Escrima is a very tough and demanding martial art, which uses quick and deadly moves. But because of its emphasis on intense and powerful strikes, one really needs to have good physical conditioning through the right exercises and training routine. In this article we give a very basic guide to what constitutes a healthy escrima workout.

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.

Then you can proceed to wake up the various parts of your body through dynamic stretches. You need to make it dynamic since your body is not yet fully stimulated to perform the full stretches. Stretching at this point in your routine can only do harm to your muscles. Make sure that you dynamically stretch every major part of your body.

Stick warm ups involve twirling and twisting the stick. Usually it is done with two sticks, each hand holding its own stick, though there are certain drills which may be done with single stick, such as the Bruce Lee like nunchuck exercises which bring the stick both behind and in front of the body. Such exercises wake up the wrists, elbows and shoulders, which are vital for a weapon wielding arm.

After doing this then youre all set for the basic stick drills. Make sure that you set a goal every session, and consider which movements youre going to practice. It helps if you have a training journal, where you can list the movements that you practiced, and how many times. Then during the next training session you can review what you already did, and what movements you havent practiced for a while. Also, keeping tabs on the number of repetitions youve accomplished is a good gauge of your probable proficiency level, since in escrima, as well as other martial arts, repetition is the name of the game. Dont be like others who just go to the training gym without a plan, and practice whatever they feel like practicing. It might look impressive because of the spontaneity, but it does little to make the muscles memorize the moves.

After the stick drills are accomplished, do some relaxed full breathing exercises to cool down, preferably while walking. Make yourself as relaxed as you possibly can, to prepare you for the stretching exercises. Although standing stretches are good enough, the best stretching routine is a ground stretching routine. Here youll be able to stretch your joints and muscles up to the maximum reach. It feels great after youve done it too! This ends our very basic escrima workout plan. Good luck in your martial arts training!

The author has been training for more than five years in the martial art of escrima, and has just recently received his third-degree black belt as a certified instructor. He is also interested in computer technology, and popular examples of metaphors.

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