How to Train in the Martial Arts when you don’t have time?

I hear about this subject all the time. As a Martial Arts instructor students tell me they don’t have the time to come to every class and train. Every time the student gives me an excuse why they cannot train more my instructor’s voice bellows in my head. “Make the damn time.” I’m going to give you a few tips on how to train while your not at the dojo.


Work on your stances while you wait. Anywhere. Any place. We are all waiting for something during our busy day. Put these dead times to use. Are you waiting for your burrito to cook in the microwave? Get into a horse stance and hold it strong and proper while you wait that minute and a half for that burrito to cook. Maybe throw in some blocks or focus punching (without hitting anything ).

Hanging Targets

Do you work in a retail store or a job where stuff is hanging up? I have found it fun to do focus kicks/punches at stuff that is around me. Doing this can help with your distance and timing (especially if whatever is hanging can swing a bit). Test yourself to see if you can punch fast enough to cause the hanging item to start to swing. Kick with your full force and then stop as you just touch the item. This will improve your muscular control.

Stretching and Space

Maybe you are confined to a cubicle or behind a counter and have limited space. Take the time to capitalize on your spacial awareness and footwork by practicing your techniques in a confined space. You never know where you will be attacked and the environment could be your biggest challenge. Practice your form/kata in this confine space. See what you can/can’t do effectively and improve on it.


Hand and foot conditioning doesn’t require much. You don’t have to hit boards or bricks. Hard floors, rough carpet, and solid walls are good places to working on toughing up your hands and feet. If you can sit on the ground and stretch your legs out work on conditioning your hands at the same time. Slap the ground with heel of your palm to toughen them up. Running in the park? Take a break to chop at a tree with the knife edge of your hand or foot. Conditioning takes time and repetition before results will be seen. Remember you don’t have to hit things as hard as you can. That just hurts. Just make an impact on the surface to start building calluses.

Throw and Grab

Do you sit at a desk? Bring a bean bag or something to toss around at work. Work on your speed and hand-eye-coordination. Drop the bag and see how face you can grab it or toss in the air and set a goal to catch it at a specific height/time. As a co-worker to toss you the bag and catch it. Simple as that plus it may get you noticed by the boss.

Just Stop

One of the most over looked thing that you work on is nothing. What I mean is empty your mind. Stop for five minutes and empty your cup of all that you have been doing today and take a breath. You can do this sitting, standing, with your eyes open or close. There are so many benefits to meditation and being mindfulness. Reduce your stress levels, lower your blood pressure, better concentration. Just do it ok?


If you start doing these quick little training tips you will start developing an eye and come up with your own unique workouts. This is what it means to be a Karate Geek and always be training.

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