When COVID-19 first took the world by surprise, martial artists were faced with an unprecedented situation. How were we to continue our training at home? This is where Kali and Escrima training tips come in.
We are all craved the opportunity to train, whether in classes, or otherwise, but our options were very limited during the lock down. Thankfully, there were some great instructors who rose to the occasion and began offering remote video study and the like.
Now that classes have resumed, and we are all back to training at our respective schools, what does that mean for our home study of Kali training tips?
Any good teacher will tell you that training in class is simply not enough. If you come to classes a few times a week, and that is the extent of your training, you will gain some knowledge, but not nearly as much as you might be expecting. To really dig in deep, you have to train for hours every week – at home – not just in class.
- Analyze your movement and refine the tiny details of your striking, blade edge control, body movement, and so on. Observe the seemingly-small details that add up to make your coordination more refined. Start with the movements that are the most important for your training or those you struggle with the most.
- Practice by striking a heavy bag, tire or striking dummy. Striking in the air is the starting point for your coordination and good for warming up. The whole purpose of your training, however, is to actually hit something, so make sure you include striking a target in your practice. The way you control the strike is very different when you have to adjust to the impact of hitting a target. There are a lot of opportunities to learn something with this. You can fine tune how hard you are hitting, how well you control the your weapon during and after impact, and how smoothly you can transition to the next strike.
- Train slow and train fast. There is not one single speed at which you should train. Rather, you should train at different speeds to focus on nuance, speed and power. In doing this, when the time comes to actually use your techniques, muscle memory will take over and all three will come together synergistically. In practicing on your own, go slow to make your movement smooth and go faster to see how well you can maintain good form when moving at a higher speed. Moving slowly will allow you to observe your movement better and be more thorough in how you program every nuance of your movement. It may come as a surprise to non practitioners, but this is one of the main reasons why the art of Taijiquan (“Tai Chi”) is trained slowly. Nuance. Detail. Precision. Going slow helps all of these. Going faster, however, will help you acclimate to more realistic speeds and see where your form breaks down. Practice both ways. It’s that simple, and yet that complicated.
- Work on your footwork. Again, slowly, work footwork you learn in class. Move slowly at force to synchronize strikes with stepping. Develop your ability to strike and use your footwork at the same time. You want to be able to hit and move, not just hit or move. You can practice both striking and footwork individually, then add them together.
- Shadow box. Imagine your opponent, and visualize specific targets on that opponent. Don’t just swing in the air with no thought about what you are hitting. Hit the target that you see in your imagination. Perhaps you could imagine it as an attacker on the street. On a more spiritual level, you might also imagine the opponent as your own inner “demons” so to speak – your person dark side. Whichever way you go with this, psych yourself up and imagine your strikes against a real opponent. Attack high. Attack low. Strike the head. Strike the hands. Strike the elbows. Strike the knees. Utilize an array of strikes including jabs, power strikes, uppercuts, thrusts, slashes, witiks, floretes, etc.
Looking for more Kali training tips or Escrima, Kali, Arnis classes near you? If you are in the Dayton area, and looking for Martial Arts in Kettering, give us a call at 937-254-7035 to schedule a time for you to come in and start trying classes out! Also, don’t forget to add Kali America on Facebook!
Dr. Micah B.D.C. Naziri (Shifu Seng, Hern-Heng) holds multiple black sash and instructor ranks from all over the world, including China and Israel. He has been training in martial arts since 1994 and been a Taoist disciple under Manuel Taningco and Huang, Chien-Liang since 2006. He holds two masters degrees (2012, 2015) and a doctorate (2020), which was the result of nearly a decade of research and studies through his international organization the Hashlamah Project Foundation, carried out in the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories and abroad.
Read more from author Dr. Micah Naziri at TAMA Martial Arts and follow the Taningco Academy of Martial Arts (TAMA) on Facebook and Instagram!