A training hiatus, whether self-imposed or other, could definitely put a wrench in your training rhythm, especially if martial arts was something you did regularly. The good news is, martial arts is something you can always come back to. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or fitness level can excel in martial arts, as long as they put the time and effort in. Although it may be a while till you get your rhythm and cardio back, here are a few things to remember when you get back to training.
1) Your Training Goals Are Different
The daily training goals for someone who has taken a break from training are much more different than that of a competitor or even someone who trains on a regular basis. Let’s face it; your body isn’t what it used to be. It may take you longer to recover than other students, or you may find it difficult to perform some of the techniques taught in class. But don’t sweat it – it’s normal, and the longer your break was, the harder it is to come back. Listen to your body and know when to take it easy. Give yourself attainable goals based on how your body feels and work from there.
2) Regroup And Practice Your Defense
Although learning defense is important for any martial artist, for someone who has been out of the game for so long, proper defense could make all the difference in your recovery. Although you should work on your offensive techniques too, by working on your defense, you’ll be able to take yourself out of situations that could make you vulnerable and therefore be able to get back into regular training mode sooner.
3) Get Enough Rest
When you train martial arts, it’s natural to keep on wanting to improve. But as someone who is fresh into training, the way you recover from a training session determines how often you can train again. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how physically fit you once were. You need to get enough rest because your body isn’t used to recovering the way it used to. Instead of prioritizing training, think about proper rest and recovery.
4) There’s Always A More User-Friendly Version Of A Technique
Think doing fancy techniques are still out of your league? Don’t worry, there’s always a modified version that you could try. Once you’re feeling up to it, you can try more advanced techniques, just be patient with your body. Not sure how to modify a technique? Approach your instructor and ask for advice on how to make a technique work for you.
5) Work On Your Flexibility
There’s no doubt about it, the more flexible you are, the easier it is to get back into regular training. Not only that, it helps you perform better as an athlete as a whole, helping you progress and train at peak levels. How do you improve your flexibility? You can start by doing your warm-ups properly instead of half-heartedly. For example, in BJJ, if the warm-up calls for you to do a trunk twist, sit up and fully twist your body – put your back into it!
Most importantly, give yourself a big pat on the back. Getting back into training isn’t easy and finding the motivation to attend that first session is momentous in itself. Train smart and soon you’ll find yourself back in tip-top shape. We believe in you, you’ve got this!