Jujutsu Advice: What Are 3 Muscle Building Techniques That Are Good For A Martial Artist?

One morning you may find yourself standing before your mirror, gi on ready for class, wondering ‘What are 3 muscle building techniques that are good for a martial artist?’ White belts and black belts have wondered about his same problem for many centuries and have come to a viable solution.

The problem with most athletes today is that they try to build muscle through lifting heavy weights at the gym. There’s a real problem with this, however. The kinds of muscles developed by lifting heavy weights are good mostly for lifting heavy weights. The system was developed by bodybuilders whose only goal was to have large, well-defined muscles. They weren’t made for martial arts.

Instead, repetitive motions and actions to tone while strengthen the muscles will be far more effective. An arm or leg loaded with muscle may be able to punch but an arm formed by throwing thousands of punches instead of lifting thousands of pounds will not only strike with force but with quickness as well.

That’s right. The most effective muscles you can build for the martial arts are those that are developed by performing the techniques of the martial arts themselves. If, during your practice, you perform the stances and blows of your style with the proper amount of resistance and dynamism, then you will naturally build muscle, and you will find that that muscle is demonstrably different in both feel and use than you’re accustomed to. This is because you’re largely building what the kynesiologists call long-fiber muscle; muscle that is good for expanding and contracting quickly, not just taking up space.

Since the martial arts enjoy a long and rich history and culture the student should learn from the past and employ the techniques of the ancient masters. Surprisingly, many of the exercises developed long ago are very effective. The ‘makiwara’ is a Japanese tool that is commonly used to train students. By using it you will soon find that your karate-ka’s stance and motions are more effective, more powerful.

The way to use this tool is repetitive striking it with good form and with force. Enough strikes will develop those muscles. A ‘makiwara’, like many Japanese tools of this kind is both simple and elegant. A wood post driven into the ground, it is then wrapped in rope. The students strike the post as they would an opponent.

The last technique relies upon the principle that muscles are only as good as the muscles that are supporting them. A great way to build up the muscles that you’ll use in the martial arts is to work on developing the small muscles that many people overlook, such as the very tips of your fingers and toes. Each day, practice walking on the tips of your toes while carrying heavy iron weights, your burden made all the heavier by a stoic sense of purpose; soon, you will find yourself able to stride faster and leap farther than before. Carry heavy jars of buckwheat husks by hooking just the tips of your fingers around the rim; soon, you’ll be able to crush bamboo in your bare fist. At last! The martial arts have fallen under your eager command.

Next time you’re asked, “what are 3 muscle building techniques that are good for a martial artist”, you’ll know how to respond. You’ll know that the way to success lies within the discipline of the art itself, not in extraneous and expensive weights and supplements.

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