Words by Robert Milaković
The lockdown that started almost a year ago has had horrible effects on people’s physical and mental health. With the reduced time spent outside moving, socializing, training, and having fun, levels of chronic illnesses and obesity have risen, just like the rates of mental health issues. Though there aren’t many ways to combat the situation until the vaccines get rolled out and herd immunity is reached, there are a couple of things you can do not to become the worst version of yourself.
One of these is martial arts training. Yes, most countries have lockdown restrictions that affect most martial arts schools, so most people reading this article won’t have the option to start training. However, that doesn’t mean all is lost. One can still start to train in martial arts, at least some basic movements, while at home. In this article, I will go through why I think it is a great idea to take up some form of martial arts training until the lockdown lasts. If you are interested, read on for more!
Martial Arts Training: Health Benefits
First, let’s go through the basic list of health benefits you can expect to see if you start martial arts training. The first and most obvious one that everybody is aware of, even if they have not trained a second in their lives, is physical strength and fitness.
You can start training martial arts at home by not teaching yourself techniques at first but doing strength and conditioning training, which can prepare you for effectively training the art of your choice. You can do knuckle pushups if you are interested in starting some striking art to increase your wrist stability and strength, or perhaps all variations of squats and jump rope practice if you are looking to go into Taekwondo.
Whichever art you choose, you could build muscle by training it, which will result in better mental health, improved looks, better breathing, and just general fitness. It also relieves stress, which is one of the main factors of all sicknesses developing during the lockdown, so that is something to look forward to.
Aside from muscle strength and fitness, you can get amazing benefits like improved spatial coordination, better mental health, hand-eye coordination, improved reflex speeds, stability, joint strength, bone density, and the list goes on.
Health Benefits of Training During the Lockdown
Okay, martial arts are healthy and all, but why is it important to start training some form during the lockdown? Can’t it wait?
Well, the problem is that most people say this for almost every sort of movement now. Ever since staying home on your couch all day has become the moral thing to do, many people have found it a lot harder to start moving.
Martial arts training might be a great way to get out of this hole since it isn’t only training for the sake of training, but it also is something interesting. Martial arts have histories, philosophies, characters, and personalities, which add up to make it more than just a form of physical exercise.
What this allows for is a sense of purpose and a new goal to be set, for example. This is great for anyone’s mental health since it will not allow the person to slump back into their chair and contemplate their existence anxiously. Instead of such a miserable life, one can get up and learn something new while also keeping their body moving.
Aside from the effects it can have on mental health, it can also profoundly impact physical health. Martial arts training can improve many aspects of human health (as mentioned earlier). From lung capacity (which is important in battling the coronavirus) to cardiovascular health, and even increased energy and mood throughout the day can all be convincing reasons for someone to pick up on a hobby like this one at home while the lockdown lasts.
How to Train at Home?
The first and most important thing is to clarify that martial arts are not a simple business. They are usually tough to learn, let alone perfect, so don’t expect to be a Bruce Lee after a week of training (or even 6 months).
The absence of a trained professional who can see exactly the mistakes you are making and correct them in a personalized fashion just for you to learn is something that makes martial arts training very difficult on your own.
First, learn the so-called kihon, which are the most basic, fundamental building blocks of most karate arts and related ones. Kihon consists of the basic punches, kicks, blocks, and movements one must know to execute techniques and katas properly. Kihon can be learned at home to some extent, so if you have the motivation to work out and train in the time of the lockdown, make sure you start with these.
Once you have these learned, it is time to search for a training partner to spar using techniques you see in videos or read in books. It would help if you took it slow since injuries can easily happen, and since there is no trained professional to watch, you can learn the wrong movements quite easily.
Nevertheless, until you get to a moderate-beginner level, the gyms and dojos will probably open up, so you can go to proper training. However, at that point, you will be proud of yourself for having some basics already learned and settled in your mind.