Why Practice Figure 8s?

Many struggle with seeing the applications of drills and how they can be used in a fight.  Drills are designed to practice specific movements and develop the muscle control needed for those techniques.  Figure 8s are one of those drills that is hard to understand how they are helpful.  These two separate drills, downward and upward figure 8s, seem unnecessarily fancy for a real fight.  However, if you combine them then magic happens.


The drill is meant to practice these strikes from both sides.  The practical application is to combine them doing an upward figure 8 from the right and a downward figure 8 from the left or reverse.  This combination allows you to target your opponent’s hand in the first strike and land a hard strike to the shoulder or collarbone.  Here is an example of how these strike patterns work with a knife, the concept being the same no matter the length of the blade.

Or the sword version of this combination is:

Figure 8 Combo.

This drill is combining the Upper Figure 8 Strike with the Downward Figure 8 Strike along with the footwork from Circle Drill #2. In the video I am doing this drill with a longsword, however, this exact combo works well with sword and shield as well. Start with your sword leg forward, this gives you the maximum reach to start your attack at the far edge of your range. The sword strike is coming up to go for your opponent’s forearm. Step forward with your non-dominate leg. Make sure your foot is outside your opponent’s feet. That will place you on an off-angle that will give you more of a defensive advantage. Once you have stepped forward throw the downward figure 8 strike. When done right this is an extremely powerful combination.

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