Evolution Martial Arts & Fitness Academy

Wilkes Academy, Westmead Industrial Estate, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 7YT.

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Tel: 08000614641

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Ahh, good old January.

A time when we diet, do less and generally work more.


Because most of us are absolutely skint.

We spent out pennies in December, and now we are scratching around for any money in the back of the sofa.

So it is during January that we tighten our purse strings and stay indoors and gorge on Netflix.

Now there is an issue if you want to start self-defence training but have zero budget, how do you do it?

Well in this article I will give you our best tips for training in self-defence when you are broke

Sign Up For Freebies

The first and most obvious tip is to go out there and get as much free training as you can.

Also, the Evolution Martial Arts Academy page regularly offer free content from videos and articles on Facebook and Instagram.

That is before you even head to YouTube to learn from the wide variety of sources online.

The Shadow

I never understand why anyone says ‘ I can’t afford training.’ I say ‘well if you are that financially poor train at home.’ Often the reply is ‘but I can’t buy a punch bag or pads.’ ‘Then try using the shadow’

Shadowboxing or grappling is one the best ways to get fit, stay sharp and also develop your skills. You need nothing but your own imagination and also a few square metres.

The Ball And String

Get an old tennis ball, get some string and put two holes in the ball and then place the string through and tie it up somewhere (I used to use a washing line)

I used this very tool for years, and it works.
You are not going to get a killer work out, but you are going to improve your accuracy.
This is so basic you can set this up on a clothes rack in a bedsit, and yes it is very effective.

Use the ball and string to focus on short-range punches to the nose and jaw, hammers and elbows.

Alleyways/ Outdoors

The dreaded alley is something we are taught to avoid as a self-defence student (never walk in an alleyway alone), but not us.

While we suggest doing this training with someone for the reasons above this should not stop you from going into an alley and start shapeshifting/ practising your moves in the shadow while in the concrete arena.

We say alleyways but in all honesty just outdoors here there are some walls, concrete and some but not a lot of space will work.

By training outdoors you ‘acclimatise’ yourself to the real world.

Trees/ Inner Tubes

Go out and find a big tree, take with you the inner tube from a bicycle tyre or some rubber bands/ bungee cords

Wrap them around the tree and start pulling them and turning in for throws like Judo player would.

Kick the tree, punch the tree (with padding on) and even try and take that tree down to the floor. You won’t make a dent!

The great thing is that trees have been used in martial arts training for years, we just forgot about them.


This is a very old but still great way to train.
Get some paper and stick it via string onto the ceiling so that the paper is at eye level.

This is your target to practise your punches, your headbutts, hammer strikes or whatever you want.

This works, plain and simple just like the paper.

Clothes Bag

We all own clothes and I am sure we have some plastic bags (some bags are now huge), and you can even use a bin bag.

Take some clothes and fill the bag and then hang it up or on the back of the door and you have an instant punch bag.

And yes I have done this as well.


Just because you are short on money does not mean that you can not train, far too often we limit our minds to a version of life.

If we have no money we cannot: take the kids out, eat out, have fun, visit an attraction and yes train martial arts/ self-defence.

In reality and with a touch of creativity you can achieve so much in life without spending much money at all.

Now that being said we also waste money, very often if you ask someone to train in Martial Arts they say ‘I would love to, but it is too expensive’.

In my experience that is not the case, the reality is that they choose to spend the money on other things (like 5 pints at the pub every Friday).

Now we are not to judge as everyone can spend their money how they like. However at midnight when walking home from the pub and you are jumped by 3 lads, most people would rather have had one less pint a week and trained Martial Arts/ self-defence than had the extra beer.

Don’t wait until you need Self-defence training, invest in it now.

I hope this post has shown you that you can train for free/ cheaply but also you can probably afford to train with a club.

Stay safe and thanks for reading

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