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Training in Times of Corona Virus

The Corona virus is spreading around the globe and wherever it arrives, it forces large parts of the country to a deep sleep. The virus also hit my home area and last weekend we decided to support the virus control measures by temporarily suspending all group training activities in our Kali gym. There is a good reason for this step: if society is successful in slowing down the spread of the virus, then the impact on the health care system by the number of simultaneously hospitalised persons will be softened. This can save many human lives.

No training is hard to do

Our intellect and rational mind may be able to calculate the numbers and understand the necessity for the chosen steps, still the forced restraint feels like a defeat. It's like that: we all like to go to training, the community in the club means a lot to us, the Kali training gives us zest for life and we don't want to do without it. Not to go to training is hard to do!

The passivity prescribed by reason affects martial artists all the more: As fighters we are used to making decisions in critical situations and then, based on that decision, we act actively, quickly and consistently. Same is true in Kali self-defence training. But our Armadong Kali is more than a martial sport. As a life support combat system our Armadong Kali offers a much wider horizon than merely the next match fight or the next ranking test.

Choose your battles well

With the expanded horizon of a life support combat system, it quickly emerges that in addition to tactical potential a strategic understanding is required too: when is the time to act directly (tactical option) and when is the time to act strategically, e.g. to direct from behind the scenes and to prepare yourself for things to come. The wise warrior thoroughly weighs the costs, risks and benefits of a confrontation. We have to use our resources carefully and think about where we apply our energy. Patience and knowing when is the time to apply direct action and when better to us apparently passive, indirect action – those are essential virtues of a successful warrior.

It is also true when dealing with the corona crisis: without immunity from prior contacts and without vaccines for doctors and nurses, we will suffer serious losses in a direct confrontation. To delay the spread of the virus ("flattening the curve") and thus preventing or at least reducing the overload of our health systems makes sense. The good news is, that while we improve our situation in the fight against the corona and flu viruses through sensible procedures, such as minimizing contact with other people and washing hands with soap, we do not have to give up our training entirely.

Kali training during Corona time

As I write this article, the wonderful spring weather invites us to drive into the nearby forrest where we can train Sinawali while we maintain enough distance to others. If you want, you can also go jogging or you can combine jogging with Kali footwork and Sinawali striking patterns.

With the schools and kinder garden closed thanks to Corona our children have unexpected free time, and are excited to explore the forest together with the parents, balancing on tree trunks or conquer a small mound of earth. Do you want an exciting and fun movement experience? Then simply try to follow to go where your kids are going and copy all moves your children are showing you. It will be great fun for everybody involved.

Even in bad weather conditions there are enough opportunities to train: Kali footwork (triangles, adjustment- and sidesteps, squaring, ducking, weaving etc.), stretching exercises and various body weight exercises need only little space while offering very effective strengthening and mobility challenges. They can be exercised even in the smallest apartment.

Less desire to exercise? How about a good book or film? There are plenty films or books with inspiring action and martial arts scenes. But don't forget: Sitting is the new smoking! :-)

Those who are healthy (symptom-free) can strengthen their immune system through sensible training in the fresh air and in the sun. In corona or flu times, it should be noted that high-intensity training temporarily weakens the immune system. It makes more sense to keep the training workload moderate, to avoid interval training and to remain in the aerobic zone. The positive thing is, most parts of Kali training happens in this healthy zone anyway.

In case someone already feels sick, it is generally not advisable to strain the body even further. First cure the disease: rest, lots of water and tea!

Do you have a suggestion?

What are your favourite exercises? Do you have any tips for books or films? Are you interested in specific exercise plans? Write in the comments!

Author: Uli Weidle, Reutlingen, March 15, 2020

German version of the article available at:

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