Once you begin studying martial arts you begin to notice that they have more in common than you had originally though. But the one thing that you see over and over again, the most common denominator of all of them whether you are studying western martial arts, eastern martial arts, Di Grassi, Saviolo, Fiore, Silver, etc, is the importance of fitness to success in the Art of Defense. 

Without fitness and agility your ability to hold your weapon lessens, your ability to fight for an extended duration is diminished, your ability to void attacks weakened…the list goes on. You can have all the knowledge of proper defense in the world but with out the physical ability to apply it you ability to fight is diminished. Thus it is imperative that as a fighter you set up a fitness regimen to help you get in shape and maintain your physical fitness. 

Di Grassi discusses practicing and “gaining strength” in detail in and addendum treatise (How a man by privat practise may obtain strength of bodie therby) to his True Arte of Defense. 

He recommends that the three areas of the body that a fighter should chiefly concern himself with are his legs, arms and feet. If a fighter does not exercise his arms he will have difficulty not only with holding his weapon and maintaining his guards but also with striking and thrusting. His legs are important because the support the entire body and propel it forwards and backwards during a fight.  Finally, if a fighter does not practice his footwork he will not be able to move properly during the fight, thus leaving him open to attack. 

In his treatise, How a man by privat practise may obtain strength of bodie therby, Di Grassi goes on to make recommendation for practicing that will help fighters to advance with in his system. If you are interested in Di Grassi’s method of fighting I high recommend reading it. 

It is important that we as fighters take care of our bodies and maintain ourselves in the best level of fitness that we can. Not only will being physically fit help us to excel in our chosen art form but it also helps prevent injuries. Not to mention the added side effect of looking better in our armor. There are three main components of fighting: strength, endurance, and agility. Thus there are three main areas we should strive to incorporate into our fitness regimens: strength training, cardio, and flexibility training. Likely some will think that one is more important than the others. That’s ok. Personally I think all three are equally important. Because without strength how will we maintain our guards with our weapons or strike a strong blow or parry when it is needed. Without cardiovascular fitness how will be able to endure to the end of the tournament and find the additional wind to keep going through that final bout. And without flexibility how will we be able make the body voids that are so important to our art. 

I am currently in the middle of my own fitness journey so that I can be the best fighter possible and I plan on incorporating all of these exercises into my fitness regimen. If you haven’t already, consider adding one yourself. If you already have, how is it working for you? Do you have any tips or advice you’d like to share?

Just so you guys know, I’m going out of town this weekend. I’m not sure what kind of internet connection I will have so I don’t know if I will be able to post over the weekend or not. But know that I’m thinking about you guys and I’ll have a new post on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *