the dogma of being ‘muscle-bound’ is still rife within the world of martial arts, but as readers of this site are well aware, just because you lift heavy things up and down it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t move well. firstly, as a combat athlete, you want to be strong and powerful, and muscle is (in part) responsible for that. being stronger than your opponent is a crucial advantage that can favor you in every aspect of fighting, from grappling, to wrestling, and striking as well. not only that, but more muscle (especially in the lower body) provides you with a lower center of gravity, which means that you will be more likely to dictate where the fight is going to take place.
that’s not to say that you can’t still get injured when you’re a muscular guy (or gal), but you’ll definitely be better protected with a layer of strong muscle tissue covering vital organs, such as your kidneys, as opposed to nothing but skin. the reality with these situations is that you can have a significantly heavier guy, who cuts weight really well, facing a guy that walks around daily at the weight of his division, and on fight night there could be 15-20lbs of difference between them. they all cut significant amounts of weight to ensure that they stay at the top of their weight division, and never allow another fighter to have a weight advantage. make sure that you build it right the first time, and don’t commit any of the common mistakes that make gaining muscle a hindrance, rather than a much needed boost to your fighting skill.
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