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A Cross Between Kendo And Pole Vaulting

I think of the two weightlifting events (the snatch, and clean & jerk) as a cross between Kendo and pole vaulting.

Like Kendo, weightlifting has an austerity to it that many sports do not. Kendoists spend their lifetimes trying to perfect a few (seemingly) simple movements. This lack of variety stands in stark contrast to events like the decathalon or strongman competitions. You won't find any high level weightlifters or Kendo-ka with ADD.

And like the pole vault, weightlifting can result in serious injury— this is what separates weightlifters from "guys who lift weights." It's not just a matter of pulling as hard as you can— in addition to harnessing very high levels of effort, weightlifters must also ensure a very high level of precision— failure to do so puts them at a very real risk of debilitating injury.


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  1. Jedd Johnson on Sep 18, 2007 3:25:05 PM:

    I see where you are coming from on pole vault, although I am not sure I agree. Pole vault is highly dependent on the utilization of the springiness of the pole - this is not the case in Olympic lifting. While the Olympic bar bends and flexes, it does not offer assistance to the athlete when it does so, like the pole does for the vaulter.

  1. Charles on Sep 18, 2007 6:40:12 PM:

    Thanks for posting Jedd,

    My point is that weightlifting and pole vaulting are both potentially dangerous, and both require at least a measure of courage...

  1. Javier Saez on Sep 23, 2007 12:18:35 PM:

    Mr Staley, i am a pupil of Prof Horacio Anselmi from Argentina, i know you know him.
    I agree 100% with you, i am a faithgul reader of all of your articles, and i have some of them translated to spanish.
    In relation with your comments, i like to add that, only the persons with a little dose of tenacity, and persistence,will make it in weithglitfing, just like in kendo and martial arts.
    That kind of "acute sense of self sacrifice", make the difference betwen a man who lift weigts and a weightlifter

    sincerely yours

    javier saez

    PD: sorry for my bad english

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