How To Train Martial Arts While Traveling

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“When you get back to New York City, don’t suck.”

1.5 years ago, I left NYC and the infamous Renzo Gracie Academy to travel the world. 

These were the last words my training partners and dear friends said to me. 

To me, it was the best goodbye a person could ask for.

I interpreted their words as, traveling can do wonders for your life but don’t let it break your training routine, or when you come back, we will have surpassed you.

I love it!

Look, I enjoy traveling. 

You are given an opportunity most people don’t have. You can broaden your worldview by experiencing new cultures, different perspectives and creating beautiful memories.  

But getting caught up in the possibilities of traveling can harm your life if your tradeoff is your training schedule.

Here are some ways to continue sharpening your techniques on the mats while traveling, whether for business or pleasure. 

Your schedule should work around your training time. 

Regardless of your destination, you can use Instagram or Google to find the best gyms in your area. 

If that’s not possible, start looking for individual people who are training, there’s always someone. 

Many of these gyms have open-door policies, which means you can pay to train daily, weekly, or monthly. Be sure to let them know ahead of time.

Once you find a gym, make sure you schedule all your endeavors around your training sessions.

I recommend training first thing in the morning because you get the most critical activity out of your way.

This leaves you the rest of the day to explore your area, go to a meeting, or make some friends.

Not to mention, you are a Martial Artist, so your job should be to allocate your time to maximize your skill development efficiently. 

Most gyms have two sessions per day (morning and evening), so you can always work, then train later if you can’t make it in the morning. 

Pack Your Martial Arts Essentials

Many traveling martial artists will give you different opinions, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt.

But I think you only need to pack your essential martial arts gear: a few rash guards, shorts, and athletic underwear. 

You will frequently wash your clothes, so there’s no point in packing a lot. 

Also, if your laundry loads are smaller, it decreases the chances of your washer or dryer breaking down on you. And if you are using a public place to do your laundry, it’s easier for you to carry a smaller bundle. 

Let’s move on.

Ensure you bring two pairs of mouthguards; it will be cheaper than buying one from the gym (that’s how they rip you off). 

You should always have a backup mouthguard; in case you lose the first one.  

Next, you want to bring your gloves and maybe, a pair of shin guards because the gym’s equipment will be filled with thousands of micro-bacteria. 

And getting a possible skin infection means time off the mat, which you don’t want. 

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Lastly, you want to bring some medical supplies. 

Those are always helpful!

Stay Healthy

Traveling can take a toll on your health.

Travel is not this magical experience that only has positive effects on your life. Travel also can have adverse effects on your mind and body.

Especially if you are required by your job to travel to various locations.

Likewise, flying on a plane or sitting in transit for hours at a time is not the healthiest activity for your health. 

In a past study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, those who traveled 21 or more nights in a six-month time frame were more likely to smoke, had trouble sleeping, and routinely ate unhealthy food throughout their trips.

The one thing you can do to offset these effects is opt-in for healthier meals. 

Now, I’m not saying ONLY to eat healthily.

You must indulge in exotic street food and delicious desserts too, but make sure you balance those things out with healthy carbs, fibers, and lean proteins.

Stick to an eating regimen and only eat unhealthy 1-2 days per week or 1-2 meals per week. 

If you plan on traveling a lot, increase your water consumption.

I recommend at least 3 liters of water per day. 

You will be able to maximize your performance in the gym by being well hydrated by the time you get there. 

Finally, the most important thing is to orient your circadian rhythm (aka your sleep schedule) to your new location the first day you land.

Make sure you become well-adjusted to your time zone and go to bed on time.

Like your mom used to say, the more sleep you getthe happier and healthier life you will live. 

This adage does not change… even if your geographical location does.

Stay Healthy, my friends. 

Your body and mind have to last you a lifetime!


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