Bruce Lee fighting mans exercise
The Fighting Man Exercise
Although you have the right attitude,
It’s not enough to avoid a strife.
Although you have a heart of fortitude,
It’s no assurance of saving your life.
You may have spent years in training
In the art of fighting you love so much.
But if you are winded in a sparring,
It proves that your condition is such
You need plenty of workout on the road,
Running two, three or more miles a day
Until your body can take more load.
Then comes a day you see the light,
You look up at the sky and then replay:
“Skill in performance is all right,
But it’s not enough to prove you might.”
One of the most neglected elements of martial artists is the physical workout. Too
much time is spent in developing skill in techniques and not enough in physical
Practicing your skill in fighting is important, but so is maintaining your overall
physical condition. Actually both are needed to be successful in a real fight.
Training is a skill of disciplining your mind, developing your power and supplying
endurance to your body. Proper training is for the purpose of building your body
and avoiding activities or substances that will deteriorate or injure it.
Bruce Lee was a secimen of health. He trained every day and consumed only the
proper food. Although he drank tea, he never drank coffee – instead he normally
consumed milk. He was a martinet who never let his work interfere with his
training. Even when he was sent to India to find suitable locations for filming, he
took along his running shoes.
Lee’s daily training consisted of aerobic exercises, plus others which were
patterned to develop his skill in fighting. He varied his exercises to avoid boredom.
One of his favorite exercises was running four miles a day in 24 to 25 minutes. He
would change his tempo while running – after several miles of constant, even
strides, he would sprint several feet and then return to easier running. Between
changes in running tempo, he would also shuffle his feet. Lee was not particular
where he ran: at the beach, in parks or woods, up and down hills or on surfaced
Besides running, he also rode an exercycle to develop his endurance, legs and
cardiovascular muscles. He usually rode full speed – 35 to 40 miles an hour
continuously for 45 minutes to an hour. Frequently, he would ride his exercycle
right after his running.
Another aerobic exercise that Lee scheduled in his routine was skipping rope,
which you can adopt. This exercise not only develops your stamina and leg
muscles, but also improves you, makes you “light on your feet.” Only recently,
physiologists have learned, by several tests, that skipping rope is more beneficial
than jogging. Ten minutes of skipping rope is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging.
Both are very beneficial exercises for the cardiovascular system.
Skipping rope properly is one of the best exercises for developing a sense of
balance. First, skip on one foot, holding the other in front of you; then rotate your
foot, skipping on the alternate foot with each revolution of the rope, from a gradual
pace to a really fast tempo. Minimize your arm-swing; instead, use your wrists to
swing the rope over. Lift your foot slgihtly above the ground, just enough for the
rope to pass. Skip for three minutes (equivalent to a round in a boxing match); then
rest one minute only, before you continue for another round. Three rounds of this
exercise are sufficient for a good workout. As you become conditioned to skipping,
you can omit the rest period and do the exercise for as long as 30 minutes straight.
The best rope is made of leather with ball bearings in the handles.
Additional endurance exercises are shadowboxi ng and actual sparring.
Shadowboxing is a good agility exercise which also builds up your speed. Relax
your body and learn to move easily and smoothly. At first concentrate on your form
and move with lightness on your feet until it becomes natural and comfortable- then
work faster and harder. It is a good idea to start your workout with shadowboxing to
loosen your muscles. Imagine your worst enemy stands before you and you are
going to demolish him. If you use your imagination intensely, you can instill into
yourself an almost real fighting frame of mind. Besides developing stamina,
shadowboxing increases your speed, creates ideas and establishes techniques to
be used spontaneously and intuitively. Going several rounds is the best way to
learn proper footwork.
Too many begineers are too lazy to drive themselves. Only by hard and continuous
exercise will you develop endurance. You have to drive yourself to the point of
exhaustion (“out of breath” and expect muscle ache in a day or two). The best
endurance training method seems to be a lengthy period of exercise interspersed
with many brief but high-intensity endeavours. Stamina-types of exercise should be
done gradually and cautiously increased. Six weeks in this kind of training is a
minimum for any sports that require considerable amount of endurance. It takes
years to be in peak condition and, unfortunately, stamina is quickly lost when you
cease to maintain high conditioning exercises. According to some medical experts,
you lose most of your benefit from exercises if you skip more than a day between
Bruce Lee fighting mans exercise
To warm up, select light, easy exercises to loosen your muscles and to prepare
them for more strenuous work. Besides improving your performance, warming-up
exercises are necessary to preve nt injury to your muscles. No smart athlete will
use his hand or leg violently without first warming it up carefully. These light
exercises should dectate as closely as possible the ensuing, more strenuous types
How long should you warm up? This depends on several aspects. If you live in a
colder area, or during the cold winter, you have to do longer warm-up exercises
than do those who live in a warmer climate. Longer warming -up exercises than do
those who live in a warmer climate. Longer warming-up is recommended in the
early morning than in the afternoon. Generally, five or ten minutes of war-up
exercises are adequate but some performers need much more. A ballet dancer
spends at least two hours. He commences with very basic movements, gradua lly
but consistently increasing the activityand intensity, until he is ready to make his
Bruce Lee learned that certain exercises can help you greatly in your performance,
and others can impede or even impair your execution of techniques. He found that
beneficial exercises are those that do not cause antagonistic tension in your
Your muscles respond differently to different exercises. During a static or slow
exercise such as a handstand or lifting heavy weights such as a barbell, the
muscles on both sides of the joints operate strongly to set the body in a desirable
position. But in a rapid activity such as running, jumping or throwing, the muscles
that close the joints contract and the muscles directly opposite elongate to allow
the movement. Although there is still tension on both muscles, the strain is
considerably less on the elongated, or lengthened one.
When there is excessive or antagonistic tension on the elongated muscles, it
hinders and weakens your movement. It acts like a brake, causing premature
fatigue, generally associated only with new activity-demanding different muscles to
perform. A coordinated, natural athlete is able to perform in any sporting activity
with ease because he moves with little antagonistic tension. On the other hand, the
novice performs with excessive tension and effort, creating a lot of wasted motions.
Although this coordination trait is more a native talent in some than in other, all can
improve it by intensive training.