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Conditioning is an important facet of Viam Chao, as self-defense may require a degree of physical fitness, especially if one is faced with an athletic attacker. Encounter durations can last from seconds to dozens of minutes, and self-defense ought to be geared toward preparing each student for the reality of violence. Physical conditioning is incorporated into each class in the form of 5 rounds of Praelium, except instead of fighting, each minute of each round is spent doing a particular exercise. As the rounds increase, the exercises increase in intensity.

The type of conditioning is a mixture of high-intensity bursts of shorter duration and longer periods of lower intensity paced activity. Focus should be on a combination of explosive movements and stamina. Also, wherever possible, incorporate bodyweight exercises in with plyometrics and manipulation of some external weight.

A typical fitness portion might look like this:

  • Round 1, 5 minutes:
    • Minute 1: box side steps
    • Minute 2: pushups
    • Minute 3: v-ups
    • Minute 4: speed skaters
    • Minute 5: knees to elbow
  • rest 1 minute
  • Round 2, 4 minutes:
    • Minute 1: shadow boxing
    • Minute 2: over the shoulder ball toss
    • Minute 3: double mountain climber
    • Minute 4: sprawls
  • rest 1 minute
  • Round 3, 3 minutes:
    • Minute 1: bear crawl bag drag
    • Minute 2: distance burpees
    • Minute 3: pulse squat hops
  • rest 1 minute
  • Round 4, 2 minutes:
    • Minute 1: ball slams
    • Minute 2: box jumps
  • rest 1 minute
  • Round 5, 1 minute:
    • Minute 1: Tire flip