Warrior's Temple: Part Three - How to physically prepare for our courses!

There’s the old saying, ‘failure to prepare is preparing to fail’ and I am sure there are many students that make it to lunchtime on day one of the Warrior Masterclass course, their lungs bursting, and realise that their preparation efforts have been far from ideal.

This year we aim to help put a stop to this feeling. Speeding through all four of the Warrior Phases in 2018 faster than a Gun Rush bullet, Jason Bonthuys has joined us this month to dish out some essential advice on how you can prepare both your fitness and your lifestyle ahead of any BAA course in 2019.

Jason, Chief Instructor at Martial Art World and 5th Degree Black Belt joined as a student on Phase I back in May 2018 and boy has it been a mountain for him to climb, even with Jason’s incredible foundations in fitness, he has had to change his training and specifically adapt his schedule to ensure he performs to the highest standard on the BAA courses. 

What we want to point out is that you don't have to be at an elite level of fitness to do our courses and neither do you have to be a high-level martial artist! We take people at their own level. What's important to realise though is that the Warrior Masterclass is a 90% practical course and you'll need to improve and maintain your stamina to get through it. These fitness exercises have been designed so that they can be performed by anyone at any fitness level. 

Over a two-part series, Jason who is now up to Phase IV of the Warrior Masterclass will share his essential fitness advice on how to prepare and maintain that Warrior stamina. 


Cardio would probably be my number one area that I would advise all students to focus on. The BAA courses are physically demanding and you really don't want your cardiovascular levels to let you down, especially when it comes to performing your video assessments!

Here are my top 3 types of cardio to help you smash through a Warrior Masterclass:


Traditional striking martial arts

I come from a Martial Arts background so for me any type of traditional martial arts that physically pushes your fitness levels is ideal. My preference is Tae Kwon-Do as the patterns/forms/katas can develop your aerobic fitness and also help you with routine retention (useful when attending a WMC). Transferrable skills such as learning stances and footwork can also give you an upper hand on a WMC.

How to get involved:

  • If you’re a beginner then why not attend a local school and enjoy a class
  • Experienced martial artist - If you’ve already got a background in Martial Arts then set a timer for 30 minutes and perform as many patterns/forms/katas back to back within this time frame. Do this regularly and watch your cardio levels skyrocket!



This has to be my favourite type of cardio and also the most effective in my opinion. Bag work and pad work specifically are such an effective tool when trying to increase your fitness levels!

Example cardio session: 

  • 10x 1-minute rounds against either a punch bag or a pad holder performing the following: 
  • 1 round left-handed punching
  • 1 round right-handed punching
  • 1 round left leg kicks only
  • 1 round right leg kicks only
  • 1 round using both sides of the body, punching & kicking

Repeat the 5 rounds again to complete your 10 rounds! (30-60 seconds rest in between rounds) If you're a beginner, do 2-5 rounds.  

It’s tough work, but you will reap the benefits when you're on the Warrior Masterclass!



Either road running, cross country or treadmill are great. Ensure that you are focusing more on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) when training for WMC. This style of running will help you to replicate the type of fitness that is used on the BAA courses.

Example cardio session:

  • 2-minute fast pace walk to warm up
  • 5-minute jog at a light intensity
  • 10 rounds of 20-30 second sprints with 30-45 second rest periods

As a beginner reduce your rounds between 1-5 rounds. 

This also helps you prepare for life on set, you warm up, practice your routines, and then go through a high-intensity fight routine, and then you reset. This type of routine sets you up perfectly for life in this industry!


You will need to add a strength session (that can be repeated twice in the week) of up to 10 exercises. The session will need a hard slant to specifically shoulders and the upper body area.

Strength training should not be underestimated when training for a WMC. Those shields soon become heavy when you're fighting! 

I personally have a passion for weight training, I train 4 times per week, specifically in strength when preparing for my courses. I like to divide my body parts up into separate training sessions to create an overall balance within my muscles. My example training split looks something like this:

  • Monday - Chest, and triceps 
  • Wednesday - Legs
  • Thursday - Back, shoulders and biceps
  • Saturday - Overall body workout hitting all muscle groups

For people who can't commit that amount of time to strength training, I'd recommend doing one or two strength sessions per week. Within this workout, I would advise performing 1 exercise for each main muscle group so that all areas of the body are targeted.

Try this workout to become the strongest version of you yet! (Exercises can be performed in a gym or at home using dumbbells/weights).

Not only will strength exercises help you on the course, they will also help you feel and look more like a Warrior!

Exercise 1: 


  • Squats

  • 3 sets of 8-10 reps


Exercise 2:


  • Lunges

  • 3 sets of 10-12 reps per leg


Exercise 3:


  • Bench/chest press 

  • 3 sets of 8-10 reps


Exercise 4:


  • Bent over row

  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps


Exercise 5: 


  • Shoulder press 

  • 3 sets of 6-8 reps


Exercise 6:


  • Dumbbell side raises

  • 3 sets of 15 reps

Exercise 7:


  • Dumbbell curls

  • 3 sets of 10-15 reps


Exercise 8:


  • Dumbbell kickbacks

  • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Wow! That’s quite a routine! Thanks, Jason for your time and input!

Look out for the next edition of the Warrior Temple: Jason Bonthuys’ Core workout! How to maintain that essential core strength for those stances and power attacks. Jason also shares his tips and tricks for maintaining good nutrition and lifestyle habits whilst training for the Warrior Masterclass

The British Action Academy strongly recommends that you consult with your G.P. before beginning any exercise program.

You should be in good health and a good physical condition to be able to participate in any exercise.

The British Action Academy is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.

You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in our exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk.

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