Martial Arts provides a physical outlet, mental health support and a sense of community to thousands of people every day. For many, their gym is a second home, their team a second family. Despite gym closings and looming quarantines, it’s possible to maintain a sense of community.
The below tips are specifically designed to keep teammates and coaches connected.
While you may not be able to punch or choke your favorite training partners during quarantine there’s no reason you must stop all friendly physical competition. Challenge yourselves remotely. Do it on “Scout’s Honor” or tape your workouts if you think someone may be tempted to pad their numbers.
A few social distance friendly workout ideas, miles ran/walked depending on the athletic level or bodyweight exercises performed within a set time. You could also pick a free online video and workout at the time you’d normally be training together in class. No special equipment required.
This is an opportunity to work on aspects that may be neglected during training. Shadowboxing, footwork drills, head movements drills, stretching. Pick an unloved part of your game. Focus on making it better that way you come back a better-rounded, stronger teammate.
It may be tempting to eat ten thousand snacks out of boredom. But quarantine won’t last forever. Coming back to training after severely neglecting your diet puts unnecessary strain on you. While you may not be able to physically share a meal together you can share your favorite healthy recipes. Soup and smoothies for everyone till this virus passes.
Quite a few gyms are providing online training subscriptions to help pass the time. While everyone jokes about the YouTube “athletes” aka people who have never really trained there is still a treasure trove of quality, free videos online. It’s easy to host watch parties online. Whether you all get together to roast questionable techniques or discuss minute details of techniques you don’t do as often you’re still getting that quality social time with your second family.
Remember while you may be feeling fine or able to bounce back after quarantine, your other training partners may not. It’s natural to feel bored or anxious when a vital part of your life paused indefinitely. We’ll all be back on the mats soon enough. In the meantime, focus on what you can control. Stay connected. One final thought. If you can afford to keep paying your membership rather than canceling or pausing it, do so. These are challenging times for everyone. Let’s work together to ensure there is a gym to go back to. Send a note to your coach to check-in. Let them know they’re not alone.
Kelly Richards is passionate about combat sports. She has trained in Muay Thai kickboxing for over ten years. Recently she has added BJJ to round out her martial arts knowledge. She currently makes her martial arts home at Primal MKE in Milwaukee, WI.