No matter what type of martial arts you do, you’ll know how special martial arts training is. Martial artists are known for their athletic ability and renown for their advanced level of all-round complete fitness.
In this post I’m going to give you some tips on how to spice up your martial arts training and give you a few tricks to make sure you achieve all your potential.
My Martial Arts Training Tips
I’m going to break this post down into two sections, the necessary stuff that you just have to do. Then I’ll touch on some more specific, more unique to martial arts training exercises and tips.
The bread and butter.
Firstly there’s the necessary training that one must do to get good at any martial art, the bread and butter of the martial arts training world you could say. And that of course is attend class, that’s the only real place you can practice your technique to perfection.
Technique training is so much more efficient when you do it in class because you’re surrounded by other martial artists, whether better or worse than you, they’re all useful to you.
The ones who aren’t at your ability yet remind you of common mistakes to avoid and give you that all important ego boost when you see how much better your technique is than theirs. Then of course the ones who are better than you and your instructor are obviously going to help you. They’ll give you guidance from their personal experience and provide a live model on what your technique should look like.
I’ll always remember my Judo instructor, I did 10 minutes of randori and had been thrown countless times. He came over and said to me
This is what martial arts training is about, only now you’ve started to lose can you learn and improve and begin to win
Now that doesn’t make a lot of sense. But his point, you train and you hit a plateau and stop getting better. Only when you come out of that comfort zone and start trying new strategies and fresh techniques do you begin to improve, but of course in the testing stage, you begin to lose a lot.
So my first huge tip to you is to attend as many classes as you can, but not only this, but use the other people in your class and use what you’re learning. Your instructor doesn’t teach you things for nothing, a good martial artist has to have the ability to use as many techniques as possibly and the only way to get that confidence is through intense, frequent martial arts training with others, because only then do you notice when you’re making mistakes.
Making you stand out
I could sit here and type you a list of all the conventional exercises that people do in martial arts training, your press ups, your running, your weights, etc. However, I’m sure we all know those, so instead I’m going to tell you some more specific and unique fitness exercises. Lots of this will require a higher level of fitness than you’re conventional, but that’s what you’re reading this for, to try and get the edge in your martial arts training!
I’m going to list a few which would make a nice little circuit. I’ll also give you a brief explanation of what that is and also why that exercise is more advanced in the hope that you’ll be able to engineer your own versions and improve your martial arts training even further and tailor it to you own style.
Towel Pull Ups – These are like normal pull ups except you drape a towel over your bar and grip that instead. This is quite a step up on the normal pull up. It’s incredible for your hand and grip strength, so if you grapple or fight with a Gi at all this should definitely make an appearance in your martial arts training program.
Ply-metric Press Ups – These are effectively jumping press ups, i.e. where instead of just pushing you’re chest up so that your arms are straight, you explosively push up so that your body leaves the floor. However, instead of just doing these on the floor, you should try using two boxes, they usually have steps in gyms. You’ll want to be about 5 inches off the ground. Your hands rest on the boxes so that when you lower your chest down to the floor it goes past the place where your hands are, engaging a lot more of your chest muscles, strengthening a larger range of the muscle. You then insert the explosive push up and bounce you’re body off the ground and repeat.
Animal Walks – You may not want to do these in the gym, but animal walks are a great form of martial arts training. Have a google of them as there are numerous different variations named after different animals. They’re so good and especially specific to martial arts training because they engage all sorts of muscles. The hardest I’ve encountered is the frog
The frog walk involves you doing a burpee on the spot, but instead of the jump upwards, you jump as far forward as you can, you then repeat the exercise until you’ve covered the set distance
Hindus – Begin in the press up position, with your hips as high as possible, then bring your chest down to the ground and thrust your hips through and raise the head and chest to look upwards, then reverse back to the starting position with you’re hips high. This exercise is a phenomenal asset to any calisthenic or body weight martial arts training regime. You can feel in it in your shoulders straight away.
KettleBells I know these aren’t so unique or special but I just had to mention them as they’re amazing for martial arts training. They improve your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance and condition you, plus you can tailor them to the length of your normal sparring round, making them even more valuable to martial arts training.
I could real of a whole list of kettlebell exercises but I think it would be far better to direct you to a site full of that I use a lot; Kettlebell Workouts
I’ve given you a few exercises to play with, and a few links to some sites where there are more tips to advance your martial arts training. But my main messages would be to use your body weight as much as you can and to experiment with all the exercises out there. You’ll soon have an arsenal of new, fun and effective exercises to optimize your martial arts training.
Here’s a fun link to some exercises you could give a try if you’re brave enough!
And I’d love to hear about your favorite exercises or tips you might have so please feel free to comment, message or tweet me @colin1224 with them!
A Philosophy graduate with a passion for martial arts, travel and technology. Having done martial arts for over a decade ago I’m still just as obsessed as I was years ago. On Twitter @Colin1224