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Posted by on July 20, 2020

With COVID 19 and the mandatory closures of gyms, martial arts and self-defence studios, many have adapted their services. Online classes, for example, have boomed internationally.

Another option is training in outdoor spaces. There are many great things about training in a studio but also many advantages to being outside.

Space. In the age of social distancing, a large park, parking lot or yard offers ample space to be together while being apart.

Various terrains. Many of us are familiar with the hardwood or rubber flooring of a studio. Outside you can be on pavement, gravel, sand, grass, flat ground, and hills. It is an opportunity to become adept in various settings.

New Obstacles. Trees, walls, cars, fences, and much more. Training in places with such obstacles helps foster spatial awareness. After all, most of us are averse to tripping over roots or running into walls – most of us. 

Lighting. Ever try to catch a frisbee, football or baseball, while facing a bright sun. If not, don’t. There are enough people who have made unplanned visits to the hospital or dentist who will concur. Still, it is beneficial to train and experience how lighting can affect your capacity to assess and perform.

Sound. Being outside offers a wide range of auditory options such as traffic, various voices, the wind, vehicular traffic near or far, and much more. We can train to distinguish the safe sounds from sounds that might indicate danger. 

Escape Routes. Whether you are in a natural setting or an urban location, there can be options for escape. Wherever you train, identify the escape routes.  

Common Objects. Rocks, garbage cans, branches, chairs, sand, whatever you can use. Survey the area and see what you could use to protect yourself.  

Being Outside is Better. Not Toronto in January – for most people. Generally, however, people love the outdoors. Many people work in offices or other indoor settings. Opportunities to be outside are more than welcome.  

I suspect that even as we transition back to training inside, people will want to train outside.  

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