Does Strength matter in your opinion?

The Food Forum's Evil Twin. Trying to lose weight or get in shape? Tips, encouragement, status reports, and so forth go here.
Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, we are not health professionals. Take advice with salt.

Moderators: Mighty Jalapeno, Prelates, Moderators General

Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

Hey, I live in an urban area, we aren't very wealthy but we survive, we do have alot of young people crime and drugs and so on. I'm 16 years old and I do kickboxing, I do weight training, exercise daily and have a healthy diet. I'm around 5 ' 9, and around 75kg. I'm simply wondering if I were to get into a fight with someone superior to my strength level do you think with a good level of technique would I be able to win? For example a fragile martial art master against a large Silverback Gorilla, I would assume that the master would die within a few seconds. But that comparison isn't right as comparing different animals on strength isn't really worth anything as I won't be fighting a Silverback Gorilla (I hope). But if I were to fight someone very "well built" with very little technique, could I be able to beat him? I am open to all opinion as it would most definetly benefit me. Thank you.
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Ulc » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Yes it matters, but it's not the only important thing, and skill can easily offset some amount of strength - especially if the skill is unexpected. I've been in a quite realistic combat beaten quite badly by a 14 year old girl at about 45 kg, back then I was 17 and clocked in at around 75 kg.

But you know what? It's uncertain. No matter the skill, no matter the strength, no matter the weight (which is at least as important as strength), luck is important as well. If you allow yourself to believe even for a moment that skill or strength will keep you safe, you're naive. It only takes two of them, or one of them with a bat - or pure lluck

What isn't uncertain is a 800 m. sprint. As my martial arts teacher used to say.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?
User avatar
Ulc
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:26 am UTC

So, a descent amount of strength is good, very good is preferabble but, as many other things in life it pays to specialize in other areas is what your are saying? The reason I was thinking this is for example the weight divisions in boxing, they compare fighters pound for pound, but could a lightweight or featherweight really beat a heavyweight?
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Nath » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:44 am UTC

I don't fight, but I do participate in a combat sport. There are weight classes in competition, but in practice I've been fortunate to work with people of many different sizes and skill levels. Technique matters, but so do strength, speed, endurance, aggression and intelligence. To a surprising extent, a shortcoming in one of these areas can be compensated for by a big advantage in another area. I've been thrown around like a rag-doll by a tiny middle-aged lady who happened to be a former national-level competitor, and I've been submitted by people twice my size with a fraction of the experience.

But if everything else is in the same ballpark, strength can be a major deciding factor. I'm one of the smallest people in my gym, and a couple of years of strength training changed my game completely. People used to just take me down and lie on me, and all I could do was hold on until they made a mistake. Now I actually have the ability to go on the offensive against most people in my gym. The tiny middle-aged lady can still throw me around without breaking a sweat, and I'm still occasionally humbled by a strong beginner, but I have definitely found strength to be a good investment.

By the way, judo used to have open-weight championships. It was not uncommon for the smaller guy to win. One of the most successful judoka of all time, back before weight-classes were commonplace, was Kyuzo Mifune. He weighed 100-120lb for most of his career.
User avatar
Nath
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby bieber » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:55 am UTC

It depends a lot on the situation. Competition between equals in technique? Strength may absolutely be a deciding factor. Encounter between two guys on the street, one of whom is a lot bigger but knows nothing of technique? All the strength in the world isn't going to help you if the other guy knocks you out or snaps your knee with a low kick right off the bat. Have you ever seen normal people get into a fight, at least on Youtube or something? There's a lot of flailing, flinching, shoving, and you'll see that an awful lot of punches (if you can really call them that) tend to get thrown without anyone ever being very much affected: you'll typically see someone either just wear out or run away. Someone who actually knows how to fight, even at a relatively rudimentary level, is going to be at a huge advantage over your typical person off the street, size and weight notwithstanding.

The catch, of course, is that you can't ever know ahead of time whether the person you're about to get in a fight with actually is your average person off the street.
bieber
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:13 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

Hmm, good point, it seems that peopl that would be alot heavier may be slower than me? Is this genrally true, that heavier fighters are slower than lighter fighters?
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby VPeric » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

It sounds like you expect to get attacked or want to fight with someone. If that's the case, I'd recommend looking into something like Krav Maga - it's basically tailored for your situation (urban, one or multiple opponents of varying size/strength and perhaps with weapons) and will, in the course of training, provide you with more than adequate levels of strength and endurance and the actual presence of mind to act in such a situation (which is most important of all). In structured sports technique is much more important, but that's just because the average fighter doesn't expect you to just swing a metal pipe at them, or drive them into a wall/lamp post/window.
VPeric
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:33 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Ulc » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

VPeric wrote:It sounds like you expect to get attacked or want to fight with someone. If that's the case, I'd recommend looking into something like Krav Maga


I recommend looking into sprinting.

Seriously, no matter how well trained you are, no matter how strong or fast, two guys with a lead pipe each, that aren't total idiots will mean that you're chanceless. Avoiding fights are much more important than figuring out how to win them. Because chance, strength, weaponry and numbers are important enough that in the end, you'll lose if you try to actually fight.

Or hell, one guy with a gun.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?
User avatar
Ulc
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Dream » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:05 pm UTC

Adam Preston wrote:alot of young people crime and drugs and so on. I'm 16 years old and I do kickboxing, I do weight training, exercise daily and have a healthy diet.

I think the best thing you could do for your personal safety would be to learn to carry yourself with calm confidence. If you don't look like someone who is likely to be a victim, but equally don't look like someone who is concerned with the local riffraff, you're probably not going to encounter trouble. If martial arts and strength training help you carry yourself like that, then by all means do it.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.
User avatar
Dream
WINNING
 
Posts: 4339
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Ortus » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:16 am UTC

Dream wrote:I think the best thing you could do for your personal safety would be to learn to carry yourself with calm confidence. If you don't look like someone who is likely to be a victim, but equally don't look like someone who is concerned with the local riffraff, you're probably not going to encounter trouble. If martial arts and strength training help you carry yourself like that, then by all means do it.


Seconding this.

Also, if you do wind up in an actual fight, your opponents aren't going to play by your martial arts' rules; the one thing I've been taught that's almost universal among martial arts: if you have to fight, and you never have to fight, don't fight fair. If you train in MMA and can't use thumb holds? Use thumb holds, kick or punch below the belt, do whatever you have to do to get out of that situation. The longer the fight, the less luck and the more fatigue you're going to have to last you through to the end of it. You don't prolong a fight, you don't generally kick and you almost never use fancy and technical moves; you end the fight as quickly and as simply as possible - again, that usually means you run the hell away.

There aren't many times when a fight is the preferable alternative. If you're getting mugged at knife or gun point, that is not the time to fight; you let them take your shit and report it to the police. You see someone else getting mugged? Again, not the time to fight: help the person out (first aid/cpr certification is something everyone should have), and help them by giving a statement to police. The only example of a time someone I know had to fight was when my father, a Navy sailor and total badass, fought a couple guys outside a bar because they were trying to bully this girl in to leaving with them: he didn't win, but those guys left her alone after that.

tl;dr,

Run the hell away, don't play fair, avoid fights*.

*Unless it's at a martial arts tournament, because those can be all kinds of cool.
roband wrote:Face, yes. Chest, probably. Pubic area, maybe. Scrotum, not a fucking chance.
User avatar
Ortus
Fluffy
 
Posts: 573
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:09 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:07 pm UTC

agreed, if it is a street fight by all means I'm not going to play fair, anything to survive right?
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby yawningdog » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

Getting hit isn't really a big deal if you've been hit before, and that makes experience the best thing you can take with you into a fight. Make sure that in your kickboxing training you are getting some real, up-close, full-contact fighting in the curriculum. You need to feel what it's like to get rocked and how to bounce back from it. Bag work, pad work, road work, and strength training are all important. But once your opponent finds out that you aren't going to fold after the first jab, he's going to realize that he has a fight on his hands and that's probably not what he wants.

And if you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your strategy has failed.
"I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once. But I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times."
- Bruce Lee
yawningdog
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:00 pm UTC
Location: Glen Allen, Virginia

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

Don't worry about me experiencing a real fight situation, the town in which I live is deprived of "Do good" teenagers. I basically had to get tough or become someone's dog. I chose the first, me and my brother used to fight alot... as siblings do, everytime I would get beaten, usually with bruises and so on but that made me more determined to weight train even more hard and stronger each time I got beaten. Now, I'm heavier than my brother with more muscle ratio to my body and do Kickboxing. And really I think it's helped him and me get along alot more. Simply because perhaps I can beat him, but that doesn't mean I must. Plus it showed him that I can become a fighter. Btw my bro is a minute older than me. (Twins :D)
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby biodomino » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

If you have enough strength to cause legitimate damage to soft, fleshy human tissue, then you have enough strength to beat anyone with enough technique. Even the biggest trees have small branches and die when cut through.
biodomino
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:18 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Nath » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:34 pm UTC

biodomino wrote:If you have enough strength to cause legitimate damage to soft, fleshy human tissue...

This is not a constant. It takes different amounts of force to damage Fedor Emelianenko and your grandmother. And 'legitimate damage' is not a binary thing: if you're barely strong enough to bruise someone, then no matter how good your technique is, you'll never knock him out. It's not like video games where you can take out one hit point at a time.
User avatar
Nath
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby biodomino » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:43 am UTC

Nath wrote:
biodomino wrote:If you have enough strength to cause legitimate damage to soft, fleshy human tissue...

This is not a constant. It takes different amounts of force to damage Fedor Emelianenko and your grandmother. And 'legitimate damage' is not a binary thing: if you're barely strong enough to bruise someone, then no matter how good your technique is, you'll never knock him out. It's not like video games where you can take out one hit point at a time.


It's not as different as you might think, particularly at specific points of the body. But just in general, most people (besides perhaps children, elderly, and those with equivalent strength) have enough strength in their body to cause severe damage to another person at any of their many weak points. For example, most people have enough strength, with the proper leverage, to inflict trauma at any joint in the arm. Whether or not you can get that leverage is predominantly a matter of technique.
biodomino
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:18 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Nath » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:37 am UTC

biodomino wrote:It's not as different as you might think, particularly at specific points of the body. But just in general, most people (besides perhaps children, elderly, and those with equivalent strength) have enough strength in their body to cause severe damage to another person at any of their many weak points. For example, most people have enough strength, with the proper leverage, to inflict trauma at any joint in the arm. Whether or not you can get that leverage is predominantly a matter of technique.

Like I said, I'm a grappler, so I know this (the part in bold). But whether you can get the leverage is not 'predominantly a matter of technique'. Technique is a factor, and an important one, but not the only important one. Setting up a submission properly requires positional domination. A weak person needs to be a hell of a lot better technically to dominate a strong person. Nobody who disagrees with this has ever submitted a reasonably competent strong person who doesn't want to be submitted.

This doesn't really contradict what you said -- strictly speaking, yes, you have enough strength to beat someone with enough technique. But technical skill is a limited resource, as hard to increase as the most of the other relevant resources, so I don't see the point of discussing the situation where you have infinite skill.

(Also, I was thinking of striking rather than grappling when I wrote that.)
User avatar
Nath
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby biodomino » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:34 am UTC

I agree to an extent... in a streetfight, I think it's less important. In particular, having a distinct strength disadvantage frequently makes your opponent underestimate you, which is how many upsets occur. That does assume that you take advantage of that opportunity and execute your maneuvers effectively. If you fail to take advantage of that element of surprise as it happens, then yes, your opportunity may easily be lost and your opponent will likely dominate you quickly.

But certainly skill and a certain ruthlessness can give one the upper hand in spite of a serious separation in strength.
biodomino
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:18 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Nath » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:51 am UTC

biodomino wrote:I agree to an extent... in a streetfight, I think it's less important. In particular, having a distinct strength disadvantage frequently makes your opponent underestimate you, which is how many upsets occur. That does assume that you take advantage of that opportunity and execute your maneuvers effectively. If you fail to take advantage of that element of surprise as it happens, then yes, your opportunity may easily be lost and your opponent will likely dominate you quickly.

But certainly skill and a certain ruthlessness can give one the upper hand in spite of a serious separation in strength.

I haven't been in streetfights, so I won't claim any expertise on them. But in a training/sport setting, the greater the intensity (or 'liveness') of practice, the more strength and speed matter. In slower, more technical sparring, the more skillful person has the advantage.
User avatar
Nath
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Adam Preston » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:47 pm UTC

I wouldn't exactly put anything you practice as a grappler in a street fight unless you're on the floor, you will get whooped if you attempt to grapple from what I've seen, boxing I think is the most useful. It normally takes a small amount of punches in a real street fight to beat the other opponent, depending on who's fighting of course.
He who will not economize will have to agonize - Confucius
Adam Preston
WINNING
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Nath » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

Adam Preston wrote:I wouldn't exactly put anything you practice as a grappler in a street fight unless you're on the floor, you will get whooped if you attempt to grapple from what I've seen, boxing I think is the most useful. It normally takes a small amount of punches in a real street fight to beat the other opponent, depending on who's fighting of course.

Grappling != groundwork. But yeah, groundwork is not optimal for self-defence.
User avatar
Nath
 
Posts: 2912
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby hamm3rhand » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:34 pm UTC

This is a bit of an old thread, but i kinda wanted to throw my two cents into this last bit of discussion as to the style. Boxing is good, it teaches you to take a hit, give a hit, and good footwork. However, you should also supplement boxing with some training in a kicking style (muay thai/kickboxing/a karate style that doesn't focus overly much on hands). Something to also consider when deciding on boxing is that you will not be wearing gloves in a street fight. Thus, when you assume a traditional boxing guard stance, and someone punches at you and you try to take it on the gloves like you normally would, instead it ends up like you just punched yourself in the face. In addition, hitting someone while not wearing gloves is quite different in the way it feels, and you might find if you get into a prolonged fight what happens if you catch an unlucky hit on a bone of theirs and hurt your fist. Also, consider what would happen if you get tackled. Not a whole lot boxing can do to stop that, and if you haven't had any training on the ground you are in big trouble. Something like karate actually does help a lot with these issues, as it teaches low stances with low centers of gravity (harder to tackle, but would still take a juijutsu class or two, and you run into mobility issues. great for standing your ground to defend a place/person) and also typically has guarding stances with the fists held further away from the body, allowing the interception and deflection of the opponent's attacks before they hit you. Moral of the story: Don't be fooled into thinking one style is the be all end all, and cross train some to cover all your bases.

EDIT: oh, and i meant to mention, taking a judo class or two would probably be good too, from both an offense and defense standpoint. Offensively you get throwing people onto the asphalt. which would hurt. a lot. Defensively you get how to deal with the people that might just run at you from behind and grab you or tackle you, though you will probably eventually encounter this in other martial arts as well. But knowing a few basic throws would be benefit enough in my opinion. though you do need to practice to get comfortable. remember: slow is smooth, smooth is fast. and it'll be real fast to the bad guy who goes flipping onto the concrete. Also, though not advisable in the vast majority of scenarios, there may come a time when you need to fight someone with a gun or knife, and there are, albeit limited, techniques for dealing with opponents with weapons. Something like Krav Maga would probably be able to teach you these, though you might be able to get the basics from a basic self defense course depending on how in depth it goes.
hamm3rhand
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:15 am UTC

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby nightbird » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

From my experience, combining Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Muay Thai and/or Shotokan Karate is a very realistic and useful approach... Actually, it's the approach of most European military/police self defense systems I know. Concerning the original question: In a one on one street fight, the winner will usually be the one who places a hit first. If that takes three seconds, strength is secondary; the longer it takes, the more your opponent will be able to prepare his attacks and put force into them >> raw strength becomes more important.
“Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom.”
User avatar
nightbird
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:40 am UTC
Location: Berlin, GE

Re: Does Strength matter in your opinion?

Postby Frimble » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:09 pm UTC

Strength is important in a fight for three reasons. Firstly it allows you to strike with greater impetus, second it offers an advantage in a grapple and third well developed muscles allows you to absorb attacks particularly to the body area.

But and it's a big "But" Against a well trained opponent these advantages will be minimal. I am stronger than many people at my martial arts club (as a result of being at least 20 years younger) but as many of them have several decades more training and experience they are more than a match for me. Also never underestimate the effect that good tactics will have on your chances even in a one on one fight. Keep your mind clear, make use of anything even vaguely resembling a weapon and wait for you attacker to leave himself open or better still for him to give you the chance to run.

Your chances when fighting people with superior strength will be down to your knowledge of anatomy and controlling the space between yourself and your attacker. The human body has many nerve points that can be exploited in a fight, but stick to the easiest and most easily damaged targets unless you have no other option: eyes first, failing that throat, failing that the groin and then the knee. A good sense of distance and reach comes only with training.

Dream wrote:
Adam Preston wrote:alot of young people crime and drugs and so on. I'm 16 years old and I do kickboxing, I do weight training, exercise daily and have a healthy diet.

I think the best thing you could do for your personal safety would be to learn to carry yourself with calm confidence. If you don't look like someone who is likely to be a victim, but equally don't look like someone who is concerned with the local riffraff, you're probably not going to encounter trouble. If martial arts and strength training help you carry yourself like that, then by all means do it.

Quite right and for one reason or another they do tend to.

(The martial art I am learning is Shorinji Kempo, a martial art designed purely for self defence. At the suggestion of my instructor I intend to learn some Judo to complement this, Shorinji Kempo has no groundwork and instead relies on nerve points to create an opening in which you can get back to your feet)
"Absolute precision buys the freedom to dream meaningfully." - Donal O' Shea: The Poincaré Conjecture.
"We need a reality check here. Roll a D20." - Algernon the Radish
"Should I marry W? Not unless she tells me what the other letters in her name are" Woody Allen.
User avatar
Frimble
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 6:57 pm UTC
Location: UK


Return to Fit Club

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests