Home > Learn More > Martial Arts Fitness | How Martial Artists Around the World Eat

Women in the martial arts

Why Do YOU Want to Start Martial Arts?

“I want to learn to defend myself!”

“I want to get in shape!”

“I want to improve my mental focus!”

Japanese Martial Arts

Get Started Today!

Fitness • Focus • Self-Defense

(734) 720-0330

info@japanesemartialartscenter.com

Martial Arts Fitness | How Martial Artists Around the World Eat

The diet of a martial artist impacts how he or she performs. From eating to gain strength to maintaining optimal health, diet is an integral part of martial arts fitness. Here's a quick presentation of what past and present martial artists eat:

Shaolin Monks

This diet is based on Buddhist concepts, such as simplicity and pacifism. What is eaten is not only to fuel the body at its essential level, but for spiritual reasons as well. (Source)

 

Shaolin Monks at Dengfeng, Henan Province [Photo/CFP]

The diet is made up of rice, vegetables, and fruits.

Because one of the tenets of Buddhism promotes pacifism, these martial artists are vegetarians.

 

Food is either raw or steamed.

The simpler the meal is prepared, the better. Unnecessary sugars and fats are omitted from their dishes.

 

Avoid dairy and meat.

Protein sources usually come from soybeans and soy products, such as tofu and seitan. Nuts are also used as a replacement for meat.

 

 

The Gracie Diet

A dynasty of fierce Brazilian Jujutsu fighters, the Gracie family knows how to fuel their intense martial arts training. (Source)

 

Rorion Gracie

Meals are spaced out.

Rorion Gracie suggests keeping four and a half hours between meals. The only thing that a martial artist consumes between meals is water.

 

No dessert or soda is allowed.

Gracie thinks that people generally consume too much sugar. Sugar is unnecessary and too much is unhealthy.

 

One starch per meal.

This is about refueling energy. Too many carbs makes a martial artist feel slow and groggy. Just enough carbs are necessary to fuel the athlete.

 

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was very careful about his diet. He never consumed foods that he thought might interfere with his training or performance. (Source)

 

Bruce Lee

He used protein shakes.

Lee also mixed in supplements, such as ginseng, royal jelly, and vitamins.

 

No coffee.

Lee preferred his tea. Green tea has been shown to improve and speed up the metabolism.

 

Chinese food: a carb heavy, low protein diet

Most of Lee’s carbs came from vegetables and rice, much like the Shaolin monks. He focused more on carbs for energy than proteins and fats.

 

Many meals throughout the day.

Bruce Lee ate between 4-5 meals in a day to fuel his workouts and performances.

 

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey, famed Judoka and MMA champ, is careful about how what she eats might affect her workouts. Her diet also varies on when she’s trying to cut weight.  (Source)

 

Ronda Rousey

High carb breakfast

Rousey usually fuels up with oatmeal or another high carb source to kick start her day.

 

High carb/half protein lunch

 

High protein dinner

Rousey also supplements her protein intake with protein shakes and probiotic drinks.

 

Snacks

These include foods, such as frozen grapes, almonds, and trail mix.

 

No eating before bed.

Rousey refuses to eat within three hours of going to bed.

 

Fabricio Werdum

Famed MMA fighter and BJJ intensive, Fabricio Werdum, focuses mainly on protein and carbohydrates. He fights in the heavyweight class, so the calories are not wasted! (Source)

 

Fabricio Werdum [Photo/UFC]

Lots of protein

All of his meals contain some form of protein, from grilled chicken to protein shakes.

 

Low carb

A little bit of rice, toast, and fruit are the only carbohydrates that Werdum keeps in his diet. Most of his energy comes from the fat and protein Paleo-esque diet.

 

Many meals

Werdum supplements his 8-meal day with protein shakes and light meals.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on Ann Arbor martial arts, fitness, and history, contact info@japanesemartialartscenter.com for more information. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers courses in Nihon Jujutsu, Judo, Iaido, and Karate.

Serving Southeast Michigan:

JMAC students come to practice from throughout Southeast Michigan, from such areas as:

  • Ann Arbor
  • Birmingham
  • Bloomfield
  • Brighton
  • Canton
  • Chelsea
  • Clinton Township
  • Detroit
  • Dexter
  • Dundee
  • Fenton
  • Fowlerville
  • Grass Lake
  • Howell
  • Inkster
  • Jackson
  • Lansing
  • Livonia
  • Manchester
  • Milan
  • Milford
  • Monroe
  • Novi
  • Okemos
  • Pinckney
  • Plymouth
  • Rochester
  • Romulus
  • Saline
  • Southfield
  • Tecumseh
  • Troy
  • Whitmore Lake
  • Wixom
  • Ypsilanti
  • University of Michigan
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Michigan State University
  • Washtenaw Community College
  • Oakland Community College
Directions to JMAC

Links | Site Map | Misspellings
Judo | Jujutsu | Iaido | Karate | Ann Arbor Martial Arts


Web Hosting by Network Services Group, LLC
Website Design by SEO Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor - Martial Arts Mecca

For the prospective martial arts student, Ann Arbor is a mecca in the Midwest. More than any other location in Michigan, Ann Arbor has a wide variety of martial arts styles taught by many well respected sensei (teachers). You can find training opportunities at community centers, college and university gyms, health clubs, fitness centers and dojos (training halls). Among the styles available are: aikido, iaido, judo, jiu-jitsu (also called jujutsu), karate, kendo, kung fu, MMA (mixed martial arts, sometimes called BJJ) tae kwon do, tai chi, and many westernized martial arts systems. At JMAC, we offer world class instruction in judo, jiu-jitsu, iaido (Japanese swordsmanship), and karate for kids.

Aikido

Aikido is a martial arts descended from jiu-jitsu. It includes joint locks, throws, takedowns, and pins. The philosophy of aikido is a peaceful one - to use the attacker’s energy to neutralize his or her attack without causing injury. Aikido is taught in several forms, such as Aikikai, Ki Society, and Yoshinkan. Aikido was founded by Ueshiba Morihei, who studied with Takeda Sokaku, the most famous practitioner of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. Its principles can be found in almost every Japanese martial art, especially jiu-jitsu and judo. Read more about the physical and philosophical principles of Nihon Jujutsu.

Iaido in Ann Arbor

Iaido is Japanese sword drawing. It was created by the Samurai to defend against surprise attacks by an armed opponent. Most iaido involves the practice of pre-arranged forms, which are excellent tools for training the body, improving concentration, and entering into a meditative state. Finding a talented instructor in iaido with legitimate credentials is rare … in the Midwest it’s practically unheard of. For those with a desire to compete in swordsmanship for sport, kendo is the activity of choice. Those who are willing to endure an occasional whack on the head may pursue bokken kumite (sparring with wooden swords) with our director’s authorization once they reach black belt at JMAC. Read more about iaido at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Judo

Judo was founded by Professor Jigoro Kano. It is both a martial art and an Olympic sport. It includes throws, pins, joint locks, and chokes. It is among the most vigorous of martial arts and is very popular with children as well as adults. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers classes in judo for children as young as 6 years old, and for adults (starting at age 16). One fact not widely known is that sport judo is a narrow cross section of the complete art of judo. Proponents of the entire art, such as Satoh Tadayuki Sensei of Waseda University in Tokyo, recognize that the founder’s vision encompassed not only “judo” throws, but joint locks, takedowns, redirection, strikes, vital points, dynamic ukemi, kata, and weapons. Judo training at JMAC includes many of these opportunities. Read more about Judo at JMAC.

Ann Arbor Jiu-Jitsu (Jujitsu / Jujutsu)

Jujutsu - which is also written "jujitsu" and "jiu jitsu" - is the ancestor martial art of aikido and judo. Although it includes many of the techniques found in aikido, as well as many more combative techniques that did not find their way into aikido, the philosophy of jujutsu is more practical. Techniques are applied more directly, with a greater emphasis on pain compliance. Those who study jiu-jitsu over the long term improve their fitness, concentration, and ability to defend themselves. The Japanese Martial Arts Center offers serious jiu-jitsu classes for adults starting at age 16. You can learn more about the differences between Japanese jujutsu and Brazilian jiujitsu.

Karate – Kids Karate in Ann Arbor

Karate involves mainly strikes, kicks, and blocks. It was originally developed in the Ryukyu Islands (now Okinawa), and was later exported to Japan before finding its way around the world. Karate is an excellent martial art for those who prefer striking, and helps develop physical strength, stamina, and confidence. There are many forms of karate taught around the world today, including Shotokan, Shorin-ryu, Chito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, and Kyokushinkai. If you’re looking for a way to help your child learn enthusiasm, fitness, discipline, and manners while having a lot of fun, consider the kids karate program at JMAC. We have an incredible core of talented instructors who have made it their business to inspire kids to be their best. Read more about our karate program for kids.

Kendo

Kendo is a sport descended from Japanese swordsmanship. In Kendo, participants wear padded armor and attempt to score points by striking vital points with bamboo swords called "shinai." Practice is fast paced, involves much spirited shouting, and is a lot of fun. The Japanese Martial Arts Center does not offer kendo, but can refer you to a reputable kendo instructor in the area.

Kung Fu

Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that actually includes many sub-styles. Like karate, kung fu involves strikes, kicks, and blocks, but also includes many esoteric motions that can be applied to take down or otherwise defeat an opponent. Kung fu often appeals to imaginative people because of the many references to animal forms, but it is also a very challenging and practical martial art.

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

MMA (mixed martial arts) to a modern competition-based collection of techniques. Most MMA schools teach striking as well as grappling. Although not a traditional martial art - and thus lacking many of the character development and spiritual aspects of ancient Asian arts - MMA is nevertheless a fantastic form of exercise and a lot of fun. Because many MMA fighters have employed judo and jujutsu successfully, the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers private instruction to top-level competitors as well as occasional workshops for our members.

Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is the Korean counterpart to Japanese karate. As a striking art, it includes punches, kicks, and blocks, but typically Tae Kwon Do emphasizes more kicking than does karate. Competition (usually for points rather than full contact) is very common among Tae Kwon Do practitioners. It is an excellent form of exercise, but seems more susceptible to commercialization than more traditional arts such as aikido and iaido.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is another form of Chinese martial art. It is usually taught with slow, controlled movements and deep stances. There are many health benefits associated with Tai Chi, including strong bones, cardiovascular health, and calmness.

Getting Started in Martial Arts in Ann Arbor

If you are considering taking up martial arts, you will find many superb opportunities in and around Ann Arbor, including outlying cities such as Brighton, Canton, Howell, Northville, and Plymouth. Students from the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Cleary College, and even Michigan State University have supplemented their education with martial arts and found that the physical activity helps them concentrate on their studies. We think the Japanese Martial Arts Center offers the best programs in Michigan, but we’re interested in people who are willing to work hard and do what it takes to become truly accomplished. We encourage you to look around to find the martial arts club or school that best meets your needs.