Martial Arts Training at Home: The Ultimate Guide

Martial Arts Training at Home

Today we’re going to dive deep into martial arts training at home, and how you can either start or improve your training today!

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s take a quick look at a brief history of martial arts.

Martial arts is one of the oldest arts known to man. It’s been around essentially since the dawn of time.

Over time, martial arts has evolved, and so has the training necessary to become proficient in any one of the many arts that currently exist.

Some of the oldest forms of fighting include boxing, judo, jiujitsu, and stick fighting (often referred to as Eskrima or Anis).

Now, there have been many other kinds of martial arts that have been developed over the years, however, most of them are all rooted in one of the martial arts we mentioned above.

For a far more in-depth look at the history of martial arts, check out this awesome page from Black Belt Magazine here.

How Martial Arts Training Has Evolved

Over the years, martial arts training has continuously progressed, new methods have arose, and existing training methods have been improved upon.

The martial arts training scene is quite different than it was 10, 20, 30, or even 50 years ago.

Back then, many people trained in arts like Kung Fu and Karate, whereas now more and more people are flocking towards the grappling arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, and wrestling.

All 3 of these grappling arts have been rapidly increasing in popularity, due, in large part, to their proven effectiveness as seen in MMA fights time and time again.

Up until recently, if you wanted quality martial arts training you had to go to a dojo or studio to learn.

With the digital age upon us, millions of people now have the ability to start their martial arts training at home.

But don’t mistake this ease of access to information with good ol’ hard training and sparring, which can never be replaced.

Martial Arts Training at Home: The Basics

Let’s get into the basics of your martial arts training at home.

The first aspect of training that most people start with is striking. This includes fighting styles like boxing, kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo, and muay thai.

While there are several other styles of striking, these are, what we feel, the best styles to start with, especially if you’re new to martial arts.

Or, even if you’re already training, we strongly recommend you increase your proficiency in these particular fighting styles.

Once you’ve got a solid base of striking, you then need to move on to the grappling aspect of martial arts.

Now you may ask, “but why do I need to learn grappling?”

And the answer is, no matter how good your striking is, almost every single fight/physical altercations ends up in some sort of grappling exchange, and often times ends up on the ground.

The 3 main ground fighting styles we will be focusing on are Judo, BJJ, and wrestling.

Now that we’ve got our foundation of fighting styles to start with, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of each.

We’ll start with striking.

Striking

When starting their martial arts training, most people are naturally inclined to begin training their striking.

We’re not exactly sure why this is, but we’ve found this to be true with most people.

So, let’s get into what we feel are the primary fighting styles you should be training in if your striking to become high level.

The first striking art we’ll look at is boxing. Boxing is a very well-known fighting style that has been around for decades. It focuses strictly on your hands, and doesn’t involve kicks, knees, or elbows.

While boxing may seem limited at first, when you look a little deeper you’ll find that we as martial artists use several techniques that are rooted in boxing.

For example, the most basic technique in boxing and the one that is often taught before anything else, is the jab.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to develop a wicked jab, and some of the common mistakes to avoid:

 

As you can see, the jab is one of your go-to striking techniques, and you have to make sure to not throw a lazy jab to avoid getting countered with either a lead hook or an overhand punch.

For a full, in-depth guide to boxing for beginners, check this out.

Muay Thai

martial arts training at home

Next up on the striking list is Muay Thai, often referred to as the “art of 8 limbs.”

Muay thai is one of the most comprehensive striking arts in that it combines punches, kicks, knees, elbows, trips and sweeps.

One of the primary differences between Muay Thai and traditional kickboxing is the rule set. In kickboxing matches, elbows and knees aren’t allowed.

These inherent restrictions of kickboxing, and the lack thereof in Muay Thai, are what lead many people to consider Muay Thai as the complete striking styles.

Muay Thai combines many techniques from boxing, including the jab, hook, uppercut, lead hook, and the cross.

Where Muay Thai shines through is in it’s kicks. Muay Thai fighters are known for their vicious leg kicks, as well as their roundhouse kicks which are often thrown to the body and to the head.

For a complete guide to mastering the basics of Muay Thai, check out our guide here!

Karate & Taekwondo

With boxing and Muay Thai as your base for striking, where many martial artists and fighters fall short is rounding out their striking game with Karate and Taekwondo techniques.

Often times fighters develop their boxing and Muay Thai, but just leave it at that.

We feel you should have a complete striking arsenal, so that you can be as versatile a fighter as you can be. This will also make you unpredictable when fighting in the cage.

Now, when it comes to MMA, there are certain techniques that aren’t realistic because of the constant threat of being taken down to the ground.

However, there are techniques from these arts that have been proven effective over and over again.

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective and efficient techniques from Karate & TKD that you can use in MMA:

  1. Side Kick

The side kick is a very effective kick, and it is most often thrown from the lead leg as both a defensive and offensive tool.

Here’s an awesome, step-by-step demonstration by Kwonkicker on how to throw the lead leg side kick:

 

The keys to this striking technique is make sure it is lightning quick, as it does pose a slight risk of getting caught.

But when it lands, the lead leg side kick is an extremely powerful kick, and has been known to be a rib breaker when thrown properly.

2. Spinning Hook Kick

The spinning hook is a risky, yet devastating technique when it lands. It originates from Taekwondo, and is thrown strictly as a head strike, with full intentions of knocking out your opponent.

Here’s a great demonstration of the spinning hook kick:

 

As you can see from the demo, this is a more advanced technique, and will certainly take some time to master.

You also need a significant amount of flexibility and strength in your legs to be able to execute this technique.

Check out our guide to hip flexibility so you can start practicing the spinning hook kick now!

Striking Wrap-Up

While there are many other striking techniques we could go over, in our opinion these are the best techniques with which to build your striking foundation.

Now that you know which techniques to begin mastering, let’s go over a few drills that you can start incorporating into your martial arts training at home.

The first set of drills we strongly recommend is working on your striking on a heavy bag.

For example, you can start working on your Muay Thai combinations right away. One of the most taught principles of Muay Thai is to always finish every combination with some sort of kick, usually a low kick.

Here’s a sample Muay Thai combination:

  • Double jab
  • cross to the body
  • hook to the head
  • finish off with a low kick

This is an excellent combination to get started with. We’ve also come across a great video on some other Muay Thai combinations you can start working on the heavy bag. Here it is:

As you can see from the video above, you always want to finish your combinations with a low kick or a roundhouse kick.

Moving on, now that you’ve got a good idea on how to start working on your Muay Thai, let’s go over on how to improve you Karate kicks as part of your martial arts training at home.

Similar to improving your Muay Thai, with your Karate you’re going to want to do a lot of drilling, and also a TON of stretching.

Becoming highly flexible is imperative in being able to effectively throw strikes like the side kick and spinning wheel kick.

For a full guide on developing your flexibility in your hips, check this out!

Martial Arts Training At Home: The Ground Game

Now that you’ve got a solid understanding of what to work on for your striking, the next step to your martial arts training at home is the ground game.

Ground fighting is made up primarily of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.

Unfortunately, we’d be doing you a disservice to try and explain the intricacies of these martial arts in this one article.

However, there are several drills that you can practice on your own to prepare yourself for the intense ground training to come.

For a few drills that you can practice on your own, check out our guide to training BJJ solo here!

We strongly recommend that you join a gym near you that’s specifically dedicated to developing your skills in either one, or all of these arts.

The thing about training in ground fighting is that, unlike striking, which you can work on with a heavy bag, it’s essentially impossible to practice different ground techniques on your own.

You should try and find a sparring partner that you can roll with consistently. 

Key Points

So, you’ve now got a great foundation of knowledge to go off of for your martial arts training at home.

In addition to the videos we’ve presented above, we also recommend that you read and learn as much as you can about the different martial arts mentioned throughout this article.

For a full list of our recommended martial arts books, check out this comprehensive list here!

However, and this is extremely important, the tips and guides we’ve given you throughout this article are a start, but absolutely nothing can replace training with other people, and, more importantly, sparring.

We’re going to write a more in-depth guide to sparring soon, but for now, just keep in mind that sparring is where you put all your techniques and everything you’ve learned to the test.

You can look great on the heavy bag, but once you have to use those techniques and strikes on a moving target, it’s a whole other ball game.

This is why we suggest that you use these tips as your foundation, and as a way to prepare you before you head into a formal MMA gym.

But in the meantime, you can certainly start improving your skills, and anyone who tells you that you can start your martial arts training at home is just plain wrong!

We hope this was helpful, and if you have any other questions, as always, don’t hesitate to comment below or follow us on Facebook & Instagram @mmatrainingcentral!