"She nodded thoughtfully, then poked the air, wrist bent and elbow out. I couldn't stand it, so I took it [the sword] from her, dropped slowly into a foil guard, lunged in high line, recovered - a move so graceful that big hairy men look good in it. It's why ballerinas study fencing." - Robert Heinlein, Glory Road Do fencing students take ballet, I wonder? Should they? One of the fellow contributors here shared a fantastically fun dancing video including capoera practitioners and samba/salsa dancers. It looked like really good time and they all kept up with each other very well. Seriously speaking, we know being reasonably fit is helpful in training. It's not a panacea. It's not a guaranteed win. But it helps. It's nice to be able to fold up into a compact roll or not go "splat" after an overly enthusiastic shoulder through because you are agile enough to execute a proper side fall. It's nice when your joints don't creak and your muscles don't ache (or ache only slightly), when you try to kick anything above knee level. That is not to say people will never surprise you. The best high kicker I've ever known looked like Santa Claus, complete with the belly and the beard. He could twirl like a dervish and deliver head-level kicks as if his hip joints opened into another dimension. Belly or no belly, there was no question the man was a tremendously strong and skilled martial artist. I wish I had a chance to ask, what else he did for fitness. When my doctors made it clear I either had to exercise 4-5 times a week or become disabled and addicted to pain medicine, I crafted my fitness schedule very carefully to be as comprehensive as possible and discovered a delightful side effect - all of it dovetails very nicely with my martial arts training. Monday - step. 50 minutes. High intensity cardio. Spending almost an hour constantly going up and down a level - even a level that is only 6-8" tall (a standard step without risers) - means ongoing balancing and being very aware where your weight is. Numerous kicks, leg curls, and knee lifts forward, sideways, and back strengthen lower back and the same muscles that help lift the leg in a kick. Tuesday - vinyasa yoga. 60 minutes. High intensity core. Tons of balancing. Tons of stretching. Joint loosening. Coordination. Weight transition and awareness. Plus, you get to take a nap at the end as a reward for your efforts. Wednesday - strength training - 30 minutes, followed by zumba for 45 - 50 minutes. The strength training focuses on developing muscles I'll need during the next mud run - so, pulling myself up, lifting, pushing, etc. Zumba, of course, is high intensity cardio. Coordination, body memory, getting used to your arms and legs doing different things at the same time, and breaking yourself off the habit of looking at your feet. Thursday - aikido. 90 minutes. Friday - rest day. Still at least 15 minutes of stretching - have to do it or else I'll be stiff as a board the next day. Sautrday - aikido. 90 minutes. Another hour of yoga afterward, if there is any juice left. Sunday - another rest day. Stretching and often a lot of of walking around. Staying mobile as much as possible. Would love to hear what you do for fun outside the dojo that also comes in helpful at the dojo.