Can you effectively fit in your martial arts training?

Can you effectively fit in your martial arts training?

That does seem an odd thing to say but today I was in my dojo and I started to warm up which took me a good twenty minutes and I thought how can I improve in my martial arts I have already completed twenty minutes and I have not started yet! Suddenly I am hearing shouts from my wife that we have to go Christmas shopping to buy presents for people we only see once a year. Eh? What’s all that about? Tell Aunt Maude I don’t need her Pokémon socks gift set again, yellow is not my colour oh wait maybe it is. Ha ha.

Why I am I telling you this well it just occurred to me how much training we have to fit in just to stay level and not to lose any hard won skills that you may have already achieved.

When I train I like to start with some basics so I would do some basic footwork and some basic angles using the stick and knife. Then I would do some skipping as this is brilliant for footwork. Heavy bag training next practicing all my kicks and punching singly then in combinations after comes some shadow boxing and some mobility exercises we are now up to two and a half hours and I am still not getting anywhere. Next are my Katas from my Karate days in Shotokan there are 26 of these and I also do a couple of other ones from Gojo ryu and Kung Fu.

Three and a half hours later I am still not getting anywhere then things turn really ugly, my wife; no I did not mean her I meant things. She won’t give up on us going out and buying emergency scented candles in case an uninvited guest turns up over Christmas. I told her ”if they are uninvited then don’t feel bad if we hide behind the sofa when they knock on the door.” Oh no that’s another week of sleeping in the Dojo Merry Christmas everyone.

Back to the training having completed three and a half hours and not completing everything that I want to or should do e.g. some weights and conditioning exercises, Stick drills, flexible weapons drills, karambit, my cool down Yoga and a breathing Tai Chi form.

Other things now flashed through my mind and they were I am only doing solo work up to this point now I have to do lots more training but with a partner and someone who is trying to knock your head off.  

Now some of the things I need to practice with a partner are Stick drills, Stick locking and disarms, Karambit, Panatukan (Dirty boxing), Knife drills and defence, Pressure points, Small circle Jujuitsu, Sarong and flexible weapons, sparring, ground work, Sword work, Axe, Self defence and many more things that I can’t remember at this moment. Now we have to consider time away from the Dojo but still thinking about martial arts like research, study, anatomy, healing, refining Etc.

So what is the point of this blog, well what I am saying is we only have a certain and limited amount of time to train so we must use it wisely. For me my training always focuses on and around the core principles of movement, body mechanics and physics, so if I am using a sword I can use the same body mechanics for knife, karambit or empty hands you would just make allowances for the range and the capability of each weapon. (Length, stabbing, cutting, impact Etc)     

Look at ways where you can overlap things like skills or exercises that can be utilised and reapplied to something else you already do or need to do. Some of the training I enjoy is working with the mace and kettle/club bells and some of these dynamic movements that I do with them can be applied to my punching and kicking, so maybe I will do mace and kettle/club bell one day and my bag drills the next. When you practise skipping you are already doing a lot of footwork but you can change it up by moving forward/backward when skipping, double skipping, turn a rounds, running as you are skipping and many more things difficult to explain in a blog without showing you. So if you skipped one day you can do your footwork the next day saving time but still gaining benefits.

If you work long hours and or have a family you will find it difficult to fit in all the time you need to get better at your chosen art, it would take over eight hours a day to do all the things listed above so you owe it to yourself to really look at the way you are training and practising to get the best out of your time and yourself. That’s all for this year as I now have to buy some scented candles or cushions.

Merry Christmas everyone and stay safe.

GM Angelo