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SETTING UP YOUR HOME MARTIAL ARTS GYM

Have you always wanted a Home Martial Arts Gym?  Well, here we are. In a pandemic and really missing our martial arts training. Some martial arts training over Zoom can be very rewarding and help you to hone your techniques, basics and katas. Training from the comfort of your own home can also help you build confidence so that when studios open up again, you will be both fit and skilled!

A martial arts home gym is the perfect way to train during the pandemic and a great way to practice when everything opens up.

Building your own martial arts workout space seems overwhelming, but it is actually quite easy. With the right plan anything is possible. The only thing you will need is a 10×10 space.

This blog is going to make some suggestions about space, flooring and equipment for your practice. We will start with large spaces and move through to small spaces that you can reclaim in your house or apartment.

FIRST THINGS FIRST!—CHOOSING A SPACE

For some, choosing a space is the hardest part. Here are some basic requirements for any space:

  1. A 10×10 space without obstacles.
  2. Access to internet so that you can Zoom your Martial Arts lessons. (You may need to get a wi-fi booster or use your phone hotspot if your workout space is far from your router).
  3. In order for your instructor to see you, you should try to choose a space with lighting (like a window) in front of you. This of course does not apply to outdoor areas. If you can’t get a window or lighting in front of you, try to make sure that you can close any curtains or blinds behind you

Depending on the layout and size of your rooms, you have several options:

The GarageThis is a popular choice for those who live in a home with a garage available. Who wants a granny flat when you can have a home gym?

Pros:
• It won’t disturb the people in your home.
• It is out of the way.
• You can open doors for ventilation and fresh air.
• It’s a great size.
• Most garages have an outlet for Zooming.

Cons:
• You will lose space for your vehicles, tools and outdoor equipment.
• Can get cold in the winter (but you can warm it up fast with a heater)
• You will probably have to clean it out and reorganize.
• It may be hard to get internet, depending on where it is in relation to the router.

The Basement—If you live in place with a Basement, lucky you!

Pros:
• It won’t disturb the people in your home.
• It is out of the way.
• You can finish the basement and connect it to your air conditioning/heating units.
• It’s a great size.
• You will likely have internet and outlets available.

Cons:
• You will lose space for your storage.
• Some people use Basements for Laundry
• You may need to refinish it.
• There may be ventilation and water issues in a basement.

A Spare RoomIf you are lucky enough to have a spare room, this will make a great space for a martial arts Zoom set up.

Pros: 
• It is already finished and doesn’t need many modifications.
• There is temperature control and some ventilation.
• Access to internet.

Cons:
• You might disturb your house- or room-mates.
• The room may be odd shaped or too small.
• The room doubles as a guest bedroom or office.

A Corner in your Living Room or Bedroom—Who uses a formal living room anyway. And what are you doing with your bedroom space when you aren’t sleeping? Why not make them the most useful spaces in your house? All you need is a 10×10 space ideally…but if it is a little smaller, try pushing some furniture to the side.

Pros:
• Get the most use out of your space.
• Likely good access to internet.
• You don’t have to go far.
• You probably don’t have to do any home repairs except move furniture out of the way.

Cons:
• You might disturb your house-or room-mates.
• The space might be too small.

NEXT?—CHOOSING YOUR FLOORING

One of the most important equipment decisions is your flooring. Flooring can make or break your space and training experience.

There are several basic options that come in different thickness and sizes. Checkout the Zebra website, which has different pre-cut options at different price points for some of the following:

• Roll out mats
• Flat mats
• Puzzle mats

Some people also want to install wall pads, but this may be over the top for beginners.

Martial Arts Equipment?—CHOOSING YOUR TOOLS

The kind of martial arts equipment you will need will depend on the kind of martial arts that you are learning. Some arts will require no equipment. Here are some considerations:

• A standing bag—martial arts supply places offer excellent heavy bag choices that will only take up a 2’x2’ area. More experienced martial artists may want a heavy bag.
• Extensions for standing or heavy bags that can simulate arms or legs. Or even a human shaped standing bag. Century Martial Arts has an interesting one.
• Mirrors can be great because they allow you to check your form. If you can get a full length mirror somewhere close to your workout area, that would be great!

Electronic Equipment?—ZOOMING ONLINE

You will need a computer or tablet with internet capability and a camera. We don’t recommend a phone unless you are able to somehow project it onto a larger screen. In addition, here is what we suggest:

• If you are far from your router, make sure that you have a wi-fi booster or use your phone hotspot.
• Wireless headset with microphone
• A larger screen or television that will allow you to see your instructor clearly. This can be accomplished with an HDMI cord.
• Lighting that projects onto your instructor can see you.

After you get the basic set up, make sure to connect with your instructor so that they can help you to center yourself onto the Zoom camera. We would also keep some colored vinyl tape on hand so that you can mark certain areas for stepping or stances.

And when all else fails, you can really Zoom in any old place if you have the will and the wifi!

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