Drumming and martial arts

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I took Jiu Jitsu and it introduced me to meditation, trying to channel anger and focus which I needed help in all departments. I liked it because it didn't seem as aggressive as karate and others-not much kicking butt-more throws and wrestling sort of contact. I liked the physicality of it because it didn't matter your size too. Which I was actually one of the taller fellas that actually worked against me-those short ones with low center of gravity harder to throw around. I wish I had stuck with it. I remember back then one of the reasons I had an interest in martial arts was Buddy Rich. So it just sort of formed a link between the two in my mind. Buddy had real "chops".
 

BruceW

Senior Member
I used to study American Freestyle Karate, with a smidge of small-circle jui-jitsu thrown in. The biggest similarity I can think of is multiple limb independence. Discipline, in general, of course, and practice.

Repeated motions, too, I suppose...
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I've often wondered if I could've been a boxer, since I enjoy watching it as well as the UFC. I see the timing between the leg movements and the hand work as similar to the coordination one requires in playing drumset. Lomachenko afterall, was made to take dancing lessons before his father would teach him how to box.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I've often wondered if I could've been a boxer, since I enjoy watching it as well as the UFC. I see the timing between the leg movements and the hand work as similar to the coordination one requires in playing drumset. Lomachenko afterall, was made to take dancing lessons before his father would teach him how to box.
Me too but then I hear Bruce Lee’s adage in my head saying.

“Drums don’t hit back.”
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
My latest theory on boxing is to develop a timing that counters the timing of your opponent. And to get there would require plotting the footwork and handwork over time, and several boxing matches, to anticipate what your opponent is going to do.

And then there's the reflex speed that drummer's have. Depending on the style, that quickness could translate to entire arm movement, not just from the elbow down. And has a boxer ever felt a 'flam attack', or maybe a 'ratamacue assault'?

EDIT: If you can plot your opponents movements on a graph against time, you should be able to find the sweet spot where a quarter note tempo perfectly interlaces in between those movements. Once you have the tempo, find a song to listen to while you train for the fight. You will be fighting at an optimal reward zone.
 
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Bozozoid

Well-known member
Tai kwon do for a year. I didn't care for it as it wasn't that great in an actual street fight unless you were some 3rd degree B.B. Went into weight lifting which gave me far more confidence in survival should one need confidence. I think either one could give you the (mental) toughness one needs to endure the down times in drumming when you feel like nothing is working or bearing fruit. In hindsight I believe wrestling would have been good for a strong mental outlook when you need to have that toughness to endure the times in drumming and in life when you need that edge.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Has anyone studied both, and got thoughts about the differences/sameness between them?

I see similarities between drumming improv and freestyle practicing wth the Wing Chun Mu ren zhuang (wooden dummy). Particularly the moment by moment split second decisions combined with ready "rudiments".

 

toddmc

Gold Member
Did it for about 7 years up until Covid hit.
I found it helped with stamina and maybe a bit of co-ordination/ constant practice mindset but other than that I didn't find one helped the other all that much.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I did Aikido and Karate and I see no link whatsoever with jazz drumming lol.

In Canada Karate is great but not very useful in fact... in the USA I would simply carry a gun instead. ;)

Aikido was more useful for my mind, in a panic situation my reflex is not to fight another person it's to let the energy pass... or de-escalate when i see there is going to be extreme violence.

But a link with drumming
:unsure:

Maybe if I played music in a hostile place like a bar, I would be glad to have some some sort defensive knowledge.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
My brothers and I loved boxing-we use to box each other and my middle brother would have matches between my friends and I. Since one bro 5 and the other 7 years older it wasn't to fair till I turned about 13 or so-beat the hell out of both of them one day. Guess there was lots of pent up frustration. Pretty much ended the boxing with them LOL. But my brother kept on matching us. We bloodied each other daily. I remember one day he set up a match between my best friend and I at the time. I bloodied his nose which set him crying-then me crying cause he was crying. We were probably 8-9 years old. I remember my brother picked him up on his shoulders and carried him home. I never felt so bad for a victory-my brother who had egged me on the whole time and then carrying the loser like a trophy. It's not just a male thing my three female cousins lived up street and they would fight and put holes in walls and doors just like we did. They had talons to rip your skin off. They outgrew though-we kept wrestling but by early college I tired of it-my friends kept going-destroyed a trailer one party.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've always kept a baseball bat handy-bought one for all my girls. None of us play baseball, but you can put anyone in the hospital with one. I have several machetes lying around I kept handy at one time- if someone pulls a blade on me-slice and dice. I use to live in boonies when single so I kept self defense handy. I don't have a baseball bat now-still have one machete. No loaded guns. I guess my fighting days are over. I'll challenge them to a dance off LOL.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Though I only did Aikido for a short period, I was much more attached to the philosophical and meditative side rather than martial. Actually some of the ukemi wrist locks and finger injuries were a bit concerning so I gave it up in favor of drumming because I realized really can't do both at the level I want and continued the mental/spiritual aspect independently. Eventually the joy of music superseded any martial aspirations.

It has arguably been one of biggest influence both in my life and drumming, I don't claim to have mastered anything (just trying). But to be literal, purposefully breathing is fundamental for a relax attentiveness which relates musical awareness in an improv setting, improved sense of groove and just empathetic listening, with a point of mental focus that both physical and conceptual (usually several cm below the navel is what I've learned). Consequently it helps with speed and endurance as well. It also involves adapting to your situation to make the music happen whatever the scenario. Posture and balance was also eye opening for center of gravity, it helps my feet in the sense I never want my balance of my body by my legs at all. Making use of centripetal force whenever possible, this comes up Aikido/weapons all the time and certainly in stick work which has been talk about extensively. Also never having a favorite right/left....maintaining equal balance to take out weaknesses which is why I forced to learn both right and left lead playing. Balance just isn't physical but also musically; fill and making space along with harmony and dissonance...the dance of extremes together. But above all, if you want to be better at anything (fill the blank: drumming, martial arts...whatever), you have to work on being a better person. There is no mistake that some of the musical greats (or the least one I admire) happen to be super nice people and there is a level of spiritual training to develop this fully (I mean this on an agnostic level). And if you are an asshole or immature, the music has a way of showing just that.

There is ton of rhythm within martial arts but even that is limited... If you want to go further, there is the concept of rhythm in the universe and how it may relate with ki/qi/chi or whatever your want to call it which I feel rhythm is the same. Philosophically, you can start to contemplate why is rhythm something we are even celebrating...it is fundamentally very primitive to human existence; from our first heartbeat to uncontrollable joy of dance or even sex. Then there are the vibrations of waves and particles that created just this sentence, then expand that to various universes....all doing their own single stroke rolls at different rates and we have a human sense to capture some of this reality and have a conscience awareness that allows us to enjoy it...for some reason! Nonetheless, there is alot of philosophy in martial arts and which is completely intertwined with music/drumming on this level as well.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Tae Kwon Do as a youth and again in college. Made it to purple belt. Absolutely useless in the real world. Basic memorization of forms.

A couple years later, got a job in the first strip club I worked in. My manager was a nationally ranked judoka. 3rd in the nation for some time if I remember correctly. He started teaching a bunch of us. I was only in it for about 3 or 4 months. But I learned more on how to defend and protect
myself in that amount of time, than I did in a few years and semesters of TKD. Judo and Jujitsu.

Carpe Jugulum!
 
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someguy01

Well-known member
Do basic and advanced hand to hand combat training count? Not a martial art per se, but the US Army seemed to take it pretty seriously.
I found that it accomplished well, not much in regards to my drumming. Wrestling in HS did increase my leg strength which had some helping effect.
Meditation, now that was a great help to my concentration and the ability to clear all thought but the necessary one in the moment.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Not at all. Cant throw fireballs, cant teleport, cant bicycle kick. All I get out of martial arts training is sore thumbs.

A friend of mine both trains and teaches numerous different disciplines, as well as weapons classes (stick, knife, etc). He also has a conceal carry license and trains for firearm combat. He is a horrible guitar player.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I studied Muay Thai, and felt that drumming helped the MT more than the other way around. Probably because drums came first in my life, and through it I learned how to learn. Understanding rhythm and human responses to rhythm helped also.
Unfortunately a wrist injury from a 3rd sport - cycling - which got worse in the MT gym, has left me with the choice that if I wanted to keep hitting things with boxing gloves, I would probably be deprived of the ability to hit things with drum sticks soon. Drums won.
 
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