Martial Arts Training Tips
How to Practice Safely with a Partner
Any type of martial arts training involves some risk of injury. For this reason, its very important that you learn how to train safely, especially when working out with a partner. When you train with another person the risks of injury can increase dramatically. That's why it is importanant that both you and your partner become equally versed in best safety practices before beginning any martial arts training sessions. Make sure that you and your partner view our Training Safely video in its entirety. Equally important is accumulating all the necessary safety equipment required to practice Combat Kung-Fu techniques safely.
Safety Tip 1: Always Practice Self-Defense Techniques Slowly When Working with a Partner
Many of the self-defense techniques call for striking to some of the body’s most sensitive areas. You can seriously injure your training partner accidentally striking targets like the eyes, throat, or temples with too much force. An uncontrolled kick or strike can easily dislocate a knee or elbow or cause serious injury to the groin. Therefore, always practice all self-defense techniques in slow motion and avoid making direct contact with sensitive areas of the body.
Safety Tip 2: Always Wear the Proper Safety Equipment
When pairing up to practice techniques that call for striking the attacker’s eyes, put on protective eye-wear held firmly in place with a safety strap. This will ensure that you cannot accidentally strike and injure your partner’s eyes. When practicing techniques that include throat strikes, make sure your partner wears a high quality throat protector that has rigid plastic inserts that thoroughly protect the trachea, as well as a helmet that has extra padding that covers the neck. Also, never make contact with your training partner’s throat unless you move in slow motion. On techniques that call for kicking or striking the groin, make sure to wear a protective cup at all times. Additionally, never use full force or speed when striking to these kinds of sensitive areas, even when wearing protective equipment, because equipment can only limit the possible damage, not eliminate it entirely.
Safety Tip 3: Always Use Padded Weapons When Working with a Partner
Practicing with weapons can be fun…but doing so without taking the proper safety precautions is dangerous. Never use anything but padded weapons when practicing weapon techniques with a partner. You can find many suppliers of padded weaponry online. There are even resin knives and other soft weapons that can be used in place of the real thing. Take the time to order a padded stick and cane. Obtain the proper protective eyewear and plan on using padded headgear as well as elbow and knee pads so that you minimize any chance of injury.
Safety Tip 4: When Playing the Opponent Never Allow Your Partner to Straighten Your Elbow or Knee Joint
When practicing joint locking techniques that put pressure against joints, always increase the amount of force slowly. If pressure results in pain, tap your opponent’s arm or leg to let him or her know to stop applying pressure. Always pay attention to your practice partner and be prepared to immediately stop a technique that is causing pain. Always keep your elbows and knees slightly bent when playing the opponent so that your partner doesn’t accidentally hyper-extend a joint. Sudden movements can very easily dislocate an arm or leg. So, always do kicks to the knee in slow motion and never use pressure that could hyper-extend your partner’s leg.
Safety Tip 5: When Practicing Ground Techniques Do So on a Proper Matted Surface
Once again, a little investment might be needed to make sure that no one gets hurt. Falling can cause serious bodily harm, even when you use the proper falling technique. When doing ground fighting techniques, make sure you practice exclusively on a mat rated for throwing and grappling that is at least 1-1/2” to 2” thick. There are many online suppliers of these types of mats should you want to create the proper practice area in your home. Another alternative is to seek out a properly equipped gym or martial arts school where these types of techniques can be practiced safely. Additionally, when you begin training with a partner, make sure that you have adequate space around you that is free of objects you could run into while working out. Tripping over an obstacle and possibly hitting your head on the sharp edge of a piece of furniture, for example, could cause serious injury or even death. So, always make sure that your training area is free of obstacles that could harm you or your training partner.
Safety Tip 6: Always Use Good Judgement
If you don’t feel confident practicing a certain technique with your partner, then don’t. You can always work on a technique solo first until you gain the confidence to drill it with a partner. You can always limit yourself to slow motion, or simply workout with a different partner who has more self-control or is more safety conscious. The important thing is to avoid injuring yourself or another person. Remember, martial arts is for the preservation of life and for health improvement first and foremost. So, when in doubt simply stop. Think about what you’re doing, and exercise good judgement before continuing. Well, with all of that said, welcome once again to Combat Kung-Fu. And let’s get started!