I'm a martial artist on lockdown, so now what?

Who didn't have big plans for 2020? Didn't we all enter January thinking, "This is the year I get serious about (insert your martial art discipline here.)!" 2020 was going to be THE year! And then, the sad trombone of the pandemic played its mocking tune, and that was that.


Sadly, most of us wound up couch-bound scrolling through Netflix, Prime, Hulu and any other streaming service we could secure, for that extra $4.00, that the rep assured us, over the phone, was a special just for us, and only for today!

So now what? Well, no matter what art you study, every art has solo drills.

My first teacher always stressed the 80/20 rule: 80% of your practice by yourself and 20% with a partner.

You probably learned some drills, and let them fall by the wayside, because most of us do just that. We knew they were the path to mastering technique and skill, but they aren't always as fun as working with a partner. Now is a great time for a refresher.

The first step for every student is to assess your skill honestly: What are your weaknesses? What was the last thing your teacher stressed that needed improvement?

Here are some suggestions for you to start your own solo regimen:

1. Short Reps in Quick Succession

speed bag

blog.ringside.com

Doing short reps in quick succession is a great way to build speed and endurance. For example, fire 3 sets of 5 snap kicks as fast as you can on each leg. Take 5 seconds/breaths between sets and then do it again. Do something similar for whatever art you study.

2. Take it Slow

Tai Chi

www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com

For building technique do the opposite, work slow. Pick a technique or form and do it as slow as you possibly can. (hint: Tai Chi)

3. Incorporate Mental Aspects

meditation

imagesvc.meredithcorp.io

Are there mental aspects to your art that you've ignored that you can incorporate? I was floored years ago when I learned that many Olympic athletes have a visualization coach. Have you tried to visualize yourself doing something really well? Dare I say, perfectly? Give it a try. Use a form or technique that you know well. You will be surprised by how much concentration is required.

4. Communicate

skype karate lessons

thumbor.forbes.com

Communicate with others doing the same thing you are doing. This is the 21st century and since many of us work from home, use that same technology to organize a group of likeminded individuals and evaluate each other's technique, share your experiences, and pick up some tips.

The hardest part of anything is to start, so begin with something easy and only do it for a short amount of time. 2 minutes, for instance. Too short you say? It will be longer and more productive than doing nothing. Add more (reps, time, or exercises) as you go. As a rule, a little every day is better than a lot only done occasionally. Someday this will situation be over, so let's use our time wisely and come out of it better than before.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

To Master the Supreme Philosophy of Enshin Karate, Look to Musashi's Book of Five Rings for Guidance!

In the martial arts, we voluntarily subject ourselves to conflict in a training environment so we can transcend conflict in the real world. After all, we wouldn't knowingly train in a style that makes us weaker or worsens our position. The irony of all this is that we don't want to fight our opponent. We prefer to work with what an opponent gives us to turn the tide in our favor, to resolve the situation effectively and efficiently.The Japanese have a word for this: sabaki. It means to work with energy efficiently. When we train with the sabaki mindset, we receive our opponent's attack, almost as a gift. Doing so requires less physical effort and frees up our mental operating system so it can determine the most efficient solution to the conflict.In this essay, I will present a brief history of sabaki, as well as break down the sabaki method using Miyamoto Musashi's five elements

Keep Reading Show less

Enter our partner's current Sweepstakes. They are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe'.

TAKE NOTICE!

FIVE KNUCKLE BULLET 'Wardrobe' Sweepstakes

Feeling Lucky? Enter our current Sweepstakes Now! We are giving away a Grand Prize 'FKB Wardrobe' which consists of our most popular sportswear items. Prize includes the following:

Keep Reading Show less

Coach Tony Blauer has been in the martial arts, self-defense, defensive tactics, and combatives industry for over four decades.

He founded Blauer Tactical Systems (BTS) in 1985 and it has grown into one of the world's leading consulting companies specializing in the research and development of performance psychology, personal safety, and close quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military, and professional self-defense instructors.

  • His research on the neuroscience of fear and the startle-flinch lead to the development of the SPEAR System, a modern personal defense system based on physiology, physics, and psychology. It has been used by defensive tactics and combative trainers all over the world for over 30 years.
  • He developed the world's first impact-reduction scenario-based training equipment, called High Gear, which revolutionized force-on-force training for police, SWAT, and military organizations.
  • After decades of interviewing victims of violent encounters and studying violence, he created the KNOW FEAR program which focuses on managing fear through self-awareness, resiliency, and a 'movement' mindset. This program has also been integrated by psychologists helping veterans deal with PTSD.

Tony Blauer Self Defense

Blauer's programs have influenced over three decades of trainers and coaches as well as most contemporary reality-based martial artists. He resides in California with his wife, kids, and dogs, but still travels extensively working with individuals, corporations, and government organizations around the world providing solutions for training, performance assessment and credentialing. His company is dedicated to enhancing the mental and physical safety of everyone they help train.

From Your Site Articles
Related Articles Around the Web

ONE Championship has announced its next main event, and it will be a slugfest for the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship at ONE: Reign of Dynasties on Friday, October 9.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter