I do a bit of Krav Maga, a flexible combat art from Israel. A lot of it’s drawn from boxing, and I like it because a) it’s simple, no bowing philosophical stuff; and b) it keeps you in great condition, pushing you into a balance of strength/speed/stamina in both core and outer.* With my heavy bag re-exposed from beneath moving boxes, I’ve restarted my thrice-weekly solo whackathons… two months and I’ll be back in shape!
Here’s my routine, latest iteration of a workout I’ve been swapping and substituting for several years to find something complete. You can do it at your own speed and take as many breaks as you need; even slowfight or shadow it if you want. It’s about 1200 blows, takes about half an hour, and the sweat should be pouring off after three minutes.
(Caveats: first learn the basics - how to stand, how to throw a blow: the jab, cross, roundhouse, hook and hammer. And warm up first; just a few minutes of stretching will do it. Without these you’ll overpunch and hyperextend. Don’t know what hyperextension is? Your shoulder will.)
Why do it? It’s fun and gets you fit. But the real value is psychological: whether you’re male or female, knowing how to strike a blow gives you a physical confidence most people don’t have… and the resolve to do it for real if you ever need to.
1st set of 200: Jabs & crosses:
— 66: fastjab-jab-jab, fastjab-jab-jab (3 x 11) (left-left right)
— 66: fastjab-jab-jab, fastjab-jab-jab (3 x 11) (right-right left)
— 66: jab-jab cross, jab-jab-cross (3 x 11) (left-left-right)
…for 200 total
2rd set of 200: Forward and backwards kicks:
— 66: 3 x 11 front roundhouse (one-one-one, two-two-two etc) leaning back, other foot at 45deg, then change foot for 66 total
Back to bag.
— 66: 3 x 11 first back roundhouse leaning forward (one-one-one, two-two-two etc) then change foot for 66 total
— 66: 3 x 11 forward kick (one-one-one, two-two-two etc) with ball of foot into groin, then change foot for 66 total
… for 200 total
3rd set of 200: Backwards punches: 3 sets of a 3-punch combo of 33 each fist:
Stand with back to bag.
— first back KNUCKLEpunch straight vertically up over shoulder,
— then backwards roundhouse with SIDE of fist/arm,
— then backwards downwards groin punch with OUTER side of fist.
…. each set of 3 repeated 11 times with each fist (one-one-one, two-two-two etc until eleven-eleven-eleven)
…for 200 total
4th set of 200: Elbow & knee blows:
Use elbows and knees to strike.
— 33: hands behind head, roundhouse with elbows at head height going left-right-left then right-left-right 11 times (1x 33)
— 33: burst forward bringing knee upwards to groin going left-right-left then right-left-right 11 times (1x 33)
— 66: backwards elbow blows: straight back to groin, rear roundhouse to torso, other arm roundhouse to torso then change sides (2 x 33)
— 66: attack forwards with elbows: driving forward and up from prone, driving forward and down from raised position, forward (2 x 33)
… for 200 total
5th 200: Hooks, uppercuts, hammers
— 66: left-right-left x 11, then right-left-right x 11
— 66: from keeling or crouching, 3 x 11 uppercuts each hand (2 x 33)
— 66: downward hammerblows from arm raised (3 x 11 each hand)
…for 200 total
6th 200: Side, ground, and knee kicks:
Lying down with feet towards bag.
— 33: Lying on back: kicks: roundhouse to shins going left-right-left then right-left-right 11 times (1x 33)
— 33: Lying on back kicks: straight forward sole kick to shins going left-right-left then right-left-right 11 times (1x 33)
— 33: Prone kicks: half-roundhouse from low kneeling position, flipping yourself half-over going left-right-left then right-left-right 11 times (1x 33)
— 33: scissor blow: scissor the bag with one foot striking slightly higher to bring opponent over (3 x 11 alternating foot each kick)
— 66: Side kicks (lean over and kick out and down without kicking leg away from line of body) try not to put kicking foot down for each set of 11 (3 x 11 each side)
Once everything feels nicely embedded in muscle memory (i.e feels instinctual, what coaches call “unconsciously competent”) you can start combining moves, like a rear roundhouse where you swing a 180 then forward kick plus a cross then carry on round to 270 for a nice elbow to the torso on the way back to 180. Hell, buy another bag and imagine they’re multiple attackers. Try it. It’s killer!