One challenge every martial artist faces is how to get in a good workout when they don’t have a partner available to train with them. In this article, you will learn how to tap into what motivates you and the best pieces of training equipment to have handy to burn some calories, get a good sweat, and sharpen your skills!
Let’s kick this one right off with some pro tips from GMAU Muay Thai Instructor, Nick Vasallo. Hey – did you know GMAU will have a BRAND NEW Muay Thai program this spring? I’m SO excited! Anyway, more on that later… let’s take a peek at what kind of toys Nick has in his gym to keep his technique sharp:
The way to becoming better at, well, anything is practice. Whether you want to perfect a technique, combination, improve your speed, power, or precision – the secret ingredient is PRACTICE! One of my martial arts mentors used to say “more practice is good – correct practice is better.” To practice correctly, you need good instruction – we all need instructors to introduce us to technique and to correct our mistakes. To practice consistently, having a training partner is invaluable. A training partner can also sometimes be difficulty to find, for any number of reasons (e.g., scheduling, geographical distance).
For this reason – and others – you may find yourself doing more solo training. However, there are obvious disadvantages to training by yourself:
” More practice is good … Correct practice is better “
You CAN overcome such obstacles…. It really boils down to prioritizing YOUR training and development, and having the right mindset. A little bit of good old-fashioned determination can do a LONG way, too. Here are a few tips for how to stay on track with your solo training:
When training alone, especially in a style like muay thai (and this applies to karate, taekwondo and krav maga as well) you’re either going to be practicing your techniques freestyle (kicking and punching air molecules as another mentor of mine says) or using some type of equipment. For all of these arts, you need to put in time working with a partner, for sure. But in between those chances to get with another person, you can work on your form, speed, strength, conditioning, power, etc. All of the pieces of equipment you see in Nick Vasallo’s video are very important to him and his students. Below you will find some embedded videos that provide a little more info on each of those, and hopefully gives you some additional inspiration to “get after it!”
Loren Christensen is a martial artist and author, who has a number of books I’ve enjoyed over the years. Back in 1987 he wrote a book called The Way Alone. It was a book about solo training, and included sections on warming up, cooling down, resistance training, stretching, as well as examples of drills to make your kicks, punches and strikes faster and more powerful. Thirty years (2017) later he has a three-book series on training alone. Here is a link to the first one, called Solo Training: The Martial Artist’s Home Training Guide.