigRod]
Raul Perez Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 2805
Loc: Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

I think perhaps that the phrase "use technique not strength" was taken out of context by westerners. Perhaps it was a language barrier misinterpretation.

I say this because many traditional Okinawan styles and Japanese styles have weight training as part of their training regime. I know for a fact that Goju Ryu practitioners perform a majority of their training in Hojo Undo for body hardening and to obtain power. Shotokan as well as many other styles focus on Makiwara training which developes power and focus (not to mention that the old school Shotokan pracitioners were completely ripped). Don Draeger who studied judo and kendo in Japan (as well as many other styles) weight trained a tremendous amount to supplement his martial training.

I believe that you need to weight train as part of your conditioning. If your physically fit you recover from injuries faster and absorb more punishment. Not to mention you inflict more damage on your opponent.

In training you have many tools. The most essential are speed, timing, accuracy, strength, and technique. Of those, strength is the easiest to develop. However as you get older and into your fifties and above most of those attributes deteriote except for technique, timing, and accuracy. In fact those (if worked on) actually get better.

Kind regards,

"I'm gonna come at you like a spider monkey"

#201165 - 11/06/05 06:14 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BigRod]
bo-ken Offline

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 1228
Loc: beaver falls, PA, beaver
I think technique is very important. With that being said that doesn't mean you can't have good strength. I believe that your strength is only as good as your technique. So you should work on your skills but not forget strength. I weight lift 3 times a week and getting stronger has helped me in Karate. I don't know how good of a martial artist I would be if I didn't weight train.

#201166 - 11/06/05 06:31 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: BigRod]
Trarup Offline

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 47
Loc: Kamloops, B.C., Canada
Two people get into a fight. Both are the same height, same length of limbs, same weight, have the same reflexes, and are at the same skill level. One happens to be stronger than the other. My money would go on the stronger of the pair.

Technique is there to supplement strength, and strength to supplement technique. either on thier own can be devastating. Why not condition the body and mind to have both?
What could possible go wrong??

#201167 - 11/06/05 06:49 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: Trarup]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia

Two people get into a fight. Both are the same height, same length of limbs, same weight, have the same reflexes, and are at the same skill level. One happens to be stronger than the other. My money would go on the stronger of the pair.

Technique is there to supplement strength, and strength to supplement technique. either on thier own can be devastating. Why not condition the body and mind to have both?

Indeed. Strength is like the motor and running gear, technique is like a race driver's skills.

#201168 - 11/06/05 07:23 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: Mark Hill]
h2whoa Offline

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 427
Loc: Fiji
Strength is important, I think the more important of the two in any confrontation. With all the technique in the world a punch from a 300 pound gorrila, is still going to hurt a 150 pound man/woman with solid technique, and good luck trying to get a lock on them.
Strength with no skill is not all that it is cracked up to be, as strong as you are, you will still crumble if hit in the right places (groin kicks....the great equilizers)!
The thing to do is to realise that without either you are only half complete as a MAist.
Strength is paramount, strength will keep you alive, technique is simply learning how to direct that force to its most devestating effect. Its like the body only functioning with smooth muscles, you have no control, you need both types of muscles to run the body efficiently.

I think I need to throw into this fray a third element MAists are a bit reluctant to talk about (only because they train so hard to be lethal), that is of course luck!!

I train for strength, I train for airtight technique....I also like a little luck, hey it cant hurt.

*bows respectfully*
No matter how fashionable it is on Krypton, I will not wear my underwear on the outside of my Gi!!

#201169 - 11/06/05 08:02 PM Re: Strength vs Technique [Re: h2whoa]
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
I certainly beleive that strength is important, but not more so as h2whoa would believe.

In the first place strength has to be specific to what the person is trying to acheive.

Secondly, if this were the case, the strongest person would always win Which they clearly do not.

I think h2whoa needs to reassess his judgement.
John L

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