If you are a dedicated martial artist then you will know how important it is to try and fit in as much extra training as much as possible. Often the one to two times per week lessons offered at martial arts clubs and schools is not enough when it comes to your test for your new belt. But if you setup your own gym space at home you can accomplish so much more. But with any home gym you need equipment. The equipment you require may depend on the style you practicing, but for someone starting out at home then there are three items you need to ensure your success.
Heavy bag. The heavy bag is a must, even if you practice a style that involves grappling. The heavy bag is the rough size and weight of a person, by kicking it and punching it is very similar to punching and kicking a person. If you are a grappler you can use it to build your strength and master your timing. Working with the bag also improves your strength, stamina and coordination. The bag is generally made of canvas and filled with sand or foam, and hangs from a ceiling joist. When you hit the bag, it moves. You need to anticipate what direction it is going and if it is going to come back and hit you. But this is by far my number one piece of equipment for your martial arts home gym.
Striking Pads. If you practice with a partner at home then these are also a great tool for sparring. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can get specialist pads designed for you to kick at or punch at. You can also get blocking pads which are soft rectangular pads attached to a stick; your partner then strikes at you with the pad and you need to block or evade the attack. They cost anywhere between twenty to thirty dollars.
Mats. This may sound pretty ordinary and basic, but without mats you are going to get hurt. Most people setup a home gym in a basement or garage where the floor is often concrete. If you fall on concrete then you are going to injure yourself. You need to make sure that you have thick mats in the whole of your training area to avoid and falls or slips.
There are many home gizmos for the martial arts enthusiast at home, but the truth is you do not need them all. By going back to basics and using the traditional equipment fighter have used for years then you are giving yourself the best chance to complement your class training at the martial arts school.