The foundation to all forms of fighting begins with footwork and range. Bruce Lee once said, “a punch is a punch and a kick is a kick.” Meaning when you strip away the traditions, showmanship, and fancy moves the basics are the same. There are only so many ways the body can effectively move. Breaking things down to the basics there are some useful images to use with training to help develop these skills. The first is a footwork star. You will see this star used in many forms of martial arts from Escrima, Judo, Farang Mu Sul, just to name a few.
Here is a really great video on how to use the footwork star to train movement and range:
After watching this video you might ask how these drills can work with a sword. So I took this concept and added a box and circle.
The box gives you directions for approach in a fight. The circle is the sword arch of your max reach. If you can stay within the black area you can avoid being hit by your opponent, but land a strike on your own. If you take this new concept and apply it to the drill above you can get a very interesting sparring drill that will develop some amazing skills. Below is an example of a slow sparring drill.
Slow Sparring Drill
In this drill your goal is to take one step to avoid your opponents attack then answer the attack with a counter. Make note of how slow these fighters are moving. Keep this drill slow and train the right instincts. Don’t rush this drill. If you can’t do it slow then you defiantly cannot do it fast. Take your time and perfect your art.
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