When you are training and preparing for violent situations, you got your primary training which would be practicing your basic self-defense skills and fighting techniques, sparring, scenario training, etc, but you also have your supplemental training which includes strength and sports conditioning training, speed and agility training, psychological skills and mindset training, body conditioning, etc. Today we are going to talk about body conditioning.
The purpose of body conditioning training is to toughen up the body, improve your pain tolerance, and harden your bones to reduce chances of injury such as breaking your hands, etc. Let's start with some basic hand conditioning. Your hand is made up of many small bones which can break if you punch a guy on let's say, the top of his skull. To make your punches strong and to begin conditioning your hands, start with punching a heavybag with bare fists. Punching the heavy bag with your bare hands will toughen your hands, teach you to maintain skeletal alignment and help you learn to prevent spraining your wrists whenever you punch a hard bony surface whenever you hit a human body. Other ways to condition your hands would be to practice palm strikes on a hard surface like a brick wall (softly at first then gradually build power as you continue your practice) or you can practice your knifehand softly on a brick or on a hard floor surface (again start soft!!).
Other bones to condition would be your forearms and your shins. Your forearms will take a beating during an exchange of punches and blows because some of the punches may land on your arms during a fight so it is important to toughen up your arms. One way to toughen your forearms is to hit them softly into a hard surface such as a brick wall or a dense heavybag. If you have a Wing Chun dummy then you can also work your forearms by hitting them softly into the wooden dummy arms. Shin conditioning is a staple practice among Thai Boxers to prepare their shins to take leg kicks, to use the shins as kicking weapons, and for blocking leg kicks. You can toughen up your shins by kicking a dense heavybag repeatedly or if you have one, by kicking softly a banana tree (a traditional Thai training method).
Also, the torso needs to be conditioned to take a beating. One good drill to work at is taking hits from a focus mitt to the chest/pecs and abdomen. Take care to not strike the vulnerable parts of your torso such as your spinal column, solar plexus, sternum, clavicle, etc. Another great form of body conditioning of your torso is doing abdominal exercises such as crunches, reverse crunches, etc.
So there you go, some basic ideas to condition and toughen up your body. Train diligently and stay safe!!
Certified Self-Defense Trainer