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Bench Pressing

I mentioned that I have been lifting weights with my sons (aged 21 and 18). I like to lift lighter weights with more repetitions than them. They tend to lift heavier because they are trying to build mass. I am just trying to stay in shape as I get older.

My second son got me to bench press 175 pounds (once). That is a lot for me. I was a little happy. Even though my sons regularly lift 225 pounds or more, at least I felt somewhat close.

Then my second son mentioned, "You should have seen my friend in high school. He could bench 550. He was a monster!"

That sounded like an awful lot of weight to me, so I looked up the world record. It is about 1000 pounds!

So how does this relate to Karate? The answer is this -- I certainly would not like to grapple with someone who could bench press 1000 pounds or even 500 pounds. My sons are already much stronger than me. I cannot possibly match them in raw strength.

That is why Karate techniques tend to be concentrated on attacking an opponent's weak spots. Even a person who can lift 1000 pounds has very weak eyes. Karate also teaches us to be very agile and quick. There is little advantage in standing there and slugging it out unless you are bigger and stronger.

I began my martial arts training as a grappler (in Judo). I also practiced Aikido and Kenpo. Grappling has also been a part of my Karate training. However, I always keep in mind that the attacker might be much stronger than me. In fact, he might be able to lift 1000 pounds. Just imagine if he got a hold of me!


Charles C. Goodin