“Hold That Thought, I Need to Warm Up”

In pretty much every athletic endeavor, the participants use some sort of warmup activity prior to participating. This warmup has two primary purposes. The first is to loosen up and ready the body to maximize performance and prevent injury. Second, the warmup allows the body to start getting into the groove that is used for that activity, helping to recall the body mechanics employed.

In martial arts warmups are often employed, and for good reason. Throwing a high kick completely cold is a great way to cause some major muscle and tendon tears. Injury can slow down even the most well-coordinated training plan. Mitigating the risk of injury through warmup is a good way to keep ourselves training.

Shooters often warm up before testing themselves too. By shooting or dry-firing prior to testing yourself, you generally improve your performance.

How could warming up be bad?

On the street you don’t get a warmup.

The problem with warmups is that you don’t always get one. Real life is unpredictable, and you cannot choose when you might get attacked. Similarly, you cannot stop your attacker and ask them to hold on a second so you can warm up. This might be a good defensive strategy if you think your attacker might die from laughter.

How can we address this in our training?

Training flexibility should be high on your priority list. The better your flexibility is, the less likely you are to get a pull while you are fighting sans warmup. If you are training for the purposes of self-defense, you need to know what your limitations are likely to be when you aren’t warmed up. Some part of your training should include training within those restrictions, even while warmed up. An example of this is by removing high kicks. High kicks are impractical on the street anyway, but even more so if you won’t get a chance to stretch before you get attacked.

When you are working on your shooting, test yourself ‘cold’ by simply starting without any dry-fire or warmup. Once you measure your baseline, you can now begin your normal practice. If done properly, your “cold start” might even give you ideas as to what you need to work on during your practice session.

Ultimately, when the adrenaline starts pumping, you’ll overcome most of these issues even if you don’t train specifically to mitigate them. I would still recommend stepping back and evaluating your training within the context of fighting without a warmup. Make adjustments so you are prepared for the fight that occurs outside the ring.

Like what you just read?

Don't miss out on new content, get email updates whenever there is a new post on Indestructible Training!

Leave a Reply

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates