Martial arts comprise the different traditions and styles of combat sports and training, across the world. Karate and Judo, from Japan, Taekwondo from Korea, Krav Mag from Israel, Tai Chi and Kung Fu from China, Gatka and Kushti from India, Muay Thai from Thailand—all are examples of martial arts, that have direct techniques but serve the same purposes.
Martial arts can be undertaken for a number of reasons: self-defense, fitness, health, mindfulness, and more. They have immense positive effects on the body and the mind, and can aid balance, cognitive function, and psychological health, ‘regardless of the age of practice commencement’.
How can you get started?
You can easily perform it solo, and with basic equipment:
- Identify the style you’d like to pursue, depending on what you’re seeking to achieve.
- Fix a time, and stick to this schedule. Consistency is the key.
- At the onset, a session of 20-30 mins, 5-6 days a week, is good. You can combine strength and cardio workouts, or any other routines with it, too.
Tips for safety:
- Consult your doctor beforehand if you have any health-related issues.
- An expert will be able to guide you with the martial art training that best fits your requirement. It’ll also be easier—and safer—to learn under supervision, in the beginning.
- Be properly kitted out, with sparring gloves, hand wraps, guards, et al.
- Stance is critical. Train with the correct posture and technique always.
A routine you can try:
These are simple, effective martial arts exercises that can be done at home, every day. All you need is a punching bag.
Never skip this. You can do exercises like ankle bounces, dynamic stretching, jumping jacks, burpees, jump ropes etc. Do this for 5 minutes.
Shadow-Boxing (or any footwork exercises):
There will be 3 rounds, 5 minutes each, with 1 minute rest in between.
- In shadow-boxing, you’ll throw fast-paced punches at an imaginary partner, while nimbly moving your feet about, retreating, advancing, pivoting, circling, etc.
- The focus will be on your footwork here.
(You can also try forward backward shuttle run, lateral shuffle, or agility ladder/cone drills, etc)
Heavy Bag Workout (or boxing + kicking exercises) Part 1:
You’ll do 3 rounds, all different, and 5-minutes long each. Rest 1 minute in-between.
- Round 1: You’ll punch. But the boxing will be fast and powerful, both close-ranged and long. Mix things up—throw an uppercut, jab, cross, or hook… a couple of punches in quick succession, or hit some slow ones but using all your power. Anything. Then rest.
- Round 2: Now you’ll use only legs, to knee and kick. The pattern stays the same, though, so you keep shifting the speed and strength, and use variety. Hit low, mid, high, at random, multiple kicks using the same leg, or alternate fast between legs. Anything. Then rest.
- Round 3: Round 1+ Round 2. You punch, kick, knee all you want, until the time is up and you’re tuckered out.
Rest for 2-3 minutes.
Heavy Bag Workout (or boxing + kicking exercises) 2.0:
Pull out all the stops, to crank up the earlier session. This will have 5 rounds, 30 seconds each, with 30-second rests in-between.
- Round 1, a boxing burnout, with punches as fast and hard as possible. Then rest.
- Round 2, a kicking burnout, again, as fast and hard as possible. Then rest.
- Round 3, punching burnout. Then rest.
- Round 4, kicking burnout. Then rest.
- Round 5, punching burnout.
This will be 5 minutes.