New Year’s is just over two months away. Which means that New Year’s resolution season is here.
Or maybe we should say that the time of year most commonly associated with making new resolutions is almost here. New Year’s is a popular choice for making changes and pursuing new goals for a number of reasons. The turn of the year has us all thinking about new beginnings and rebirth already, so it makes sense that you’ll start to look at your life and wonder what you might do differently. A fresh new calendar also makes it easy to write down goals and track them.
But you can make a resolution and start working toward it at any time of year. You could do it now, if you wanted to!
Which is why we’re talking about New Year’s resolutions in October. If you have a new martial arts goal in mind, you don’t have to wait until 2024 to get going. If you don’t have a general idea of what you might want to do yet — or if you know, but you’re not sure you’re physically prepared to dive right in — there are also steps you can take to get ready for making the leap on January 1.
Here are four ways that you can get a jumpstart on your 2024 resolutions and get for the new year:
The Pre-Season Prep
If you know what martial type of martial arts training you’d like to start — or return to — but you’re not sure about your physical conditioning, you could always start with a basic fitness program. Think of yourself like an athlete in the off-season. You’re building the basic tools you’ll need now so that you’ll be better equipped to take on sports-specific activities later.
Working on your cardio, strength, and endurance before you start martial arts training doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have an easy start when you step onto the mats or into the ring. Martial arts are challenging, and no amount of cross-training, no matter how well you do it, or how well-suited it is to your discipline, can perfectly prepare you for its specific physical and mental demands. But a couple of months of general fitness can give you an excellent foundation for the next step.
Walking/running plans, flexibility and core training like Pilates and Yoga, a weight training program, or any mix of the above are all good options for this plan. If you want to get a taste of more sports-specific exercises, you could also invest in a set of mats for your home and try our some basic striking of grappling drills on your own.
If you know you’d like to try martial arts or combat sports, but you’re not exactly sure which one yet, or if you know which discipline you want to pursue, but you haven’t settled on a gym yet, now is a great time to shop around. Research the gyms and dojos that are within a reasonable travel distance from you, find out which ones offer free trials or drop-in rates, and start visiting them.
Testing out different styles and gyms for yourself is a great way to learn what martial arts and what gym cultures work best for you. If you find the right fit for you, that’s amazing! You can either sign up and start immediately, or start making plans for the new year. If nothing clicks, that’s okay, too. You can always resolve to keep searching in 2024. And every class you take that isn’t the ideal one still gives you valuable experience and perspective.
The Shopping Spree
If you know what type of combat sports or martial arts training you want to do and where you want to do it, but you’re not ready to start right now, you could dedicate the next couple of months to assembling the gear you’ll need. Do some research on whether you’ll need a martial arts uniform or any other specific clothing like boxing shorts or Muay Thai shorts. Look into what other gear and accessories you’ll need, ranging from necessities like boxing gloves to items that might improve your comfort during training like protective gear and rash guards.
Once you know the basics, you can start to figure out preferences, like what makes certain brands and styles work better for some people vs others. (To help you figure that out, we have a handy collection of buyer’s guides for everything from gis to gear bags.)
And once you know what you need and what you want, you can head over to AWMA.com and start shopping. By January 1, you’ll have everything you need to train comfortably and effectively.
The Early Bird
If you know what type of combat sports or martial arts training you want to do and where you want to do it and you’ve got the time and motivation to start now, why wait? Sign up for the gym you want, order the gear you need, and go for it!