View Full Version : Effects of weight training on aikido

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Pierre Kewcharoen
10-25-2007, 03:21 PM
I have been weight training for a while and my body has increased in size considerably. This has affected two important aspects to my training: The inability to distinguish strength from technique as well as decreased range of motion

Strength vs Technique
With an increased size comes increased strength. Problem is that sometimes and can't distinguish one from another during training. This happens when I am uke or nage. Someone will try to perform a technique on me whether be wrist techniques or pins and they would think im being ultra resistive which I'm not. Other times I would be throwing somebody and sensei would point out that I used muscle instead of proper technique. I believe this happens because the idea of heavy weight training of using raw power and strength goes against the idea of being soft and relaxed when performing certain aikido techniques.

Range of motion:
Training my arms and shoulders has decreased my range of motion. To me this is a double edge sword being that I sometimes struggle to perform bokken cuts because it becomes hard for me to get my arms above my head while making sure to perform the technique correctly. In turn this decreased range of motion has an effect on certain shoulder and wrist techniques not working when being performed on me. Should I just start stretching?

Has anyone ever been through this?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-25-2007, 04:00 PM
Technique and strenght are compatible. O Sensei, for instance was a strong guy for his size.

Stretching is a must, with or without irong pumping.

10-26-2007, 09:21 AM
I used to powerlift when I was younger. At my strongest I was 225 lbs. at 5' 8". These days I'm thirty pounds lighter and moving from my center far more than when I was powerlifting. I wouldn't recommend too much size and strength as an aikido practitioner. Mind you, I am absolutely convinced that maintaining some kind of weightlifting regimen will enable you to continue training well in aikido, at a vigorous level, for far longer than if you have no such regimen. Loose and weak knees, bad backs, sore necks, game shoulders, etc. can all be mitigated against, if not prevented entirely, by spending time regularly in the gym strength training.

Avery Jenkins
10-26-2007, 10:05 AM
Strength training is fine with Aikido, but you absolutely must couple it with a comprehensive stretching program. Otherwise you increase your risk of injury.

Amir Krause
10-26-2007, 12:43 PM
Wieght lifting may cause you a problem in learning aikido techniques and priciples, not in performing them. Additional strength helps a technique be more effective, and may helpyou to cover insuffciet technical skill. The latter is problematic for learning, as you must learn the techniques not using all of your strength.

Further, it is wrong to practice in such a way that limits your range of movment!


Pierre Kewcharoen
10-26-2007, 12:44 PM
ok thanks

Walter Martindale
10-27-2007, 12:31 AM
Another way of making strength training and flexibility training less mutually exclusive may be to ensure that you are training through the full range of motion of a joint. This may require significantly reduced loads, because at the end points of a joint's range of motion, strength and muscle/bone/joint leverage/mechanical advantages are frequently reduced - for example - "fly" exercise with straight arms stretches the biceps, deltoids, pectorals, and probably also stretches the nerves and blood vessels, but you can't use anywhere near as much weight as you can with bent arm, limited range "fly".
If you're getting more muscular and your range of motion is decreasing, then you need to stretch more - gymnasts are VERY strong, and VERY flexible.

Michael Hackett
10-27-2007, 02:26 AM
Uniquely, tonight one of my sempai brought in one of his Russian kettlebells to show us. He started using them as part of a rehab program to to fix a bad shoulder, and as it turns out, we have several others who are training with them as well. I got to play with them for a few minutes after class and enjoyed the experience. I know very little about the various exercises, but what I was shown used most of the body and certainly required movement from the center. I've been weight training for years for overall fitness and it has been helpful in keeping me relatively injury free. I think the kettlebell regimen might be something worth looking into further.


10-27-2007, 05:26 AM
Are you lifting for muscle mass like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno or are you lifting for fitness and endurance?


10-27-2007, 10:52 PM
As posted above, stretching is an absolute must. Yoga is such a valuable compliment to aikido training; give it a try!

Pierre Kewcharoen
10-29-2007, 09:24 AM
Are you lifting for muscle mass like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno or are you lifting for fitness and endurance?


Technically I am doing both. The exercise regiment is a two step process. There is a period when I intentionally gain mass which limits my range. But then theres the period when I burn off excess fat to get lean and cut. Therefore still being as strong when I was heavier yet having my body leaner. When I get leaner, I also do notice that I get my range of motion back. I probably need to stretch like everyone says.