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.