I am about to say something really rude about Martial Arts Strength. I’m about to say you’re doing something all wrong. It will be interesting to see if you can take it.
Read through the martial arts magazines and you will come across lots of ads that appeal to your desire to get stronger. Maybe they tell you you can beat up the sand kicking bully, or maybe they tell you will get the girl if you can just be stronger. The problem is…all those ads aren’t telling the truth.
Your muscles are actually strong enough as they are. You are strong enough to do just about anything you want right now. No increase in your strength is really required, not to do the martial arts, not even to knock down that bully.
Real strength can be measured in various ways. There is the real strength you measure by the number of friends you have. This is a strength that is never ending, and almost opposed to the fellow who takes martial arts just because he feels the need to beat people up.
Then there is the strength of energy, chi power, in such arts as Tai Chi and Kung Fu, which you cultivate by breathing and stretching and slow motion. This strength lasts ten times longer than muscle strength. This strength will never slow you down or bulk you up, which is sometimes the result of many types of weightlifting methods.
This chi energy is available through forms practice. The reason for this is because doing forms cultivates awareness.
Awareness is the ultimate strength. When you do something, maybe do a form stance, you become aware of how your legs work. Thus, you learn how to make them work better, and the legs become measurably stronger.
Yes, weight lifting will give you a little strength, but you tend to become aware of iron, and not of your body. When awareness becomes focused on the body, however, or a body part, this makes the body/body part stronger, and gives you much more strength. It is awareness that will make you ultimately as strong as you can be.
Awareness of how your body works, as opposed to the endless lifting of iron. Awareness that is not based upon self image, but rather on self-improvement. Awareness, but most students are stuck in such ruts that they are unable to seek out methods that increase awareness, and thus increase true martial arts strength.