Learn all about martial arts and the art of learning martial arts skills and techniques at home. from stretches, stances, striking and home essentials, to developing a timetable that works for you. For beginners, this guide has it all!
What is Martial Arts?
The term martial arts refers to all of the various systems of training for combat that have been arranged or systematized. Generally, these different systems or styles are all designed for one purpose: physically defeating opponents and defending against threats.
The word 'martial' derives from the name Mars, who was the Roman god of war.
A Brief History of Martial Arts:
Ancient people of all types engaged in fighting, war, and hunting. Thus, each and every civilization subscribed to a version of martial arts or combat all their own.
Still, most people think of Asia when they hear the term martial arts. Along with this, around the year 600 BC trade between India and China flourished. It is believed that during this time information regarding the Indian martial arts was passed onto the Chinese and vica versa.
For children, Martial Arts is a sport that can teach:
✅ Listening Skills
✅ Coordination and much more!
Read on for an introduction to the basics of starting Martial Arts training and how you can work on this at home…
Stretches At Home
Before you begin exercising, punching and kicking, focus on flexibility. Learning to stretch properly before working out will reduce injury and allow you to exert greater range of motion as you progress.
⚡ Stretch your arms so that punching practice doesn't pull your rotator cuff or strain your elbow.
⚡ Stretch your legs so that learning kicks doesn't pull your hamstrings or strain your groin (adductor muscles).
⚡ Use twisting stretches for your core so that working out doesn't strain your lower back.
Ongoing attention to being flexible can keep you healthy and help you have a lasting experience as a martial artist.
Particular attention to legs is recommended. Warm ups should include at least three different lower body stretches held for a minimum of 20 seconds each.
Get In Shape
One of the main reasons people are attracted to martial arts is self-defense. The ability to outrun an attacker is second only to the physical endurance to fight off an attacker. Being in good shape is paramount to learning to defend yourself.
Adopt a daily workout regimen that targets your cardiovascular system and the three major muscle areas of legs, core and upper body.
Below is an example beginner routine to stay in shape:
◾ Monday: Jog
◾ Tuesday: Do pushups, squats and leg lifts
◾ Wednesday: Jump rope
◾ Thursday: Do pushups, squats and leg lifts
◾ Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Recovery time
⚡ Rotate between cardiovascular and muscle training from day to day and vary the specific exercises from one session to the next.
Learn To Stand
Your stance as a martial artist determines the adequacy of your defense as well as the effectiveness of your strikes. Never face an attacker or an opponent square-on. Doing so provides them with the largest target your body can be.
Turn your body to the side to make it a smaller target. If you are right-handed, your main fighting stance will be with your right leg back. Feet should be a shoulder-width-and-a-half apart. You knees should always be bent and weight shifted forward onto your toes.
Learn To Strike
Once you find your stance, simply bounce up and down, back and forth and side to side. Replace rigidity with fluidity and use the mirror to make sure you maintain a side position with your hands up by your face at all times.
Visualize an attacker coming at you with strikes. Practice blocking, ducking and evading these imaginary assaults, followed by counter strikes of your own.
From your fighting stance, practice punches off the rear and front hands 100 times each, then switch sides and repeat.
Do the same with kicks off both legs, switch sides and repeat. Hand and foot striking drills should be done every day.
Focus on the BASICS...
⚡ Practice jabs, crosses hooks and uppercuts with your hands.
⚡ Practice front kicks, round kicks and side kicks with your legs.
⚡ Put these techniques into combinations.
Martial Arts Home Essentials
Practicing martial arts at home does not require any additional at-home equipment, however there are many things that can make your martial arts training more intense and can make practicing a lot of fun.
◾ Punch bags
◾ Sparring gear
◾ Bag gloves
◾ Focus Pads
◾ Jigsaw Mats
To ensure you have the appropriate equipment for training, speak to one of the team or order from our shop if available.
The importance of hard work can never be underestimated. Quite simply, if you show up and train properly twice a week with all your effort; you will improve. After a few months or years of regular training, when you look back to see how far you have come; you realise that if you really put the time and effort in, you can achieve whatever you want to.
In life we often put limits on ourselves. I’m lazy. I’m rubbish at sports. I can’t do maths. We define ourselves by our past mistakes. In reality, we are not our past. We exist in the present moment with unlimited potential.
If you really do want to achieve something, as long as you can dedicate yourself to it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get there. Go after what you are drawn to, and work hard at it. You have a lot more power than you think.
Practicing martial arts is all down to you, dedication and self-motivation however, by attending a weekly or twice weekly class, you are guaranteed to move up the ranks of martial arts belts and master the skills and techniques faster.
Set time aside daily, to work on your routine and find ways to keep yourself motivated. A good idea is to set yourself some goals and a timeline of achievements. Again, attending a martial arts class can help you to achieve these goals faster.
A martial artist trains, then recovers, then trains and recovers and so on and so on. Training, to many martial artists is given thought, attention and a high level of respect. This is needed so one can learn, adapt and constantly improve ones fighting abilities.
Recovery is needed so as ones body can work as efficiently and effectively as possible. If muscles are sore, ligaments are tender and joints hurt then one will not be able to train to their maximum and their fighting technique will suffer.
Some of the best recovery methods which many martial artists use include:
◾ Take time off – This is the number one way to recover from workouts and although obvious to some, many people still do not do it. A lot of people will take maybe a day of from training, but if your muscles are in pain whenever you try and throw a punch or lift your leg for a kick then you simply have not rested enough.
◾ A hot bath – A hot bath is a great way to relax your muscles.
◾ A cold bath – As much as a hot bath is good for recovery after training so is a cold bath. It helps reduce the inflammation occurred during training to the muscle, joint and ligaments.
◾ Calm stretches – Stretching to a couple of inches or so below your maximum is a great way to treat muscles that have been beaten through hard workouts. Don’t hold each stretch for more than 20 seconds as this type of stretching is only to help you recover a bit quicker.
◾ Quality diet – Many martial artists, especially those who are trying to cut a certain amount of weight before a fight/competition tend to restrict the calories they consume. Whilst this is needed to lose weight, many people cut back too much and coupled with the fact they burn up extra calories through training, this can seriously increase the time needed to recover between workouts.
◾ Water – A lot of people do not drink enough water. When training hard one must keep well hydrated. Muscle is made up of mostly water and without it you simply are not doing your muscles any favours. Keep hydrated always!
So there you have it!
A complete guide to learning martial arts at home.
This is a working document... this means that if there is any part of this guide that you do not understand, or you feel needs expanding upon, send us a message!