One of the advantages of being both a personal trainer and a Filipino martial arts instructor is I not only look at kali, arnis, eskrima (or any martial art for that matter) from a combat and self-defense perspective but also from a movement and exercise perspective. In other words, a Filipino martial arts fitness perspective.
That being said, if my goal is to be the best that I can be in Filipino martial arts then my fitness must complement my art and my lifestyle.
Fitness MUST complement your art AND your lifestyle.
I don’t compete or do tournaments so my martial arts goals are pretty simple. I need to be able to survive an altercation, whether it is one on one or multiple attackers, and to inflict damage if necessary using what I know. If for some reason I need to run for my life, I want to be able to run as far and as fast as possible as well.
In Kuntaw Kali Kruzada, the system of Filipino martial arts that I teach and practice, we are striking with weapons, kicking, punching, locking, throwing, and grappling. This is done against one attacker or multiple attackers and in a number of different scenarios.
Filipino martial arts involves striking with weapons, kicking, punching, locking, throwing, and grappling.
So as far as fitness goals go, I need to be strong, fast, and precise. And last time I checked, since most fights last only a few seconds, I want to be as strong, fast, and precise as possible for at least 10-20 seconds. If you are wondering about multiple attacks, then it needs to be multiple rounds of 10-20 seconds with short rest between. Maybe 5-10 seconds.
Now I also mentioned fitness having to match my lifestyle.
I’m up 5am most days of the week, training clients in the morning and afternoon. I also teach Filipino martial arts in the afternoon and at night for at least 2 hrs a day, 5 days a week. On the weekends I take classes with my instructor for 1-2 hrs. And when I’m not doing any of that, I’m also busy having a life.
That means not only do I need to be strong, fast, and precise, but I also need to be durable. There’s no way anyone can enjoy their life if they’re always hurt or injured, let alone defend themselves if they have to. I don’t want to be that person.
You can’t enjoy life or defend yourself if you’re always injured and hurt.
And since these are my goals, I need to make sure my fitness program allows me to accomplish that. So for those of you that practice martial arts and incorporate some kind of exercise regimen into your schedule, ask yourself,
“What are my martial arts goals?”
Then ask yourself,
“How is my lifestyle (personal, social, professional, etc) like?”
“How do I make my training routine complement my art and my lifestyle?”