Footwork and Movement

Kung Fu Wang

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Should various "non-striking" techniques such as the sprawl, Kick checks, etc be taught alongside movement and footwork?
In CMA, it's always a good idea to move your back foot first. Just like the cross comes after the jab, the front foot advance is better to be after the back foot advance.

You don't want your opponent to scoop your leading foot.
 
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Shatteredzen

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In CMA, it's always a good idea to move your back foot first. Just like the cross comes after the jab, the front foot advance is better to be after the back foot advance.

You don't want your opponent to scoop your leading foot.
Scoop the lead foot? Like a grab?
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Scoop the lead foot? Like a grab?
When you step in your leading foot, if your opponent can hook his foot behind your ankle,

Chang_shin_bite1.jpg


he can help you to move forward more than you want to, you will fall.

 
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isshinryuronin

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You don't want your opponent to scoop your leading foot.
I mentioned this exact thing to one of my students this afternoon. I was teaching a slide step in, where the front foot takes a small step forward with the back foot sliding up the same distance to maintain stance integrity and delivers body mass to the punch or other technique accompanying the step. This is designed as a quick move executed in conjunction with a quick attack, so offers little or no time to be swept.

I have no problem moving the front foot first, as long as it's just a few inches and executed as described above. The danger is when you try to cover too much distance with that first step and get stretched out. This makes the lead foot vulnerable as you describe, and also weakens body structure.
 

JowGaWolf

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the front foot advance is better to be after the back foot advance.
It just depends on how your opponent is standing. A person can't sweep or foot hook from any angle. If we took a look at all the Martial arts schools in the world. We'll probably see the following
1. Not every school trains sweeps
2. Those that do, more schools train sweep with the back foot only
3. Most school train sweeping when opponent is standing on 1 leg
4. Very few schools train foot hook or sweep using the lead leg
5. Out of the few schools that train foot hook, sweep using the lead leg, there's only a few within that group that can actually apply a sweep.

One is more likely to have to deal with a foot hook in competitive sports. In a street fight, you are more at risk of someone grappling you than you are someone sweeping you.

If you are one of the few who trains sweeps using both the lead and rear legs, foot hooks, and have the timing ability to pull it off then consider yourself to be part of a rare group. And take pride that you are able to do what most people have a difficult time in doing. Especially if you know how to do all three. From what I've seen, it's no small accomplishment to have that skill ability.
 

dvcochran

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When you walk, you are crossing your legs. If you move toward your opponent, to cross your legs has no issue. It's when you move side way and when you are in your opponent's kicking range, there will be issue there.

Most of the foot sweep require 2 contact points.

1. Your foot on your opponent's foot, and
2. Your hand to pull down his shoulder.

When you cross your legs, your opponent can take you down by only 1 contact point (the foot contact).

When you have to cross your legs in your opponent's kicking range, if your back leg is parallel to the ground, and above the other knee before landing, you can avoid that foot sweep.
When you walk your feet/legs Pass one another as we stride. In physics it is called walking beam. Our body is built to make this motion so the mechanics are making no 90 degree motions.
When we take a perpendicular step then we are crossing our feet. Anatomically it goes against everything but we are able to do it because of our ligature and stretchy muscles.
There is a big difference.
To the OP, I do not feel crossing the feet is explicitly wrong, with conditions. Done poorly or predictably and it is ripe for exploitation.
 

isshinryuronin

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It just depends on how your opponent is standing. A person can't sweep or foot hook from any angle. If we took a look at all the Martial arts schools in the world. We'll probably see the following
1. Not every school trains sweeps
2. Those that do, more schools train sweep with the back foot only
3. Most school train sweeping when opponent is standing on 1 leg
4. Very few schools train foot hook or sweep using the lead leg
5. Out of the few schools that train foot hook, sweep using the lead leg, there's only a few within that group that can actually apply a sweep.

One is more likely to have to deal with a foot hook in competitive sports. In a street fight, you are more at risk of someone grappling you than you are someone sweeping you.

If you are one of the few who trains sweeps using both the lead and rear legs, foot hooks, and have the timing ability to pull it off then consider yourself to be part of a rare group. And take pride that you are able to do what most people ese have a difficult time in doing. Especially if you know how to do all three. From what I've seen, it's no small accomplishment to have that skill ability.
I agree with all your points, though not sure about #3. A good time to sweep, but if a person is on one leg he is likely kicking and few can both defend and sweep at the same time unless the kick is a lazy one,

From videos posted by kung fu wang, sweeps seem to be common in CMA. Rear leg sweeps used to be common in karate tournaments with a grab and punch, but I think this is not so common these days. Few used the front leg. I liked to creep in close and hook with my front foot (timing and gauging the opponent is important as a punch can hit you quickly). It was a short, quick move - just a few inches - to freeze his guard / counter ability and open him up to a jab.
 

Martial D

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He is contributing to the discussion instead of cherry picking when to drop one liners to be a contrarian. His answers have been substantive, you have been using a lot of the "weasel language" you say you don't like without providing anything truly helpful. Maybe show some examples of why its a bad idea?
Meanwhile, I asked you a direct question and you respond by attacking me instead of addressing the content, as per the usual.

I'm not sure you are in a very good position to criticize the discussion styles of others.
 

JowGaWolf

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From videos posted by kung fu wang, sweeps seem to be common in CMA.
It's common in CMA systems but I don't think many schools train sweep applications. You'll see them in forms and drills but not with the focus of applying it. When I taught it to students, they had a lot of difficulty with the timing. The timing I use is to sweep with the intention of preventing the stepping foot from taking root. My opponent will step and expect his stepping foot to land on the ground. But I use a sweep to prevent that stepping legs from reaching the ground to literally "Not give them a leg to stand on"

I like this way because it doesn't require a lot of power and that allows me to sneak in sweeps that otherwise wouldn't work.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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4. Very few schools train foot hook or sweep using the lead leg
You use

- back leg to sweep.
- leading leg to shin bite, scoop, sticky lift, scoop kick.

The sweep should be trained in the following order:

shin bite (45 degree downward) -> scoop (horizontal) -> sticky lift (vertical) -> scoop kick (45 degree upward)-> sweep (45 degree upward)

IMO, the main purpose of the sweep is to force your opponent to shift weight from one leg into another so you can take advantage on it.
 

wab25

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When I taught it to students, they had a lot of difficulty with the timing.
In Japanese Jujitsu, where our kata is the application... timing is still the major point of difficulty. The following sweep, I call a brown belt sweep when I teach it to white belts. The idea is that you start training it at white belt, but you won't really get it, until brown belt.

If you look close, the crossover step in the videos, I showed in my first post to this thread (Tekki shodan...), is the actual sweep. As in, De Ashi Harai is the combat application of the crossover step in Tekki shodan. Whats interesting is that the bend in the supporting knee, where you drop your weight and allow your crossing foot to reach a bit further... adds power and reach to the sweep. That video was taken before I had much time in Shotokan. After spending some years in Shotokan, specifically doing Tekki Shodan, my De Ashi Harai has improved a lot. I get more body drop (more power), and it is better connected to the sweep... and I get a bit more reach on it as well.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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3. Most school train sweeping when opponent is standing on 1 leg
This is a good way to train the timing for sweep. When you lift one of your opponent's legs off, before that foot land back down, you sweep his rooting leg.


The shin bite will work here too without any timing issue. This is why you should train shin bite (timing is not important) before you start to train foot sweep (timing is important).

 
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JowGaWolf

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You use

- back leg to sweep.
- leading leg to shin bite, scoop, sticky lift, scoop kick.
Jow Ga has a technique that uses a short rear leg sweep that sweep someone who is on my flank. In the form, I would be facing away from my opponent which would make lead leg my rear leg. The feet are in the same position as the would be in the form. The only difference is that my head is now facing my opponent. Because of this my rear leg is now my lead leg.

1620935424743.png
1620935950370.png


Here you can see that my foot is hooked behind his leg. Then in the picture the you can see that my foot is still hooked. When I did this technique, I didn't raise my leg. That happened on it's own. During that time I performed a sweeping motion. You can see in the picture my foot is angled towards the floor and not the ceiling. Had I been trying to kick his leg upward then my foot would have been angled upward with my toes pointing to the ceiling. In the form, the sweep technique doesn't meet resistance, so it takes on a different look. To me I performed the technique exactly like I do in the form. But in application, the sweep meets resistance and it's path is changed by that resistance. I don't know if I would have had the same success if I had bailed out of the technique. I don't think I would have been able to generate enough force from such a short distance if I didn't do the technique as it's done in the form.

1620936203302.png
 

Buka

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I really don't think this get's the time it deserves in most cases. When you first start out, foot work feels like the veggies on the side of your plate that you must eat and later on we find ourselves going back to it to train again and again. Even many experienced competitors neglect footwork or downplay its importance in winning fights. What are some observations or crucial elements people should add to their tool kit? Does your style have particular lessons on footwork you find very helpful that you could share here?

Personally, I like studying the footwork of some of the greatest fighters, then trying out particular nuances when I have time on the mat. Here is Sugar Ray Leonard's footwork in depth, in many ways he takes what Ali did and expands on it.


Then there is Samart Payakaroon, one of the greatest of the muay thai greats, who used Ali and Leonard's footwork but developed it for Muay Thai in a way that is just brilliant to see. The way he combines his boxing form with the Muay Thai, even his leg checks become these things of elegant brilliance.

Stance, Footwork, Movement, three of the cornerstones on which the church is built.

I always taught students to develop their own footwork dependent on how they liked to move, how well they actually moved in the way they thought they were moving, and how well they fought. And all of those things are going to change for the better as they train - as long as they put in the time and effort.

And they have to spar. A lot. How you move doesn't mean squat if someone isn’t actually fighting you. Your footwork doesn’t mean squat if someone isn’t actually fighting you. Unless you're just doing it all for exercise and enjoyment.

Not everybody moves in the same way. Yeah, sure you can train them all the same - but is that what’s really best for them? At the very beginning, sure, when you’re teaching them the basic principles of fighting. But a six foot, thin, athletic student isn’t going to move like a five foot four, heavy set, non athletic student. After the beginning, I’ll teach them how to best utilize their particular strengths. And, keep in mind, not all six foot, thin athletic students move the same way, nor do the other example I stated. And, again, time and effort are going to change how they move - and it’s always for the better. IF they put in the time and effort.

As for crossing your stance, it depends on your distance. If you do it against a good fighter when you’re too close, well, it’s like Mark Twain said, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."

A lot of times I’d sit at the sidelines with beginners and we'd watch the advanced guys fight. We’d study what they were doing with their footwork. These beginners had already spared a bunch, they even sparred some with the advanced guys (and were treated with kid gloves and coached by both me and the guys they were fighting) it’s useless to point out things if they had yet to spar. All my students sparred by the end of their first month. Baby steps, sure, but that's how they learn.

As for Ray Leonard, I was lucky to work out with Ray many times. Yeah, he had good footwork, good movement. And he could punch a little bit. (wink) Gee, ya think?
 

Martial D

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In CMA, it's always a good idea to move your back foot first. Just like the cross comes after the jab, the front foot advance is better to be after the back foot advance.

You don't want your opponent to scoop your leading foot.
But if rear foot moves first you sacrifice your base. If you do that habitually it will be read.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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But if rear foot moves first you sacrifice your base. If you do that habitually it will be read.
The moment that you move your leading leg, the moment that the distance between you and your opponent has changed.

When you move your back leg first, you don't have to take any risk. If your opponent's leg can't reach to your leading leg (and your body), when you move your back leg, his leg still can't reach to your leading leg (and your body). So when you advance your back leg, the distance between you and your opponent hasn't changed yet. You are still safe.

Before your back foot landing, if you also move your leading leg, you can combine 2 moves into 1 move. This footwork is just like the jumping kick. You can cover more distance, you can also reduce your risk.

jump_tree_kick.gif


Here is another example that you combine back leg move and leading leg move into one move - a hop.

 
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JowGaWolf

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When you move your back leg first, you don't have to take any risk. If your opponent's leg can't reach to your leading leg (and your body), when you move your back leg, his leg still can't reach to your leading leg (and your body). So when you advance your back leg, the distance between you and your opponent hasn't changed yet. You are still safe.
It's been my experience that legs are always withing reach. Legs will be withing before punches are within reach. If someone is trying to punch me then that person's legs will be in range for me before they are in range to punch me. Below we see 2 fighter both are clearly out of punching range but look at how close their legs are.


1620955168106.png





Same as below. You can see my opponent take advantage of it. He intentionally uses the jab to hide his true intention which was to step on my foot which in turn would prevent me from advancing or retreating.
1620955833212.png


His decision to step on my foot is why this punch barely missed him. I was unable to take my shuffle step.
1620956323795.png


Here he tries to set up a foot hook. Punches are out of range legs are within range
1620956561542.png


Punch is out of range legs are within range.
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Legs are tricky because sometimes the lead leg cannot reach the lead leg, but the rear leg can
1620957251019.png


Lead leg (right leg) cannot reach my opponent
1620957520887.png


Lead leg enters backwards as he does a front kick. I send it as a fake sweep so he can abandon commitment on his kick. Kung fu people always have the worst cameras. lol
1620957760478.png


Now here is where it gets strange. My back is facing him and both feet are point away from him, and I'm not facing him. Technically now my lead leg (the one that is closer to my opponent) has now become my rear leg.
1620958373969.png


Lead leg sweeps my opponent's kicking leg as it tries to return and lands.
1620958756512.png
 

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