T Nation

Training Alone at Home...


I do train with a coach, I go to class etc etc etc... but I am looking for ideas on training at home. - why, because I want to improve and you can't be at class 24/7. Aside from conditioning, weight training, shadowboxing & heavy bag work, are there any other things you can do by yourself at home, that are actually worth doing?

When training alone, I tend to either practice switch kicks and teeps, or practice combos I am not so good at repeatedly in front of a mirror, focusing on my footwork and moving with strikes.

I am just looking for variation really, like it would be cool if you could practice slipping / bobbing at home, I know some people have tied tennis balls to their heavy bags and things like that.

On the anderson silva all access he does a drill with a squash ball and it looks awesome etc.


A double end bag can be good for slipping/snap backs/ and other head movements.

When I do things at home I generally try to work on specific attributes in my techniques (with striking anyhow, harder to train grappling without a partner).

So I might spend some time really working on perfecting a technique. Then I might spend some time working on exploding off the firing line. Then maybe independent motion, then maybe some set-ups. then I might hit the heavy bag to develop hitting from the correct distance, then putting some power into the strikes, then making sure I clear afterwards (both straight back and at angles), then bumping out, etc...etc...etc...

Really there is a lot more to a punch/kick/etc... than just thowing your arm/leg out there. And I'll work on which ever attributes I feel I need to work on (which is usually a little bit of everything, and some specific focus towards a couple things).

With grappling, it is possible to practice things in the air, and if you use your imagination well, it can help you to work on techniques. But I personally feel I get less out of this than I do practicing striking alone.


I have a grappling dummy I use for practicing throw techniques.

Free-Standing bag for striking drills and timed rounds

Makiwara padded with 3" of memory foam for safe development of one and two-knuckle strikes, as well as toe kicks and forearm shots (the memory foam lets me strike and train the muscles around the joints, instead of smashing my joints into powder and cartilage particles)

Of course, I "swim on land" and do kata, footwork drills, technique drills, shadow-boxing, etc.


[quote]millasur wrote:
When training alone, I tend to either practice switch kicks and teeps, or practice combos I am not so good at repeatedly in front of a mirror, focusing on my footwork and moving with strikes.

What are teeps?

I do sprawls, you can get a swiss ball and roll on it, that kind of helps with balance. I even get a tennis ball and get in a fighting stance and drop it with my left, like I'm doing a jab, then catch it with my right. That just helps with speed. You can even get a heavy bag and slam it and do g and p with it.


Couldn't you do some makiwara work on your free standing bag?


Thanks for the replies, I'll address properly when I have more time.

but..... Teeps are Muay Thai 'front' kicks. Using the lead leg to kick an opponents chest/ribs/ face from the front... Just lift your front leg straight up and push your hips through, thereby pushing through the opponent and knocking htem back, or keeping them at bay.

Also known as a 'foot jab'. There are probably better links around but have to be quick I'm afraid.


Thanks bud. Plus thanks for not only a pic but a pic of a hot martial arts girl doing the kick! 2 of my favorite things combined, martial arts and women!!


There's a good book out there called "Training alone" or something like that, written by Loren Christensen. He had a lot of great stuff in there.


I wrote this else where:

You know that phrase, your mind is your greatest weapon? It's very serious. YOU make the bag work and shadowboxing real. The ability to perceive an opponent, respond to attacks and bring intensity to bagwork IS IN YOUR MIND.

I see people all the time go through shadowboxing like it's a warmup. Or hit the bag in a 1-2-kick type fashion. thats DRILLING. Which is good. It's good to polish your technique specifically.

But there is a time when you need to shift your mindstate to the point of a moving meditation. Where you SEE an opponent. He IS attacking you... you ARE defending, countering, and intercepting.

That should be the state of your bagwork and your shadowboxing... A continuous flow of technique, motion, footwork, and ferocity should stem from you. An actual COGNITIVE RESPONSE to attacks that ARE coming at you.

IT IS NOT EASY and it can't be faked. Again, it will NOT come easy. You'll "know" what it is when you kind of zone out there. It took a LOT of shadowboxing to get to that point. I had to shadowbox till I got BORED (like 45min) before I really zoned out and started seeing things.

Make that shit ALIVE. It shouldn't just be some boring rote going through the motions thing. You should be able to teach yourself to flip that switch and get into combat mode.

Both. Polish your technique by drilling. Practice proper form, get it to be as internalized as sneezing.

Then turn it into something else entirely... add ferocity, add power, add explosiveness. Hit the bags with everything like you're really fighting. Make the techniques flow from you.

If you drilled jab, lead upper cut, low right kick, you should have that combination "inside of you" but not just throw that... you should be able to throw that combo, check a kick, quick switch, throw a left kick, straight right, left hook, right kick, teep... and just flow.

when you hit pads, your coach will eventually move you up to 'see & hit' where it's not just drills you're going through. but you'll know what signals the pads at certain angles are and he'll just hold stuff up... if you aren't fast enough you missed it...

you just hit what you see... you have to be in PERFECT stance and position all the time or you'll miss it...and with a good coach/padholder you'll flow through techniques seamlessly...

which prepares you for when someone is firing back at you and there are little openings and gaps in their technique for you to take advantage of and when you SEE it you have the reaction time required to HIT it.


I don't have so much time to attend courses so I spend ridiculous amounts of time on the heavy bag now that I got one. I think that it's a bad idea to learn by yourself, but once you've got the base covered you can progress alot with just a bag, assuming you have enough imagination, as Xen mentionned, to beat it like it owes you money.

I don't like shadowboxing though, I'd rather get my nervous system used to striking something instead of going through motions in the air. Anyhow, if you're having trouble figuring it out, look into some heavybag routines from rosstraining.com or sherdog it helped me improve my bag work.




A couple ideas you can try or add to your current practice.

  1. Slip Bag
    Run a search for "slip bag" on youtube and you will find a couple videos on how to make one and use one. Making one is simple. An old tube sock filled with 1/4-1/2 pound of marbles. Tie it off. Hang it from the ceiling. This is fun for working on head speed, slipping the jab, and really getting the upper body invovled in avoiding/countering a punch/jab.

  2. Slow Mat
    A slow mat is just a thick foam pad that you kinda sink into. Occasionally you will find what is called a "slow ring". Its a boxing ring with a thicker and softer floor. This will absolutely thrash your legs during shadow boxing or sparring. Moving is much more difficult, and you really have to pick up your feet. The upside, since you sink into the mat you can really dig in and drive those punches. I have two mats, 2'x6' and about 4" thick, that I bought from a camping supply store.