Here’s Some Wild Martial Arts Equipment!
You guys may think that this is a tongue in check article on getting the best martial arts equipment, but it isn’t. I have personally tried the methods here, and they are top notch body calisthenic methods.
First, I tried cinderblocks. I didn’t want to dig holes and sink poles for the Plum Flower Fist, which is a form of Praying Mantis Gung Fu. This was great. Jumping up down gave me strength, as well improving my balance.
From there I look for other things to use for martial arts equipment.
Tires were great. I learned to use tires originally for swinging a wooden sword. Took a lot of strength and control to make the tire turn and bounce the way you wanted it to. So I grabbed nine of them, arranged them in a simple grid of three by three, and started walking the circle, Pa Kua Chang style. This was odd, hard to ground through the springiness of the tires. but, you often learn more from what doesnt’ work than what does, so I moved on.
My my next experiment in Martial Arts Training Equipment.I put four by fours on edge and practiced forms on them. This was interesting, and taken directly from Ton Toi Northern Shaolin Gung Fu. Ton Toi means springy legs, and I learned all sorts of things about balance while springing from beam to beam.
And, I tried doing forms on top of fences. It was wild. Trying to spin and move, six feet above the ground, without falling al-l-l the way down! I don’t know how much I got out of this martial arts equipment, but if was fun!
And, in between these things I tried hanging balls from the rafters, punching tennis balls at a wall, and other sorts of things. But my next big foray into martial arts equipment was at the old Los Angeles Zoo.
The old zoo, now sort of gone, or at least redone into a picnic area, was a mess of cages and bounders strewn about in the cages to give the animals some sort of sense of nature. So I worked out in cages…lions and tiger and me…oh my!
And I learned a lot! I especially grew in arm strength. Having to hang on to the side of a cage, or going across the top monkey style, built up a lot of strength in the arms. Trying to do kicks while so perched was especially educated. You get a whole new appreciation for how the hip joints work.
Now, last in my martial arts equipment were trees. At the Los Angeles zoo there were all sorts of low hanging trees. I could walk on the trunks of some of them, climb to joints, and generally swing around and do all sorts of stuff. The interesting thing about this was that I could practice sinking my weight.
One of the places I got this idea from, aside from my experiences in the cages, was a fellow wrote an article where he had to hang from a tree limb for an hour a day for a few months before the master would teach him.
Well, having done a little hanging myself, I can definitely attest to the benefits in the arms and shoulders. It stretches them out and gives truth to the old saying, ‘A long muscle is a strong muscle.’
Now, that about does it except for one thing…all of the equipment I used cost nothing. That’s right, I didn’t have to spend any money at my martial arts equipment suppliers, and I got a better work out than some big nautilus machine could ever give!