3/02/2006 2:15am, #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
Loren W. Christensen, Good Martial Artist, But Somewhat Misguided...
For those unfamiliar, Loren W. Christensen is a fairly well known martial artist. He has black belts in Karate, Jujitsu, and Arnis. Heís an ex-cop who did a lot of assignments in the mean streets of Vietnam and worked on various gang defense units. Christensen also teaches martial arts and dabbled in body building in his youth. Now around 60, Christensen spends most his time writing books and articles on martial arts as well as giving specialty lessons. Many of his books are very well done. Hell, I own a couple myself and found them very informative and well written. Only problem is that while most of the content is really good, he makes a couple grade-A bullshido remarks in some of his books (in my opinion anyways). Honestly, I think a lot of it comes from him being slightly biased when it comes to health because he has an old school body building and traditional martial arts background. Here are some examples.
From "The Fighters Fact Book"
- Christensen has a whole section on creatine where he says ďEverybody and their brother takes creatine these days, and for good reason: it works.Ē He then writes several paragraphs about the great gains that he and his students have made, and then ends the section by saying ďIíll conclude by encouraging you to take creatine. It is considered safe by scientists, doctors, and sports medicine specialists.Ē
Last I checked, creatineís benefits had not been proven factual by the FDA and not enough long term studies had been done for it to be ďconsidered safe.Ē
- Christensenís thoughts on ground fighting. ď90% of Fights go to the Ground. Oh Really? Have you ever noticed that most of the people making this claim are also selling books and videos on grappling? Have you ever wondered where they got that percentage? This 90% claim has not been my experience, nor has it been the experience of all the police officers I asked about it. In all the brawls I had I canít think of one that went to the ground when I did not want them to. Iím not saying that I was good at preventing it from happening. Iím saying that it simply didnít happen.Ē
Okay, I can maybe understand him saying that ground fighting is overrated, but to downplay it to such a degree is absurd. Also, I find it hard to believe that a cop who has been fighting and arresting thugs on skid row for decades (enough to write a book on all the crazy fights and situations heís been in) hadnít been forced to fight on the ground a single time.
From "The Fighterís Body: An Ownerís Manual"
- Christensen's thoughts on aerobic exercise. ďDonít overdo the aerobics. Review your aerobic training to see if you might be doing too much. Long duration aerobics burns a lot of calories and fatigues your muscles so you canít push as hard with dynamic tension or the weights. In extreme cases, aerobics actually waste away your hard-trained muscles. Your goal and focus right now is to increase your muscular development, not to improve your aerobic condition. If you insist on doing them, limit the sessions to 30 minutes, three times a week. You can always do more once you finish building the muscles you want."
I think that most martial artists agree that aerobic training is just as, if not more important than resistance training. Even for general wellness, most specialists list 30 min sessions aerobic three times a week as an absolute minimum. Most Iíve heard recommend closer to five days a week to be in great physical health.
- He continues. ďDonít do cardio kickboxing, stationary bicycle riding and 60-minute jogging sessions. While the martial arts does require aerobic fitness, as does a real street fight, both endeavors involve short explosions of energy, not the type developed from long periods of endurance work.Ē
Tell that to anyone whoís ever lost a fight because they started to gasÖ
3/02/2006 3:18am, #2
It's nice for a Kenpo guy to encourage/support ground fighting, I gotta give that to you. I can't say i've ever read any of his books (Even though I might now...), but he's obviously exaggerating the "NO GROUND FIGHTS EVER" thing, just as ground fighters tend to exaggerate the "NOTHING BUT GROUND FIGHTS... EVER" thing. It's a marketing ploy - a fight could go either way, the chances are probably around 50/50 although it'd be impossible to come up with a rock solid statistic.
As far as the creatine thing is concerned, people can do what they want to do - it hasn't been found dangerous, it's not TECHNICALLY a steroid, and it does work. Go with what works, if you're in to the Macho Man Randy Savage look.
I can't help but kinda agree with his thoughts on aerobics, to a certain extent they're very important (This certain extent may possibly slightly exceed what he reccomended), but I don't think it should be overdone. Personally I MUCH perfer resistance training to aerobic exercises. It makes me feel more fit, exercises my stamina more, and has a better physical result. Him saying NOT to do Biking or Jogging sessions is ridiculous, though.
Sure, the guy is a little biased, but not necessarily as much as you may think (From my personal standpoint). He makes good points, but i'm afraid i'll agree with the view that he's slightly old fashioned.
3/02/2006 4:11am, #3
Scientific literature demonstrates that creatine is indeed effective at increaing performance during anerobic activity.
I actually agree on not overdoing the aerobics. Aerobic conditioning tends to cancel out strength and power gains as aerobic enzymes in the muscle cells replace anerobic enzymes. The endurance we require to offset fatigue is more muscular endurance and lactic acid tolerance than cardio-vascular. Conditioning exercises such as high-rep weight sessions or sprints in the durantion of 2-5 minute intervals would be more beneficial. 40 minute jogging sessions would only be specific if you plan on having 40 minute fights at a low to moderate internsity. I wouldn't say that aerobic fitness isn't important as it can increase lactic acid removal and provides heath benefits such as lower bodyfat levels, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. I'm no expert on "t3h str33t f1ghtz" but I suspect being able to use bursts of speed and explosiveness would help more.
Even for general wellness, most specialists list 30 min sessions aerobic three times a week as an absolute minimum. Most Iíve heard recommend closer to five days a week to be in great physical health.
I find it hard to believe that a cop who has been fighting and arresting thugs on skid row for decades (enough to write a book on all the crazy fights and situations heís been in) hadnít been forced to fight on the ground a single time.
Last edited by Virus; 3/02/2006 4:14am at .
3/02/2006 5:45am, #4Originally Posted by Virus
In street fight there is usually 1 oponent that have stack the decks in his favor.
Besides for all we know his fights may have been succer punching people before it degenerated.
Right after the first UFC and the Gracie mania groundfighting did become over enphasised, now it's back to where it should be : a skill set to have that is not more or less important as stand-up fighting.Martial Arts is like sex, if you over complicate it with exotic sounding names, theories and principles, you end up fucking yourself in the ass. -Ronin69
3/02/2006 10:24am, #5
Originally Posted by Nathan McScary
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
As far as muscle growth and cardio: Once again I will agree. If you are trying to build muscle, cardia is like the anit-growth. From my reading and my own experience, you need to train in stages. If muscle growth is your goal, then lay off the cardio until you get to the point you want your strength to be. Once there, then you switch to a stage where you increase your cardio. Muscle growth requires alot of calories and proteins ect. Cardio does too. To much cardio, and I mean alot, can cause your body to start burning muscle for energy. This is an extremem situation, something like training for a marathon.
I have read some neat stuff that encluded a routine designed for MA using weights. I will be general since I haven't tried it myself yet. What the routine did was combine 3 excercises into a set. You do each excercise right after you complete the one before it. No break. After you complete the set you take a 90 second break. You do this for three sets, then do the next 3 excercise combo. After the first week, you lessen the breaks.
Sorry got of track there a little bit. If I can find it I will look for the article I read on this. Seems to make alot of sense that this would be more applicable to a fighters type of cardio.
11/18/2012 7:15pm, #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
I am writing this in support of Loren. I recently took private lessons from him off and on for 3 years. First of all, he is an incredible martial artist! He has real experience. He has been there (Vietnam, police force, gang unit). His training is realistic, street-oriented, and very effective. Loren is one of the good guys. He is well-educated, modest, and unassuming. As a writer, he does his homework. Yes, he's in his 60's but old-fashioned? No way. He trains several times a week and while he may not have the wind of his youth, as he told me once, "These days if a fight lasts more than 3 minutes I'll probably be in trouble but those first 2 minutes are going to very hard on the other guy." Loren is the real deal! I have read most of Loren's books and watched most of his DVD's. Overall they provide a lifetime's worth of practical training tips, methods, and advice.
11/18/2012 7:31pm, #7
11/18/2012 9:53pm, #8
- Join Date
- May 2007
- Lafayette, IN
11/18/2012 10:44pm, #9
11/19/2012 9:39am, #10
Plus he included an exclamation mark, and that's gotta be worth something.