Fighting Techniques to Practice in Your Home
Improving your fighting techniques at home can be difficult without a training partner, equipment such as exercise mats and enough space for large movements such as sweeps. But short-range movements such as strikes and kicks while standing in place are fighting techniques you can practice at home with minimal space. Repetition of any movement helps your body learn to do it more easily and quickly, making you a better fighter. Instead of trying to learn all the techniques at once, work on perfecting a few.
Any fighter knows strong, quick punches are one of the keys to defeating opponents. Incorrect punching technique may result in a broken hand or wrist in a fighting situation. Therefore, practicing until you have the correct form not only increases your strength and power, but also reduces your chances of injury. To practice punches at home, stand in front a mirror so you can watch your form. Bring your hands up in fighting position in front of your chest or face and then slowly rotate your right forearm as you extend it forward at head height. At the end of the punch, your arm is straight with your palm facing the floor and the wrist straight. Repeat with the left hand.
Elbows don't extend as far out from the body as fists, so elbow strikes work better when the opponent is closer to you. To learn your range and increase your speed, practice throwing elbow strikes in front of a mirror so you can use your own image for target practice. To practice the popular horizontal elbow strike, stand with hands up in fighting position and then lift your right elbow until your arm is parallel to the floor. Bend your forearm toward your bicep as you swing your elbow across your body, aiming for the temple in your reflection. Repeat with the left arm.
A mirror is also useful for practicing kicks at home to improve your targeting. Fighting techniques are practical, fast and powerful. But while many kicks are fun, impressive and effective for conditioning, they are not the most important for fighting. The side kick is one of the most powerful kicking techniques in the martial arts. To practice a side kick from a static position and not use too much room, lift your right knee up to waist level, rotate your leg inward so the knee points to the left and extend your leg directly to the right. Pull your toes back as you kick. The heel is the point of contact when you use the kick on an opponent. Practice with the left leg, too.
Knee strikes are close in technique to elbows because they don't extend as far as the foot. Knee strikes take less time than kicks because of the shorter distance. Knee strikes are classic techniques to attack the groin, abdomen, ribs and kidneys. At home, imagine grabbing an opponent's shoulders and bringing your knee up in front of you. All your weight should be in your standing leg. Practice with both legs, first slowly as you learn the form and then more quickly as you get better.
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.