With the weather getting colder outside training for all but the hard core practitioners is coming to an end. Moving inside we are returning to limited space, at home you may find only a few feet to train in, and unless you have access to an open gym you might not find significant space to practice most days so it may be time to change up your routine once again.
Close the Distance
Because of limited space this is a good time to train in close quarters techniques. No matter what your style learning to use shorter range fighting techniques to gain power and an advantage is always a good idea. While your style might use high fast kicks learning to defend against and fight with short range attacks can be a great advantage.
Stretch Stretch Stretch
Practice some form of additional stretching in the fall and winter. You might not be able to get outside or even go for a run. but if you can clear the space of about a coffee table you can insert a good stretching routine into you program. I recommend incorporating Qi Gong, a Chinese form of exercise that is taught along side of the martial arts or a well organized yoga program that relates to what you are training in. The local gyms yoga class may not do it for you but there are a wide variety of yoga systems out there even routines designed specifically for martial artist and athletes. Look for “Power Yoga” sets or see if you can find an instructor with a martial arts background that can guide you through.
Another good option is Yoga Mat Massage this is a therapist assisted stretching and pressure point work. The therapist has the ability to move you beyond the range of motion you can do on your own and can add in areas that you may have just been missing in your workout. We are adding this system to our services at the Hutchinson System for that very reason.
Go For Resistance
Resistance training takes very little space and can help develop both strength and speed. Weight training with machines may not produce the results that you need but both free weights and strap on weights can allow you to move through almost the exact same movements as your martial art. There is also isokinetic training where you move through your solo form maintaining muscle tension throughout the movement.
The Muscle Tendon Changing Exercises are a prime example of isokinetic training. For those not familiar with this set, isokinetic resistance is used to focus on strengthening the tendons and connective tissues that develop slower than the muscles but are extremely important to the martial applications of the Chinese arts of Tai Chi Chuan, Ba Gua, and Hsing I.