Lockdown and Martial Arts

I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.

Photo by Karl Solano on Pexels.com

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.


Published by Paul Willson

I am Paul Willson. I have reached the rank of brown belt in Ju Jutsu. Thanks to Coronavirus I not been able to take my black belt grading stopping my martial art's journey in its tracks which the only polite word I can think of as frustrating. I have created this blog to try and help anyone who is thinking of starting a martial art or has just started a martial art.

One thought on “Lockdown and Martial Arts

  1. Great post with some great points, Paul. Being as I’ve been away from my home dojo for over twelve years, I’ve also been held back from getting my next Dan. I’ve had to train and work out, mostly by myself, during this time. I employ a lot of the same practices as you do, and I also agree that running is horrible. I mostly stick to cycling. Something to put a bug in your ear that you cold share with your friends is the possibility of doing some drills, techniques and exercises together over Zoom or FaceTime. The school I train with here in Regina has been doing that for the past little while and it’s been going well. Although no substitute for in-person training, it’s allowed us all to stay connected and train together, albeit in a severely modified format. Just food for thought. Keep hammering!

    Liked by 1 person

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