theMALC

On Your Own

By Mark Brosten
Published on Nov 15th, 2010

Having a training partner is the best resource for achieving real progress in your chosen art. A partner can help to keep you motivated and dedicated to your training. Because you are interdependent with a partner, motivation is provided by positive competition, generating training ideas using creativity, the setting of goals and the chance to get feedback for your work. You are able to generate energy for each other. In addition, not showing up for training or slacking off has a consequence. Training without a partner requires you ALONE; to be responsible for motivation, dedication of time, and content of training.

Training on your own can be quite a challenge. Setting training goals, both long and short term ones, is important. In addition to goal setting, your choice of what to work on must support your overall goals. Some examples of items to work on are cardiovascular fitness, foot work, striking basics, closing the gap, controlling distance, hitting a moving target, physical speed, perceptual fitness, angle changes, covering when retreating.

Your environment can be a great source of motivation, as well. It can provide valuable resources to fill the void of training without partner. With a little time and imagination you can create training tools that make your training exciting and goal oriented. Here is an example of using creativity to craft training tools. While running with my dog, I found an old basketball in the ditch. I took it home and punched two holes in it, one top, one bottom. Next I ran a six foot long piece of bungee cord through the holes. At one end of the cord I tied an eye hook and on the other an old ten pound scuba weight. The eye hook connects to a rafter in the training area and the weight on the floor keeps the cord tight. I placed the ball about head height and used epoxy glue to keep it in place. If you make your ball air tight, it will hold a little air and give you a faster rebound.

Now that you have the equipment, some drills are necessary. Simply combine basics to create some drills:

  1. from a right fighting stance, step drag in, right lead jab, step drag out.
  2. from a right fighting stance, step drag in, right lead jab, left reverse punch, step drag out.
  3. from a right fighting stance, step drag in; right lead jab, left reverse punch, and front cross out
  4. from a right fighting stance, step drag in, right lead jab, left reverse punch, front cross out, step through in reverse. (This exercise allows you to work both sides if you have not already been doing so)
  5. from a right fighting stance, front cross step in, right back knuckle, left reverse punch, front cross out, step through in reverse.
  6. from a right fighting stance, front cross step in, right back knuckle, left inward hammer fist, front cross out, step through in reverse.
  7. from a right fighting stance, front cross step in, right back knuckle, left inward hammer fist, right back knuckle, front cross out, step through in reverse.
  8. from a right fighting stance, front cross step in, right lead jab, left round house, right upper cut, front cross out, step through in reverse.
  9. from a right fighting stance, step drag in, right lead hand jab, step drag with your right foot toward 2:30 left roundhouse, step up the circle counter clock-wise with your left foot, right hook, and step drag out.
  10. from a right fighting stance, step drag in, right lead hand jab, step drag with your right foot toward 2:30 left roundhouse, step up the circle counter clock-wise with your left foot, right hook, and step drag out, step through in reverse ending in a left fighting stance and positioned to work the left side.

There are many ways this idea can evolve. Some things you may think about are:

  1. Work at different height zones by adding a second and or third ball of different sizes to the cord.
  2. To work upper and lower case motion, tighten the cord so that the weight is off the floor and swings free. You may want to consider adding some padding to the weight for this exercise.
  3. Employ the principle of WITH.

Hopefully this will give you some creative ideas when training alone. This article just touches on a single aspect of training alone, creativity. Motivation and consistency are other important factors that I will deal with in later articles


Filed under Techniques and Tutorials

Author Bio :: Mark Brosten

Mark Brosten began his Martial Arts teaching career as an associate instructor in Missoula, Montana. After Serving with the Military Police in Kuwait and Iraq during the first Gulf War, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue his training. Mark was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt by a Board of Examiners for the International Kenpo Karate Association. While in New Orleans, Mr. Brosten continued teaching, working with a diverse group of students from artists and architects to law enforcement and military personnel. Mark also developed a summer program for children, ages 4 to 5, for the Isadore Newman School in New Orleans.

An exceptional athlete, Mark is committed to training and competition. He competes in Martial Arts events throughout the United States and has placed within the top three, each time he's competed internationally. Since his return to Montana, Mark regularly teaches seminars at various martial art studios. Mr. Brosten successfully tested for advanced Black Belt rank in October of 2007. In 2008, Mark taught his first international seminar at The World Kenpo Karate Championships in Jersey, Channel Islands U.K. His practical experience and no nonsense approach to Kenpo have served him as a student, competitor, and teacher for nearly 25 years.

Other Articles by Mark Brosten

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