As a kid, we were constantly challenging each other. Who can hop on one leg the longest or walk along the curb without falling off. The elementary games helped us develop body awareness and control.
When I was in high school, one of my teammates was a national champion in Judo and a state champion wrestler. His ability to balance and control his body allowed him to avoid takedowns, hit throws and win more than most.
My point in telling you that, is that balance plays a huge roll in wrestling, jiujitsu, mma and other combat sports, but who actually trains to improve their balance?
Lyoto Machhida does…take a look:
What Lyoto is doing is called “slack lining”.
Its a simple, fun way to improve your balance and challenge your body, but its not the only way to improve your balance.
You can buy these lines at a local climbing store, REI or similar. Then, find a tree or solid beam, attach and see how it goes.
No line? No problem.
- Balance on one leg
- Balance on the balls of your feet…heels up, big toe engaged
- Walk a line on the ground.
- Crawl on a line, keeping hands and toes on the crack, seam or balance beam.
- Leap from one foot to the other, stick the landing and control it.
- Balance at end ranges of your kicks
- Can you hold a handstand?
These are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless.
**Want to immediately increase the difficulty of these drills? Close your eyes. Closing your eyes takes away one of our largest sources of information and forces our bodies to react by feel, instead of relying on visual input.
You can start balancing for time, distance or for specific movements.
Looking for something a little more advanced?
Check out our friend Dewey Nielsen demonstrating some cool drills at his gym in Oregon.
Balancing is simple and will add a new twist to your training.
Perfect for team challenges, warm ups or for fun on the weekend.
Then, next time you are defending a takedown or stuck in a precarious position, you’ll be more prepared.
Got more ideas? Leave us a comment below