Whether you’re a novice or a master, it is not only important that you make a habit out of practicing your martial art training, but that you do so the right way with the right gear on-hand. When it comes to kung fu, you have a pretty good selection of gear. You don’t need it all, of course. There are some essentials, however, that everyone should have in their arsenal. For the sake of assisting those of you that may be a bit lost, we’ve come up with a practical guide to help you find the right kung fu training equipment.
Common Kung Fu Training Gear
No matter what your area of focus is, there is some training equipment that has basically become the norm. If you have to start out anywhere when gathering up your kung fu gear, then the basic items are a sensible way to go. Plus, you can set up any of these listed to train right out of your home as long as you have made the room for it.
Wing Chun Dummy
The Wing Chun Dummy is a famous and distinguished tool that has been used for decades. Repetition is key here in terms of honing techniques and skills. With the Wing Chun Dummy, you are able to address several areas of training with one piece of equipment. Develop your timing, accuracy, balance, positioning, speed, and power. Also, you can practice your strikes and counters all in one go.
This is certainly a large investment on your part, but one that will pay off in the end. As these come in various designs, it is important that you decide exactly how you want to train with it. Wall-mounted or free-standing, taller or shorter, etc. are all questions you should think about prior to purchasing, especially if you plan to put one in your home.
Kung Fu Training Rings
Kung Fu Training Rings seem to be just as common. Typically, these rings are made from rattan, iron, brass, or steel. They may not seem like much at first glance, but they are ridiculously helpful. To start, they can greatly improve muscle definition and strength. Place these on your arms and legs during your training and use them similar to the way other athletes use ankle weights.
These rings are also great to use for conditioning. Wherever you place them, they will help toughen up the skin and soft tissue. This allows you to harden up areas such as your forearms to better enhance your blocking skills.
Wall Striking Bags
Then there are the Wall Striking Bags. They are made from canvas, synthetic leather, or genuine leather. It is another good way you can work on your technique using various punches, palm strikes, and kicks. These bags are also low-costing, and they come made various ways (single, double, or three-sectioned). It is important that you practice throwing strikes correctly so that you don’t injure yourself.
Understand that a wall bag can be filled with various things and that when you first purchase them, they usually won’t be filled. Beginners may feel better filling it up with rice as it does not make it too hard. A rice filling actually allows you to build up the strength you need. Once you are there, you can move onto filling the bags with something firmer to continue to push yourself.
Rice Bucket hand exercises help to develop that much-needed gripping power. It also aids in hardening the muscles in your hands, wrists, and forearms, making this gear great for conditioning as well. What’s even better about this is that it can be easily made with things found in your own home.
If you want to get the full benefits out of your martial art training, you will have to go beyond basic kung fu training equipment. Think about what you do in kung fu, the muscles you work, the way you have to move. The more you do so, the more you realize how important other equipment not specifically meant for kung fu is needed.
Some of the more usual ones include the following:
- Free Weights: From kettlebells to dumbbells, implementing some kind of free weights routine into your training aids with strength building as well as improving overall endurance. Think about focusing on light to mid-weight gear as to not overtax your muscles and limit your range of motion.
- Jump Rope: This cheap, simple item has its uses no matter what your physical activity is. Jumping rope not only conditions your stamina, but it thoroughly strengthens the muscles in your legs. It is also the perfect warm-up tool to get your heart pumping and ready for more intense training.
- Punching Bag: Some punching bag exercises can be useful in terms of developing skills, strength, and stamina. The Body Opponent Bag (BOB) is used by many martial artists as it gives the indication of a living opponent to train with.
- Focus Pads: These are useful when you are training with another person. Focus pads allow you to practice your technique with a living, moving opponent. You can easily put together some drills to improve your skills and build up some endurance.
A Few More Thoughts on Training
Remember that before you ever start in with any piece of equipment that you get a good warm-up and stretch in. This will help prevent any unfortunate injuries that can arise from using the above equipment. Always have the proper protective gear on-hand as well, especially if you are going to be using the punching bags or going up against an opponent with the focus pads.
Getting the right kung fu training equipment does not have to be a difficult task as there isn’t a lot of gear that goes along with this style of martial arts. Don’t forget to complement that gear with other common exercise equipment to work other areas of your body. See to this, and you will get along fine in your training.