No Taekwondo school nearby? Here's how to keep up your martial arts fitness without one.

 Or you can throw on your  dobuk  and train in the ocean like these guys.

Or you can throw on your dobuk and train in the ocean like these guys.

IT'S AWFUL when we leave our home gym of 10 years and move to a new city, where Taekwondo tuition costs an arm and a leg, the instructors haven't memorized their poomsae, and you're forced to join the kids' class because there are no adults.

Here's how I survived being dojang-less before starting North Taekwondo.

1. Sign up for a gym with punching bags or mats.

Taekwondo-ers want to stay fit in general, but signing up for a normal gym with all machines and no mats can be detrimental to our Taekwondo bodies. I noticed that when I stuck to normal workouts, I didn't stretch nearly as much as I did at my home dojang, and more importantly, I wasn't practicing the kicks and poomsae that need to be refined every day. As a result, I lost a lot of the original balance and sharp sparring skills that I thought would stay with me despite being dormant.

Getting a membership with punching bags and mats maintain your Taekwondo fitness - even if it's just 10 minutes of beating up the bag and a quick round of your poomsae forms on the mats. I found it easy to glance at the gym's schedule every day and see when the kickboxing and muay thai students weren't practicing, and then I'd train on the empty mats.

2. Plan your gym schedules wisely - take it easy on leg day.

Martial artists know the consequences of trying to train after leg day at the gym. When I started combining my daily machine gym schedule with my Taekwondo training, I could barely stand in horse riding stance! My poomsae training was inefficient because my arms were still burning from the morning before. As a result, my training regimen just wasn't working out.

Try to stagger your Taekwondo days and machine-gym days so that you aren't still dying from sore legs and arms when you hit the mats. This will involve a lot of 5am scheduling and late night training, but it's the best way to stay efficient while working on both fitness aesthetics and martial arts training.

3. Keep watching Taekwondo videos.

It's hard to stay motivated when your Taekwondo teammates aren't with you. But there are endless amounts of Youtube videos being uploaded daily that you can watch for inspiration. Pick a few of your favorite National Team athletes and watch their sparring and poomsae videos. Watch their timing for defensive drills and poomsae execution and follow their leads.

A real martial artist keeps training despite no gym. It's hard at first, but all the great martial arts movies have the protagonist training solo on a mountain, beating up a tree. You can do it, too.

If you don't want to train solo forever, we'll be opening our doors on October 12. Hang in there!

Michelle Caluag