View Full Version : Article: "Strongfortism for the Martial Artist"

21st May 2003, 20:17
I'm getting GREAT results with this program.

With the permission of the author, Raymond Brennan, I posted his article on my site.

Click here to read the article (http://www.webspawner.com/users/tyroneturner/strongfortismfo.html)

Peace & health,

21st May 2003, 20:31
Oh yeah. "The Party Members" do not take kindly to those who don't see things their way.

Phil, I want to thank you for your reviews and the articles that you post on your site. I find them most enlightening. Please do keep up the GREAT work.


21st May 2003, 22:18

So, I learned how to do an inside wristlock and a jump spinning heel kick. One technique for the upper body and one technique for the lower body. Then I'd go out and practice with my buddy, who'd been taking judo for six whole months. He'd always toss me, and it would hurt because we were practicing on a parking lot and I'd hit my head on the pavement.

Seems like there should be a way to fall without getting hurt if you're going to be throwing people all the time...

And my punching power never improved from trying all those wristlocks!

22nd May 2003, 22:04
Ok, so having slept on it and come back, my clever training analogy sounds more like a bitter diatribe. It wasn't meant to be. If you enjoy these sorts of workouts, they are certainly better for you than weight training without learning how to do it properly. Heck, I've even downloaded lesson one to give it a spin myself.

In the morning, when I get back from work, I'll break down Mr. Brennan's article point by point, and demonstrate why "party-liners" might get distraught by it. It isn't the simple *fact* that he indicts weight-training; it's the how's and the why's.

23rd May 2003, 11:15
I apologize for the length of the following post. I have actually broken my reply into two sections; I'll post the rest later, after everyone has digested this.
Let me begin by rebutting Mr. Brennan’s eight objections.

1. Danger
Is weight lifting dangerous? Most definitely. More than one powerlifter has died trying to bench press without a spotter; people sustaining long-term or even permanent knee, lower back and shoulder injuries is far from unheard of. So why weight train at all? First, because the danger is no greater than in many other activities. I have lifted weights for years, and the only serious athletic injury I have ever sustained was a broken rib—in martial arts class. Second, because all of the danger is avoidable.
If you don’t have a spotter who can catch your barbell if you miss a lift—use dumbbells!
Don’t squat without being trained by a certified trainer. It is bad form that damages knees and backs, not the exercise itself.
Make certain to work opposing muscles. Mr. Brennan’s shoulder injury was easily predictable; not only because he was bored, but because he never did any seated rows, bent over rows, or other back exercises to balance his body. All the muscle tension in his rotator cuff was to the front; it was bound to be injured eventually.

2. Loss of Flexibility
In the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a “bench press”. Weightlifters of that day performed “chest presses” on the floor—which meant that their elbows, at the bottom of the lift, could go no farther back than their spine. This, repeated over months and years, led to a gradual loss of flexibility that inspired both the term and the stereotype of being “musclebound”. There is absolutely no reason to lose flexibility from weight training. A proper weight training routine can even enhance flexibility in sedentary individuals.

3. Muscular Hypertrophy and Rest
“If you lift heavy, you should take the next day off.”
If one engages a particular muscle group in strenuous weight training, then one should not train that same muscle group until it is properly recovered. So, one should not do squats on Monday and leg presses on Tuesday. However, there is no reason at all that one may not train quadriceps Monday morning, train in martial arts Monday night, and train hamstrings Tuesday morning.

4. Lack of Symmetry
I daresay that high-level weight training athletes have the best symmetry in the world. Mr. Brennan’s lack of symmetry is his own fault for doing nothing but bench presses and deadlifts for an undisclosed number of years.

5. Loss of Endurance
Firstly, let me state that the type of endurance used in martial arts activities is much closer metabolically to weight training than to running. Running is an aerobic activity; it consists of the long-term repetition of very light effort (fueled by the oxidation of sugar in the muscle). Martial arts and weight training are both anaerobic; they require near-maximal effort in short bursts (both fueled directly by ATP). Training in anaerobic activities increases one’s ability to perform anaerobic activities; training in aerobic activities (like jogging) does not.
If one is doing weight training as an adjunct to martial arts, one should not be “devoting all one’s strength to weight training.” Why put all of your effort into a secondary activity?

6. Boredom
Really? Never varied your routine for years—only two lifts to begin with—and this lead to BOREDOM?
First, you should be changing your routine every six weeks anyway. This prevents the training from getting stale either in your mind (boredom) or in your body (strength plateaus).
Second, why would you spend years of your life doing something you don’t enjoy? Go do something you do enjoy, so you don’t have to tell everyone how terrible lifting weights is.

7. Strength in Motion
I quite agree that neither lying on a bench nor grunting inanely over a barbell will improve anyone’s athletic endeavors. Of course, actually moving a weight—God forbid it might be as part of a structured and well-researched plan—will. Further, there is any amount of both case studies and experimental evidence to demonstrate that proper weight training is beneficial to martial artists and combat athletes.

8. Weak muscles and Correction of One-sided Movement
This simply demonstrates that he was trained improperly initially and never bothered to correct himself. A lop-sided lift is quite easy to correct simply by paying attention as you lift. If more help is required, say with Mr. Brennan’s lifts specifically, then one may replace the barbell in the bench press with a pair of dumbbells (so that each arm is forced to work independently), and perform the deadlifts in front of a mirror.
For about six weeks—then MOVE ON TO WELL-BALANCED PROGRAM.

23rd May 2003, 21:35
Interesting points yamatodamashii.

I myself am not opposed to weight training, but it just doesn't fit into my lifestyle. First off, I'd rather not workout at a gym - I'd rather work out at home. Also, I live in an apartment, and I have a 2-year-old son. I don't want to be working out with weights while a young child is running around the house. Being a husband and a father doesn't give me a lot of free time, so I'd rather spend it on the mat or the ring.

The Strongfort exercises make me feel energized throughout the day. From what I've read, Strongfort held records at lifting very heavy weights, but he didn't recommend heavy weight lifting for everyone. He was very particular as to who he took in as a student.

23rd May 2003, 22:19
If you like it, do it. Getting exercise is far more important that what type of exercise you get. Personally, I'm not lifting right now myself--full time job, Army reserves, college (again), martial arts... I don't have time to do it properly, so I don't do it.

But big indictments of weight training like Mr. Brennan's article are wholly uncalled for.

23rd May 2003, 23:03
I here you my man. It is hard to train the way we want to once we're all grown up, huh? ;-)

What is your MOS in the Army Reserve? I was a 95B (military policeman).

Peace & health,

24th May 2003, 08:39
I was a military policeman when I was on active duty with the Marines; I still have that MOS in my record book. I think my new MOS is 91E. I'm not used to Army MOS's yet, and frankly I'm embarrassed by it. They made me a dental technician.

It's just till I get my commission, though. I keep telling myself that. I also keep telling myself that I am the scariest goddamn dental tech on Earth.

-Former U.S. Marine military police and marksmanship instructor
-former powerlifting champ
-13 years of martial arts, including 3 years in Japan

"I said rinse and spit. NOW." (sound of 9mm being chambered in the background)

24th May 2003, 15:50
LOL! That is funny!

Good luck to you, "sir". ;-)

Where will they place you once you get your commission?

Peace & health,

25th May 2003, 08:17
Thank you, thank you, I'll be in the area all day. :)

I dunno. I'm hoping to go back into the military police, or possibly the intelligence. My degree will be in business, so God only knows. Not that MOS is really important for non-medical officers, anyway.