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Strength, Muscle and Power
By Eirik Bloodaxe

Being strong as possible is of distinct survival value. It enables one to develop power in fighting techniques, when strength is aligned with speed, and thus enhances technique performance, with continuous refinement of skills in any combat arena, be it with a blade, stick, or unarmed. I believe that strength can also an aid in firearm defense, where a stronger and more powerful body, is better able to deal with recoil, enables one to carry more ammo and weapons, and improves muscle coordination, especially if pistols are involved. A stronger man can more readily use a more powerful pistol. I recall firing one handed, like a pistol, an AK-47 (our version was known as a “Maegun,” made in South East Asia, banned in 1996), and taking out plastic water bottles, across the valley, maybe 70 meters away.

In short, strength/power training is much like preparing a tasty meal, where all of the ingredients are needed to make the total package.

Recently published research:


indicates that lifting heavy weights primarily makes muscles stronger by the extra recruitment of motor neurons. High load training has been found to generate greater strength gains, than low load, light weight training.

This does not necessity mean that one needs to train with a barbell, or a gym of expensive equipment. Weight is weight. A stick fighter may decide to do some training, on a strength day (every second or third day, because rest/recovery days are needed), using a heavy steel rod or thick steel pipe. I train quarterstaff with a massive steel pipe, which I have fitted a series of smaller pipes inside as a handle. I also made up out of wood, a super club, with a thick shaft, and at the business end, quantities of scrap steel flat bar, very strongly duct taped (obvious safety issue with any over-head lifting) to form a club head. Various lifts can then be performed, with one hand, or two. Of course, there is always sledge hammer lifting (and sword lifting):

I am training to break this record, and if I fail, I will let you know.

After training like this, normal weapons feel like matchsticks, and one can smash everything in the environment which causes displeasure.

If anyone thinks that the extra grunt given by strength training is wank, then have a look at this madman:

How do your nuts feel?

Twerps, Goons and Meatshields: The Basics of Full Contact Stick-Fighting

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