David Avellan – Watch MMA, BJJ Videos, and Learn Martial Arts
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How to get a good training session by yourself

I apologize for the framing of this video, as I originally was filming this just for myself and didn’t think too carefully about camera placement.

But it still does a great job of conveying the message I wanted to get out. I have people who message me all the time asking me for help on how to train when they don’t have partners or gyms nearby.

This is how. There is shadow boxing, shadow wrestling, and shadow fighting. I switch between the modes quite a bit. While I’m not in the best shape at the moment, it can be a hell of a workout. It all depends on the amount of effort you want to put in.

Similar to drilling, except by using your imagination to visualize a shadow opponent it makes it more fun. If I was just to drill double legs 100 times (which I do as well), it would be very boring. Useful for sure, but boring.

Using the shadow fighting though stimulates more creativity. It also gets you mind set as if you are in a fight. That is important, as drills without intention are not as good as a drill where your mind is focused on what you would be in the heat of battle.

When I prepared for my first ADCC in 2005, the majority of my workouts where shadow workouts. At the time, I was working and didn’t have any training partners available by the time I finished work. So I did 60 minutes of shadow workouts every day.

This is a low tech is you can get. All you need is your imagination. While I have a nice 13’x13′ zebra mat setup, you could easily do this with much less. In fact, when I flew to Beijing for my ADCC 2013, I was doing shadow drills in my hotel room carpet. I would just lay down a couple pillows for where it would shoot or sprawl.

The curious might be thinking now, “Why were you filming this for yourself?”

Good question!

That is the second lesson you can learn here – measurement is necessary for improvement. I was filming this to see how I look from the outside and spot imperfections in technique. I’m a bit out of shape, but I did okay. My hands were lower than I wanted them to be, some of my shots were lazy, and a couple of my scrambles didn’t make sense (I didn’t visualize properly).

This is something I encourage to anyone who is serious about improving themselves – get a camera and film yourself. Nowadays there really is no excuse. Everyone has a mobile phone with an amazing camera on it (I used my phone to film this). A tripod from Amazon costs $25 (http://amzn.to/2qyAuEL). A simple attachment to mount your phone on your tripod costs $9 (http://amzn.to/2p8Epqw).

You don’t need anything fancy. $34 and you got yourself a personal accountability system. Film yourself while training, shadow boxing, lifting weights, etc. From the outside perspective, you will get to see things that you can’t see with your own two eyes.

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