Sunday, June 19, 2011

Overweight Martial artists?


Hello everyone, today I would like to talk about a somewhat controversial subject when it comes to martial arts, and that is, physical fitness and the martial arts, in particular, how do overweight people fit into the martial arts world? Part of the reason I felt that this is so important is because there are those who often cringe at the sight of overweight martial arts instructors and often times view them as weak, lazy, and overall ineffective when it comes to martial arts. I think I would like to say that it is ideal that we as humans should be in tip top shape, be able to run faster than others, and have a six-pack, but in the real world, this is not always possible. I believe that this becomes an issue when a martial artist is so overweight that he or she cannot breathe well, is unable to perform techniques, and is overall inefficient at the martial arts. I myself, am in need of losing weight, and need to be in better shape, but this does not mean that I can not teach others martial arts, that I can not perform techniques effectively, or that I am not flexible at all. There are many people who are great martial artists/fighters and who are overweight in a variety of disciplines including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, MMA, Ninjutsu, Kung Fu, and much more, even in the highest levels of competition!

And of course we must not forget that Sumo wrestlers are typically the heaviest of all martial artists, and to say that they do not have any athletic abilities would be foolish. From my personal experience in Wrestling, I had met several outstanding wrestlers who were very heavy, who were forces to be reckoned with. One of these athletes weighed over 275 pounds, and had quite a bit of muscle along with having fat as well, and I have to say I was afraid of this gentlemen, he was an outstanding wrestler and very athletic. In a more practical sense, if you ever are attacked by someone who is overweight, you should proceed with caution, because although you may be faster than this person and be able to last 12 rounds in a boxing match with, if he or she has some skills, liking boxing for example, one punch could end the fight before a minute into a fight, it can happen, and it has happened before. So if you are an overweight person who wants to do martial arts, do not be discouraged, and keep in mind that I am not saying you should gain as much weight as possible, I am just saying that you should workout and eat right, but if it happens that you are still heavy, and you are gaining skills and techniques then you should not be discouraged because you are not alone, and you could very well be an effective, proficient martial artist.

(I have put a picture of the character named "Bob" from the Tekken video games series from Namco, as an example of a heavyset martial artist)