I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.
It has now been over a year since I trained in Ju Jutsu due to social distancing and experienced three lockdowns. This has stopped me from getting my black belt and hanging out with all the friends I have made doing something I love.
So what have I been doing to keep myself in shape. Firstly I have been running. I hate running! But it is one of the best ways to build stamina. With gyms and swimming pools shut it is also one of the few ways I can do it. It is also free! But again because I hate it I haven’t been doing it as much as I should so this is a bit of a fail.
I have also learnt a few yoga techniques from the internet to improve my flexibility. Yoga is one of the best ways to get and maintain flexibilty. I have always had flexibility issues mainly due to my size, shape and age. I started Ju Jutsu in my late thirties so developing good flexibility is hard. The younger you are the more flexible you are so if you start martial arts at a younger age the easier it is to maintain that flexibility. Doing yoga has improved my flexibility no end so this is a success.
In my garage I have a punch bag and some dumb bells. I have used these to improve my striking and blocking techniques and build strength. With the punch bag it is as much an aerobic exercise as improving technique. For aerobic exercise I really just lay into the punch. It is fun and good stress relief. To improve striking techniques I slow the strikes down and make sure my foot work is correct, my hips are moving with the punch or kick and I am striking at the optimum distance for me. With the dumb bells I do a few strength building (not muscle building) exercises with heavy and light weights. Also I practice striking and blocking with light weights to add speed to my strikes and blocks. This has to be done slowly. I know from bitter experience the damage you can do to your shoulders punching hard into the air (2 week recovery), adding weights will add to this damage. These are my favourite exercises I do and my striking speed has improved so big success.
I have learnt some basic equipment free exercises from the internet. These exercises include various press ups, lunges, dips, leg raises, stretches etc. I designed a workout basic to help build further strength and flexibility to aid running and techniques. I have been quite surprised with the results so another success.
The point of this post is to show you can do some martial arts training by yourself with little or no equipment. The most important piece of equipment is yourself and your motivation. As you you can see I have some mixed success as far as motivation is concerned the more I enjoyed it the greater my motivation so finding work out you enjoy is also important for results.