What’s More Important in Martial Arts…Strength or Stamina?

When you are a martial artist, there is one question that you will eventually have to answer: should you focus more on developing strength or stamina? This will pop up whether you practice your art for competition or self-defense. If you do martial arts just as a hobby, then you probably won’t ever worry about it. But when you eat, sleep and breathe martial arts, it is something definitely worth addressing. While I feel both of these are important, I believe stamina has a little more importance than strength.

I have to say here that I study martial arts mainly for self-defense. (As someone who has been writing for over 20 years, I also appreciate the artistic side of it, but that’s a discussion for a different blog.) This is a huge influence on why I pick stamina over strength. Here’s a pair of examples why:

*Say you are confronted on the street by some punk…and his four friends. You might have luck fending off a couple of attacks, but the longer you fight, the higher the odds that you WILL get hit. In a situation like this, you’d be better off fighting just enough to create an opening for yourself to escape.

*If you are face to face with someone who has a knife, you are better off running. Don’t be a hero and assume your martial arts skills are good enough for that. Someone with a weapon ALWAYS has the advantage.

(Brief aside here: if the person has a GUN, then your best option is to just do what they tell you.)

If I were an MMA fighter, then I would probably feel different on this issue. However, most people that take martial arts (even those who go to MMA schools) don’t ever plan on getting into a ring/cage. Therefore, as it applies to everyday life, I feel that it’s more important to develop your stamina.


About Steve Grogan

I am 40 years old, divorced, and a father of four kids. I am a practitioner of a self-defense system called wing chun kung fu. My other hobbies include writing, playing guitar, reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Recently I have gotten back into fitness, and this time I am DETERMINED to get the washboard abs...whether my metabolism will cooperate with me or not! The purpose of this blog is to write not only about my hobbies, but also about whatever crosses my mind, whether it is something I don't understand or something that aggravates me. So join me as I indulge my tendency to think too much about topics that don't usually cross anyone else's mind!
This entry was posted in analysis, cardio, competition, endurance, exercise, fitness, martial arts, mma, observation, off-topic, random, rant, self-defense, strength, strength training, workout. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What’s More Important in Martial Arts…Strength or Stamina?

  1. Zhaq says:

    I will choose strength if its a street fight because in actual street fight it takes only a second to minutes if there are many oponents for a fight to end unlike that of a competition stamina is needed to sustain your strength… by the way Im into Filipino martial art Yaw-Yaw

    • wcman1976 says:

      We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. 🙂 Maybe if faced with one unarmed opponent, strength would matter…but when confronted by multiple opponents or someone with a weapon, it’s smarter to run. I’d rather look like a living wimp for running than a dead tough guy for trying to fight.

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