With a large number of Martial Arts Academies, Gyms and Dojos closing their doors to students in order to stall the movement of Covid-19 though the community it can be a depressing or confusing time for some. Especially those (like Myself) who spend huge amounts of time in the Gym or Dojo training who are now facing a enormous hole in their weekly schedule.
Many people are spreading sound information on best practices for maintaining hygiene, social distancing etc. However, I think there is probably merit in providing some positive and practical advice about what to do with your time away from your training that can augment or improve your martial art when you do return.
One of my favourite things to do if I am not training is research, be that general movement, body methods or Art specific research. In an age of YouTube and a million different forums you can find information on pretty much anything. Research will never ‘Replace’ training, but it will inform and contextualise certain things that you may be working on. Pick a subject and take a deep dive on it but remember, and this really is a vital point, stay objective. We need to - “keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out!”.
2) Dedicate time to a specific training goal.
You may well now have many hours ‘extra’ per week to dedicate to something. This is a perfect time to focus your attention on a specific training goal that you know you need to work on. This could be something like more flexibility, or increasing strength. Or it could be to begin the development of one of the MartialBody Attributes like ‘connection’. A few weeks of dedicated training can really make a difference, start with resolve and develop! I know I will be!
3) Start something new!
Training is all about focus, but that doesn’t mean you should never look at something completely new. Indeed, times like these can be a great opportunity to take a deep dive into a new subject, methodology or practice. It could be Meditation, Yoga, Taiji or of course MartialBody. The great thing here is that you will be more ‘pre-occupied’ with something new than with something familiar, so it is well worth the distraction.
This one is especially for some of you combat sports athletes out there! The amount of people I know personally who are training with persistent and never-ending injuries is staggering. Now you have some time to focus on fixing them and getting your body back together ready for the return to training. Here is a useful article on some of my favourite methods for rehab and recovery.
5) Stay in touch
It is easy, when being asked to avoid your gym, to end up isolated in a way that can have a negative impact on the mind. One of the ways you can mitigate this is to utilize technology to create groups or chats with your peers and friends from training. You can share training ideas, short video clips and what you are working on and stay engaged.
This time of distancing from the arts we all love and will miss for a few weeks needn’t be one of complete loss. As with everything, how we approach things will colour how we view them. So get moving, get training, get researching and keep going! 😊
I am aiming to produce some Vlog style videos on a variety of subjects during this time away from my regular training schedule so keep an eye out for those in the coming days.
Happy training everyone and best of health.