In this article we give a sample outline for an escrima training routine. Escrima is a very specialized martial art, which is weapon based and relies on very quick and effective moves. Because of its focus on intense and short movements, it needs other conditioning exercises to complement it, and to ensure the best physical condition of the escrima practitioner.

Begin with a slow and steady pace jogging, say of around 1 kilometre. Unfortunately escrima is not famous for being a cardio sport, so you have to have a different cardio workout like this one. Make sure that you have consistent and constant breathing while you jog, which is important to master, especially since many of the escrima moves make you literally hold your breath. But holding your breath causes more tension in the body, and less fluidity in your body movements. So you have to keep your breathing in mind.

Next are the preliminary stretches. These should be dynamic stretches and not the full stretches which you will do only at the end of your escrima training session. The usual dynamic stretches include rotation exercises beginning from the head, and then the arms, waist, all the way down to the legs and feet.

After youre already warmed up, its time to do the stick warm ups. These exercises include twirling of the stick, and various double-stick movements, which exercise the wrist, elbows and shoulders.

And then comes the meat of the training, the stick drills. Now the name of the game here is repetition, since what we want to do is to make the movements into muscle memory. Every escrima style has its own set of basic movements, which is fine. Try to practice those movements a hundred times, taking short breaks in between if the basic sets are too long. Also remember, you need to practice the basic strikes with the proper form, otherwise your body will only remember the wrong movement, and it will be hard to unlearn it in the future. Make sure that your escrima instructor is guiding you for the first few repetitions.

After youve done all the drills, then its time to cool down and stretch. Do maybe one or two laps of walking around the track. And then you can start the full stretching routine. We highly recommend doing ground stretching, since it gives the maximum stretch and flexibility for your tired muscles. Make sure you stretch both your upper and lower body, and hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 hour. There you have it! The basics of an escrima workout. Hope that it guides your training session and makes it more productive.

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Jeremiah has been a humble student of escrima for more than five years. Right now though he is getting a little rusty, and spends his time collecting good examples of metaphors.
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