Strength training – Yes or No!

Are you doing strength training alongside your Karate?

If not, then maybe you should consider it.

Strength training is essential for your development within Karate.

The purpose of strength training is to build muscle mass around the joints so that they are protected and more stable during Karate training. Strength training can protect your joints from injury.
If your Karate includes grappling, you definitely need some strength. Your techniques may be good, but in grappling, you must be able to withstand the opponent’s strength. You also need strength to move and escape positions, as well as hold on to positions.
Another but equally important thing is the grip function. It is essential for Karate, where grappling and throwing are part of the curriculum.

Health aspect:

Strength training can also relieve pain and stiffness and thus preserve mobility in the joints. Exercise not only strengthens the muscles but also improves flexibility, balance, and well-being.

Here are 5 good reasons to strength train.

  • Prevents loss of muscle mass. Strength training is the only way to increase muscle mass.
  • By strengthening important muscle groups, the risk of injury is reduced. There is no need to lift heavy or do advanced exercises.
  • Prevents musculoskeletal disorders.
  • You become stronger both physically and mentally.
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases.


Bodybuilding - Irene Andersen
Bodybuilding – Irene Andersen

When I talk about strength training, it does not mean that you have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Irene Andersen, this is bodybuilding, not strength training.
In fact, bodybuilding has a negative effect on the performance of Karate techniques.

Okinawa Strength training tools

Strength training in connection with Karate is not a new phenomenon. The old masters in Karate (tudi) also used tools to strengthen the various muscle groups.

Here are some new and old tools used for strength training in Okinawa.

Okinawa strength tools
Okinawa strength tools

The use of Nigiri Game “gripping jars” in Uechi-Ryu.

Nigiri Game - gripping jars
Nigiri Game – gripping jars

The use of chi-ishi “Strength Stone” in Goju-Ryu.

Chi-ishi - strength stone
Chi-ishi – strength stone


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