Can You Do Both?
I'm often asked if Guided Chaos and Bodybuilding are compatible and if
developing large muscles interferes with GC development.
Body building and GC are not mutually exclusive in any way, shape or form.
As I have often said, weight training is a good adjunct to training for GC.
While stimulating the full gamut of muscular contraction during weight
training may, at first, get in the way of fluid, sensitive movement,
it does not have to remain that way.
By carefully stretching before and after body building or strength training
you can, in time, add the attribute of muscular weight to your arsenal.
It takes more time to control the extra muscle and strength but it can have
some possible advantages for some folks.
What's Your Body Type?
If you are an ecto-mesomorph (small bones/large muscles) like Bruce Lee,
then weight training is a plus right at the start.
If you are an ectomorph (skinny) then some form of strength training will help.
If you are a true Mesomorph (Hercules type) then you can do anything to
stimulate your muscular strength but may wish to hold back on too much
An endomorph (naturally heavy) person will gain calorie burning potential by
weight training because the more muscle you have, the faster you burn calories.
When GC and Body Building Mix Right
As you can see in these photos, Mesomorphs look scary--and they are.
Michael (on the right in the top photo) displays an arm that most bodybuilders
would be envious of. He is a 6th degree Master of GC and has integrated both
disciplines into his everyday training with great results. Nick, the other highly
developed Mesomorph (bottom photo) came to me after decades of real street
fights, most of which he easily won. He wanted to get more efficient in his ability
to take out an adversary with far less energy than he expended in the past.
He now is far more efficient and if anyone got into a close combative situation
with him they would rue the day they crossed his path. But now Nick can do
what he must with more aplomb, making it far less necessary to hospitalize
Michael is a living legend among GC practitioners as well as his many patrons
who find it very safe to eat, drink and make merry at the various establishments
he protects as a nightclub security person. He is the epitome of what nature can
produce when a strong frame and especially strong muscles are combined with
natural athleticism. He is to me the Sir Lancelot of our round table, to coin a phrase.
A gentle giant. Not really as big as the 400 pound giant bouncers I've worked with
in the past but even more dangerous. No kidding. Many stories could be told of
When GC and Body Building Mix Wrong
I want to point out though that one should not seek to use bodybuilding as a crutch
to cover for a shortcoming in Guided Chaos skill development. Although in my youth
I was athletic and an accomplished power-lifter, various medical ailments
as well as injuries from my years as a street cop have greatly reduced my physical
abilities. Yet because of my devotion to the art and superior Balance, Body Unity,
Looseness, Sensitivity and Adaptability, I can still easily hold my own with these
two Samsons. Everything else being equal, skill still trumps strength. Strength can
be an insidious trap that stifles your development of Sensitivity because you will
be tempted to block a strike with power instead of absorbing and eluding it while
simultaneously and efficiently bringing your own weapons online. Similarly, you may
try to bull your way through your opponent's defenses instead of "ghosting" around
This "power" trap is not unique to bodybuilding and GC. Tai Chi is filled with
practitioners who have lost the essence of their art, reducing the game of push hands
to what essentially amounts to a Sumo contest. We have seen this scenario played
out even among National Champions. Is it any wonder that some Tai Chi schools will
teach push hands as a form of sensitivity drill but then turn around and put gloves on
to teach "boxing" as the art's combative component? Something got lost in the sauce.
To sum up, weight training is not a detriment to GC training. However, there ARE
other ways to develop strength via Guided Chaos exercises alone. We will explore
some of them in future Newsletter articles.