Martial Arts Reaction Speed Drills

Martial Arts Reaction Speed Drills

This page focuses on drills that improve martial arts reaction speed or reactive quickness. Speed is a great advantage in martial arts for sparring and self-defense if you can quickly react to an incoming attack by dodging or counter attacking. Martial arts students should also visit the physical fitness sections focused on agility training and kicking & punching speed training.

All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program.

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Reaction Speed Drills

  • Have a partner “swing” at a student with a kicking paddle or focus mitt. Student must bob and weave in order to avoid the incoming paddle.
  • Students must quickly kick or punch a moving paddle or focus mitt. The partner should hold it in place for only a second or two (for a student to hit it) before moving it to the next random striking area.
  • Mirror drills can help to improve the ability to quickly react to an opponent’s movements.
  • Reaction balls can help with footwork reaction speed. A student must quickly shift direction in order to retrieve the erratic reaction ball.
  • Many athletes use agility ladder drills in order to improve their footwork reaction speed.
  • Train with boxing double-end bags.
  • Boxers often use speed bag drills to improve their hand-eye coordination and reaction speed.
  • Use resistance bands to “slow” your kicks & punches while training. Once you remove the bands, your movements will be faster and more powerful.
  • Train with a reflex bag in order to improve reaction speed and hand-eye coordination.

Agility & Reaction Ball Drills