Summer Ways to Practice Independently

Here are some ideas about combining summertime activities with some Martial Arts practice. Not to mention, for the time being, UMA students only have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to train together.

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The way to accelerate your retention is to practice independently. Pick random points throughout the day to plug-in a 5-minute routine. Throw punches in front of the mirror after brushing your teeth. While waiting for the bus, practice simple boxing footwork (step-and-slide forward & back, left & right, and input ¼ turns). At times in the day when you need a break from the computer screen, slide away from your desk and practice round kicks over the top of your chair (permitting that you have space for this and possibly a private office so your co-workers don’t think you’re going crazy). It is screwing around, and doing little activities like these, that will energize your training, motivate your practice, and speed your recall & muscle-memory when in class.

Here are a few creative ideas to share:

Pool and Ocean fitness training

  • Swimming underwater will build lung endurance for combat.
  • While wading in the water, use the water as resistance for underwater kicks (front & side kicks work best).
  • Kick at crashing waves on the beach and practice your timing.
  • Stand in water at chest height and make a splash by throwing elbow strikes on top of the water.
  • If you have a friend who likes swimming & likes wrestling, combine the activities. You can practice throws and clinch moves: pummeling & under hooking techniques. From a clinch position you can even practice triangle chokes by jumping up onto your partner and hooking your legs into position and keeping your body above water.
  • If you have a sturdy platform, you can practice hip tossing a partner in the water. (If you have the option to do this, make sure it’s not slippery and if you are at a pool make sure that you aren’t violating any rules.)

Beachside play

  • Practice judo breakfalls and shoulder rolls on the sand.
  • Practice shrimping in the sand, or conduct a shrimping race with a friend.
  • Practice boxing footwork in the sand. Once you’ve etched out a pattern, turn the other direction and retrace your steps.
  • At susnet, face a flush rock surface and practice some actual “shadow” boxing.

Get outdoors

  • Go for nature walks with your Escrima sticks.
  • Practice different drills such as 6-count against a tree trunk, or abanico strikes against a hanging branch.
  • Fill a clean sock with sand and attach it to a rope. You now have a great defensive training tool -a homemade “maize ball.” Throw the rope over a tree branch and set the “maize ball” at chin height. Set it in motion swaying back & forth and practice the art of slipping punches. You can also adjust the height and make it a kicking & punching target.

Summertime Babysitting

  • Have any little ones you need to look after & keep occupied? On a hot day, give them a squirt gun and let `em have at you. You can practice lots of your boxing related maneuvers: footwork, slipping, bobbing, weaving, covering, etc…

Play fetch with your dog

  • Have a dog that likes to play fetch? Every time you throw the ball or stick, see how many punches or kicks you can do before your pet gets back to you. Try to throw the same distance each time. Test yourself to increase your output each time. See who gets tired first: canine or human?

Sun tanning

  • Well, there isn’t a lot to be practiced when lying down. However, this is an important time because it gives your body time to rest and recuperate. Wear sunblock. Browse martial arts magazines that have interesting articles on topics that interest you.
  • Check out book titles from the UMA recommended reading list.
  • If you have an iPod or smartphone, scope out martial arts-related audio books that you can listen to. A great resource for audio book shopping is this website: (Lowest price on audiobooks -many are 30% off normal price.) Or visit the local library and find them on CD.


This is the best, most realistic as well as safest training I’ve ever received in a civilian class. I’ve attended 6 different martial arts classes as a civilian and sat in on dozens of other classes and this is the most realistic training I’ve received outside of the military. It teaches almost all of the same skills as military combatives while being geared toward civilians. It is a very well organized class which teaches a good blend of hand to hand, grappling, and weapons fighting realistically. Because of this I was able to improve on all of the skills I learned while being deployed in Europe for a year. The real tragedy of the class is that so few people seem to realize how great it is.

~ Spc. Patrick Walsh, US Army National Guard

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