I'm in my 29s now. In a few months, I am going to marry.

I have recently joined a martial arts course (Kalari) in my village. Actually, I am a bit lazy to exercise and now I am in under the weight. So I think I can improve my physical fitness in a 6-months Kalari class. I already completed the 1-month classes in kalarippayattu. It's very nice and I am feeling new energy in my body and mind. Everything going fine.

Now I am practicing 'Gaja Vadivu' step. But recently I heard my friend (he is an experienced person in kalarippayattu) about if its semen retention is really required in the period of attending martial arts class. I am really afraid about this, because I don't want professional 'kalarippayattu' training, and another reason is I am a family person and going to marry soon. If I am controlling the sexual matters in this period, do you think will affect my personal life?

I can't ask these question to my classmates because all others are younger than me, and I didn't ask this question to my master.


3 Answers 3


There is no scientific evidence that sex (or no sex) before competition affects performance whatsoever. BBC, again the BBC, CNN, and a general search. Therefore, "semen retention" is nothing more than mythical mumbo jumbo which is safe to utterly ignore.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 17:48

There are many weird claims and customs in traditional martial arts. I've never heard about this one, but for example in aikido we have people talking about "centering their ki" which is like an invisible force that you can use to anchor yourself to the ground so your partner won't be able to move you no matter how hard he pushes.

Since you plan to practice it only for a short time, I'd suggest you be polite to that person and others who may claim some weird stuff, but don't care much about it ;)

  • Agreed. You can respect beliefs, but not adopt them where it doesn't affect your training. I'm the same way when someone in the gym starts talking about their special workout blend, or someone at the foot of the roda needs to make warding gestures before entering. Heck, one could include the purification rituals in Sumo. Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 15:00

I would write this as a comment, but I don't have the reputation.

Abstaining from ejaculating has been shown to increase testosterone when over a period of 7 days. I'm not sure how long "semen retention" is supposed to be for your martial art, but an increase in testosterone will almost certainly improve your physical performance.

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    Note that a single study is a pretty weak argument. Studies get contradicted all the time, they are just the first step towards better understanding. -- The other problem with your idea is that the link between testosterone level and physical performance is pretty much unproven - again, studies that confirm it and studies that find no connection. Anyway, a one-day testosterone level high is not going to affect performance much. -- My personal take would be that being well-rested is more important. If ejaculating helps getting a good night's sleep, it's a good idea.
    – toolforger
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 16:01
  • @toolforger everything in your comment is basically true. I've tried it and definitely seem to feel more energized and focused. I just wanted to share this to make OP aware that there are potential benefits of abstaining from ejaculating in the short term, if even just for several days. Regular good sleep and eating right also boost testosterone. Just living as healthy lifestyle as possible is the best path forward whether he wants to try semen retention or not. Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 16:14
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    "[…] 28 volunteers were investigated daily […]" this is a tiny sample size thus statistically irrelevant and there was no control group whatsoever. This "study" is not worth the paper it is printed on. Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 7:02
  • Even if it does increase testosterone levels, how does that affect your martial arts performance and/or skill? Everyone has different levels of testosterone. There's no reason to think it matters at all when learning a martial art. It might improve recovery and may increase muscle mass over time. That is mostly irrelevant to gaining skill in martial arts. And if you want more muscle, go ahead and lift weights. Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 21:19

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