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#422363 - 09/15/09 12:49 PM Weight Training and Aikido
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Anyone here do both? If so, how? My first teacher was a Bodybuilder too. His competition days were behind him, but he still worked out and was pretty buff. Certainly didn't seem to have any negative impact on his training!

Personally I try to engage my hold body as much as possible when doing weights/strength training.

On another forum, a bagua practioner put up this clip of "working with weight" in his Bagua. Basically using weighted vest, Kettlbell and a medicine ball I think:

I know this has been discussed in various ways before re Aikido and Weights, but wanted to make a more direct, up to date thread.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#422370 - 09/15/09 11:30 PM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: Prizewriter]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It depends on what you mean by weight training and specifically how such weight training is conducted.

Generally speaking, weights other than very light weights initially, are not a good idea. What you don't want to do is engage isolated muscles or muscle groups, because that defeats the entire purpose. If you do insist on using weights, I would suggest very light - no more than a few pounds, and high reps.

You probably won't need very much weight, if at all. As an example, try holding a jo at one end with an outstretched arm and see how long you can hold it out for - with just your arm only. Then try relaxing your arm and shoulders, and use your feet, legs, middle to hold the jo. Now try having someone push gently and lightly on the other end of the jo and see how much you can take without moving the jo or losing it completely.

Then reconsider if you really need weights at all... because you'll probably find that the jo exercise described requires a lot more whole body recruitment and conditioning than you think.

Edited by eyrie (09/15/09 11:37 PM)

#422375 - 09/16/09 02:58 PM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: Prizewriter]
charlie Offline

Registered: 08/13/04
Posts: 187
I think body training in martial arts is important no matter what style you do. It also depends on what your personal goals are in terms of training. Ive heard pros and cons of weight training with martial arts from different people as a Fitness Trainer and PT I am in favour of weights.

Functional training is GREAT for martial arts and again will compliment whatever style(s) you are into. For example:

cable split squat (static lunge) and row (would be a good functional resistance exercise for reverse punch.(karate)
Russain twists (any variations of) would be good for rotation of the trunk and core strength, good for techniques like back roundhouse, back kick or turning combination moves.(karate / tkd)
Squat jump - pull up combo is good for explosive power and jumping plus is a good strength exercise for upper body pulling movement. (as above plus Jujutsu / Judo)
Standing cable rows - good core, legs and back exercise, pulling movements in grappling and throwing (previous)
dumbbell squat and press combo (down then up) good for core strength, legs, shoulders (think bobbing and weaving in boxing)
or dumbell clean and press (with a jump on the load up) good plyometrics and plyometrics help with all MA's - even Aikido. Push ups are also a good thing to do (any variation)lets say you get put into a pin where you end up face down, ikkyo perhaps - what I do to get up after Im free is to push up and spring my legs forward so im standing, a bit like getting on a surf board - push ups and burpee's helps this movement.

In Aikido there is a lot of lunges too, mainly getting up from the floor after being uke to a technique. All the functional exercises won't hurt your MA's but will compliment it - however it must be done strategicly lets say for example today I did sets of squat and press, cable split squat and row, scissor jumps and then tomorrow I have a TKD class - my legs are going to ache! and my TKD session won't be as good because my legs are a little stiff. So what I need to do is plan it out so I can get the best of both.

Balance is also something which can be built in to weights - standing on 1 foot whilst doing side raises is good (might be good for such things as 'bending ready stance' in TKD? or crane stance in karate especialy in such katas as gankaku!)

So using weights and functional stuff, in my opinion is a good thing and SHOULD make you a better martial arts practitioner. Again though it does depend on WHAT you are training for. Body building is a sport based on asthetics/the look of the body/perportion/definition/size-to a degree and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good or to enter competitions. Can Aikido and body building be done? I think yes, but they must be kept seperate. I went to the gym and did weights once before I went to and Aiki Jujutsu session and it wasnt good for me - it's a different mind set - I should have done a bit of cardio perhaps which would have been better (make sure you have a shower though or no one will want to go near you!)
I have a friend who trains in a body building fashion but his Aiki techniques are very good and doesnt need / use his brute force in techniques although he could if he wanted. I think it depends also on what degree you want to take body building training do you want to be like Ronnie Coleman!!!? or how about Van Damme - both body building champions to more or lesser degree.Personaly I'd like to be like JCVD, a good phsique, in perportion and flexible. Flex Wheeler was a 2nd DAN in TKD and body building champion also.

I had a conversation with my Dad when I was in my early teens (im 30 next month - DAMM!) I said "but dad, you don't need strength if your technique is good" and he said "well son, when someone confronts you and the situation is not good and your legs go to jelly - strength IS important! or fighting more than one person" True enough - and stamina - and good body mechanics - good technique and knowledge, all of which we get through training in the right way.

Maybe what we need is to be well rounded in different areas. Personaly I think to be a complete FIGHTER you need EXPERIENCE in different aspects of fighting - striking, locking, throwing, ground work, grappling, kyusho jutsu....etc

it would be good to be able to run when needed, speed, explosivness, strength, stamina and over all body conditioning and in general or good shape - of course thats the ideal world and some aspects are harder for some than others, which is what I find with myself but I keep going - unfortunetly 2 years ago in Aug 07 I nearly died in a car crash ( I wasnt driving the car) so that set me back a bit in all areas - it wasnt good - now I must work on myself to get back to my previous shape. All the best with your training prizewriter.


#422377 - 09/16/09 04:24 PM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: charlie]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Thanks gys, good responses! Nice detail in their Charlie, hope you get better soon. Takes a lot to come from something like that so kudos to you.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#424272 - 01/04/10 09:45 PM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: Prizewriter]
Ames Offline

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I don't see an issue with weight training and any martial art, including Aikido, with the caveat that we arn't talking about body building routines. Routines that are 'strength focus' are a good way to go; especially those that emphasis multi-joint lifts. Personally, I like to focus on single leg excerises more than double because I feel that that duplicates sports (and m.a.) recruitment patters more, meaning I choose the split squat over the olympic more often than not. But I do perform the olympic sometimes as well. I also do some fuctional strength type exercises, such as lifting sandbags. I also focus on strenthening my back, neck and grip. I just got a set of kettlebells and have been playing with those.

Periodization is key, as well as taking the time to get rid of any tension left in the muscles by means of proper stretching or foam rolling.

And no, I don't think weight training is needed to be great at Aikido (as tori). I do think it won't hurt though (if done correctly)and can also keep you training for a longer time.

Personally, I think weight training will make you a much better uke.

Edited by Ames (01/04/10 10:02 PM)
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."

#424623 - 01/30/10 09:40 PM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: Ames]
Unlimited Possibilities Offline

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 155
Loc: U.S., Delaware
Weight training and Aikido?

I once thought that may be a good idea. Of course, then I remembered that if I show up to the dojo with even a small amount of weight on, it may hurt a lot if I wear it the whole training session.

I think it would definitely help out during 'warm-ups'. Doing tenkan and '8-direction' movement with weights on may actually be a great idea! Thanks!
“Reality” is the most prominent yet deceptive illusion to have ever reigned upon this earth.

#424628 - 01/31/10 06:42 AM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: Unlimited Possibilities]
paul40 Offline

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 155
Ueshiba was 5ft. tall.90 pounds,

weight training for your personal health is fine but it has nothing to do with Aikido.Its also a bad idea to weight train before class,The art is smooth, relaxed, fluent movement.any tightness at all will counter act the flow.

best to train right after class,and forget your muscles during class.
Just so you know, I am a liar. only fair to tell you before you waste time reading my words.

#424774 - 02/07/10 01:02 AM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: paul40]
TaekwonDoFan Offline

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
Weight training is always good, just to tone up your muscles. If you don't like weights, do pushups and various types of muscle-tensing exercises.

Aerobics is also good, as is stretching. A healthy person is a better martial artist.

#424780 - 02/07/10 09:53 AM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: TaekwonDoFan]
iaibear Offline

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
It is nice to be strong. But if you are relying on or even using physical strength in Aikido, you are doing something incorrectly.

My current sensei keeps barking at me to relax.

#424782 - 02/07/10 10:27 AM Re: Weight Training and Aikido [Re: iaibear]
TaekwonDoFan Offline

Registered: 01/23/10
Posts: 271
Originally Posted By: iaibear
It is nice to be strong. But if you are relying on or even using physical strength in Aikido, you are doing something incorrectly.

My current sensei keeps barking at me to relax.

Kinda contradictory, to bark at someone to relax.

But I advocate weight training not because it's needed, but because it's a good way to maintain overall fitness. I don't train very intensively, but I like pumping iron, just to tone up.

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