Footwork problems

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
Neophyte
Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Adelaide Australia

Footwork problems

Postby Neophyte » Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:00 am

Dear All,



Maybe someone can help me with my two left feet. I like the stance promoted by Mike J, foot forward slightly on knife hand side, knife at about waist level, offside hand up by face, etc. I can move forwards or back easily and quickly. I can move diagonally back to the left or forward to the right fairly easily as well. I guess the first of those is good for evasion, at least against right handers. But what about movement forward and diagonally left, or backward and diagonally right. They just don't feel comfortable, nor are they terribly quick. Of course, this could have something to do with age....nah, couldn't be.



Regards, Neophyte.

User avatar
travis quaas
Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Denver USA

Postby travis quaas » Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:51 pm

Hey Neophyte,

It's my best guess, but if you are right handed and are in your stance, if you want to go diagonally "forward left" I find taking the large step is worthwhile (and by that, I am talking about the left foot). I try to focus on something until I feel comfortable with it. Seems to me every time Mr. J puts me on my back side, he has fully committed his forward momentum (footwork wise) as well as his body above his waist line. Depending on his hold on my arm, neck, or what he showed a bunch of us last night, full body, he has that special talent to put me on my rump.

If you are planning on moving foward left while being a right handed knife holder, there must be a reason for it. Take that back left leg and move it forward. I believe (and pardon me if I'm wrong about this) Mr. J's beginning stance is just a "starting point". Moving foward with a "boxing step" keeps you stable and fast.

One thing that I would highly suggest, get the "Mastering Fighting Folders" video or DVD. Mr. J definitly addresses the special issue of your footwork in regards to dropping your aggressor. I found it very informative. And, I can tell you from experience that it works (being on the "giving" and "receiving" side of the technique). Here is a link directly to Paladin Press' website for the video I previously mentioned:

http://www.paladin-press.com/detail.aspx?ID=1064

Best of luck in your quest!!!

TQ

Edited by - Travis Quaas on 2/19/2004 6:23:07 PM

User avatar
vampyrewolf
Member
Posts: 7486
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Postby vampyrewolf » Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:58 am

in my mix and match of skills, I've learned one really important thing about footwork:

do what doesn't feel natural.

I'm slightly biased in my choice, My best ranges are kicking and grappling(with a few elbows and knees stuck in there)... I don't like punching range, since I never trained for power, just for speed and accuracy.
If I can't keep you a kicking range, I close in with an elbow or two as I take you down to the ground.
My wrestling coach hated my style but I won enough to let me keep doing it. I'm ambi(left natural, right dominant)... I square off left foot forward, left hand about your waist height, right elbow about 4-6" from right hip, right arm parallel to floor. Feet around shoulder width with legs about 30deg bend.

Gives me a full range of motion, and full power transfer to any limb. If I'm doing blade drills, one in each hand in a pikal grip flows nicely.

<img src="http://www.members.shaw.ca/pjharyett/sp ... pyder5.gif">
Mei Fides, Mei Victus
Coffee Before Conciousness
Vampyrewolf@yahoo.com

Michael Janich
Member
Posts: 1692
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Longmont, CO USA
Contact:

Postby Michael Janich » Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:04 am

Dear Neophyte:

Thanks for the question. The short answer is that Travis is right (thank you, Travis, for your response). "Shuffling" footwork is footwork in which your feet do not pass and you maintain your original stance. It's what boxers do most of the time and we do when moving forward, back, and diagonally forward/right and backward/left.

"Stepping" footwork is like walking -- one foot passes the other or extends in a way that changes your stance. It's the quickest way to move diagonally left and forward or right and back from a right lead. To go diagonally left and forward, take a step with your left foot and then with your right to reestablish your original stance. To move diagonally back, step back with your right, then your left. In each case, when you step, step far enough that you maintain an offset stance and don't end up with your feet side by side and facing your opponent. Otherwise, you will end up on your butt.

I appreciate Vampyrewolf's comment (anyone who actually trains is truly entitled to an opinion, unlike many of the couch fixtures that pontificate on Internet forums), but I personally disagree with the idea of "doing what doesn't feel natural." Under stress, your body reacts with instinct first. And when you need to move quickly, instinct tells you to put one foot in front of the other (like walking or running). I train to start with instinct and build upon it.

I think Vampyrewolf is a trained fighter who uses unorthodox tactics. They're natural for you based on your physical attributes, but they're not natural for most other people. Either way, you can make them work under stress, and that's the bottom line. For the average person, however, I would recommend starting with natural, easy movements and building a footwork platform from there. The more you train, the craftier you can get.

Again, thanks to all for the great thread and for sharing your thoughts. And to Travis -- thanks for falling so well.

Stay safe,


mike j

Qship
Member
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am

Postby Qship » Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:57 am

I find the male and female triangle stepping that Mr. Janich uses solves most problems, but there is one additional technique you might find useful.

When you punch, your rear foot generally should be in firm contact with the ground, so that your punch is braced. But, when you pull back your fist, sometimes you might want to simultaneously move your rear foot in the direction you want to go next. Quite often, your foot movement will be un-noticed. If you intend to go forward, that will shorten your stance, and if you intend to go backward, that will lengthen your stance. Mostly, people want to explode forward. Either way, you should get a little extra distance and speed when you next step. You don't want to over do your extension, and your next step should happen right away, because you are telegraphing. And, you don't want to do it a lot, because your opponent may catch on. In JKD terminology, this is called, "stealing a step".

Qship

BRAM
Member
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am

Postby BRAM » Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:32 pm

Sometimes one needs as Mike has said to let your body decide WHERE to go. That's the cool part of using a tool. The follow through and the orignal "windup" make one's body respond. Like swinging a baseball bat and trying to not let one's body shift and rotate...ROFL..
In that I mean if you move your feet, understand they are part of the whole framework..
move the axles as well..your hips..and as you move let your body rotate..How much? that depends on you, the situation and the space you have @ that moment.
Prof Presas used to call it body shifting.
Front facing, half facing, side facing, edge away faciing...
How big or little the steps were not as important as how much we shifted our body to respond to the attack or counter moves.

Age and injury have changed how i step..sometimes i use small circle hip.. I pivot on one foot, bending my knee and dropping my weight , forcing my hips to rotate to accentuate the partial stepping and body shift through a plane of space...
I gain a spacial change with less actual movement into the Zone of attack or defense.

As for moving left..if you want to go left ..move your left foot..the other will folow..its called step and slide..
Or step rightfoot to to leftfoot and let left move out of the way... if done in a two beat movement it's foot replacement..if its one beat its pendulumn..( the right foot kicks the left foot out of its way.)

Practice makes tedium..perfect practice makes good stepping...
Try putting on some classic rock n roll and stepping to the beat..dance a bit..try it now with a stick while you hit a bag, tree or post..
then try cutting the same way..

If you have access to Mike.. A couple of classes with him will truly enlighten you..
I bet his tapes do equally as well...

be safe

Bram

User avatar
sks
Member
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada

Postby sks » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:04 pm

....or you could just play a game of pick-up basketball. The footwork is perfect for MBC training.

Steve

bildrac
Member
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am

Postby bildrac » Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:44 pm

Addendum from a keyboard warrior

Not always will a punch or strike (whether empty handed or with a weapon) require a “braced foot” for power. In athletics, power is strength plus speed, so hitting with power doesn’t mean you’re hitting or striking with a statically braced foot and hitting with contracted muscles. On the contrary, it’s extremely fluid, braced one moment, contracted muscles another, et cetera. Think about this, in Olympic lifting, there is a lift called a Snatch, it’s where you position yourself much like you would for a deadlift, except with your hands a bit further apart. The first part of the lift begins with an “explosive burst” as you pull up with tremendous power (speed plus strength) to overcome the bar’s inertia. At this time, yes, your feet are braced, but after the explosive pull, and into the second part of the lift, you’ll find that you are now using the mass of the bar to pull yourself down underneath the bar as it “floats” up. You will also find that your feet are not “braced” anymore, per se. What I mean is, if you were to perform this same lift on a large weight scale, your weight, plus the bar’s weight, actually weigh less than the combined static measurement. With the third part of the lift, you will find yourself squatting underneath the bar with your arms locked out above your head and ready to squat the bar up. Extend this thought experiment to “power punching,” you should see that with the initial “drive” of the punch into your target, your rear foot is braced, but after that initial burst of power, your mass should be “floating” forward “behind” the punch, including the rear leg. In boxing, or any other athletic endeavor where power is crucial, it’s always best to get as much mass moving forward, and as fast, as possible. Yes, you do push against the back foot, but this is only to launch yourself forward as though you suddenly freeze into a solid bronze boxer with outstretched fist. One of the best ways to train for power in athletics, and martial arts, is to learn and train with the Olympic lifts, this programs into your body, via muscle memory, the ability to overcome inertia and explode into your target. It also enhances your footwork without specifically training to do so; it does it through what feels ‘natural’. For more and much better information, read Dr. Fred Hatfield’s article, “Athletes and the Olympic Lifts.” http://www.drsquat.com/index.cfm?action ... rticleID=8


Edited by - bildrac on 2/20/2004 12:47:07 PM

Qship
Member
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am

Postby Qship » Fri Feb 20, 2004 3:26 pm

"Not always will a punch or strike (whether empty handed or with a weapon) require a “braced foot” for power."

That's why I said, "generally". I much prefer firm base, but I am probably too much influenced by a teacher who said, "Dancers want to fly. Boxers want to root."

Sometimes, it is advantageous to hit from an unbraced position, even while moving, and simple arm movement tends to be a bit faster than a coordinated strike, where the foot pushes, the leg straightens, the waist turns, the arm extends and the forces add together. A lifted heel puts a spring at the ankle, and absorbs some of the force you might want to go to the target. Force is less important with a weapon and, even in boxing, stunning an opponent momentarily with a quick strike may give you a chance to set up for something more powerful.

Another JKD refinement that some people practice is to keep the back heel slightly off the ground. Bruce Lee reasoned that when he moved his rear foot, the first thing he did was lift the heel, and if it was already slightly lifted it gave him a minor speed advantage. But, when he hit, he dropped his heel, which was easy because the heel only had to drop a short distance, compared to the distance a punch travels. His heel was down on at impact. I don't usually lift my heel, because I'm not good enough to take advantage of the minor speed increase the technique provides.

We may be talking about another impediment to speed, opposing force. For example, there are muscles that extend the arm, and muscles that contract the arm. Especially when people tense up, there is a tendency for the muscles that contract the arm to tighten up a little during a punch, which opposes the muscles that extend the arm. This slows the punch, in direct proportion to the amount of opposing tension. Same principal for the legs. T'ai Chi Ch'uan has been known to help.

Qship

User avatar
vampyrewolf
Member
Posts: 7486
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Postby vampyrewolf » Fri Feb 20, 2004 5:28 pm

I have gotten my training from a few styles, mainly from sparring with ppl from whatever I could find. Did things like find out FMA styles don't train for lower body attacks(4 out of 4 matches I won, with a guy at work).

My only extended training was 7-8 months doing kickboxing and 3yrs in wrestling. I was in fights pretty much daily from kindergarten to grade 6, and me carrying a knife for SD took em down to 2-3 a month and then they stopped. I was able to take on 5 on 1, and 8+ on 1 was normal by the end. Also spent 5yrs in track, used to be able to run the 2.4 in 10:35. I've trained off an on for about 13yrs, most of it sparring.

I can hold a good pace for about 2km still, and have done an all out sprint a few times(something about coming upon a group of 12-15 kids and having a single knife on me). Running is still an option even in my condition.

For me it's experience rather than expertise talking. Carry a fixed blade and be fully aware of your surroundings. If it's not ready when you make contact, you had better be trained in drawing on the fly(or rolling in the dirt). Movements in a fight are either fully commited before they occur, or small enough they don't get noticed. I shuffle my steps, easier to take a leg out when it gets lifted up.

<img src="http://www.members.shaw.ca/pjharyett/sp ... pyder5.gif">
Mei Fides, Mei Victus
Coffee Before Conciousness
Vampyrewolf@yahoo.com

User avatar
Jimd
Member
Posts: 3245
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Allentown, PA USA

Postby Jimd » Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:28 pm

I agree with the comment made about running away; it's a good strategy if possible.

I've been involved in a few actual knife attacks, and witnessed a few dozen more.

I like simple, basic techniques. Paragraphs and pages about how to stand and walk are, to me, redundant and over complex.

Do what comes naturally. Probably the best way to stand and move resembles a boxer's stance. It's simple, mobile, and allows you to deliver power.

Intricate stepping patterns and techniques will do one thing very well....and that is, get you killed during a real-life knife attack!

I've never seen anyone perform complex stances, steps, or techniques during a knife fight or attack. This is not to say that I've seen it all or that my opinions are the final word. However, I have seen the real deal several times, and seen people killed with knives, and it has certainly influenced my views on real combat.

If someone ever attacks you with a knife (and I hope to God that never happens to any of us here), it's going to take every ounce of your being just to get through it, physically and mentally, without remembering stepping patters or intricacies.

I advocate using a few simple, powerful techniques in such situations. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) is the way to go.

Sniper -- One Shot, One Kill Email: ST8PEN01@aol.com

Qship
Member
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am

Postby Qship » Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:24 pm

"I was able to take on 5 on 1, and 8+ on 1 was normal by the end."

Was this knife on knife or knife against empty hands? On a good day, I might be able to stack two attackers, but put me up against three even minimally trained people, and likely I'm dog meat. With mutiple attackers, you pretty much have to render opponents non-functional as you go, which tends to attract the attention of the law.

8+ is much better than anything I could do. An after action report, including the legal consequences, would be most welcome.

Qship

User avatar
vampyrewolf
Member
Posts: 7486
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Postby vampyrewolf » Sat Feb 21, 2004 4:41 pm

the school started taking notice of the fights when the kids were limping into the office and I was relatively fine. I had a habit of attacking joints and the lower back.

they soon learned that 5 on 1 was my max, which is why they started in the larger groups, which degraded to kicking me in the centre of a circle more often than not.

I haven't had any large fights since grade 6 or 7, now I just have the groups of punks that roam around in here in groups of a dozen and try to jump anyone. The fights I had back then I usually ended up grabbing a stick about as long as my arm and wailed away on em. Not exactly a proud moment, but did the job.
The fights ended completely in grade 8, after a game of kickball where I almost broke another guy's hip in front of the teacher.

Comments from my sparring time now, unarmed I might take on 2, given my asp and a fixed blade, I would do 3... given larger numbers I tend to hit once or twice with my baton to create an opening and run like hell.

<img src="http://www.members.shaw.ca/pjharyett/sp ... pyder5.gif">
Mei Fides, Mei Victus
Coffee Before Conciousness
Vampyrewolf@yahoo.com

User avatar
Mancer
Member
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:33 am
Location: SLC, Utah, USA, Earth :P

Postby Mancer » Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:47 pm

Hi there.

Well I have some advice, I did Akido years back for a fair amount of time, you learn a technique called the "tenkan"(pronounced that way), If you can get ahold of a book to show you the footing positions and how to do this I think it would drastactly benefit you in a knife fight.

The sole aim of it is to get out the way of the attack and swiftly move around the sides and back of yout attacker where you can then grab joints and do your thing.
This technique is very fast and feels right, you dont fall on your butt because you off balance.

I know if Im under attack and have a blade using this there is a **** good chance my Civilian will be feasting on the back of my attacker the most.

Look it up, you will be pleased.

MaNcEr

It's Time To Kick @$$ 'N Chew Bubble Gum

User avatar
Jimd
Member
Posts: 3245
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:00 pm
Location: Allentown, PA USA

Postby Jimd » Sun Feb 29, 2004 9:57 pm

In the vast majority of knife attacks, you won't even realize that there is a knife coming at you until you're cut or stabbed.

Most bad guys attack you from behind in an ambush. I've actually watched this happen numerous times, and it's extremely effective on the victims.

Another misconception is that cutting/stabbing the attacker is the end of the battle. I watched a man who was stabbed over twenty times in the midsection continue to fight, despite the fact that he was dead just a few minutes later.

In another instance in which I was personally faced with a knife, the man next to me was stabbed four times in the back with a blade that was nearly a foot long. The knife pierced through his shoulder blades, grazed his heart, and penetrated both lungs. Despite all this damage, the man did not know he was stabbed until more than a minute later, and he continued to fight his attacker quite vigorously.

To be truthful, I haven't seen very many people who've been stabbed/cut that were actually immobilized/incapacitated immediately. Nearly every one continued to be very active immediately after the wounding, even though some died from their wounds.

I just shake my head when I see knife fights portrayed in the movies. Perfectly placed cuts, the bad guy drops immediately and dies, minimal blood. What a laugh!

Sniper -- One Shot, One Kill Email: ST8PEN01@aol.com


Return to “Spyderco General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: abbazaba, Ankerson, Evil D, Google [Bot], Mr.B., PanChango, RamZar, Tgmr05 and 41 guests