Why train striking at home?
If you feel like the time you have in coached sessions doesn’t feel like enough time to practice you’d be right. Unless you’re well off or are willing to put a lot of money towards training expenses and coaches fees, your probably only getting 3 training sessions a week in.
Luckily you aren’t just limited to training with a coach, you can in fact, train at home if you so wish. I’ve already written a blog post about what training gear you should get a hold of if you want to train at home. Luckily for these drills you don’t need any equipment at all.
These drills are in no way a replacement for training from a proper coach, they cant teach you too much, but you can learn the basics of footwork for striking, not only that, they can make your training life a little bit easier and help you to refine your striking skills.
Drill 1: Box step
Box step is a fantastic drill for training basic footwork, it trains four planes of movement to start which is great for beginners. the box step is simple, mark out a box on the floor, with tape or cones or rolled up socks, any sort of marker will do, then simply practise stepping from corner to corner while in your fighting stance. Do this either as a warm up for shadowboxing or just as a drill when focusing on footwork.
If you are more advanced than you can use Tony Jeffries box step video which opens up more planes of movement and will get your footwork to really excel.
Drill 2: Slip line
This drill is great for practicing head movement and forward movement, its great for mimicking moving through a barrage of punches an opponent is throwing, all you need is two points to anchor a rope or wire, you could even use a hand wrap and slip between that.
All you have to do for this drill is duck under the rope/wire and move forward at the same time, remember to keep in your stance at all times. While it sounds simple, slip line drills have been used for decades by boxers to train defensive head movement, to keep your head out of the way of strikes while getting you in range to throw some of your own.
Drill 3: Shadow Combos
Shadow combos are a funny one, its basically shadow boxing but a tiny weeny bit different, with shadow boxing you practice your fluidity of movement, the speed of your punches and kicks as well as defensive tactics and offensive tactics.
With shadow combos you just pick a combination you want to practice and throw it out slowly, deliberately and with bad intentions. Each strike you throw should feel powerful, there should be almost no speed, or at least, not as much speed you would normally use.
The whole purpose of this drill is to build your mind muscle connection, muscular control, as well as cementing those neural pathways, so that when you throw the techniques you need, you’ll throw it almost bloody perfectly. Some of my favourite techniques to practice with this drill are jab + cross + lead uppercut, switch kick + lead knee + lead elbow and jab + rear elbow + hook.
Drill 4: Shadowboxing
We all knew it was coming, the striking drill that is almost as old as boxing itself. While training at any Boxing, Kickboxing or Muay Thai gym you can be sure you will do an unfathomable amount of shadowboxing. It is just so effective at building striking stamina and developing technique that it really is a mainstay for almost everyone who trains from an amateur level to a professional level.
Shadowboxing can also help beginners for martial arts get into fighting shape as it can be scaled up or down in intensity to fit the current users fitness level. Sean Fagan does many good follow along shadowboxing routines which really do show you how versatile shadowboxing is. it is very easy as a beginner to supplement your weekly training by sticking one of these follow alongs onto your existing workouts or even just doing them as stand alone workouts will benefit you massively as a martial artist.
These drills can help you train while at home if you aren’t able to train at a training centre as much as you’d like, but they’re no substitute for having an actual coach and going to lessons to learn striking whether that be Boxing, Karate, Muay Thai or whatever striking art you are studying. If you do have to train at home more often than you’d like then perhaps you should consider investing in some equipment for training at home to really amplify your FIGHTING GAINZ. Remember to stay civilized and i’ll see you again next time.