Find Your Martial Arts in the Park This Summer

Martial Arts:  Training Tips

By Njoli Brown

WHY TRAIN OUTDOORS? Because our parks, plazas, yards, forest areas provide all the tools. For many practitioners it can hearken back to another era when master instructors looked at their classes more as very personal mentorships, creating a family vibe and inspiring creativity in the methodology.

10157375528673902In urban and rural settings alike, footwork happens on hillsides, mulch, pavement, grass, up and down curbs and benches. Drills go on in the rain (and sometimes snow) and on the warmest of days. The sessions staying engaging as folks figure out how to make their practice relevant in all the terrains in which they spend their day-to-day. 

There’s nothing here saying we don’t appreciate our indoor space for all the convenience it allows.  But take another look before you write off a group that trains in the park. Often these groups are cost saving, student focused and have the flexibility to maintain small classes because they don’t have to concern themselves with matching the overhead it takes to rent an ongoing location.  Are you looking for artifice or art? Take your training outdoors this summer.


Black Boys in the Woods

They won’t let us

black boys in the woods

We might run too far

might get caught up in a tangle

might get somewhere no one can follow

We got bugaboos and injuns all kinda scary unknowns

Cabin life and familiar beatin’s be much better

Nowadays we don’t know why

But we know they don’t let us

black boys in the woods

Better kept safe without windows

We’re gon’ tunnel ’round under concrete

Officers can run their hands up and down my thighs

and love my brothers the same way

my cousins

my neighbors

my friends

Bridges might collapse

Roads might crumble

There’s no breathing


the way fresh air requires

Big cats

Don’t know fir for Nike

catfish ’til it’s fried

Someone’s taken your land

Someone’s lengthened your legs

and shortened your reach

They won’t let us black boys

in the woods

We’ll refuse

to touch the soil again